The seventh annual Alan Lebow Award for Excellence in Shakespearean Performance was presented recently to 10 Palm Beach County students from three local high schools.
Created by Kids’ Dreams Inc. in memory of its co-founder, Alan Lebow, the award honors students from Title I high schools who performed short selections from William Shakespeare’s works before a panel of distinguished judges.
This year’s top winner, earning a $1,000 cash prize, was Marcella Marques, a senior at Royal Palm Beach High School, who performed a selection from Titus Andronicus. Two other top winners, Ryan Gosling, a junior at Royal Palm Beach High School and Jephthelee Jordonne, a senior at Boynton Beach High School, were awarded $750 each. Gosling performed a monologue from Twelfth Night, while Jordonne performed a selection from Julius Caesar.
Honorable mention awards and $500 each went to Schlay Nicholas, a senior at Boynton Beach High School; Claudia Torres, a junior at Royal Palm Beach High School; and Kathie Torres, a sophomore at Royal Palm Beach High School.
Last fall, Kids’ Dreams made a gift to the Kravis Center to permanently endow the Lebow Award.
“The Alan Lebow Award for Excellence in Shakespearean Performance is such a fantastic program, and we have been thrilled to partner with Kids’ Dreams over the past seven years to present this competitive program for our community’s high school students,” said Judy Mitchell, CEO of the Kravis Center. “We are deeply grateful for the gift and very proud of the program.”
Former NBA star Otis Lee Birdsong gave the keynote address, and Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor presented the awards, followed by performances by the top six winners.
After the ceremony, all the students who had participated in the Lebow Award were invited to attend a performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, produced by Aquila Theatre Company, in the Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse.
ABOVE: RPBHS student Marcella Marques, top winner of the Alan Lebow Award for Excellence in Shakespearean Performance.