Nominated high school students represent their school as Kravis Student Theater Critics for selected Kravis Center presentations and events. The students receive workshop training to prepare them to write theater reviews, interview artists and have the opportunity to meet with and hear from our local theater critics. The students’ receive writing feedback from a writing mentor and will then submit a final piece for publication in his or her school newspaper.
Dr. Susan Gay Wemette, Writing Mentor
Susan is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Blue Planet Writers’ Room, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching young people about the world around them through arts-based international collaborations. She holds a BFA and an MFA in Acting, as well as a PhD in Education.
Ethan Bender, The King’s Academy
Ethan Bender is a senior at The King’s Academy and is involved with the crew for their theater performances in addition to participating as a student leader in various other programs at the school including engineering, digital media arts, journalism, and academics. He also serves outside of school as a lighting designer at Christ Fellowship Church and is ardent about sharing his faith in Jesus Christ through his work. Although he intends to pursue engineering as a career, Ethan is passionate about the opportunities he has to express his creativity through the arts, and he is honored to have the opportunity to contribute his insight by writing reviews for the Kravis Center.
Xan Blount, The Benjamin School
Xan Blount is a current senior at The Benjamin School, and this is her first year as a Kravis Center Critic. Xan has been on the stage her entire life, originally as a dancer, and later discovering her love for singing and acting as well. Writing has also been a huge part of her identity, and being able to combine the two is a wonderful opportunity for her. She cannot wait to be a critic for the Kravis Center this year! View her review of BEETLEJUICE.
Yarden Busi, Donna Klein Jewish Academy
Yarden Busi is a senior at Donna Klein Jewish Academy. Since the age of three Yarden has been greatly influenced by the world of theater. She is currently a member of Thespian Troupe 6991 and is on staff at a local children’s theater program. She is proud to be a 2023 Kravis Dream Awards nominee. She is beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to be a Student Critic at the Kravis Center this season!
Freddy Cycholl, Boca Raton Community High School
Freddy Cycholl is a senior at Boca Raton Community High School, and she is incredibly excited and blessed to have the opportunity to write reviews for the Kravis Center. Her passion for theater comes from stage managing at Boca High, and her hard work put into the drama program has led her to do a total of 7 shows with Boca Drama. With 2 more full productions of stage managing left until she goes to college, Freddy is excited to learn more about production design, hoping to go to college to study it. Finally, she would like to thank her director, Stephanie Nixdorf, for supporting her and being with her for every step of her journey through high school theater. View her review of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.
Malika Mckeith-Wellington, Saint Andrew’s School
Malika Mckeith-Wellington is 17 years old and a junior at Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton. She grew up in London, England, and moved to the USA when she was 12. She has a love for theater, dance, singing, Visual Arts and cheerleading. Her roles on stage include “Maria” (The Sound of Music), “Jovie” (Elf), “Nala” (The Lion King), “Genie” (Aladdin), “Ariel” (The Little Mermaid), and “Stepmother”/Dance Captain (Into the Woods). Malika has also performed an original song and made her onscreen debut appearance in the Amazon Prime show Life’s Rewards. She has enjoyed Song and Stage & Honors Musical Theater as her electives at school and has recently taken on the role of Secretary of Thespians Troupe 4312. Malika has also been awarded the Florida Education of Art Award of Excellence, for two consecutive years, as well as being awarded the Scholastic Silver Key for Art & Writing. View her CHICAGO review.
Brieyana Miranda, Olivet Private School
Brieyana Miranda is a senior at Olivet Private School and plans to study theatre in college. She is passionate about the arts and enjoys every aspect from performing and working backstage to choreographing and directing. One of her favorite experiences has been volunteering with an after-school theatre outreach program and seeing the positive impact it has had on the students. She is grateful and very excited to be a Kravis Center Student Critic this year. View her MEAN GIRLS review.
Sarah O’Donnell, Dreyfoos School of the Arts
Sarah O’Donnell is sixteen years old and a junior at Dreyfoos School of the Arts. She is a theater enthusiast with a flair for the dramatic. Her end goal is to experience all the different types of theater and embrace every aspect of the thespian world.
Blair Peleg, Park Vista Community High School
Student bio coming soon
Kailyn Pinder, Wellington High School
Kailyn Pinder is a senior at Wellington High School. She is the Musical Theater Secretary of Thespian Troupe 4431. She was selected to represent her school at the Palm Beach County District Honors Choir. Kailyn loves musical theater because it allows her to combine her enjoyment of singing, dancing, and acting. She is honored and excited for this opportunity to be a Student Critic at the Kravis Center this year!
Ellie Symons, Dreyfoos School of the Arts
Ellie Symons, a junior at DSOA, is a new theater critic for the Kravis Center. She has always enjoyed the arts, spending much of her free time watching plays or movies, reading a book, or listening to music. She hopes to improve her understanding of theater and entertainment writing by attending Kravis Center performances. View her review of CHICAGO.
Bella Venanzi, Jupiter High School
Bella Venanzi is a junior at Jupiter High School. She is very excited to expand her writing skills as well as connect with other students with the same passions as her. Venanzi’s previous credits include “Amy March” (Little Women), Student Director (Little Women), “Gangster” (The Drowsy Chaperone), “Aunt March” (Little Women) and Ambassador for the 2023 Kravis Center Dream Awards. Venanzi wishes to dedicate her opportunity to write for the Kravis Center Student Critic Program to her Drama teacher, Samantha Knight. View her BEETLEJUICE review.