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 finale piece for publication in his or her school newspaper.
The 2018-2019 Kravis Center Student Theater Critics
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.
Emma Beers, Jupiter Christian School
Emma is a sophomore at Jupiter Christian School. She is a musical theater fanatic, and loves learning about the field. She is a trained singer and hopes to teach music one day. Emma has much experience in the performing arts. She has been a part of a variety of shows (local and professional). Emma enjoys expressing her opinions about her passion in the arts. She loves watching professionals living their dreams.
Mya Bodnick, Oxbridge Academy
Mya is a member of the Kretzer Kids Foundation and a devoted member of Oxbridge Academy’s Musical Theater Department, as well as the Honors Performance Ensemble Class. She was awarded straight Superiors at the Florida State Thespian competition for her solo musical theater act last year and is also a member of her school’s Mock Trial Club, International Thespian Club and Artists for a Cause Club. Mya has sung the National Anthem numerous times for both the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and The Roger Dean Stadium, for teams such as the Washington Nationals, Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins. In addition, Mya participates with the Dance Arts Conservatory’s Broadway Stars Community Theatre. When she is not practicing or performing, Mya is extremely passionate about writing. She has been awarded a Silver Key by Scholastic in their Art’s and Writing Competition. She is currently working on publishing a book she was assigned to write during her Freshman year.
Naheemah Brutus, Royal Palm Beach Community High School
Naheemah is a current member of the Drama Club at school holding the position of treasurer. She has participated in the past district festivals and the March 2018 States Festival. She competed among 10,000 students across the state of Florida, receiving a level of excellent for her pieces. In May 2018, she was accepted into the International Thespian Society gaining access to theater newsletters and information about theater related events. Currently, Naheemah is enrolled in all IB (International Baccalaureate) classes that are both challenging and rigorous.
Gabriela Colato, Suncoast Community High School
Gabriela is consistently motivated in achieving the highest grades possible and always challenges herself to surpass expectations. Outside of the classroom, Gabriela spends her time in vocal rehearsal for her school’s select choir, “The Suncoast Voices” preparing for events that will increase her musicianship skills. Most notably, Ms. Colato spends her afternoons and weekends at her school’s theater program, both as performer and technical assistant. From run crew to sound assistant to assistant stage manager, Gabriela has worked hard to showcase the best form of her school’s theater program, as seen during the Dream Awards when their program won outstanding musical for their production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Briley Crisali, The Benjamin School
Briley was born in Los Angeles, CA, where her love for the performing arts was quickly evident. She and her three younger siblings are now in South Florida and are constantly finding opportunities to create stories through acting, singing, dance and writing together. Crisali has been dancing for 12 years and is very involved with theater and music at The Benjamin School and First Presbyterian Church. She would like to thank her wonderful parents for always inspiring and fostering her passions and exemplifying a high work ethic. Crisali is excited to continue learning about these areas of interest as well as growing her fluency in the Spanish language to open career opportunities in the future.
Isabelle Eisenberg, Olympic Heights Community High School
Isabelle has been involved in theater throughout her life and has developed a passion for writing during the course of her high school career. She is an active participant in her schools drama department as well as the Social Media Editor for The Toren, her school’s newspaper. Isabelle is fascinated in the process of critiquing pieces of art and cannot wait to explore this new way of expressing her thoughts through writing. She would like to thank her drama teacher Kimberly Coyle for always supporting her and giving her this opportunity as well as her journalism teacher David Keethley for teaching her and allowing her to grow as a writer. She is so thankful for this opportunity and hopes to grow as a writer and performer throughout this process.
Sebastian Fernandez, Dreyfoos School of the Arts
Sebastian studies communication arts and is part of his school’s newsmagazine, The Muse. He enjoys writing and hopes to be a professional journalist in the future. He spends most of his free time reading and writing as much as he can, but is surely excited to begin writing about and critiquing performances at the Kravis Center.
Isabella Marshall, Palm Beach Central Community High School
Isabella is a member of the International Thespian Honor Society and began performing at a very young age. In the near future, Isabella would like to create her own theater company and direct her own shows as well as published ones. In order for her to do that she needs the background information for the job. Isabella is pushing herself out there to soak up as much experience as she can get in the theater business. That means taking dance classes, working tech crew, joining chorus, performing in shows, and even learning how to be a critic for shows.
Eliahna McFarlane, Wellington Community High School
Eliahna an active Theater Member and Thespian at her school. In addition to loving theater, Eliahna is the Vice President of the National Honor Society and participates with many other honor societies. Upon graduation, Eliahna hopes to attend BYU and double major in Business and Theater.In the past year, Eliahna has seen many shows in New York including Jersey Boys, The Play That Goes Wrong, SpongeBob the Musical and Chicago. She is excited that through this opportunity she gets to see many more shows. Eliahna is very thankful to the Kravis Center and keen to learn about something new to her, the art of being a critic.
Mikayla Perry, G-Star School of the Arts
Mikayla was in her school’s production of She Kills Monsters as Tilly, directed by Mr. Brian Edgecomb. She was on run crew for Almost Maine, and Assistant Technical Director for Our Town. Mikayla also does a lot of work at the Delray Beach Playhouse. She has been in many of their shows, and has attended Dolly Workman’s acting workshops since the age of six. She now works backstage as a tech crew member, a member of the stage management staff, and is a TA for children’s acting classes. Mikayla has always had a special appreciation for theater writing. From playwriting to play reviews, it’s always been something that she’s wanted to be a part of. She’s fascinated with the art and ability of creating a new world. Her ambition and passion for the arts has made her eager to constantly learn more about every aspect of theater. Her desire of theatrical knowledge makes her so thankful for the opportunity of being a student theater critic.
Madison Porter, Forest Hill Community High School
Madison enjoys acting, dancing, singing and writing. Madison will always have a special spot in her heart for the Kravis Center because she has performed in the Dreyfoos Hall with Young Singers of the Palm Beaches and performs in Persson Hall twice a year with her dance studio. She has been taking dance lessons for eight years and has been taking theater classes for five years. She is so excited to be a Kravis Center Student Theater Critic this year because of her love for the performing arts.
Makylah Sivels, Palm Beach Lakes Community High School
At school, Makylah is involved in Lady Debs and the Black Student Union. Furthermore, Makylah is an active member and editor-in-chief of her yearbook class, preparing her for the pressures of any publication demands in the future, while building and expanding her horizon to different branches of writing. Makylah takes part in being a member of the Teen Advisory Board at the Mandel Public Library, where she grows in taking a leadership role and initiative. Makylah and a group of other teens discuss improvements that could help the library thrive even more, developing her capability to be critical about what she sees. Through this, Makylah is beyond thrilled to be able to be a Student Theater Critic for the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. She feels that this opportunity will connect her in so many ways … her writing skills will soar, her understanding for theater will deepen and she will appreciate it even more, as well as her ability to look at everything she does from different angles, appreciating everything that is good and everything that is bad.
Genesis Vicente, Inlet Grove Community High School
Genesis serves as the entertainment editor for the school’s online newspaper, GroveWatch. A more behind-the-camera type of girl, Genesis is an aspiring director and possible journalist who — influenced by various films and screenwriters — hopes to one day share her art with the rest of the world. She wishes to not only expand her horizons as a journalist, but to gain a better insight into the world of theater in becoming a student critic at the Kravis Center.
Valeria Tezak, Atlantic Community High School
Valeria is involved in her schools’ literary magazine, Tezak is experienced with writing and journalism and is eager to build upon her writing skills. Tezak loves novels and musical theater. Although she is not too experienced reviewing theater specifically, Tezak hopes to utilize her experience as a writer to bring a fresh perspective to theater reviews at the Kravis Center.
Riley Ziegler, Cardinal Newman High School
From a young age, arts has been a part of Riley’s life. She dabbled in instrumental arts for years, before taking up theatrical arts in middle school. She has been in multiple productions, including Grease and Drowsy Chaperone. This year, she has taken up the role as the President of the Cardinal Newman Drama Club, and is ecstatic to see what the future holds for her and the club. She also plays ukulele and guitar. Riley is excited to be joining the Kravis Student Theater Critic Program this year. She hopes to not only expand her knowledge of the arts, but also to improve her writing skills. This will be her first experience in writing opinionated articles.