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Armando Santana, a 16-year-old sophomore at New World School of the Arts (NWSA) high school, has been named the top reviewer of the inaugural installment of the Adrienne Arsht Center Student Reviewer Program, a new education initiative in partnership with The Miami Herald, which offers Miami-Dade students a unique, career-building experience that unites the world of arts and journalism. Armando was one of eight finalists whose review of The Sparrow made it to the final round of judging.
Armando is a Miami native and resident of Doral who studies theater and has a passion for play-writing. One of his plays, An Irrelevant Title, is currently in production in the NWSA’s 2011 New Playwright’s Festival.
As part of the Center’s Student Reviewer Program, 45 students participated in a press conference led by the show’s creator Nathan Allen and the Center’s Executive Vice President Scott Shiller. The students then attended an exclusive theater critique class given by The Miami Herald’s theater critic Christine Dolen.
The real-life experience continued when participating students were invited to review the April 8 performance of The Sparrow (which was reserved almost exclusively for student media). Each student was given the full media experience upon arrival at the Adrienne Arsht Center, including a free “reviewer” ticket and press kit.
A panel of South Florida arts leaders selected the best review. Judges included Joseph Adler, Producing Artistic Director of GableStage; Janet Erlick, Executive Artistic Director of Ft. Lauderdale Children’s Theater; Andie Arthur, Executive Director of the South Florida Theater League; and Christine Dolen, theater critic for The Miami Herald.