The Stage Managers’ Association 2019 Del Hughes Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Art of Stage Management

October 22, 2019

Above photo: Honorees Mary K Klinger, Rich Costabile, Barbara Donner & Janet Friedman
With SMA Chair Elynmarie Kazle and Del Hughes Event Chair Cheryl Mintz

Photo Credit: Robert Sutherland-Cohen

The Stage Managers’ Association (SMA) presented its annual Del Hughes Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Art of Stage Management to three stage managers from the worlds of Broadway, Off-Broadway, Touring, Regional Theatre, and Opera - Rich Costabile, Barbara Donner, and Mary K Klinger.  In addition to the three Lifetime Achievement Awards, the SMA recognized Janet Friedman with The Founders Award, a special recognition for her many years of service to the SMA and for embodying the values expressed by the Founders of the SMA.  Guest speakers included Tony Award winning director and playwright George C. Wolfe, Tony Award winning actress Elizabeth Franz, Broadway Production Stage Manager and past Del Hughes Award Honoree Arturo E. Porazzi, and Los Angeles Production Stage Manager Meredith Greenburg.  The event was celebrated at Connelly’s Times Square on September 23rd, 2019.  The Chair of the Awards & Recognition Committee and Del Hughes Event was Cheryl Mintz, and joining her in the Master of Ceremonies duties was Elynmarie Kazle, Chair of the Stage Managers’ Association, Treasurer Bill Hare, and Director-at-Large Matt Stern.  The SMA thanks Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids for their leading sponsorship of the event.

About the Honourees:

Rich Costabile toured with the legendary Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight! for over 17 years, and has had the good fortune to work with a great variety of theater’s most accomplished actors, directors, designers and stage managers.  His career has encompassed seven Broadway productions, multiple tours, an unusual number of one-person shows, and workshops of new plays and musicals. Rich’s body of work reflects on every type of live entertainment, including Big Apple Circus, numerous special events, off-Broadway and regional theaters, highlighted by eleven seasons with Gerald Freedman at Great Lakes Theater Festival.  Rich is Chair Emeritus of the Stage Managers’ Association after serving over 20 years on its Board, and as Chairman for an unprecedented six terms.

Barbara Donner is a Los Angeles based stage manager, who has been working primarily in Opera, for over 38 years.  She currently holds contracts with the Los Angeles Opera (85 productions) and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and is part of the stage management team running the summer musicals at The Hollywood Bowl for the past 11 seasons.  Barbara has worked with San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony, San Diego Opera, Opera Pacific, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Portland Opera, and Cincinnati Opera.

Mary K Klinger is a production stage manager living in California.  Her career highlights include the original Broadway productions of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, “QED”, National Tours of Death of a Salesman; 50th Anniversary Production, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the London production of Spunk.  Mary has worked extensively all over the country shepherding plays with the Ojai Playwrights Conference and stage managing productions in San Diego, La Jolla, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, Laguna, Hartford, Denver, Rancho Cucamonga and throughout Los Angeles.  Mary spent 21 years with Center Theatre Group, has a wide variety of corporate events to her credit, and was Adjunct Professor of Stage Management at USC from 1997 to 2007.

Janet Friedman was a Founding Member and the first Secretary of the Stage Managers’ Association, served as Chair, a Board Member, and through her many years of producing the Del Hughes Awards brought the event to national prominence.  Janet’s first Broadway show was the original 1983 production of 42nd Street.  Over her long career she has been ASM for a dozen long-running hit plays and musicals and many industrials, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  Janet was one of the first Stage Manager Councilors for Actors’ Equity Association, serving for six years.

Learn more about the Stage Managers’ Association.