The Stage Managers' Association Announces 2019 Del Hughes Lifetime Achievement Awards in the Art of Stage Management

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The Stage Managers' Association Announces 2019 Del Hughes Lifetime Achievement Awards in the Art of Stage Management

On Monday, September 23, 2019, the Stage Managers' Association (SMA) will present its annual Del Hughes Lifetime Achievement in the Art of Stage Management Awards 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 will recognize Janet Friedman with the Founders Award, being given on behalf of the SMA Founders, is a special recognition for her many years of service to the SMA and for embodying the values expressed by the Founders of the SMA.

Considered a crowning achievement in a stage manager's career, the Del Hughes honour is awarded to those who represent the finest qualities of stage management: patience, diplomacy, organization, and a sense of humor. Instituted in 1986, the awards were named for Del Hughes, who had an illustrious career as a Broadway and television stage manager as well as a TV director from 1933 to the 1970s.

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.

In its 38th year, the Stage Managers' Association is a pivotal resource for stage managers nationwide in all areas of live performance. With a growing national membership, the SMA promotes networking opportunities through its many initiatives such as Operation Observation, Collaborative Connections and A View from the Wings Symposia. SMA members include top Broadway, Off Broadway, Corporate, Regional, Dance, and Opera stage managers as well as students and those just beginning their careers.

Learn more about the Stage Managers' Association at

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