Stage Manager Cheryl Mintz
Stage Manager Cheryl Mintz

With a Creative Perspective: Veteran Stage Manager Cheryl Mintz

Lisa Mulchay

Mintz’s incredible career span has given her a unique and practical sense of wisdom regarding the nuts and bolts of her craft. At the same time, she radiates a strong creative spirit, and remains committed to pursuing work that is meaningful to her on both intellectual and artistic levels.

Cheryl Mintz possesses the technical skills that have earned her a stellar reputation as one of the best stage managers in the business—yet she has the heart and mind of a true artist. Mintz is the resident stage manager of the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ, and has been working on productions there for an astonishing 29 seasons. She has stage managed scores of productions and workshops and has collaborated with the crème de la crème of both American and international directors and playwrights. Her long collaboration with the McCarter’s artistic director and resident playwright, Emily Mann, has spanned 35 productions thus far; additionally, Mintz has stage managed many of McCarter’s world premiere productions including Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Marina Carr’s Phaedra Backwards, and John Guare’s Are You There, McPhee?.

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2019 Del Hughes Honoree Mary K. Klinger
2019 Del Hughes Honoree Mary K. Klinger

With Understanding of Purpose: 2019 Del Hughes Honoree Mary K. Klinger

Lisa Mulcahy

Mary K. Klinger’s professionalism as a production stage manager has inspired everyone she’s worked with. Though based in California, Klinger’s long career included her work on the original Broadway productions of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, QED, national tours of Death of a Salesman, the stage adaptation/national tour of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the London production of Spunk. Regionally,  Klinger has worked with the Ojai Playwrights Conference, and stage managed scores of productions in San Diego, La Jolla, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, Laguna, Hartford, Denver, Rancho Cucamonga, and throughout Los Angeles. Klinger worked with Center Theatre Group for 22 seasons and served as adjunct professor of stage management at USC from 1997 to 2007.

On September 23, 2019, Klinger will receive her theater discipline’s coveted annual Del Hughes Lifetime Achievement in the Art of Stage Management Award from the Stage Managers' Association. The Del Hughes honor is awarded to those who represent the finest qualities of stage management: patience, diplomacy, organization, and a sense of humor, qualities its namesake, Del Hughes, embodied as a Broadway and television stage manager as well as a TV director from 1933 to the 1970s. Stage Directions spoke with Klinger talks about her career philosophy with a view toward helping others succeed as she has—with consideration, quality and humanity.

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2019 Del Hughes Honoree Barbara Donner
2019 Del Hughes Honoree Barbara Donner

With Persistence, Adaptability and Empathy: 2019 Del Hughes Honoree Barbara Donner

Lisa Mulcahy

Barbara Donner loves the art of theater both creatively and technically—and she skillfully shifts her talent to serve it. Donner has been a highly respected stage manager primarily of opera for over 38 years. She has worked at the Los Angeles Opera since 1990, recently working on her 85th production for the company. At LA Opera, Donner’s credits include stage managing Achim Freyer’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Franco Zeffirelli’s Pagliacci, and Francesca Zambello’s production of Candide.

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Donner has stage managed at the San Francisco Opera, the San Diego Opera, Opera Pacific, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. She also has had a long association with the LA Philharmonic, stage managing their productions of Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, and Cosi fan tutte—all conducted by Gustavo Dudamel—as well as Philip Glass’ The Civil Wars and Yuval Sharon’s productions of Young Caesar, Europeras, Das Lied von der Erde, and Atlas. With the San Francisco Symphony, Donner stage managed the widely lauded production of Bernstein’s On the Town. Donner has also been part of the stage management team running the summer musicals at the Hollywood Bowl for the past 11 years. 

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Rich Costabile
Rich Costabile

Master of His Craft: 2019 Del Hughes Honoree Rich Costabile

Lisa Mulcahy

Rich Costabile has built a career on determination, wisdom and observation--and has earned industry-wide respect and admiration. In fact, this year the Stage Managers’ Association (SMA) will present Costabile with a Del Hughes Lifetime Achievement in the Art of Stage Management Award. A prized honor in a stage manager’s career, the Del Hughes Award goes to those who personify the finest qualities of stage management: patience, diplomacy, organization, and a sense of humor. The award was established in 1986 and named for master SM Del Hughes, who had an inspirational career as a Broadway and television stage manager and a TV director from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Among Costabile’s credentials is his touring with Hal Holbrook in the wildly popular production Mark Twain Tonight! for over 17 years. Additionally, his work has encompassed scores of productions, multiple tours, one-person shows, workshops, and full productions of original works. His Broadway credits include The Odd Couple, Anna In The Tropics, A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg, and The School For Scandal. He’s applied his talents to the Big Apple Circus, numerous special events, off-Broadway and regional theaters, including extensive work with with Gerald Freedman at Great Lakes Theater Festival. As chair emeritus of the Stage Managers’ Association after serving over 20 years on its board, Costabile contributed his energies and skills to the job of chairman for six terms. Incredibly generous with his advice earned from navigating the business, and its rewards and challenges, for over 35 years, Costabile relishes the opportunity to work with stage managers starting their own careers.

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