The Stage Managers’ Association (NYC) (July 2, 2014) for immediate release. Elynmarie Kazle, the Chair of the Stage Managers’ Association, is pleased to announce the honorees for the 2014 Del Hughes Award for Lifetime Achievement and Excellence in the Art of Stage Management. On Monday, June 23rd, members and distinguished guests gathered to honor Thomas Kelly (NYC) Martha Knight (Washington, D.C.) and James (Jimmie) McDermott (Los Angeles) at a celebration in New York City at Connolly’s on 121 W. 45th Street. The Chair of the event was Janet Friedman and the Emcee was past SMA Chair, Richard Costabile.
Thomas Kelly has been a Stage Manager, Production Staging Supervisor, and a General Production Manager for over 50 years since going off to summer stock in 1962. He has had an active career both on and off Broadway, with his Broadway credits including Hair, The Wiz, Sugar Babies, Merchant of Venice, and Death of a Salesman (with Dustin Hoffman). He worked with Christopher Plummer on Cyrano! The Musical and with Tommy Tune’s productions of The Club and A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine. Tom has also worked in stock and regional theatres. As a Production Manager and Staging Supervisor, he has worked on such diverse productions as The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, MTV’s Unplugged series, and the Papal Mass in Central Park. He has managed installations and presentations including the first VHI Music/Fashion Awards, and at MTV and Between the Lions for WGBH. Tom has served as Production Manager for Center Line Studios, one of New York’s foremost scenery companies, and on the faculty of The State University of New York at Purchase.
Martha Knight (Stage Manager) has been a stage manager at The Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. for over 30 years and most recently on Other Desert Cities. Last season, she stage managed Long Day’s Journey Into Night in the Kreeger Theater and in the previous season At Home at The Zoo in the Kogod Cradle. Martha has worked on Broadway, off-Broadway and on national tours such as: Foxfire; Annie; Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!; Over Here!; and The Me Nobody Knows. This past summer, Martha received the ‘Broadway Salutes’ medal for 50 years of theatrical work. For the past 35+ years, she has been happily stage managing in the Washington area’s many theaters doing plays, musicals and free-lance productions; including 25 years of The Helen Hayes Awards. She proudly joined Actors’ Equity in 1962 at Musicarnival “under thebig, blue tent” in Cleveland, Ohio.
James McDermott: Jimmie has stage managed across the country and in the greater Los Angeles Area for organizations such as Center Theatre Group (Ahmanson, Mark Taper Forum, Kirk Douglas Theatres) the Geffen/Westwood Playhouse, Los Angeles Theatre Center, La Jolla Playhouse and South Coast Repertory. Jimmie is in his fourth five-year elected term on the Council of Actors’ Equity Association, a Vice Chair of the Western Board of Directors, Chairman of the Western Regional Stage Manager’s and LORT Committees. In 2001, he was the first Stage Manager to be named as the Outstanding Professional Stage Manager in whose name the USITT Outstanding Stage Manager Award was given. The 2013/2014 school year marks Jimmie’s 18th year on the faculty of Cal Arts.
The Del Hughes Award is regarded throughout the theatrical community as a crowning achievement for a stage manager’s career. The Del Hughes Award was created by Julie Hughes and Barry Moss, partners in a major casting office. This award honors Julie’s father who made a 50-year career of stage managing. The selection committee looks for recipients who exemplify the finest qualities of Stage Management: patience, diplomacy, organization and a sense of humor.
Phil Friedman, Bob Fosse’s stage manager, was the very first to be so honored.
The following Stage Managers have previously received this award: Phil Friedman, Fritz Holt, Bill Dodds, Ruth Mitchell , Anne Keefe, Anne Sullivan, Biff Liff, Morty Halpern, Alan Hall (2010), Porter Van Zandt (2010), Susie Cordon (2010), Joe Drummond (2011), Steve Zweigbaum (2011), Beverley Randolph (posthumously) (2011), Bob Bennett (2013), Peter Lawrence (2013) and Perry Silvey (2013).
The Stage Managers’ Association, founded in the fall of 1981, by and for stage managers, is a professional networking and educational organization for stage managers all across the United States. Among the activities of the Association are mentoring, job lisitngs, “Operation Observation”, and online educational forums. The SMA also helps raise funds annually for the causes supported by the Broadway Cares/EFA Flea Market.
For more information on the SMA visit: https://www.facebook.com/stagemanagersassociation