Stage Managers play a critical role behind the scenes in every theatrical production. They maintain and execute the director’s vision, protecting the artistic integrity of the show from rehearsals all the way through a show’s run. They are masters of logistics, communication, time-management, and problem solving – all while working under high pressure with grace. Our panelists share their career advice and organizational strategies on what it takes to be an effective stage manager, and how aspiring theatre professionals can access opportunities in this coveted role.

Our Moderator:

David Mendizábal (he/him) — pronounced dah-veed — is an NYC based director, producer, designer, and one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of the OBIE Award winning The Movement Theatre Company. He is also the Associate Artistic Director of The Sol Project, where he co-hosts the podcast SolTalk.

He is committed to a practice rooted in social justice, radical inclusion, and anti-racism. He believes in creating with community and his artistic vision is shaped by core values that celebrate joy, authenticity, and love.

David attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts at Playwrights Horizon’s Theater School and has directed and developed work with companies including The Public, Atlantic Theater Company, Long Wharf, Magic Theatre, INTAR, Sundance, A.C.T., Playwrights’ Center, People’s Light, Page 73, and The Drama League.

Our Panelists:

Cody Renard Richard is an advocate, educator and professional Stage Manager with a career that spans many genres including Broadway, Television, Cirque Du Soleil and Opera. On Broadway, he has worked as a full time and substitute Stage Manager on 12 productions, most recently serving as the Production Stage Manager for Freestyle Love Supreme. Other Broadway: Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, The Lion King, Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour, Kinky Boots, If/Then, After Midnight, Motown the Musical, Ghost the Musical, Cyrano de Bergerac and Lysistrata Jones. TV: 2019 Tony Awards, 2020 & 2019 MTV VMAs, Jesus Christ Superstar Live!, Hairspray Live!, The Wiz Live!. Cirque du Soleil: OVO, Wintuk. Off Broadway/NY: Porgy and Bess (Metropolitan Opera – Assistant Stage Director), Candide at Carnegie Hall, 5 productions with NY City Center Encores!, The Public Theatre, Atlantic Theatre Company, 2nd Stage, Transport Group, Pearl Theatre Company. Selected Regional: Lempicka at Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Kennedy Center, The Muny, TUTS, Stages STL, Kansas City Rep, Alley Theatre, Repertory Theatre of STL. In addition to his production credits, he has served as adjunct faculty at New York University, Columbia University and Fordham University. As an advocate for change and equity, Cody has appeared live on CNN and has been interviewed on WNBC. Cody has been featured by Variety Magazine as one of their 2020 Broadway Players to Watch, Out Magazine as a 2020 OUT100 honoree and in Forbes. He launched The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program in partnership with Broadway Advocacy Coalition in Sept of 2020 and holds a BFA in Stage Management from Webster Conservatory. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Directors Guild of America. @codyrenard

Cherie B. Tay (she/they) is a Broadway Stage Manager, Voice Actor, and Multimedia Creative Artist. Cherie is currently a stage manager on the Tony Award and Grammy winning Broadway production of Hadestown.

Their photography work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Vulture, Forbes, and more.

Cherie has been stage managing theatre, dance, award shows, and live events professionally for over a decade. Favorite cities to work include NYC, Philadelphia, London, Tokyo, Arezzo, and Paris. Broadway credits include: Hadestown, Ruben and Clay’s Christmas Show, Gettin’ The Band Back Together, Amélie, Doctor Zhivago, Bring It On. Tours: In The Heights, War Horse.

Cherie has been featured on Stage Management panels and have also been a guest teacher/panelist with Yale, Columbia, UC Irvine, Ithica, SUNY Purchase, and more. In addition to stage managing and voice acting, Cherie is a videographer and ukulele teacher (Margaritaville National Tour).

Rachel Sterner graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.  Career highlights include – Broadway: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour. Paper Mill Playhouse: The Honeymooners. International Tours:  Dralion; Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour (both with Cirque du Soleil); Bette Midler’s Divine Intervention; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Go Diego Go!; Thomas the Tank Engine; Velvet (Edinburgh Fringe and Adelaide Fringe).

Kamra A. Jacobs (she/her/hers)—Working towards creating opportunities for BIPOC SMs. Credits include: Broadway: American Son and Children of Lesser God. Tour: 1st Broadway National Tour of August Wilson’s Jitney. The Public: shadow/land and Much Ado About Nothing. International: The Bitter Game- Dublin Theater Festival. Regional: Last Tiger in Haiti. Film: Netflix-American Son and Apple TV 12 Angry Men the weight of the wait. Education: MFA, U.C. San Diego

About The Network

The Network provides emerging and developing theatre professionals advanced education, networking opportunities, and tools for career advancement within a supportive creative community.