Ruth Mitchell, Broadway Stage Manager and Producer, Dead at 81

News   Ruth Mitchell, Broadway Stage Manager and Producer, Dead at 81 Ruth Mitchell, the former production stage manager and longtime producing associate of director-producer Harold Prince, died in Manhattan Nov. 3, according to The New York Times.

Ruth Mitchell, the former production stage manager and longtime producing associate of director-producer Harold Prince, died in Manhattan Nov. 3, according to The New York Times.

Ms. Mitchell was 81 and served as a stage manager on some of the highest-profile productions of post-World War II Broadway: Mister Roberts, West Side Story, Gypsy, Bells Are Ringing, Fiorello!, She Loves Me, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The King and I.

She would eventually work as an associate producer with Prince on Cabaret in 1966-67 and other shows. She worked closely with Jerome Robbins on his musicals over the years and reproduced his direction for revivals of Fiddler on the Roof (the 1976 Broadway return, with Zero Mostel, among other productions). She also staged road tours (co-directing the national tour of Fiorello! in 1960) or resident stagings (including West Side Story in Toronto in 1961).

Ms. Mitchell was born Ruth Kornfeld in Newark, NJ. According to "Who's Who of the American Theatre" she made her stage debut as a dancer and actress with the Mohawk Drama Festival in Schenectady, NY in 1936. She appeared in Pinocchio with Clare Tree's children's theatre in 1937 and a tour of Rio Rita in 1938.

She was an assistant stage manager in summer theatre in 1942-43 and made the leap to working in the wings of Broadway theatres, assisting the director of Annie Get Your Gun. Her companion, the Broadway costume designer Florence Klotz, survives her.

— By Kenneth Jones