Stage Manager (SM)
The Stage Manager (SM) is the most senior member of the crew during the performance run, forming the main channel of communication between the crew and the performing group. The Stage Manager liaises with the other teams involved in the production and manages the ASM, DSM, and stage crew. They are responsible for making on-the-day decisions relating to the performances and oversee health and safety throughout the venue in co-operation with the HM. During a performance, the Stage Manager will coordinate movements of the crew, set and scenery on stage with the assistance of the ASM and stage crew. They will also coordinate and help resolve any issues which arise during a performance.
Assistant Stage Manager (ASM)
The Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) assists the stage manager with any aspects the SM sees fit. This generally involves managing some of the stage crew, organising the movement of set and scenery from their wing, and taking on the duties of the stage manager if they are required to deal with emergency issues. Prior to the production, the ASM will often be charged with sourcing props, and coordinating and planning the movements of all props during performances. In dance and award shows, the ASM will usually oversee the logistics and coordinate the runners during performances
Deputy Stage Manager (DSM)
The Deputy Stage Manager (DSM) operates separately from the Stage Manager-Assistant Stage Manager relationship and “calls the show” (usually from the tech balcony), providing cues and direction to the lighting and sound teams during the show, as well as any other members of the crew as required. They also oversee the use of cans during performances (our party-line communication system) as the DSM usually has the highest priority in communications. Prior to performances, the DSM is responsible for familiarising themselves with the production and show to ensure they can effectively follow the script or score (for some shows the ability to read music is required for this role), and must also attend the plot (prior to the technical rehearsal) to mark up their script or score (“the book”) with all prompts and cues necessary.
Stage crew are responsible for the movement of props, scenery and to some extent while assisting the stage manager and assistant stage manager, the cast. Stage crew usually work on stage during black-outs (when there is no light on stage in between scenes) or behind scenery or tabs (curtains). Stage crew are required to wear all black clothing (“blacks”) so they are not seen by the audience. They may also be responsible for the operation of certain equipment on stage that cannot be remotely controlled by other members of the crew – for instance, some smoke machines, items of scenery or dry-ice machines.
Some productions, such as dance and award shows, involve careful planning and logistical management to make sure the right people are in the right place to be on stage at the right time. To accomplish this we usually need a team of runners, who will be stationed around the theatre and the building with radios to make sure that the performers and presenters know where they’re meant to be and are managed in their movements around the building. This is a really fun role as you help coordinate the production and communications throughout the performance whilst getting to chat with various performers in the show.