STAGE MANAGERThe stage manager is the senior member of the team. He or she is responsible for making sure props are found, the running of rehearsals and the running of the show in performance. During rehearsals the stage manager will make sure that various departments understand any information that may be coming out of rehearsals and answer any queries a department may have.
Generally a stage manager will be given a budget from the production manager for props. By going through the props list they need to decided what can be afforded and what cannot. Most stage managers will tell you they never have enough money so props and furniture have to be found by other means- BBS (Beg, Borrow or Steal).
During the technical rehearsal the stage manager will run the technical with the director, aliasing with the deputy stage manger(DSM), lighting, sound and stage crew in co ordinating technical aspects into the show from the rehearsal room.Sometimes a stage manager is given the title Company Stage Manager when there is not a separate company manager and sometimes a stage manger is still called a stage manager and still expected to do the work of a company stage manager(CSM). (it just depends what type of theatre you are in!)
A CSM will do all of the above but will also inform actors of any media events such as interviews for TV, radio or newspaper. They will keep an eye on the hours the actors may be doing and generally make sure the whole rehearsal and the running of the show are going smoothly. Normally if an actor as any kind of problem they will go in the first instance to speak to the CSM.
DEPUTY STAGE MANAGERThe deputy stage manager(DSM) is probably the easiest job title to describe as it is generally the same for what ever scale of theatre you may be working in.
During rehearsals the DSM sits in the rehearsal room with a script which will become The Book or A prompt copy. In this the DSM will make notes of all the movements that happen on stage this is called Blocking. They will also prompt actors if they forget their lines. The DSM will also make any notes that come up through rehearsals for example if a prop is cut or if someone's jacket needs to have a inside pocket. All these instances are written up as rehearsal notes at the end of the day and distributed to all the different departments. The DSM will also work out the next days call with the director and as with the rehearsal notes the call is typed up and distributed. During rehearsals the DSM is the link for all the different departments from the rehearsal room.Before the technical rehearsal the DSM will have typed up a setting list (a list which says whereabouts props and furniture are set)and running list. (a list of cues which will need doing during the show e.g slamming a door.) Before the technical the DSM will go with the director to lighting and sound plotting sessions and it is at these that the position of lighting and sound cues are put into the book.
At the technical rehearsal the DSM works with the stage manager in putting the technical aspects into a show. The DSM calls the show from the prompt corner. From here the DSM cues all aspects of the show- Lighting(LX), sound, flys, cueing actors on to stage etc. They also keep a note on the length of the show and any incidents that may occur. This is all written up as a Show Report at the end of the show. The stage manager can also add to the show report if they wish.The DSM should also be capable of deputising for the stage manager.
When the show is in performance the ASM will make sure all the props are set in the right places and check with actors if they have any personal props. During the show they will do any cues such as door slamming, handing props to actors or any scene changes that need doing.The ASM may be also asked to cover the book on some occasions in the absence of the DSM.