Deputy Stage Manager

The Deputy Stage Manager will sit at the stage manager's desk during the show (and technical and dress rehearsals), following the script and calling every technical cue, ensuring that all other crew members perform the correct technical effects at the correct time, and that effects only happen if it is safe to do so. In order to do this, they must work with all the designers beforehand to assemble a "prompt book", which has all of the cues correctly marked in it. The role of Deputy Stage Manager is often referred to as being "on the book".

The Deputy Stage Manager forms part of a team with the Stage Manager, who between them should attend enough rehearsals to familiarise themselves with the show before the technical rehearsal in the theatre. They should try to spot any potential technical problems caused by the blocking or choreography before the show moves into the theatre, and work with the Technical Director to resolve them.

Show-specific variations

In cases where the Deputy Stage Manager does more of the preparatory work and rehearsal attendance than the Stage Manager, some shows may choose to refer to the person "on the book" as the Stage Manager, and consequently call the Stage Manager either a Floor Manager or an Assistant Stage Manager. Similarly, when shows do not require a Stage Manager (e.g. fixed set, no scene changes, no special effects), the Deputy Stage Manager may be referred to as the Stage Manager. Clearly this can lead to confusion over the term "Stage Manager", and therefore we don't recommend using this naming scheme. However, we do strongly suggest that everybody double-checks exactly what is expected of the "Stage Manager" in any given show, so as to be certain of avoiding any such confusion!

Some shows in Cambridge choose not to have a Technical Director, in wich case some of the responsibilties (often the planning of special effects, drawing of set plans, and running the get-in and get-out) can fall to the Deputy Stage Manger or Stage Manager. It is very rare for the set building and painting responsibilities to be taken on by stage management.