What does a Deputy Stage Manager do?

The Deputy Stage Manager often referred to as ‘DSM’ is required to assist the Stage Manager. The Deputy Stage Managers role is to follow the script and ensure all technical cues are correct and all crew members perform the correct effects at the correct time. 

What are the main responsibilities of a Deputy Stage Manager?

  • Record everything in a script during the rehearsals for the Directors and Actors to keep an accurate record of everything an Actor does or needs in the production.
  • Recording any changes made to the script
  • Help coordinate a technical rehearsal of a production
  • Coordinate the dress rehearsal alongside the Stage Manager to ensure the performance runs smoothly. A rehearsal is a slower, detailed run of the show for practice
  • Instructs the technicians, sound and lighting box to begin the performance
  • The Deputy Stage Manager will follow the script throughout a performance and cue the lighting changes, sound effects, music and scene changes

You can find opportunities in stage management on the Get Into Theatre website here.

What qualifications do I need to be a Deputy Stage Manager?

You do not need any formal qualifications to become a Deputy Stage Manager, however any qualifications in the following areas would be beneficial:

  • Acting/ Drama and Theatre Studies
  • IT
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Stage Management
  • Theatre Production

Find training opportunities in stage management on the Get Into Theatre website here. 

What skills do I need to be a Deputy Stage Manager?

There are desirable skills to have which will make you the ideal candidate for the job and these include:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication both written and verbal
  • Manage multiple tasks and priorities
  • Relevant Health and Safety legislation and General Data Protection
  • Calm under pressure

What does a career in stage management look like?

Some organisations require you to have at least a year’s worth of experience in some sort of managerial position to show you can lead a team. Being a Deputy Stage Manager is a very crucial role to the success of a production and your involvement is very rewarding. If this is a career you’d like to pursue, begin by applying for entry level positions and work experience to gain new skills and work your way up from there. You can also apply for entry level roles in other positions such as Backstage Crew or Assistant Stage Manager and work your way up to Deputy Stage Manager.

You can find Deputy Stage Manager jobs on The Stage Jobs website here. 

How much does a Deputy Stage Manager earn?

A starting salary for a Deputy Stage Manager can be between £480-£560 per week. 

Search all careers advice here. 



Photo: Alex Brenner

Published: 12 August 2019

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