Spotlight On...Will Treasure, Deputy Stage Manager of Brassed Off

Spotlight On...Will Treasure, Deputy Stage Manager of Brassed Off

Friday, 4 July 2014

Spotlight On...Will Treasure, Deputy Stage Manager of Brassed Off

DSM stands for Deputy Stage Manager. But what does that actually mean? What does the job entail? Will Treasure, the DSM on The Touring Consortium Theatre Company’s 2014 production of Brassed Off, explains. Brassed Off recently completed its three-month tour to ten different theatres – and Will is still recovering a little!

What is a DSM?

Will TreasureEvery theatre company has a slightly different version of what a DSM is. For Touring Consortium, my main role on tour was to “call” the show (lighting, sound, flys, actor cues) and to be responsible for sound. During rehearsals in York, I was in the rehearsal room noting all of the blocking (actor and set/furniture/props) moves and relaying all technical requirements back to the relevant departments. You work very closely with the director (Damian Cruden for Brassed Off) and the actors to make sure all their requirements are met and everyone knows what to expect when we get in to the theatre.

Tell us about a typical day on tour.

Every day is different, which is nice. We fit up on a Monday, I would put all our touring sound in and meet all the local crew, and in the evening we would meet the new kids and band and rehearse with them. Tuesday is lighting rehearsal and final tweaks followed by the first performance. Throughout the week, there would be an understudy rehearsal and some press commitments alongside the other shows. Then we’d get it out the door on Saturday night.

What made you become a DSM?

I am not a fan of props..... so I needed to step up to DSM from ASM (Assistant Stage Manager) as quickly as possible to escape the endless prop making and shopping!

The Touring Consortium production of <em>Brassed Off</em>

How can you train to become a DSM?

I went via the drama school route. But now, due to the enormous increase in school fees, a very good, cheaper way is amateur dramatics and placement schemes. Most theatre companies would love to have placements and that’s a very good way to learn and meet people.

What qualities do you think are important to have to be successful in your job?

You have to be able to adapt to every new theatre and theatre company. Everyone does it differently and you have to respect that. Everyone has to compromise.

What was the funniest thing that happened while you were on tour?

James Robinson's inability to find a good hairdresser, hours of laughs at his new bad haircuts.

What are the challenges and the rewards of being a DSM?

On a tour like this, every new week is a challenge, new space, new people. A good show and a happy company is a reward.

Who is your hero/heroine?

David Beckham.... just because.

What was the highlight of the Brassed Off tour for you?

My highlight was the week in Edinburgh, lovely venue, lovely staff, lovely digs, and whiskey so much whiskey.

What, if anything, did you learn on the Brassed Off tour?

How to adapt to a new space and new staff every week, I would always have to call the show slightly differently dependant on their facilities. 

How do you recover from a tour like Brassed Off? (What did you do on this occasion?)

Well, I tried to do some of the huge list of jobs my girlfriend had made me whilst I was away, then spent a week in Devon with family. Also watching every World Cup game... 

What’s next? 

I'm currently in rehearsals for The Saints, a new site-specific play directed by Matthew Dunster at the Nuffield in Southampton, then an autumn tour for English National Opera.



Brassed Off toured from 4 March to 14 June 2014. Will Treasure’s other stage management credits include: Great Expectations, The Lost World (Bristol Old Vic), Richard III, The Taming of the Shrew, City Madam, Cardenio, A Soldier in Every Son (RSC), Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hot Air (Tobacco Factory), Writers Block, Alice in Wonderland (Nuffield Theatre) Cinderella, Giselle (English National Ballet) and Simply Cinderella (Curve).