At Cranleigh, anyone wanting to participate in Drama is equally welcome behind the scenes working in Production Arts. We have a large student crew who provide backstage support to school productions and events, from the smallest House Play to the largest musical. This comprises pupils from the Fourth Form to the Upper Sixth with roles in all areas of lighting and sound, stage management, set construction, costume and makeup. Students will start by taking operational roles leading up to designing their own shows by Sixth Form.
Weekly sessions take place in Priority Time for students to learn the skills listed below, these are open to any student from Fourth form to Upper Fifth but Sixth Form are welcome to attend if available.
- Stage and venue terminology
- Theatre safety
- Work at height and use of access equipment
- Scenic construction and safe use of tools
- Painting and scenic art techniques
- Principles of Lighting
- Lighting Design
- Safe Rigging and Electrics
- Show Operation
The equipment we use is extensive but mainly comprises fixtures from ETC Lighting and Selecon, investment in modern technologies gives students access to industry standard equipment. We operate an ETC Ion in the Speech Hall and a ETC Nomad in the VCT over sACN networks. In a drive to increase sustainability, our drama studios use low powered LED lights and our larger venues are currently making the switch. We work closely with outside professional designers and technicians who help educate our students.
- Microphones and mic placement
- Mixing sound for live performances
- Digital sound desks
- Sound effect editing
- Show control software (Qlab)
We operate a large sound system and stock a wide range of dynamic, condenser and radio microphones in support of school shows. Our main sound mixing desk is a digital console, the Allen and Heath iLive T112 supplemented by a smaller Allen and Heath desk, the Qu16. Our main PA and stage monitors are from Kv2 Audio and are augmented by an extensive stock of smaller speakers and equipment. Show control and playback uses the industry-wide software, QLab, which is extensively used in theatre and live entertainment. We are fortunate to work with several excellent sound engineers and companies who share their knowledge with the student team.
- Roles and Responsibilities of a backstage team
- Script Marking
- “Calling” a show
- Costume design and management
- Prop Sourcing and Props Making
Theatre staff also support those who wish to pursue design and technical elements for Academic Drama, helping GCSE and A-Level student with their set, lighting and costume designs. Students studying in this area do not have to attend Production Arts priority time sessions or vice versa however students choosing to do lighting design for GCSE Drama can use these sessions to develop their skills.
Meet The Team
Mr George Royall on the Cranleigh Music team at both the Senior and Prep Schools and is Resident Deputy Housemaster of East. Cranleigh has been his home since September 2015 and he continues to serve and support the vibrant, inclusive music scene as well as all the boys in House. He was originally a tutor in East before becoming Assistant Housemaster of North. Before he joined the school he taught Music and Music Technology at St. Bede’s School, Redhill.
Mr Royall leads all aspects of contemporary music for Cranleigh Music 7-18, which includes coaching a plethora of talented solo artists and bands. He teaches A-Level Music Technology, GCSE Music, and the Fourth Form course at the Senior School – while also teaching the Year 8 (Form 6) music curriculum alongside samba drumming, marching band percussion and a middle school choir at the Prep School. Mr Royall was musical director of Cranleigh’s first junior musical in 2019 and will be assisting the Director of Music for the 2020 musical: ‘We Will Rock You’. He also coaches U14 rugby and is an Athletics U17 boys team manager.
Mr Royall is a versatile musician, enthusiastic educator and an experienced audio engineer with a tireless passion for developing and encouraging aspiring young musicians. Since graduating from Huddersfield University in 2009 with a BSc(Hons) in Music Technology, Audio Systems, he has specialised in music technology and popular music education. Beyond teaching, Mr Royall’s professional music experiences have ranged from being a session pianist/vocalist to collaborating as musical director and producer with singer-songwriters, bands and theatre companies. As a sound engineer and designer he has worked on critically acclaimed touring shows and freelanced at UK-based recording studios and festivals. The Cranleigh Contemporary Music Academy, which runs during the summer holidays, is his latest venture into bringing inspiring, professional and formative experiences in music-making to young musicians.
Mr Royall is an avid photographer and graphic designer who enjoys immersing himself in all things film, hi-fi, skating, golf and tennis.
Mr. Humphreys joined Cranleigh school in 2020 as Theatre Manager after filling a similar role at another school for 11 years. He is responsible for curating productions at both schools and assisting with events both on and off campus. He also manages the performing venues ensuring they are safe and contain the best and latest equipment to increase production values.
He runs the tech theatre (otherwise known as Production Arts) priority time sessions which organises and trains a group of students to run behind the scenes of each production. This is in addition to working with GCSE and A-Level students studying drama.
Now living in Cranleigh, Mr. Humphreys works with local youth organisations proving support to their activities. He is a committee member of a group that supports school technicians and when not at school can be found working professional on other live events.
Miss Williams has been teaching at Cranleigh for three years and is currently working as an English teacher and Assistant Housemistress in West, as well as fulfilling her role as Stage Manager. Miss Williams co-directed the 2021 Fourth Form play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and has worked closely on Cranleigh productions such as Shakespeare in Love, Little Shop of Horrors, and Once Upon a Myth since then.
Prior to her time at Cranleigh, Miss Williams started an amateur theatre company, for whom she fulfilled the role of Producer, and with which she produced productions such as Into the Woods. She was also an active member of the University of York’s Musical Society as their Secretary and was involved in a range of productions there, from Sister Act to Songs for A New World, enjoying roles in the cast as well as the production teams.
An introduction to Production Arts is offered as an activity on Monday 2-3pm – speak to your tutor to choose this activity. You can get involved in your free time simply by contacting the Theatre Manager for further information and to be added to our contact list. Not all students attending this activity are guaranteed or required to work on productions. No previous experience is required and all necessary training and equipment will be provided.