At Cranleigh, anyone wanting to participate in Drama is equally welcome behind the scenes working in Production Arts. The Theatre Manager runs a large student crew who provide backstage support to all School productions and events, from the smallest House Play to the largest musical. This comprises pupils from the Fourth Form to the Upper Sixth and there is training in in all areas of lighting and sound, stage management, set construction, costume and makeup. More experienced pupils will start to produce their own designs and take key roles in the running of productions.
The department is also responsible for supporting 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 and supporting a BTEC in Production Arts. Please explore the site to learn more about our work.
We teach basic stagecraft such as:
- Parts of the theatre and stage 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
Our equipment stock is extensive and mainly comprises modern fixtures from ETC Lighting and Selecon. We operate an industry-stand ETC Ion in the Speech Hall and a ETC Congo Junior in the studio for ease of training. We work closely with outside professional designers and technicians who share their expertise with our students.
- Microphones and mic placement
- Mixing sound for live performances
- Analogue and digital sound desks
- Sound effect editing
- Show control software
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 freelance sound engineers who share their love of their discipline with the student team.
Stage Management is led by Mrs Emma Ellis who has extensive stage management experience.
- Roles and Responsibilities of a backstage team
- Script Marking
- “Calling” a show
- Communications Etiquette
- Prop Sourcing and Props Making
Meet The Team
Mr Hamish Ellis joined Cranleigh this year as Theatre Manager, having previously experienced the freelance life as a touring theatre technician.
Mr Ellis has worked on all types of theatre, specialising in using non-theatre spaces to create work, most notably as part of Hull 2017 with Slung Low’s production of Flood. Mr Ellis brings a wealth of knowledge to the theatre department at Cranleigh and is excited to see what work can be created.
Mrs E L EllisBA, PGCE
Mrs Emma Ellis teaches Physics and is non-resident Deputy Housemistress of Rhodes. A former Cranleighan, Mrs Ellis returned to Cranleigh after studying Physics at St Anne's College, Oxford. Her other passion is for theatre and she has been involved with a number of school productions, most notably Les Miserables.
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.
An introduction to Production Arts is offered as an activity on Thursday 2-3pm – speak to your tutor to choose this activity. However 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. No previous experience is required and all necessary training and equipment will be provided.