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 Craft

This encompasses an overview of the subject including:

  • 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

Both the Speech Hall, Vivian Cox Theatre and other performance areas around the school are set up as professional venues giving students the best learning opportunities.


We teach:

  • Principles of Lighting
  • Lighting Design
  • Safe Rigging and Electrics
  • Focussing
  • Programming
  • 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.


We teach:

  • 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.

Stage Management

We teach:

  • 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

Portrait Photo of George Royall

Mr G C RoyallBSc

Mr George Royall Head of Music Technology 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.

Portrait Photo of Peter Humphreys

Mr P A Humphreys

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.

Portrait Photo of Megan Williams

Miss M Williams

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.

Get Involved

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.