The department put on five major shows a year to a live audience in our versatile, purpose-built theatre, giving you real-life experience of organising sets and helping to run successful shows.
To successfully deliver the many performances and shows the Performing & Production Arts department put on every year, there needs to be a team of motivated, creatively-minded and resilient individuals behind the scenes who are passionate for their craft and work well as a team.
Backstage Production courses at the College offer a recognised pathway into many exciting careers. You could be set and costume designing for plays and musicals; organising and building stages for a range of events; or mastering sound and lighting for entire shows.
We have industry professionals come in to deliver workshops and provide feedback to the group, helping you develop your ability to self-promote and inspire ideas of what to do once you finish your course.
After graduating in Media Performance from university, Beckie joined the College as an Learning Support Assistant in the Foundation department and teaching Media. The latter quickly developed into a full-time position.
She left the College in 2012 to become Learning Technology Manager at Swindon College, before returning in 2018 to lecture in computing and media but Beckie's main role is Course Leader for Backstage Production.
"I love inspiring people to reach their full potential. Putting on shows and the buzz all the students from performance and production get is infectious and as a team we want to do bigger shows every time.
The most important thing I think that benefits the students is the autonomy and wide skill range; they learn not just in their chosen subject area, but also how to be a well-rounded individual who is career-focused and adaptable to any situation.
On the Backstage Production course, students are not just learning how to do lighting, sound and stage but they are learning leadership skills, how to present and pitch ideas and the most most importantly, how to work as a team and individually to a strict deadline."
The largest stage rig for a music concert was in Brazil, measuring 2,900 m² and was 69m high, which was constructed for the Villa Mix Festival in June 2017!
Creative England and the Creative Industries Federation are joining forces to launching a united organisation in Spring 2020.
The average National Theatre Technician wage in the UK is approx. £35,000, 40% above the national average.
Wheatley Park School
My teacher originally said to me I should do Backstage Production as they could tell that I love practical work. As someone who loves travelling and prefers hands-on learning, I couldn’t think of a better course!
It really gives you a sense of what its like to work backstage on real performances and shows. I enjoy the level of independence we're given and being able to work at my own pace, and the freedom that brings.
Even though the College is quite far from home, I knew it had a great reputation so I was happy to make the longer journey.
The best thing about this course is that it gives me the opportunity to try different areas of design for productions, not just set design but also experience in sound and light rigging too.
I knew about the College already and when I visited for an open day, the facilities looked good and it looked like an interesting course.
We learn by working as a proper, close-knit team to help put on real shows, which is great for me as someone who likes very practical studying.
I enjoy the friendly atmosphere and the fact that I'm treated more like an adult, with more freedom to learn about the things that interest me the most.
The College was recommended to me by a family member and once I saw that there was a theatre department, I knew that was the course for me.
I love that there is no wrong or right way to do the course. Because you're doing projects based on the different production roles - from directing to sound mixing - you are discovering which areas interests you most and pursuing that route.
For me, that's preparing for university and a career as a director.
Overall the course is very creative and lets us explore more about theatre, whilst the tutors are always pushing us to achieve our potential.