Large scale school drama productions that make full use of proper theatre staging techniques and are open to the general public can provide an eye-opening experience for a budding actor, teaching them how to perform in public in front of a large audience. They can play a key part in building confidence, as well as addressing issues related to stage fright.

School drama productions are ten-a-penny and will always have a guaranteed audience of parents, siblings and fellow students. However, before the final glorious performance comes months of preparation and planning. Below are a couple of key things to keep in mind when planning your masterpiece.

The Play

Probably the most important decision you’ll make regarding your production will be the play you choose to perform. Devising your own play probably seems like the most appealing option in terms of educating your students, but putting on a performance on the scale of most secondary school productions requires a script that runs over an hour long and features multiple acts – it’s a big ask for students to write a complex script and then perform it. Therefore, it’s best to choose an existing play.

Putting your own spin on a script can make a performance stand out, so we’d recommend adapting a script over simply performing it as dictated by the original text. This can be as simple as updating the setting or language of a piece.

The Performance Space

The majority of school drama productions take place at the school itself for logistical and financial reasons – parents know where the school is and it’s free to use the space.

Choosing a performance space usually comes down to choosing between the school drama studio – which will be kitted out with stage lighting and a stage sound system and owes itself well to more intimate performances – or the school hall – which can house more people but is often limiting in terms of staging options (theatre in the round, for example). Which you choose is down to the sort of performance you want to put on; analyse the requirements of your performances and make your decision based on them.

A Technical Team

While your drama students will be front and centre during the performance, a few teachers often overlook the need for a technical team to operate stage lights, sound and theatre curtains until the last minute.

Ideally, you should assemble a technical team at the start of rehearsals so they can get a grasp of the production and learn exactly what they’ll need to do on the night. There’s no need to call in professionals, however – you should be able to find plenty of budding technicians within the student body of your school!

Of course, there are plenty more considerations to take into account when staging a school drama production – too many to fit into this post in fact!  If you’re planning to put on a production anytime soon and require new equipment for the big night, get in touch with PG Stage for a quotation on stage lighting for schools and sound systems. Call us on 0161 830 0303 or email us on

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