Back Stage

In this section you will find information about the various jobs required to make a production a success at Rottingdean Drama Society. If something looks interesting, maybe you should join and take part!


Rottingdean Drama Society are lucky enough to own a surprisingly sophisticated lighting rig, due to a very generous donation from Seeboard Electricty, now EDF Energy and regular improvement and investment.

The lighting rig comprises of 24 fixed circuits, running from the control room at the back of the auditorium to various points above the stage and on the auditorium ceiling. Each of these circuits can be loaded with lamps or effect units and are powered using dimmer racks in the control room. The dimmer racks are controlled using a 24 channel computerised lighting desk.

Each lighting scene is designed and programmed into this lighting desk, given fade durations and then saved. During a performance it is then a case of running each queue as they appear. Assuming the programming of the desk has been carried out correctly, the performances run like clockwork!

Over the years the success of the society has allowed new lighting equipment to be purchased instead of hired. The society now own a series of profile, fresnel and flood lights.This reduces long term running costs and provides more time to rig and flexibility during rehearsals.

If you would like more information about joining the lighting team, please Contact us.

Set and Props

As with all the jobs required to produce a successful production, the set, scenery and props design and construction is crucial. Scenery must be compact, light, yet believable. Sets must be built robustly, appear solid, yet be easily constructed and removed. All materials are reused over and over again, so careful planning and construction must be carried out.

The set design is creating using research methods, such as books, films, theatre productions and the script. The set designer meet with the director shortly after rehearsals have begun and discuss requirements, feasibility and create rough sketches for each scene. These sketches are then converted into scale drawings of each component of the set. These drawings are used to build from. Several set constructors might make use of these drawings and build elements of the set and then put the whole piece together on stage.

The society is lucky enough to have an amount of storage space on location. This ranges for twelve foot high flats (or walls of a set) and under stage storage for furniture and raised stage blocks.

If you would like more information about joining the scenery and props team, please Contact us.


The costume teamís work begins by researching period and appropriate costumes using books, films and the internet. This ensures the productions costumes are accurate and consistent. Sometimes, an existing costume can be used or adapted; other times it is necessary to purchase or hire costumes.

The costume team become busier as rehearsals progress and must be ready for the dress-rehearsal, just before the performance. It might be necessary to make minor adjustments during the performances as costumes are used. After the last performance, the costume team is responsible for returning hired items and deciding what to keep and what to dispose of or re-cycle. Due to storage restrictions, only frequently used costumes are stored.

Next to the control room at the back of the auditorium is a small wardrobe containing rails, drawers and boxes. In this room owned costumes and accessories are stored. This can become full very quickly, so the costume team need to be ruthless when selecting costumes to keep.

If you would like more information about joining the costume team, please Contact us.


Depending on the type of production, be it period drama or pantomime, the make-up teamís work can vary greatly. In past productions, demanding make-up designs have included bloody wounds, realistic animal faces and chilling illness or death.

Due to the high intensity and cool colour of theatre lighting, it is necessary to apply make-up to all members of the cast. Without some foundation make-up, skin can look washed out and features become flat. Often actors apply their own make-up to allow for more complex work to be carried out. During the pantomime, this process can beceom quite frantic in the dressing rooms!

If you would like more information about joining the make-up team, please Contact us.


As you might have noticed during a performance, the Society is lucky enough to have a very experienced and talented sound designer, composor and engineer. Over the past few years, the Village Hall has been transformed into a well equipped theatre with three stereo channels, multiple channel mixing capabilities and hard wired communication cables from top to bottom!

This level of flexibility and installation, enables a sound scape to be formed in various areas of the auditorium and stage. The source of a sound effect can start in one location back stage left and slowly move to the back of the auditorium, very smoothly.

In past productions, customised sound effects have been recorded and used, new musical scores have been written especially and radio microphones used inside a pantomime horse! Anything is possible.

If you would like more information about joining the sound team, please Contact us.

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