As the remarkable cast and crew of A Midsummer Night’s Dream get ready for their performances this week at The British School of Brussels, we take you behind the curtain into the hidden realm of the BSB stage. Explore the hard work behind-the-scenes, meticulous planning, and creative brilliance that come together to make our shows truly extraordinary.
In an ever-evolving world, the performing arts industry stands as a vibrant tapestry of creativity, passion, and innovation. Behind every captivating performance lies a team of dedicated individuals who bring the magic to life through technical roles.
At the British School of Brussels, we take pride in offering amazing opportunities for students to explore and excel in this realm. This month’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream production is yet another example of the remarkable blend of responsibility, leadership, resilience, and confidence our students exhibit both on and off the stage. Behind the scenes, our student crews manage the intricate details of the backstage world, as they tirelessly toil to bring the school’s professional quality plays and musicals to life year after year.
“When an audience appreciates a production, without an overt awareness of the backstage and technical areas, then we know our crews are highly successful and effective,” said Claire Williams, Drama Teacher and Deputy Stage Manager on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “Their work underpins every successful show.”
This year’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream not only exemplifies the creative prowess of the performers, but also highlights the collaborative spirit and commitment of the entire production team, fostering a sense of pride and accomplishment within the school community. One of our core values is creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all students. We believe that diverse perspectives enrich the performing arts industry and inspire innovation which is why we champion equality at BSB and provide all students with the opportunities to be the best that they can be.
Additionally, we at BSB understand the significance of building leadership skills and nurturing confidence. We provide opportunities for students to assume leadership roles within technical teams, empowering them to take charge and make their mark. We strive to instil in them the confidence and resilience required to thrive in technical roles while developing strong communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills.
This year’s production was brought to life by a backstage and technical crew led by stage manager Rowan, who also led last year’s school production Emil and the Detectives (learn more about Rowan’s experience as a stage manager in the video below).
“Working as a stage manager, I’ve really improved my organisational skills because that’s an absolutely crucial thing that you need to have,” said Rowan, Stage Manager, “It’s especially important when you’re in Year 12 and 13, because you really need to be able to balance your role in the production with your schoolwork in your academic life.”
“I think organisation is a massive part of stage management because you are in charge of a team, a crew, and you need to be able to delegate tasks to them,” said Annabel, Rowan’s predecessor. “You need to trust your team and you need to trust that they’re going to do it well because a production isn’t going to happen through just one person. It’s a community that needs to do it together.”
At BSB, we passionately believe in the holistic development of our students. We offer an array of comprehensive technical education opportunities that cover various aspects of the performing arts industry. From lighting and sound design to set and costume design and to stage management, our curriculum is designed to cultivate a deep understanding of the technical aspects that make performances shine. By offering a wide range of technical roles, we ensure that students can explore their interests and discover their true passions in the performing arts, both on stage and backstage.
“It is incredibly important for our students to appreciate that professional opportunities in the arts are not limited to those in the immediate spotlight,” said Jane Whitehouse, Department Leader Drama and the director of this year’s production. “Performance is a small part of the whole.”
To provide our students with an exceptional learning experience, BSB has dedicated technical and performance spaces, equipped with the latest equipment. We aim to mirror professional production environments, giving our students an authentic taste of what can be expected in the real world. From our fully equipped 240-seat Brel Theatre to the advanced audio-visual systems we use to enhance our performances, BSB has the facilities to create an immersive atmosphere. This replicates the real-world creative challenges and opportunities found in the performing arts industry. It is in this environment that our students learn, grow, and excel in a multitude of roles.
At the heart of our educational approach lies our exceptional Performance and the Arts Faculty. Our passionate, experienced teachers and operational staff bring a wealth of knowledge and real-world expertise to our classrooms, rehearsal rooms and performance spaces. They not only impart technical skills but also mentor and guide students towards achieving their aspirations. Additionally, we have fostered strong connections with industry professionals, inviting guest speakers, organising workshops, and facilitating internships to expose our students to the real-world applications of their technical skills.
By providing a nurturing environment, fostering leadership, and offering cutting-edge technical education, we pave the way for a future where equality, opportunity and artistic excellence go hand in hand.
Behind the scenes of a BSB Production
Take a look behind the scenes from 2022’s big production, Emil and the Detectives!
To learn more about The Arts at The British School of Brussels, click here.