Meet the Team

Ben Sumner – Vice Principal and Director of Production Artsnone_228_288_12-0904-Ben_Sumner

Ben trained in Stage Management at the Central School of Speech and Drama.  So far his career has included education, lighting design, production management, stage management, technical management and theatre administration. He has worked in corporate events, dance, drama, musical theatre, opera and television.

Ben first taught at the Guildhall in 1987. In 1990 he became Senior Lecturer in Technical Management at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts where he remained for 12 years. In 2002 he accepted the post of Programme Director (Production, Design and Arts Management) at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth, Australia.

After returning to the UK with his family in 2006 Ben picked up his freelance career in Production Management, working on circus and corporate events in the UK and the Far East. In the summer of 2007 he returned to the Guildhall where he is now Vice Principal and Director of Production Arts.

Gill Allen – Programme Leader BA Production Arts and Head of Stage Management and Costume

gill

Gill trained in Stage Management at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and there followed a successful career as a professional Stage Manager at theatres such as the Manchester Royal Exchange, Contact Theatre, Theatre Royal York and the Sheffield Crucible as well as touring nationally. She then moved on to become Stage Management Tutor at LAMDA and subsequently took the role of Technical Courses Administrator at RADA.

She has been Head of Stage Management and Technical Theatre at East 15, where her role incorporated the curriculum design and development for all technical disciplines including both Stage Management and Costume.  As Head of Course she was also responsible for student assessment, student industry work placements and the teaching of Industry in Context, Professional Development and Theatre History modules.

Gill has also been one of the Directors of the Stage Management Association and has acted as External Examiner at Guildford School of Acting, ALRA and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as well as having contributed to curriculum development and assessment at Mountview, Rose Bruford and the Central School of Speech and Drama

Karen Kerr – Stage Management Lecturerkaren_kerr

Has 28 years professional stage management experience, after graduating from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 1976.

Range of work covers fortnightly and three weekly rep in Plymouth, Basingstoke and Sheffield, and extensive touring in Britain and Eire.  Work in London includes new plays such as Ben Elton’s Gasping with Hugh Laurie, and Bernard Hill & Simon Gray’s A Slip of the Tongue with John Malkovich, to classics such as The Importance of Being Earnest with Maggie Smith, directed by Nicholas Hytner, plus three traditional pantomimes at The Shaw Theatre with Bill Oddie and Ben Benison.

Musicals include the original rehearsal and opening of Evita, Starlight Express and Stage Manager of Les Miserable and We Will Rock You. Karen has also stage managed conferences for British Industry and events such as Q40 the celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee at Earls Court, the ‘Ten Year Birthday’ celebration of Les Miserable at the Royal Albert Hall and the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympic Games, Athens 2004.

Additional qualifications include the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.  Karen is also a member of the Stage Management Association and Equity, and a Fellow the Higher Education Academy.

Karen has also set up a mentoring scheme for the Production Arts students; linking them with previous Guildhall students who are now industry professionals to help gain a networking relationship.

Caroline Moores – Stage Management Lecturercaroline

Caroline Moores joined the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in September 2016. From April 2014 to August of 2016 she was the Company Stage Manager for Complicite’s ‘The Encounter’. She was the head stage manager at the Lyric Opera of Chicago from 1994 to 2014 and also worked for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on special projects – including the CSO’s series “Beyond the Score”.  She has toured ‘Beyond the Score’ to many orchestras around the world including the Halle, the New York Philharmonic and the Concertgebouw and to the Aldeburgh and Ojai Festivals.

In addition, Caroline has worked as a stage manager for the Royal Opera House, the Manchester International Festival, Seattle Opera, Tulsa Opera, Virginia Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Opera Omaha, and as assistant stage manager for San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Greater Miami Opera (now Florida Grand Opera) and Houston Grand Opera.  For four years she was the Production Manager of the Virginia Symphony in Norfolk, Virginia.

Kate Russell – Stage Management Assistant

Kate

Kate trained in Stage Management at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and has worked professionally on drama and children’s productions for companies such as Bristol Old Vic Theatre, Theatr na N’Og, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Cardboard Citizens and MakeBelieve Arts. She also worked for Longborough Festival Opera as their Season ASM and worked at the Edinburgh Fringe for six years. Kate joined Guildhall as the Stage Management Assistant in September 2017.

 

 

 

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