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Communications, Drama and Film

Photo of  Jon Primrose

Jon Primrose

Technical Services Partner


Jon has been with the Department since 1991 and is the Technical Services Partner for Communications, Drama & Film with responsibility for the Digital Theatrecrafts module and the smooth running and scheduling of all practical and technical activities in the Department, alongside colleagues.

The Drama Department online timetabling and equipment and production management tool Chronos was written by him and is continually developed as students request more features.

He was trained by Maurice Marshal as assistant electrician at the Northcott Theatre and his interests include all aspects of technology in the wacky world of entertainment, particularly the technology of scenic automation in theatre and many aspects of cinema technology and special effects. 

He has been Lighting Designer of many shows in and around Exeter and the odd one in London and further afield.

Jon is a member of the Association of Lighting Designers, Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT), Stage Management Association, Association of Sound Designers and the Magic Lantern Society.
He is a member of the ABTT Historical Research Committee in connection with his work on the Strand Archive and Backstage Heritage Collection at

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Jon is responsible for the following websites which are constantly evolving and increasing in size;

  • - Technical theatre resource, including the largest Glossary of Technical Theatre Terms on the web
  • The Strand Archive - archive of stage lighting equipment manufactured since 1915 by Strand Electric, later Rank Strand, then Strand Lighting.
  • - initially an online history of the development of Universal Studios Hollywood, this site is expanding into an online history of movie studios across the world.

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External impact and engagement

Jon is involved at a national level with his personal research project The Strand Archive ( which engages with equipment and practices of theatre lighting technicians since 1915.

Along with a group of colleagues from the international technical theatre industry he has launched The Backstage Heritage Collection (, a database of equipment of historical interest worldwide which is being gathered together and preserved and organised for exhibition.

From January 2015, he is a member of the Association of British Theatre Technicians Historical Research Committee, which meets monthly. 

His resource website Theatrecrafts ( has been used by educational institutions worldwide, and is continually developed.

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Since 1991 the technical teaching in the Drama Department has evolved as the needs of the programme have changed.

The current module Digital Theatrecrafts is a second year option. Additional technical teaching takes place in the first year as part of the Research and Performance module (for the whole year group) and in the second year as part of Staging the Text (again, for the whole year).

The teaching and learning is backed up by an internationally-known technical theatre resource, where new resources are regularly posted.

The teaching is as broad as possible, to ensure all students are engaged, whatever their specific interest.

Modules taught

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