My Account

Autumn Season 2016 Applications

Applications for our Autumn 2016 Season

are now open!

The deadline for applications is Friday 6 May 2016 at 11am.

Key dates

TBC - Applications drinks
Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 May
- pitching weekend, every applicant will be allocated a 5 minute slot
Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 May - longer interviews for some applications
Wednesday 18 May - you will know the outcome of your application

Any questions?

For more information about the process, please read the information below and if you have any questions please email

There will be a drinks evening with members of the panel. If you are unsure about any aspect of your application, we strongly recommend you come to this or email us to arrange a time to discuss your queries with a member of the panel.




We aim to programme seasons of student drama which are diverse, entertaining and exciting. We welcome applications from any student, regardless of experience. The only thing you need to apply is a creative idea and a passion to see it through.

The shows which make up our seasons should create opportunities for students to be involved in fun and rewarding theatrical projects and should appeal to our varied audience of students from around the city and members of the wider Cambridge community.

Across both venues there are up to 60 slots, varying in number of performances from 1 to 14, and in total audience capacity from 40 to over 3000.

We are unlikely to programme a show which has been on at the ADC Theatre or Corpus Playroom already in the last 2-3 years. Please check for information on when shows have last been put on and get in touch if you have any questions about this.

We do not commission productions and are led by the applications we receive.



Selection panel

The selection panel is made up five people:

- the Presient of the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club and one other member of the student Committee;

- the President of the Fletcher Players;

- the Theatre Manager of the ADC Theatre and one other member of the Management Team.




Applying to put on a show is a three-stage process.

First Stage - online application

The first stage of the process is for you to fill out the online application form which is submitted to the selection panel who will then automatically book you a slot in the second stage.

Second stage - pitching

The second stage gives you the opportunity to tell us why we should programme your show.

Your pitch will last five minutes and we will ask you to focus on three areas:

1) Why are you passionate and enthusiastic about this show? What makes you want to see it staged?

2) What are your plans for bringing it to the stage? For example, do you have any unique ideas about casting, set, rehearsal technique, costume, sound, lighting etc?

3) What do you want the audience to takeaway from your production?

If applicable, you will be asked to bring a copy of the script at this stage to leave with the selection panel for the duration of the application round; Please note that for new writing we would expect a completed draft of the whole script. However if you are applying as a director and intending to devise or part-devise the show, a completed script is not necessary but we will need you to explain why you have chosen to create the show in this way.

The pitching stage is intended to be about your core ideas, so don't bring along budgets, technical drawings or poster designs: we want to hear about why you want to do the show.

Third Stage - interview

The third stage varies depending on the applications we receive.

You may be asked to come along to a longer interview the following weekend and we will give you a small number of questions to prepare in advance. This is your opportunity to flesh out your idea in more detail, as well as answer any specific questions we may have about your application.

We do not interview all the applicants who end up getting programmed, so don't worry if you are not invited to a longer interview.

Decision - confirming the season

Once we have completed the interviews we will put together the whole season; the new season will be confirmed and released by the end of Wednesday 18 May 2016.



Venues and slot

We are programming shows at the ADC Theatre and the Corpus Playroom. Please be aware that the venues and slots available are very different and shows which work artistically in one venue or slot may be less suited to another, so bear this in mind when choosing which venue and slot to apply for.


The ADC Theatre is a large proscenium arch theatre, with a 6.5m wide x 10m deep stage. It seats 228 people.

The Playroom is a much smaller space, with audience on two sides of the 4m x 4m stage in an L-shape. It seats 80 people. It has a limited backstage area and more technically limited than the ADC, but can still accomodate a fairly complex set.

The Larkum Studio is a small but flexible studio space in the ADC Theatre. We tend not to programme more than one or two shows in here per term.

The ADC Bar seats 40 people and has a small cabaret style stage.


ADC Theatre Mainshow: Tue - Sat, 7.45pm, running time 2hr 30

This is the 'biggest' slot in terms of ambition, cast and crew size, budget and audience numbers. Our mainshow audiences are 50% students, 50% non-students, so we generally programme shows in this slot which will appeal to the wider Cambridge community.

Competition is more intense for ADC Theatre mainshows than for other slots so you should scale your application accordingly: it is even more important to focus on getting your passion, ambition and commitment across. This is the only slot where having some experience of directing in Cambridge before (ideally at the ADC Theatre or Corpus Playroom) could significantly strengthen your application.

ADC Theatre Lateshow: Wed - Sat, 11pm, running time 1hr 15

This slot is aimed more at our student audience, who come to late night theatre. We often progamme comedy or musical shows in this slot or edgier dramas. Lateshows generally don't have a huge amount of complex set, but there is the potential to do a certain amount of exciting technical things.

ADC Theatre One-Night Stand: Tue, 11pm, running time 1hr 15

This slot is similar to our Lateshow slot, but only one night. It should not need any complex set and is ideal for one-night comedy or music events. It has also been used for rehearsed readings.

Playroom Mainshow: Tue - Sat, 7pm, running time 2hr

Like the ADC Mainshow, the Playroom Mainshow appeals to our local town audience as well as our student audience. It can have a short interval.

Playroom Lateshow: Tue - Sat, 9.30pm, running time 1hr 15

The Playroom lateshow is the ideal slot for new student writing and also for comedy and musical shows which are on a smaller scale than the ADC Theatre or have a more niche appeal.

Playroom One-Night Stand: Mon, 9.30pm, running time 1hr 15

This slot is similar to the Playroom lateshow slot, but only one night.

Larkum / Bar shows: flexible days and times depending on the application

These two intimate spaces are best for small shows aimed at a small number of audience members.

Papercuts: flexible days and times depending on the application

Papercuts is our rehearsed reading programme. We believe that the best way to help writers and their work develop is to get the script on its feet and spoken. 


Have a look at the ADC Theatre and Playroom what's on pages to have a look at the shows we have programmed this season and get in touch with if you have any questions about which slots would suit your show.

Fixed slots

Please note that a small number of slots are not available to all applicants as they are fixed slots in the season.

Week 5 - ADC Mainshow - CUMTS Week 5 musical [for information on how to apply for this slot, see next tab]
Week 6 - ADC Mainshow and Lateshow - Freshers' Shows
Week 7 & 8 - ADC Mainshow - CUADC/Footlights Pantomime [for information on how to apply for this slot, see penultimate tab]

If you are applying for an ADC Mainshow which is not the CUMTS Week 5 musical or Pantomime, you should apply for a slot in Weeks 1 to 4.




It is possible to apply for funding from one of the student companies based in the ADC Theatre and Corpus Playroom.

Performance slots and funding are separate things: your production may be offered a slot at one of our venues, but not funding from one of the resident companies. In that case there are numerous other Cambridge student drama societies who will fund your show. We strongly discourage self-funded shows.

Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club (CUADC)

The Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club is the oldest and largest student drama society in Cambridge. As well as being the main production company at the Theatre, the CUADC are at the centre of student dramatic activity in Cambridge, running workshops and encouraging participation in theatre.

They present a varied programme of mainshows and lateshows at the ADC Theatre each season. They offer their productions assistance and support and are committed to holding open applications and auditions.

Fletcher Players

The Fletcher Players are the resident company at the Corpus Playroom, and the drama society of Corpus Christi College. Their productions showcase new writing, traditional classics, comedy, cutting-edge political drama and occasionally dance.

Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society (CUMTS)

Founded in 1998, Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society has been behind the very best musical theatre taking place in Cambridge, presenting a wide variety of shows a year and providing opportunities for all musical enthusiasts - from actors to technicians - to work on high-quality and enjoyable musical theatre productions.

For more information on the CUMTS Week 5 musical and how to apply, please see the next tab.



The rights-holders of most plays and musicals require you to purchase performing rights before a production can be staged.

If you are unsure who holds the performing rights to the play you want to put on then a good place to start is Samuel French, who hold rights to lots of shows and also know who holds the rights to others.

We strongly advise you to check whether the rights are available before applying as we are not able to programme shows where rights are not available. We do understand that it may not be possible to confirm this with the rights holders, but if you can get as much of a sense as possible, that would be appreciated.

At the pitching stage you will be asked to confirm whether you have looked into the rights for your production.



Other Information

You can apply with more than one production, or for more than one venue or slot. You should be aware, however, that spreading yourself too thinly can weaken all your applications: we are interested in a passion for a specific production rather than a general desire to stage something.

Applications do not have to include any specific production roles. For example, a producer can apply without a director.

Our resident companies are commited to open auditions/applications for cast and crew positions. If you are applying with a show that has been pre-cast, please be aware that they may not be able to offer you funding.

We are only accepting electronic applications. If you have difficulty with the form or any other questions, please contact us.


The CUMTS Week 5 Musical is one of the musical theatre highlights of the year at the ADC Theatre.

In the last few years the Week 5 musical has been Sweeney ToddSweet CharityFunny Girl and Cabaret.

To apply to direct the Week 5 Musical, please fill out the standard online application form, selecting CUMTS Week 5 Musical as the slot and CUMTS funding. You may apply alone or as part of a team.

You will be interviewed by a panel made up of a number of members of the CUMTS Committee and some of the main selection panel. The interview process may be slightly different to the rest of the applications, but you will get more information about interviews when applications close on Friday 6 May at 11am.

Applications will shortly open for the core production team members (producers, directors and writers)!

In order to ensure both opportunity and variety in our termly programming, we have decided to initiate an experiment in the method by which plays are selected. This experiment represents a small tweak to the present system rather than a fundamental overhaul.

Alongside the usual open applications system, the selection panel will be looking to programme two plays per term drawn from applications in pre-determined categories. An example of such a category could be ‘a play written in a specified era’ or ‘a playwright from a specific part of the world'. These categories will be specified and announced well in advance of the submission deadline and will be broad enough to encourage a wide range of applications.

In the event that all submissions in a pre-determined category are deemed to be of insufficient quality, the panel will revert to selecting from the open applications field to fill that slot. The modified system will come into effect for plays performed in the Lent 2017 season and the categories to be offered will be determined and announced by the end of the Easter Term 2016. In all cases the quality of submissions will continue to be the guiding principle in show selection.

Responsibility for choosing the pre-determined categories will rest with the normal show selection panel. The panel welcome suggestions using the Google form below for categories in advance of their meeting on 17 May. Applications for slots in these categories may be for ADC or Playroom mainshows.

It is our belief, as well as our firm intention, that this initiative should act as a stimulus to directors, producers and actors and should, at the same time, ensure that successive cohorts of theatre-goers are exposed to the widest range of drama at both the ADC Theare and Corpus Playroom.

  • RT @RosieJBrown17: So excited to start rehearsals for 'The Winter's Tale' tomorrow. With an amazing bunch @adctheatre ⭐️🌙 - view »
  • RT @izzy_rees: Night 2 of @bawdsinfo "One Night in November" at the @adctheatre - I love the '40s glamour! https://… - view »
  • RT @camactors: Two Gents director @christhethesp on @cambridge105 today from 17.30 discussing his unique take on the play, opening Tuesday… - view »
  • RT @camactors: We love the cocktail tribute to The Two Gentlemen of Verona in the @adctheatre bar! ##Shakespeare400 #shakespeare https://t.… - view »
  • RT @ADConstellation: Stage + piano + rehearsal = somuchexcitement - we open in one week! @adctheatre - view »
  • RT @ArtNAboutCamb: The Two Gentlemen of Verona 19 - 23 April @adctheatre Have you seen their trailer?… - view »
  • RT @bawdsinfo: One Night in November @adctheatre with @izzy_rees and @SarahOfSparkles continues! Tickets: https://t… - view »
  • RT @camactors: 1 week till The Two Gentlemen of Verona at @adctheatre Celebrate #Shakespeare400 with us! #Shakespeare… - view »
  • RT @camactors: Our Two Gents is a mash-up of Elizabethan and modern as a tribute to #Shakespeare400 Opens 19 April @adctheatre… - view »
A Papertree Digital website.