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Spring 2015 Applications

Applications for Spring 2015 have now closed!


Fri 31 October - you will receive an email with your pitch time for the weekend
Sat 1 & Sun 2 November - pitching weekend
Sat 8 & Sun 9 November - longer interview weekend
Wed 12 November - final decisions will be emailed

If you have any questions, please email


We aim to programme seasons of student drama which are diverse, entertaining and exciting. We welcome applications from any student, regardless of experience or background. 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 President 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.

Panel guests

- for musical theatre applications, the panel will be joined by the Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society president;

- for Footlights Presents applications, the panel will be joined by members of the Footlights Committee.



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 should be led by you - tell us what you think is important to know about your show.

If you would like to, you can focus on the following 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 take away 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 normally need a completed draft of the whole script.

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 Wed 12 November 2014.



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 CPlayroom 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, although not required, 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.


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 'fixed slots' in the season:

Week 6 or 7 - ADC Mainshow - Footlights Spring Revue

Week 8&9 - ADC Mainshow - Lent Term Musical [for information on how to apply for this slot, see tab below]




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.



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.

About the Lent Term Musical

The CUADC Lent Term Musical is a fixed 2-week slot in weeks 8 and 9 of Lent Term. It has the potential to be seen by over 3000 people, and is one of the most exciting and ambitious productions in the ADC Theatre’s calendar.

The Shortlist

The shortlist for shows this year is:

  • Fame - Music by Steve Margoshes, Lyrics by Jacques Levy, Book by Jose Fernandez
  • A Chorus Line - Music by Marvin Hamlisch, Lyrics by Edward Kleban, Book by James Kirkwood & Nicholas Dante
  • Kiss Me Kate - Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter, Book by Bella and Samuel Spewack
  • Sweeney Todd - Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Hugh Wheeler
  • Little Shop of Horrors - Music by Alan Menken, book and lyrics by Howard Ashman

See below for information about applying with a show not on the shortlist.

How to apply

At this stage, we are accepting applications from Producers and Directors. All other production team positions will be appointed by the successful Producer and Director once the show has been programmed.

Applying as a producer

We’re looking for a creative, confident, reliable and organised individual to produce the Lent Term Musical. It is an exciting opportunity to lead a large term and be the driving force behind an ambitious creative project. Be aware that your application should not be specific to one of the shows on the shortlist. You will be interviewed for the position and then will join the panel to choose the director.

Please fill out this online form: Lent Term Musical Producer Application Form

Applying as a director

Please choose a musical from the shortlist to apply with and fill in the general online application form. There is no need to fill in the Synopsis section. Please select Lent Term Musical as your Venue and Slot and select Week 8 in your preferred week.

If your show would also work as a one week show and you would like to be considered for a one week slot, please select the weeks which would work for you as well. If your Lent Term Musical application is unsuccessful, you may then be considered for a slot earlier in the term.

It is possible to apply with a show which is not on the shortlist; however, please bear in mind that performance rights must be available for an amateur performance in March 2015 in Cambridge. When enquiring with rights holders, you must make them aware that the show will run for up to 14 performances, will be advertised beyond the University campus, and tickets will be sold online. You must check this carefully before applying. If rights are not available for the show with which you apply, we will not be able to process your application. In addition, consider whether the show is suitable for the stage size, company size and budget with which you expect to work.

If you are unsure about checking the availability of performance rights, or the suitability of your show, please contact us in advance of submitting your application.

Footlights Presents is an ADC Latshow slot. It gives less experienced comedians a chance to perform their newly written sketch show under the guidance and advice of the Footlights Committee.

Preview Footlights Presents shows were Dumpf and Lost Property.

To apply for Footlights Presents, fill in the general information form and choose the Footlights Presents slot. You will be interviewed by members of the panel and the Footlights Committee.

A message from Tom Fraser, Footlights President:

The main thing we're looking for is a willingness to realise a project that you think will be funny. Applications may be done in groups of writers. Please note that, at the very least, you should apply as a writer or as a group of writers. You couldn't, for example, just apply for the slot as a director or performer.

Needless to say -- absolutely no experience is necessary. All applications will be judged on their relative merits, and we welcome applications from people in all years, so long as they are a current student at Anglia Ruskin or Cambridge.

And another thing: if you were thinking that you'd like to do a sketch show next term, but don't want to just bank on an application for Footlights Presents being successful, please still apply for other slots (in a separate application) for next term. If you are unsuccessful with Footlights Presents, there is still a chance you may get that slot and have a show to do next term.

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