Michaelmas Term Applications

Student applications for our Autumn 2017 Season are now closed. We have re-opened applications for the CUMTS week 4 musical, the deadline for applications is Friday 19 May at 1pm.
The Winter's Tale
The Winter's Tale (Photo: Johannes Hjorth)

Student applications for our Autumn 2017 Season are now closed.

We have re-opened applications for the CUMTS week 4 musical, the deadline for applications is Friday 19 May at 1pm. Application Form

Key dates

  • Friday 28 April at 8pm  - applications drinks in the ADC Theatre Bar
  • Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 May - pitching weekend, every applicant will be allocated a 5 minute slot 
  • Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 May - longer interviews for some applications
  • Wednesday 24 May - you will know the outcome of your application

Application Form

Please click here to complete your application, using our online form.

Any questions?

For more information about the process, please read the information below and if you have any questions please email applications@adctheatre.com.

There will be a drinks evening on Friday 28 April 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 camdram.net 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.

Prescribed Categories 

In order to ensure both opportunity and variety in our termly programming, we have decided to continue our 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 above, the selection panel will be looking to programme two plays per term drawn from applications in pre-determined categories. For Michaelmas 2017 these categories are South Asian plays (encompasses plays written by a South Asian playwright or set in South Asia) and European plays written in the 20th century. We believe these categories to 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. In all cases the quality of submissions will continue to be the guiding principle in show selection.

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 Theatre and Corpus Playroom.


We have put together a shortlist of suggested plays which you may wish to consider:

  • Disconnect - Anupama Chandrasekhar
  • Free Outgoing - Anupama Chandrasekhar
  • Dara - Shahid Nadeem
  • Drawing the Line - Howard Brenton
  • The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui - Brecht
  • Holy Mothers - Werner Schwartz
  • Rhinoceros - Ionesco
  • Mistero Buffo - Dario Fo

Into the Woods
A Chorus Line
My Fair Lady
Fiddler on the Roof

One Small Step
One Small Step (Photo: Johannes Hjorth)

Selection panel

The selection panel is made up five people:


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

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.

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 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 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.

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 24 May 2017.

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

Available slots

We will only be programming weeks 1 - 5 at the ADC Theatre, with week 4 being the CUMTS Musical, week 6 the Freshers' play and weeks 7 and 8 the CUADC/Footlights Pantomime. We will be programming weeks 0 - 8 at the Corpus Playroom this season with the week 6 mainshow being assigned to the freshers' play.

CUADC/Footlights Pantomime

Applications to produce, direct or write the CUADC/Footlights Pantomime 2017 have opened!

Every year CUADC and the Footlights collaborate to stage the CUADC/Footlights Pantomime – an exciting and innovative piece of student writing. The Pantomime enjoys 13 performances in the ADC Theatre during the last two weeks of Michaelmas Term.

All applications should be emailed to Oscar Yang at president@cuadc.org before midday on Friday 12th May. You may only apply individually or as a group to share the same position.

Please refer to the following application guide for more details on the application process and content!

Swallow (Photo: Johannes Hjorth)


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 committed 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.