Michaelmas Term Applications

Student applications for our Autumn 2018 Season will open on Friday 27 April!
Peter Grimes (Photo: Daniel Karaj)
Peter Grimes (Photo: Daniel Karaj)

Applications have re-opened for our Corpus Playroom Mainshow Week 1! (Tue 9 - Sat 13 October)

We are re-opening applications for the Corpus Playroom Week 1 Mainshow! This is your opportunity to get involved with our exciting Autumn Season.

As we are approaching the end of term we will be requesting written pitches rather than conducting interviews. Once applicants have submitted their application forms they will be sent a short list of questions to answer about their show. 

We particularly encourage applications from productions already due to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe, this is due to the reduced time frame. However, we are happy to consider applications from anyone interested! If applying with a new show, please include in your ideas section how you will adapt to the time frame.

The deadline for applications is Thursday 21 June at 1pm.

Please click here for the application form.

Student applications for our Autumn 2018 Season will open on the 27th April!

Key dates

  • Thursday 3 May 2pm-5pm - Applications Drop-in day!
  • Thursday 10 May 11am - Applications Close
  • Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 May - pitching weekend, every applicant will be allocated a 5 minute slot 
  • Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 May - longer interviews for some applications
  • Wednesday 23 May - you will know the outcome of your application

Application Form

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

ADC Theatre Refurbishment

The ADC Theatre is constantly evolving and updating to meet audience needs and industry standards. For several years the Theatre has been making plans to introduce a ventilation system in the auditorium. These plans are coming to fruition over the summer and the project has now expanded to include two new lighting bridges, repairs to the ceiling and redecoration of the auditorium.

The autumn season will open with CAST returning from their tour with 'The Tempest' and the following season will be the first in our newly renovated theatre! This will be an incredibly exciting season to get involved with and we can't wait to get started.

How to Pitch Your Show

As the ADC is currently closed for renovations, we are unable to hold our usual applications drinks. Instead, we will be hosting an Applications drop-in day! On Thursday 3rd May from 2pm-5pm we will be holding a drop-in day in the ADC Management Office (temporarily relocated to the Larkum Studio). Simply come to the ADC Box Office at a time that suits you and you will be directed up to the office (complete with comfy sofas, and perhaps some biscuits...) You will be able to discuss some of your ideas, ask questions about the process, and flick through some of the plays we have here.

To borrow a play from the ADC Library, click here.

A guide on how to pitch your show can be found by clicking here.

We are unlikely to programme a show which has been on at the ADC Theatre or Corpus Playroom already in the last 3-5 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.

Any questions?

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


The ADC aims to programme seasons of student drama that are diverse, entertaining and exciting. We welcome applications from any student or student group, regardless of experience. All that is required to apply is a creative idea and the passion to see it through.

The show selection panel is made up of two members of the ADC Management team and three student representatives from CUADC and The Fletcher Players. We aim to encourage applications from a wide range of students; from ADC and college drama regulars, through to students entirely fresh to Cambridge Theatre.

The ADC seeks to appeal to the widest range of audiences and our programme is central to this. As such, we encourage applications from the general canon of established playwrights, from forgotten or neglected classics through to works from modern playwrights and works of new writing.

Each term the show selection panel, along with the ADC Executive Committee, sets two prescribed categories. These are set to ensure we have as diverse a programme as possible. Often these categories will relate to specific periods of writing that have been neglected in recent seasons or works from regions that are rarely performed in Cambridge or indeed in the wider theatre industry!

The ADC values the continued passion and support of its students and audiences. We are constantly amazed by the quality of theatre our students present and want to continue offering a wide range of theatrical opportunities. From the ancient Greeks to groundbreaking modern dramas, seasoned classics to new writing, we want to see it all! The joy of Cambridge Theatre is its breadth and this is what the panel need to see each show selection.

Prescribed Categories 

Alongside the usual open applications, the selection panel will be looking to programme two plays per term drawn from applications in pre-determined categories. These categories serve to broaden our season. For Autumn 2018 these categories are Banned Plays (any play that has been banned at some point in its history) and plays written by BME Playwrights. 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.

  • And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
  • The Children's Hour - Lillian Hellman
  • Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett
  • Master Harold and the Boys - Athol Fugard
  • Yerma - Federico Garcia Lorca
  • A Raisin in the Sun (Lorraine Hansberry)
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (August Wilson)
  • Ruined (Lynn Nottage)
  • nut (debbie tucker green)
  • My Fair Lady
  • Side Show
  • Soho Cinders
  • Bring It On
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie
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 23rd May 2018.

Venues and slot

This term we are programming shows at the ADC Theatre, ADC Bar, ADC Larkum Studio and 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

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 be programming:

ADC Mainshows: Weeks 1-5 (Week 6 will be the Freshers' Play and Weeks 7-8 the Footlights Panto 2018. Please note: We are accepting applications for the CUMTS Musical in Week 4 of term)

ADC Lateshows: Weeks 0-5 & 7-8 (Week 6 will be the Freshers' Play)

Corpus Playroom Mainshows: Weeks 0-5 & 7-8 (Week 6 will be the Freshers' Play)

Corpus Playroom Lateshows: Weeks 0-8

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.