Lent Term Applications

Student applications for our Spring 2019 Season will open on Friday 12th October
Peter Grimes (Photo: Daniel Karaj)
Peter Grimes (Photo: Daniel Karaj)

Student applications for our Spring 2019 Season will open on the 12th October!

Key dates

  • Wednesday 17 October 8pm- Applications Drinks | How to Pitch Your Show
  • Thursday 25 October 1pm - Applications Close
  • Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 October - pitching weekend, every applicant will be allocated a 5 minute slot 
  • Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 November - longer interviews for some applications
  • Wednesday 7 November - you will know the outcome of your application

Application Form

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

How to Pitch Your Show

Continuing on from last year's 'How to Pitch Your Show' event, we're running another drop-in session in the ADC Bar on Wednesday 17th October from 8pm! This is your opportunity to chat to the show selection team, talk about your ideas and ask any questions. At the start of the evening the show selection panel will do a brief talk on what to expect and will give advice on how to structure your 5 minute pitch. After this we will be around in the bar for one on one chats where you can ask show specific questions! 

If you can't make the event, feel free to send any questions to the Theatre Manager, Vicky (applications@adctheatre.com). You can also find a guide on how to pitch your show below.

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. The ADC has an active programme outside of term time and occasionally these shows are not on Camdram. If you are concerned about whether a show has been recently performed, please email applications@adctheatre.com.

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 theatre in Cambridge.

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 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 theatre in Cambridge 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 a few plays per term drawn from applications in pre-determined categories. These categories serve to broaden our season. For Spring 2019 we have four categories to chose from. These are: Farce, Spanish Plays (in translation or in the original language), Family Friendly Plays, Plays by Female BAME Playwrights. We believe these categories to be broad enough to encourage a wide range of applications.  

We emphasise that you can apply with any plays and that the above categories only serve to act as a guide. If we do not receive any applications for a category, or if all applications in a category are not of sufficient quality the panel will revert to selecting from the open applications field to fill the slots. In all cases the quality of submissions will continue to be the guiding principle in show selection.

Please find below some ideas for plays in these categories.

  • Hay Fever - Noel Coward
  • Comedy of Errors - William Shakespeare
  • Hysteria - Terry Johnson
  • A Raisin in the Sun - Lorraine Hansberry
  • Sweat - Lynn Nottage 
  • Topdog/Underdog - Suzan-Lori Parks
  • The Twits - Roald Dahl
  • Grimm Tales - Philip Pullman
  • Lionboy - Zizou Corder ad. Marcelo Dos Santos
  • Wendy and Peter Pan - Ella Hickson
  • Yerma - Federico Garcia Lorca
  • The Trickster of Seville - Tirso de Molina
  • Bicycles are for Summer - Fernando Fernan-Gomez
  • Fuenteovejuna - Lope de Vega
One Small Step
One Small Step (Photo: Johannes Hjorth)

Selection panel

The selection panel is made up of 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.

Lent Term Musical

At the end of each Lent Term we have a two week long musical that falls in week 8 and week 9. This is our largest scale production of the term and so the show selection panel appoints the Producer and Director.

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. 

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 2019 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 email applications@adctheatre.com in advance of submitting your application.

Week 3 Musical 

We also programme a week long musical in Week 3 of Lent term. You can select both Week 3 Musical and Lent Term Musical on your application if you feel the show you are applying with can be adapted to either slot.

Please find below the shortlists for both the Lent Term Musical and the Week 3 Musical. These lists are not exhaustive, but serve as inspiration.

  • Legally Blonde
  • Cabaret
  • Guys and Dolls
  • Parade
  • Jekyll and Hyde
  • Sunday in the Park with George
  • Side Show
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie

Footlights Presents

Applications for Footlights Presents should ideally consist of a single person (though we will on this occasion accept applications from teams of up to three people) pitching a concept for a sketch show, with their role in the show being:
While comic experience will be taken into account, it is the concept which is of most importance. This concept should be both innovative and with strong roots in sketch comedy as a medium (although applicants are free to draw on other inspirations as well).

There are no specific requirements on who may pitch or take part in Footlights Presents, although it should be noted that the show is targeted as an opportunity for those with some, but not a huge amount of experience with Cambridge comedy. If you have any questions about applications, email secretary@cambridgefootlights.org.

Format for Show
The show will now feature a cast of six writer/performers, as well as at least a Director and Assistant Director (who may also be involved as writers). Applicants may adapt or alter this format with sufficient reasoning for doing so. The casting process must involve at least two people. The committee would also like to stipulate that they aim for Footlights Presents to be a fair and diverse representation of the Cambridge comedy scene and encourage those applying to keep this in mind.

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 7th November.

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, max 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. 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, max running time 1hr 30

This slot is aimed more at our student audience, who come to late night theatre. We often programme comedy or musical shows in this slot.

ADC Theatre One-Night Stand: Tue, 11pm, max running time 1hr 30

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

Playroom Mainshow: Tue - Sat, 7pm, max 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, max 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, max 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 1-9 (Weeks 8 and 9 will be the Lent Term Musical. Please note: Week 3 of term will be the CUMTS Week 3 Musical)

ADC Lateshows (inc. one night stands): Weeks 0-8 

Corpus Playroom Mainshows: Weeks 0-8 

Corpus Playroom Lateshows (inc. one night stands): 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.