Student Applications

Applications to stage a show in Autumn 2022 are now closed

Applications to stage a show in Autumn 2022 are now closed. The following information explains the applications process:

Are you a student at the University of Cambridge or Anglia Ruskin University? Are you interested in putting on a show, whether it's a play, comedy show, musical or anything else?

Applications to stage shows at the ADC Theatre and Corpus Playroom in Autumn 2022 are now open!

These are the key dates to be aware of:

  • Thursday 12 May at 11am: Applications close. You will not be able to make an application if you have not submitted it before then
  • Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May: Applicants will be invited to deliver a 5-minute pitch over Zoom to discuss their application in more detail
  • Week beginning 16 February: One of the panelists will read the script (where applicable), and questions based on the script, written application and pitch might be sent over to the applicant to respond via email towards the end of the week
  • Friday 20 and Sunday 22 May: Applicants for the ADC Mainshow slot are invited to a further, 20-minute interview. If you have applied for a different slot, you probably won't be invited to an interview, though please don't worry: we should have all the information we need to make a decision
  • Wednesday 25 May: You should find out via email whether your application is successful

More information on how the applications process can be found in the Applications Guide below:

Applications Guide

Here is a video of a virtual event discussing the applications process:

The form will ask you for the following:

  • Your name, phone number and email address
  • The name and author (if applicable) of the show
  • A synopsis of the show, and any content notes you want the panel to be aware of
  • The expected cast size for the show
  • Whether your show has any intimacy in it (which might require an Intimacy Director to be hired in)
  • Your answers to the following questions:
    • Why are you passionate about your show?
    • What ideas do you have about the process of bringing your show to the stage?
    • How do you want the audience to react to the show?
    • What ideas do you currently have about ways to allow for diversity and inclusion in your production?
  • The slot and venue you would like to apply for (see the applications guide for more details)
  • Whether you would like your show to be considered for one of the suggested categories (see further down this page for more information)
  • Whether you would like your show to be considered for funding by one of our resident companies (see applications guide for more details). Please note that you do not need to worry about funding at the point that you apply for a show
  • Your availability to give a five-minute pitch on Saturday 14 and/or Sunday 15 February
  • If you are applying with an ADC Mainshow, your availability to conduct a twenty-minute interview on Friday 20 and/or Sunday 22 February
  • A 100-word "long" blurb of the show, a 20-word "short" blurb, and a publicity image
  • Details about how the panel can access the script (whether you decide to email it to applications@adctheatre.com or provide a link to download or buy it)
  • Any adjustments that you require to the applications process
  • Details about the applicant so that the ADC can publish anonymised data on the ethnicity, sexuality and disability of successful applicants (this part is entirely optional and any data provided will be kept confidential by the Theatre Manager)

Pitching your show

Once you apply with your show, you will be invited to deliver a five-minute pitch over Zoom on the weekend of Saturday 14 and/or Sunday 15 May.

You can discuss whatever you'd like in your pitch, but if you're not sure what to talk about, we recommend that you provide answers to these questions:

  • Why are you passionate about this show?
  • What ideas do you have about the process of bringing your show to the stage? (If applying as Director)
  • How do you want the audience to react to the show?

You may be asked to attend a video interview on the weekend of Friday 20 and/or Sunday 22 February, especially if you have applied for an ADC Mainshow, to talk about your application in more detail. We will give you a small number of questions to prepare in advance.

We usually only invite the applicants for further interview when they apply for the ADC Mainshow slot, so do not worry if you are not invited to a longer interview.

What to consider before making an applications

Rights

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

Most rights for shows are held by the following three companies:

If you are looking at a show that is not held by one of these rightsholders, then you must check whether amateur performance rights are available.

If you are unsure whether the rights to your show are available, or if you have any questions, please contact applications@adctheatre.com

Please note that many rights agreements do not permit changes to be made to the show's script, period, setting, or characters (including their gender). If you wish to change these aspects within your production you will want to get in touch with the rightsholders in advance to see if this is possible. If you have any questions about this, contact jamie@adctheatre.com

Has the show been staged previously?

We are unlikely to programme a show which has been on at the ADC Theatre or Corpus Playroom already in the last 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 some of these shows are not on listed Camdram. If you are concerned about whether a show has been recently performed, please email applications@adctheatre.com

Please note that the following shows will not be available to apply for, because the ADC has upcoming non-student productions programmed:

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Tom Stoppard
  • Alice in Wonderland

Available Slots

These are the slots we will be accepting applications for. More information about these slots can be found in the applications guide.

ADC Mainshows (Tuesday to Saturday at 7.45pm): Weeks 1-5

ADC Lateshows (Wednesday to Saturday at 11pm): Weeks 1-5, 7-8

ADC One-Night Stands (Tuesday one-off show at 11pm): Weeks 1-8

Corpus Playroom Mainshows (Tuesday to Saturday at 7pm): Weeks 0-5, 7-8

Corpus Playroom Lateshows (Tuesday to Saturday at 9.30pm): Weeks 0-8

Corpus Playroom One-Night Stands (Monday one-off show at 9.30pm): Weeks 0-8

ADC Bar Show (Sunday or Monday at 8pm): Weeks 0-8

ADC Larkum Show (Wednesday to Saturday at 8pm): Weeks 0-8

Suggested Categories

Each term, the ADC show selection panel provides a suggested category that we would be keen to see applications for, in order to broader our season.

We emphasise that you can apply with any play and that the below 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.

The following list are suggested pre-existing plays, but other existing plays can be applied for if the rights are available, or original writing if the rights for the source material are available or out of copyright. If you have any questions about the rights for making an adaptation, please contact the Theatre Manager, Jamie, at jamie@adctheatre.com

We meet the Dashwood sisters, whose happy lives are dramatically changed in the wake of their father’s death. Their home is taken by their half-brother and his overbearing wife and they must learn to live on much less far away from all they’re accustomed to. Amid their misfortune, love alights: the very sensible Elinor falls for the equally cautious Edward Ferrars, while the flighty sensibilities of Marianne flutter ill-advisedly to their handsome, reckless neighbor John Willoughby. Both hard lessons and gentle guidance help them learn that happiness in love is an unpredictable struggle against the most important social values: family, honor, and wealth. Luckily, with Jane Austen love wins.

Cecily Harrington has led a staid and proper existence. After winning a large amount of money in a sweepstake she desperately yearns for a life of adventure. Enter Bruce Lovell, a handsome and charming stranger who sweeps her off her feet. In a whirlwind romance, she recklessly abandons her job, friends and fiancé to settle in the remote and blissful surroundings of a country cottage. However, her newfound “love from a stranger” is not what it seems and in an astonishingly tense final scene, Cecily discovers the ghastly truth of her new love.

This adaptation brings the timeless tale to life with just five actors and all the wit, flair and theatrical invention you’d expect from Patrick Barlow, who brought The 39 Steps to the stage so memorably.

The following list are suggested pre-existing plays, but other existing plays can be applied for if the rights are available, or original writing if applicable

London 1913. Militancy in the Suffragette Movement is at its height. Thousands of women of all classes serve time in Holloway Prison in their fight to gain the vote. Amongst them is Lady Celia Cain who feels trapped by both the policies of the day and the shackles of a frustrating marriage. Inside, she meets a young seamstress, Eve Douglas, and her life spirals into an erotic but dangerous chaos. This play is set at a crucial moment when, with emancipation almost in sight, women refuse to let the establishment stand in their way.

1960/70s: This is a powerful, true drama of six women who went to Vietnam: five nurses and a country western singer booked by an unscrupulous agent to entertain the troops. The play portrays each young woman before, during, and after her tour in the war-torn nation and ends as each leaves a personal token at the memorial wall in Washington.

In the court of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II, Antonio Salieri is the established composer. Enter the greatest musical genius of all time: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Salieri has given himself to God so that he might realize his sole ambition, to be a great composer. Mozart is a foul-mouthed, graceless oaf who has that which is beyond Salieri’s envious grasp: Genius.

A biographical drama about a man who broke too many codes: the eccentric genius Alan Turing who played a major role in winning the World War II; he broke the complex German code called Enigma, enabling allied forces to foresee German maneuvers. Since his work was classified top secret for years after the war, no one knew how much was owed to him when he was put on trial for breaking another code the taboo against homosexuality. Turing, who was also the first to conceive of computers, was convicted of the criminal act of homosexuality and sentenced to undergo hormone treatments which left him physically and mentally debilitated. He died a suicide, forgotten and alone. This play is about who he was, what happened to him and why.

The CUMTS musical is an ADC Mainshow slot that happens in the first half of term, usually around Week 4.

The following musicals are suggestions, but you are welcome to apply for other musicals provided the rights are available, or an original musical if applicable:

Set in 1900 Sweden, A Little Night Music explores the tangled web of affairs centered around actress Desirée Armfeldt and the men who love her: a lawyer by the name of Fredrik Egerman and the Count Carl-Magnus Malcom. When the traveling actress performs in Fredrik's town, the estranged lovers' passion rekindles. This strikes a flurry of jealousy and suspicion between Desirée, Fredrik, Fredrick's wife, Anne, Desirée's current lover, the Count, and the Count's wife, Charlotte. Both men -- as well as their jealous wives -- agree to join Desirée and her family for a weekend in the country at Desirée's mother's estate. With everyone in one place, infinite possibilities of new romances and second chances bring endless surprises.

  • Chess by Benny Andersson, Tim Rice and Björn Ulvaeus

Two of the world’s greatest chess masters, one American, one Russian, are in danger of becoming the pawns of their governments as their battle for the world title gets under way. Simultaneously their lives are thrown into further confusion by a Hungarian refugee, a remarkable woman who becomes the centre of their emotional triangle. This mirrors the heightened passions of the political struggles that threaten to destroy lives and loves.

  • Funny Girl by Jule Styne, Bob Merrill and Isobel Lennart

In the Ziegfeld Follies, in Hollywood films, and on the radio, Fanny Brice was one of the most celebrated entertainers of her time. With humor, talent and chutzpah, young Fanny, an awkward Jewish girl who "isn't pretty," defies the odds and becomes one of the greatest stars of her generation.

CUADC/Footlights Pantomime 2021

Every Autumn, CUADC and the Cambridge Footlights produce a student-written Pantomime which performs as the ADC Mainshow in Weeks 7 and 8 of term. This is the largest show in the ADC's theatrical calendar and a great opportunity for an entirely original music to be performed to a sold-out auditorium!

We are looking for writers and directors for the Pantomime. The application forms for Writers and Directors can be found below.

CUADC and the Footlights have produced a useful guide for people considering writing the Pantomime:

Read the Writers' Guide

Here are the key dates to be aware of:

  • Thursday 12 May at 11am: Applications close. You will not be able to make an application if you have not submitted it before then
  • Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May: Writers will be invited to deliver a 5-minute pitch over Zoom to discuss their application in more detail
  • Week beginning 16 May: One writing application will be chosen and invited to join the selection panel to interview Directors. Director applicants will be sent the details of the selected show.
  • Friday 20 and Sunday 22 May: Director applicants will be invited to a 20-minute interview to discuss their application and how they would work with the script ideas.
  • Week beginning 23 May: Directors will find out via email if their application has been successful

Panto Writers

Writers can apply using the form below. You will be asked the following questions:

  • Applicant name, preferred pronouns, telephone and email address
  • The title of the show
  • A short synopsis
  • A detailed scene-by-scene breakdown of what will happen in the show
  • The expected cast size
  • Your ideas for the theme and aesthetic of the show
  • Your ideas about location and setting
  • A breakdown of the key characters in the show
  • Your current ideas for songs in the show
  • Your availability on Saturday 14 and/or Sunday 15 May for a pitch
  • Your availability on Friday 20 and/or Sunday 22 May to join the selection panel (if successful)
  • A 100-word "long" blurb of the show, a 20-word "short" blurb, and a publicity image
  • Any required adjustments

Panto Directors

Directors can apply using the form below. You will be asked the following questions:

  • Applicant name, preferred pronouns, telephone and email address
  • Your answers to the following questions:
    • Why do you want to direct the CUADC/Footlights Pantomime?
    • What makes you the right person for the role?
  • Your availability on Friday 20 and/or Sunday 22 May for a 20-minute interview
  • Any required adjustments

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.

We are committed to open auditions and applications for cast and crew positions. If you are applying with a show that has been pre-cast, or has filled all of its major crew positions, please consider that this could be detrimental to your application.

We are only accepting electronic applications via the Google Form found at adctheatre.com/applications. Please contact applications@adctheatre.com if there are any technical issues.

There is a space on the application form to mention any adjustments that you require for the pitching process. Please note down if you would prefer to have more time in an interview, or any other adjustments.

Access information for our venues can be found here. Of note is the fact that the ADC Theatre is a fully accessible space, and that the Corpus Playroom is regrettably not wheelchair accessible.

If you have any questions, please fill out the Questions form at the bottom of this page or contact applications@adctheatre.com

Questions

If you have any questions about the applications process, please fill out the form below, and you will receive an answer to your question:

If you have any comments or feedback to provide about the show application process, then please fill out the anonymous feedback form below:

Data from previous applications rounds

For the Michaelmas 2021 and Lent 2022 applications rounds, we collected anonymised data on how many applicants for shows fall under protected characteristics like ethnicity, sexuality or disability, and how many applicants successfully had a show programmed. Please note that the declaration was entirely optional and hence the data only reflects those who chose to mention that they fall under a protected characteristic.

Autumn 2021

  % applied % of applications which were programmed
I am LGBT+ 45% 52%
I am part of an ethnic minority 13% 75%
I have a disability 13% 63%

Spring 2022

  % applied % of applications which were programmed
I am LGBT+ 42% 64%
I am part of an ethnic minority 22% 53%
I have a disability 16% 57%

Easter 2022

  % applied % of applications which were programmed
I am LGBT+ 59% 65%
I am part of an ethnic minority 19% 92%
I have a disability 21% 85%