Student Applications

Applications to open a show in Spring 2022 have opened, and will close on 28 October

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 open a term in advance. We have opened applications for our Spring 2022 season!

These are the key dates to be aware of:

  • Thursday 28 October at 11am: Applications close. You will not be able to make an application if you have not submitted it before then
  • Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 October: Applicants will be invited to deliver a 5-minute pitch over Zoom to discuss their application in more detail
  • Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 November: Some applicants might be invited to a further, 20-minute interview, especially if they have applied with an ADC Mainshow. You might not be invited to an interview, and don't worry if you are not
  • Week beginning 8 November: 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

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?
  • 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 30 and/or Sunday 31 October
  • If you are applying with an ADC Mainshow, your availability to conduct a twenty-minute interview on Saturday 6 and/or Sunday 7 November
  • 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 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 30 and/or Sunday 31 October.

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 Saturday 30 and/or Sunday 31 October, 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


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

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 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

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

  • Our Country's Good, Timberlake Wertenbaker
  • Once, Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Enda Walsh
  • Shakespeare in Love, Lee Hall
  • Kinky Boots, Cyndi Lauper, Harvey Fierstein
  • I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts
  • Consuming Passions, Alan Ayckbourn

Available Slots

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

Please note that the Lent Term Musical is typically the ADC Mainshow in weeks 8 and 9.

ADC Mainshows (Tuesday to Saturday at 7.45pm): Weeks 0-8

ADC Lateshows (Wednesday to Saturday at 11pm): Weeks 0-8

ADC One-Night Stands (Tuesday one-off show at 11pm): Weeks 0-8

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

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 ADC Theatre is partnering with the Encompass Network to support plays with LGBT+ themes to take place during February (LGBT+ History month) at both the ADC Theatre and Corpus Playroom.

We expect we will program multiple shows looking at a variety of different themes, including pre-existing shows and original student writing. You can apply with whichever show you'd like, provided rights, but the following suggestions might be of help to you:

  • Trans Scripts Part I: The Woman, Paul Lucas
  • How Black Mothers Say I Love You, Trey Anthony
  • Perfect Arrangement, Topher Payne

We are keen to encourage applications for shows that have some form of puppetry in them. You are welcome to apply for any show, whether pre-existing or original, but the following suggestions might be of interest to you:

  • The Butterfly Lion, Michael Morpurgo (adapted by Anna Ledwich)
  • The Grinning Man, Carl Grose, Tom Morris, Tim Phillips, Marc Teitler
  • Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson (adapted by Bryony Lavery)

The Lent Term Musical is one of the biggest shows in the ADC Theatre's calendar. It is a two-week musical programmed as an ADC Mainshow, that takes place across Weeks 8 and 9 of term, and is funded by CUADC.

Applicants are welcome to apply for any musical, provided the rights are available, but the following suggestions might be of interest:

  • Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks [West End version]
  • Singin’ in the Rain, Comden, Green, Freed and Brown
  • The Music Man, Meredith Wilson
  • Peter Pan, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe

Candidates are welcome to apply with any of the musicals in the CUMTS Week 3 show shortlist for the Lent Term Musical, or vice versa.

During Week 3 of term, CUMTS supports a musical in an ADC Mainshow slot.

Applicants are welcome to apply for any musical, provided the rights are available, but the following suggestions might be of interest:

  • Sunday in the Park with George, Stephen Sondheim
  • [title of show], Jeff Bowen
  • Chess, Benny Andersson, Tim Rice and Björn Ulvaeus

Candidates are welcome to apply with any of the musicals in the Lent Term Musical shortlist for a Week 3 slot, or vice versa.

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:

  • Director
  • Writer/Director
  • Writer/Performer
  • Writer

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

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.

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 Please contact 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


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 applications round, 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.

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