Student Applications

Find out more about how to apply with a show


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?

The ADC Theatre accept applications to stage shows a term in advance, and have now opened applications for our Spring 2021 season.

Whether you want to direct, write or produce a show, the ADC Theatre is the perfect place to stage it.

If you have any questions related to applying to stage a show, fill out the Questions form at the bottom of this page, or email the ADC Theatre Manager, Jamie, at

These are the key dates to be aware of:

  • Thursday 15 October at 11am: Applications open on this website
  • Thursday 15 October at 7pm: The selection panel are hosting an event on Zoom to give more information about the applications process, and answer your questions. The Zoom link is here.
  • Thursday 29 October at 11am: Applications close. You will not be able to make an application if you have not submitted it before then
  • Saturday 31 October and Sunday 1 November: Applicants will be invited to deliver a 5-minute pitch over Zoom to discuss their application in more detail
  • Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 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
  • Wednesday 11 November: You should find out via email on this day whether your application is successful

For more details about the applications process, please read the applications guide:

Read Applications Guide

To make an application, you simply need to fill out the form that is on this webpage.

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
  • 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?
  • Your answers to the following questions: What is the maximum cast size of your show? How will you maintain social distancing within your show? How will you use the medium of livestreaming in your show (if applying with an ADC Mainshow)?
  • The slot 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 31st October and/or Sunday 1st November
  • If you are applying with an ADC Mainshow, your availability to conduct a twenty-minute interview on Saturday 7th and/or Sunday 8th 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

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 31st October and/or Sunday 1st November.

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 7th and/or Sunday 8th November, 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.

There are three rightsholders which are willing to licence shows at the ADC Theatre while it is a socially-distanced show with livestreaming. We recommend that you only apply for a show held by one of these rightsholders:

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, and that the ADC is able to livestream the show, as a password-protected, unique stream.

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

Social Distancing

At present, we are assuming that current social distancing restrictions will persist into Spring 2021. Our hope is that these restrictions will loosen, but we will only be programming shows that can guarantee that they can follow the government's guidelines for performing arts.

A detailed explanation of the ADC's social distancing measures can be found in its Pandemic Production Guidelines. In summary, here are the main restrictions to consider:

For shows at the ADC Theatre:

  • The show cannot have a cast size larger than 12 people
  • Throughout the show, performers cannot get closer to 2m to each other without wearing a face mask or having a barrier between them. Performers can never get closer to 1m from one another

Please note that since there is a limited number of dressing rooms, we will be ensuring that we don't program both a Mainshow and Lateshow that have more than 6 people, i.e. if an ADC Lateshow has 8 people in it, the Mainshow in the same week cannot have more than 6 people in it. Please contact if you have any questions related to this. 


All ADC Mainshows will have both an in-person audience and be livestreamed for people to watch from home. You might want to consider how you will integrate livestreaming into your show.

All ADC Lateshows will be livestreamed with no in-person audience. You might want to consider how you will adapt your show to fit this medium.

More information about livestreaming can be found in the Production Streaming Guide.

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): Week 1-8

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

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

Shortlists and Suggested Categories

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

We emphasise that you can apply with any plays 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 are available and social distancing can be maintained, but the following suggestions might be of help to you:

  • 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, Evan Linder
  • How Black Mothers Say I Love You, Trey Anthony
  • Perfect Arrangement, Topher Payne
  • The Rolling Stone, Chris Urch

In order to ensure that more people get involved with Cambridge's theatre scene, even during these unusual times, Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club will be supporting a "refreshers' show", which should have a cast and crew entirely made up of people new to theatre. This show would receive funding and support from the CUADC committee.

Applicants are welcome to apply with whichever show they would like, provided the rights are available and social distancing can be maintained. If you would like inspiration, CUADC recommends looking at their spreadsheet of show suggestions, which might be of help.

The show would be an ADC Mainshow, and would work best as a show that is late in term (e.g. Week 6 or 7).

The Lent Term Musical is a two-week musical that typically takes place in Weeks 8 and 9 of term (Wed 17 – Sat 27 March 2021). We are looking for applications for directors interesting in being involved with one of the most ambitious theatrical projects of the year.

Please consider that you will want to apply for a show in which the rights are available, and that does not have a cast size of more than 12. Performers on-stage will need to be socially-distanced from each other, which will affect plans for musicians and choreography. Contact if you have any questions related to this.

Here are some suggested shows you might wish to apply for. You are welcome to apply with a different show, provided that the rights are available and social distancing can be maintained:

  • Pippin, Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson
  • Tuck Everlasting, Claudia Shear, Chris Miller, Nathan Tysen, Tim Federle
  • Oklahoma, Rodgers and Hammerstein

Please note that the ADC often programs a musical earlier in term as well, so if your show is not successful as a Lent Term Musical application, it might still be considered as a one-week slot earlier in term.

Footlights Presents is an ADC Lateshow that is supported by the Cambridge FootlightsApplications 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 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.

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: