Applications Guide

Find out a bit more about the applications process

Aims 

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 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.

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!

Selection Panel

The selection panel is made up of seven people:

  • the President of the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club and one other member of the student Committee;
  • the President of the Fletcher Players;
  • the President of Bread Theatre and Film Company and one other member of the student Committee;
  • the Manager of the ADC Theatre and one other member of the Management Team 

For applications for musicals, the panel is joined by up to two members of Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society, and for applications to the CUADC/Footlights Pantomime or the Footlights Presents slot, the panel is joined by up to two members of the Cambridge Footlights.

What to consider before making an application

Rights

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 applications@adctheatre.com

Has the show been staged previously?

We are unlikely to programme a show which has been on at the ADC Theatre 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

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 applications@adctheatre.com if you have any questions related to this. 

Livestreaming

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.

Process

Applying to put on a show is a three-stage process.

Stage One – Online Application

The first stage of the process is for you to fill out the online application form. Your written application will form the basis of our decision so please make your answers as detailed as possible, and contact applications@adctheatre.com if you have any questions.

At the point of applying, you will be told to email a script for your 

Stage Two – Video Pitch

All applicants will be invited to deliver a 5-minute pitch on Zoom to explain their application in further detail. 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?

Stage Two – Remote Interview (optional)

You may be asked to attend a video interview, 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.

Venues and Slots

We programme shows at the ADC Theatre 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.

Venue

The ADC Theatre is a large proscenium arch theatre, with a 6.5m wide x 10m deep stage. With social distancing, it can seat a maximum of 75 people.

Slot

ADC Theatre Mainshow: Tue - Sat, 7.45pm, max running time 2hr 30 mins

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. They will be performed to a socially-distanced while also being livestreamed for people to watch from home.

ADC Theatre Lateshow: Wed - Sat, 11pm, max running time 1hr 15 mins

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. It will not have an in-person audience and be livestreamed for people to watch at home.

ADC Theatre One-Night Stand: Tue, 11pm, max running time 1hr 15 mins

This slot is similar to the ADC Lateshow slot, but lasts for only one night. An ADC One-Night Stand typically receives a very small amount of tech time so you probably want to apply with a show that isn’t too complex. It will not have an in-person audience and be livestreamed for people to watch at home.

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.

Funding

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 companies below. In that case there are numerous other Cambridge student drama societies who will fund your show. Don’t worry about funding at the time that you make a show application, that process can come later!

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.

Bread Theatre and Film Company

Founded in 2019, Bread is a Cambridge-based theatre and film company dedicated to support minority voices, narratives and artists.

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.

If you have any questions, please contact applications@adctheatre.com