How to Pitch Your Show
These tips have been put together by previous show selection panels and are meant as a handy guide rather than as a set formula for applicants. We hope these tips help applicants to find a pitching style that works for them and dispel a few of the myths around show selection!
How does it work?
- On the Friday applications close the Theatre Manager assembles all the documents for the panel and put together schedule
- The schedule gets quite complex, so please do keep yourself as free as possible on the pitching weekend. If your schedule changes after submitting form, contact the Theatre Manager (email@example.com)
- We have a really tight turnaround, so you will get your interview slot with quite short notice. Keep checking your emails.
- Turn up to your slot around 5 minutes before. We interview in the Larkum studio and there will be chairs outside for you to wait. Our interviews are back-to-back and occasionally over-run, so please do wait until called.
- The panel is made up of 5 people. Two members of Management, two members of the CUADC Committee and the Fletcher Players President. We will be sat at two tables when you come in and one of us will take the lead.
- We will do a bit of an introduction and then set you off on your pitch.
- Pitches are what you make of them. Ahead of time you will be sent three questions of things you may want to talk about. These are just suggestions of things you may want to structure your pitch around rather than the exact questions you will be asked. We tend to give you complete freedom to pitch in your own way.
- Applicants are often nervous. We understand! If you completely blank/ are struggling we will go back to those three questions and prompt you.
- If you are applying for an ADC Mainshow we may choose to invite you back for a longer interview the next weekend. If we have heard everything we need to hear we may take the decision not to invite you back. We do occasionally invite applicants for other slots back if we want more information.
- Not all applicants are invited to a longer interview in the second weekend. Particularly with Playroom or Lateshows often one 5 minute pitch is enough.
- If you are invited for a longer interview, one member of the show selection panel will read the play you are applying with and will send you questions based on your pitch.
Before making our decisions, we will read all scripts sent to us.
- If you are applying with new writing, we need the script! We at least need a first draft or the majority of the play.
- Comedians – please bring some previous sketches with you or send us some video clips!
- If applying with Devised Theatre, please come with any source material/ the methods in which you will be working.
Show Selection Tips
- Apply with something you’re passionate about! This really comes across.
- Visual examples are really useful. You don’t need specific designs, but it is good to give a general idea of the production aesthetic.
- If your production has a specific soundtrack, maybe play us a short section. We like to be able to imagine the production on the stage!
- We know directors are not set designers. If you have a good idea of set, great! If not, a good idea of how you would use the space is essential (e.g. will you use levels, will anything fly in, is there a feature that will be integral to the show)
- A good question to ask yourself is: In a first meeting with a Set Designer or TD what will you say to them about your show? How will you work with them to achieve what you want?
- Don’t worry if you have to read off a script! Your pitch is not a test of your public speaking.
- If your show has a unique selling point, tell us about it. When deciding about productions we consider what the audience will get and what those involved in the show will get.
- Remember that our questions are just a jumping off point. You don’t need to rigidly stick to them and if there’s something interesting about your idea that wouldn’t otherwise be covered, please say it!
- Concepts are fickle – they can make an application or they can mar it. Be very clear in your head why you are applying a concept to a production. If the concept you have illuminates parts of the play, great, but don’t feel you need an elaborate concept to apply.
- Please check Camdram.net to see if the play has been done in the last 3-5 years. We will not programme any show that has been done recently. We need to provide variety to our audiences. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unsure.
- Please stick to your 5 minute slot! We will allow applicants to finish up their points, but we see people back to back all day and over-running can throw off the whole schedule.
- If you have an idea, but you’re not sure if it is technically possible, you are welcome to come and chat to Management. We can be found in the Administration Office of the ADC from 11am-7pm every day.
- Don’t make assumptions about what the panel want to see. If you are passionate about something, bring it to us. Whether it’s a seasoned classic or something you want to devise, we want to see it. We want to offer a broad range of opportunities to students.
- If you are a large team applying, nominate reps to come along or make sure you rehearse.
- Check rights! The performance rights must be available. If you are unsure, contact Management (email@example.com) and we will help.