Get involved

From CUADC Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

With over 30 productions each term going on across Cambridge, there is always something to get involved with no matter what your experience, background, course or year of study. From stand up comedy to full-length musicals, there is a production to match your interests and availability.

How do I want to be involved?


Even without committing to the process of creating and putting on a show in Cambridge, multiple venues require volunteer stewards on an individual performance basis. No training or experience of working in theatres or on shows is required, but stewards are still an integral part of the Cambridge Theatre community, and it's a great way to see lots of student shows for free. For more information, have a look at the stewarding page of the wiki and the ADC stewarding page.


There are many opportunities to act in Cambridge. With more than 40 shows on every term, there is something for everyone. You can find auditions listings on Camdram or on the Cambridge Theatre Facebook page. Most auditions happen either at the ADC Theatre, the Corpus Playroom, via zoom or alternative video platforms or in one of the colleges, and there is always an email address to contact if you don’t know the way. For most auditions, the Director will leave an extract outside the door for you to have a look at and then ask you to come into the audition room and read the piece through before giving you a bit of direction to see how you react. Extracts might also be posted on Camdram in advance, to give you more time to get comfortable with it. For musical auditions, you should prepare a song and bring along some sheet music if you have it or have a backing track prepared. If you are interested in acting in Cambridge or just want a friendly face to talk to, speak to the CUADC Actors’ Reps by emailing them at

Production Team

Working backstage is a really fun and rewarding experience and most involved had minimal or no previous experience before Cambridge. Cambridge Theatre also provides a supportive community for directors, producers, designers(set designer, costume designer, publicity designer...) and techies (stage manager, lighting designer, sound designer...) to collaborate, make new friends, and learn from each other.

It's a good idea to read through the Production Team page to get a rough idea about the responsibilities of each role. Don't worry if you are still have questions after reading it because it's always the best to learn by doing. To get a more intuitive perspective, it can be useful to start applying for assistant or shadowing roles to see how a backstage team collaborates to put up a show. Experience is absolutely not necessary; training and support will always be provided by other stage crew or in some cases venue management. There'll always be someone willing to help you out; if your question can't be answered by CUADC wiki, mailing lists, Facebook groups or just general people around venues are likely to be able to solve the problem.

As mentioned, if you are not confident, you can always start from more minor positions such as shadowing or assisting roles: look out for adverts for Assistant Stage Manager, assistant director, assistant producer, Production Electrician, get-in crew, set builder and painter etc as those are often more accessible for beginners. It's also highly recommended to simply attend a get-in or get-out, or workshops that are likely to be run early in term. Keep up to date with workshops by looking at the Camdram events page.

Show Applications

You can also give a pitch to put on a show you want in Cambridge! This can be your own Student Writing or an existing show that you usually pitch as a director. Most applications will be open around half way in the previous term so it's very important to plan ahead, and there may be issues getting the rights, so it can be helpful to speak to management first. See Show Application for more information. You don't need have done anything in Cambridge Theatre before to give a pitch.



Camdram is the information hub of Cambridge Theatre community. Its vacancies page shows a list of opportunities for actors, technical and designer roles, producer and director roles. In every advert, there'll be detailed information about what the show is about, what they are looking for and how to apply/audition.

Its societies and venues page list some active theatre societies and popular venues at Cambridge. Their names (and sometimes acronym) are mentioned a lot in all kinds of Cambridge theatre-related information without explicit explanation. (If you are confused by some of these acronyms, this page may be useful).

Mailing Lists

CUADC has a mailing list for every roles and sends out a vacancy email taken from Camdram about once every week during term time. Click here to sign up.

Facebook Groups

Cambridge Theatre Facebook Group is the main social media space for everyone involved or interested in Cambridge Theatre. With nearly 4000 members and 10+ new posts everyday, it's a place to share events, shows, vacancies or ask any question you might have about Cambridge Theatre.

All show roles advertised on Facebook groups should also be duplicated on Camdram but it can be useful to post roles in multiple places to increase the exposure. Last minute searches for casual roles like followspotting, stewarding or set painting are popular on Cambridge Theatre as well.

Here's even more spin-off groups:


Most production team roles receive your application via email. They usually ask why you are interested in this role, any previous experience and initial ideas. Enthusiasm is always more important than experience so thinking more about the show itself and what you can bring to it is generally the best approach. Creative or collaborative backgrounds not related to theatre are entirely valid examples of experience.

Directors and producers are strongly recommended to send out constructive rejection emails. Don't be too disappointed if you get rejected or never hear back. There are always plenty of opportunities out there so keep applying but you have any questions, feel free to email the person accepting application or any committee members of any theatre society!

First Steps

It seems hard to start something brand new, but here's a few practical ways to make your first step whether you are a fresher or not.

One of the best way to get involved is to apply to a fresher's show in Michaelmas term. The cast and production team is made entirely of freshers (including non-freshers without any theatre experience), provided with great support from various society. Nobody will expect you to know anything so a great way to get started. Many societies run these, such as CUADC, CUMTS (musicals and bar nights) and Footlights (comedy). Don't worry if you don't get on, or you've missed the application deadline, the vast majority of people involved in theatre have done so simply by applying to a normal show. Especially for crew, it can often be best to start with a Corpus show as they are usually much simpler than an ADC show.

No matter what venue you are working in, there will always be someone from the management team, a society committee or someone experienced to train you on the basics and answer any questions you might have. That's why many production team application always stress "Absolutely no experience is required!" even if you have no idea what some of the roles means at first glance. Starting with an "assistant" role is a good low commitment starting place. Such roles include (but are not limited to): set builder, set painter, Mic Runner, Assistant Stage Manager, prop assistant...

Look out for application for Panto and LTM, two of the biggest musical performances of the year happening at the end of Michaelmas and Lent Term. They are always looking for casual or low-commitment roles open for anyone. It's a great opportunity to witness how backstage of theatre works and make new friends.

Cambridge Theatre Societies

There are many different student theatre societies in and around Cambridge that host or fund student productions.

These include:

  • Cambridge American Stage Tour (CAST)
  • CULES - Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society
  • Cambridge University Shakespeare Players
  • CADS - Christ's Amateur Dramatic Society
  • Clare Actors
  • Downing Dramatic Society
  • The Dryden Society
  • Eggbox Comedy
  • FitzTheatre
  • GODS - Churchill Dramatic Players
  • Homerton Amateur Theatrical Society
  • Madhouse
  • Magdalene Musical Production Society
  • Revived Emmanuel Dramatic Society
  • The Shadwell Society
  • University of Cambridge Asia Theatre Tour

General Support

Many societies offer generous support for people who want to get into theatre. Below are some examples and contact details.

Other Resources

Check out the CUADC An Introduction To Theatre Guide!