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.
- 1 How do I want to be involved?
- 2 Vacancies
- 3 Getting Around
- 4 First Steps
- 5 Cambridge Theatre Societies
- 6 General Support
- 7 Other Resources
How do I want to be involved?
Check out Camdram for all active adverts of auditions.
Working backstage is a really fun and rewarding experience and most of us here has 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 what every role does. Don't worry if you are still quite confused (or perhaps even more confused) after reading it because it's always the best to learn by doing. To get a more intuitive perspective, start applying to see what everyone does and how does a backstage team collaborate to put up a show. Experience is absolutely not necessary because training and support will always be provided by venue management of funding society. Plus there'll always be someone willing to help you out!
If you are still feeling not confident, you can always start from some minor roles or any assisting roles: look out for advert for Assistant Stage Manager, Technical Operator, assistant director, assistant producer, Production Electrician, get-in crew, set builder and painter, etc as those are roles easier for beginners. It's also highly recommended to simply attend a get-in, an overnight or a shadowing scheme. You can also choose to start with a show at Corpus Playroom or Pembroke New Cellars because the technical aspects of those venues are very straightforward and doesn't take long to learn.
You can also give a pitch to put on a show you want in Cambridge! Most applications will be open around half way in the previous term so it's very important to plan ahead. 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. It's vacancy 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.
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.
There are also an astonishing number of role-specific groups (directors, producers, actors, writers, techies, designers, lighting, movement) and you can see the list here.
Here's even more spin-off groups:
Most production team roles receive application through email and they usually ask why you are interested in this role, any previous experience and initial ideas. Enthusiasm is always more important than experience so you can think more about the show itself and what you can bring to it. You can also mention some other creative or collaborative experience not related to theatre to prove you are a fit for the role. It's also a good approach to mention that you are willing to be involved as an assistant to gain some 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!
If you have any questions, feel free to email the person accepting application or any committee members of any theatre society!
This part introduces popular venues about where they are and how to use them.
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.
Your First Audition
No Experience Required
No matter what venue you are working in, there will always be someone from management team, society committee or someone experienced to train you the basics and ask 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.
Start with an "assistant" role is always a good idea. Other roles suitable for beginner include (but 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.
Many societies organise a freshers' show in Michaelmas Term. The cast and production team is made entirely of freshers (sometimes including non-freshers without any previous involvement), provided with great support from the society. Nobody will expect you to know anything so a great way to get started.
Cambridge Theatre Societies
There are many different student theatre societies in and around Cambridge that host or fund student productions.
- Cambridge American Stage Tour
- Cambridge Footlights
- Cambridge Impronauts
- Cambridge University Gilbert and Sullivan Society
- Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society
- Cambridge University Opera Society
- Cambridge University Shakespeare Players
- Christ's Amateur Dramatic Society
- Clare Actors
- Downing Dramatic Society
- The Dryden Society
- Eggbox Comedy
- The Fletcher Players
- Girton Amateur Dramatic Society
- Homerton Amateur Theatrical Society
- Lady Margaret Players
- The Marlowe Society
- Magdalene Musical Production Society
- The Mighty Players
- Pembroke Players
- Revived Emmanual Dramatic Society
- The Shadwell Society
- University of Cambridge Asia Theatre Tour
Many societies offer generous support for people who want to get into theater. Below are some examples and contact details.
Check out the CUADC An Introduction To Theatre Guide!