How to propose a CADS show

How to propose a CADS show

Interested in proposing to do a show with CADS? Fabulous!

First thing to note is that only large, main shows need to go through the full proposal process.  If you’ve got an idea for a rehearsed reading, or a smaller show (one without ‘a significant rehearsal period, budget or cast’, according to our constitution!), then just bring your suggestions to one of the monthly CADS committee meetings.

If you’d like to put on a bigger show you’re also very welcome to approach the committee, either at meetings or via the contacts page, for ideas or advice on how to put together your proposal. At a certain stage, however, any big proposal will have to go to a meeting to be voted on by the membership, so a brief list of what this requires is below.

So, what do you need to do to propose a large show?

1. Firstly, you need to be a member of CADS, i.e. signed up on the membership form and having paid your fees! Only members can propose shows, and only members can vote on what shows they want to see the society put on.

2. Secondly, think about what show you want to do. Some of the things to be considered include:

  • Are we allowed to do it – i.e. are the rights available/affordable?
  • Have CADS got the resources (money, people, time, audience draw) to pull it off?
  • How many people will it involve?
  • Will the cast enjoy the script?

For original writing, we ask that a full script is available and sent with the proposal. Unfortunately we are unable to commit to productions on the basis of script extracts for new shows.

3. Possibly most importantly, think about WHO is going to do this with you. You must have a nominated producer specified in your show proposal. Ideally a proposal should have a director behind it as well, and if you can get any more key figures on board right at the start that’s great. This doesn’t mean to say that you can’t submit a proposal by yourself and assemble a full team later, but a producer is a pretty essential part of the proposing process!

So, you’ve done all that bit – well done! – but how do you actually submit a proposal? There is just one document that you need to complete and send to the committee before the meeting. This is just one side of A4 and asks for some basic information about what you want to do and how you plan to do it, including a section at the bottom for proposed budget. It’s called the CADS Proposal Form, and can be found, along with an example of a completed form, at this address:

At this stage the ‘proposed budget’ section is just to give people an idea of what size of show you’re thinking about.  Don’t worry about getting accurate figures, you aren’t expected to have done all the work already. Just bear in mind that a two-night showing of a modern dress monologue in a pub is going to give you a rather different budget to a full on musical for a week at the Redgrave – either is possible, but give us an idea in your budget section of which you expect your show to be!

Once you’ve filled in the form it needs to be sent to the Secretary 7 days before the proposals meeting so we can send it out for members to have a look at in advance.

At the meeting we will introduce everybody, give each set of proposers a 10 minute slot to propose their show and answer any queries, then send them out of the room to have a general discussion.  All members present at the meeting will then vote, administered by the CADS Chair, and proposers will be called back in hear the decisions. General socialising and excited discussion about the new shows then follows!

So in summary:

  • Signed up as a member?
  • Filled in the proposal form?
  • Got a producer signed up?
  • Got a copy of full script (for original writing)?
  • Sent it all to 7 days before the proposals meeting?

Then you’re good to go!