If you’re interested in drama, Oxford has a thriving theatre scene on both a college and university level. Much happens under the umbrella organisation OUDS, through which anyone can get together to put on and fund a production. There is also the annual Cuppers competition (intra-college competition) for keen actors and actresses to take part in, and we are also here to support any student who wishes to put on a play at College! In addition, Pembroke's annual musical was recently revived with a 2023 production of "Guys & Dolls".
Your first point of contact with Oxford Drama as a Fresher is ‘Drama Cuppers’, which is an intercollegiate drama competition where each college puts on a short production with a limited cast and crew. You perform in a proper black-box theatre (the Burton-Taylor Studio) and tickets are cheap so encourage your friends to come along - or feel free to watch other colleges' too. At each performance a judge will be watching and at the end of the week there's an awards ceremony with quite a few prizes up for grabs. Feel free to either perform something in the public domain or write your own script. It's a brilliant way to get into the drama scene and get to know people and we definitely recommend it. Sign-ups close early Michaelmas so do chat to the music and drama reps if you're interested, especially if you’re keen to act as a college contact/organiser.
Every year, at the end of Hilary, we aim to put on a college musical, a full scale performance in the Pichette auditorium. If you're interested in costume making, backstage crew, puppetry (yes!); dancing, acting, singing, playing music, or even the more administrative side, such as accounting and marketing - then please get in touch.
In Trinity, students have the opportunity to put on a play - a simple (usually classic) performance with a small cast and crew would be ideal. Please email the reps if you’re interested in directing and/or organising this.
OUDS is the Oxford university Drama Society and your go-to place for anything drama-ry. Whether you're in love with the spotlight or prefer to be behind the scenes there are heaps of opportunities to get involved in the huge (and we mean huge) range of performances that are on offer ever term. From hard-hitting realism, stand up comedy, the improvised Imps, or typical theatre productions there's something for everyone. If you've got an idea for a piece too - no fear, there's opportunity for that too - individuals, or groups of friends, bid for slots at one of the various student theatres dotted around Oxford (The Pilch, The BT, The O’Reilly, and even The Oxford Playhouse).
Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards
Pembroke College Performing Arts Fund
Available to students who have incurred costs whilst performing at university level or for whom taking part would cause financial difficulty
Compensation between £100-£500 for subscriptions, travel, equipment and accommodation