The deadline for applications to this years Cuppers competition has been extended to Friday 19th October. To apply, fill in the form below.

WHat is Cuppers?

Drama Cuppers is an annual intercollegiate drama competition held during the 5th week of Michaelmas Term for freshers interested in drama, where teams put on 30 minute productions (either published or student-written) at the Burton Taylor Studio (an intimate black-box style performance space that seats 50) competing for the awards of:

  • Best marketing

  • Best new writing

  • Best supporting actor

  • Best actor

  • Best director

  • Spirit of cuppers award

  • Best of cuppers

  • Best graduate contribution

  • Best lighting

  • Best sound

On the Saturday of 5th week, the ‘Best of Cuppers’ nominees will perform a second time, and the winner will be selected by a judging panel of OUDS and TAFF committee members. Overall, Cuppers is a great way to get stuck in straight away with drama at Oxford. You’ll meet like-minded people across the university, familiarise yourself with a fantastic performance space, and maybe even take home a prize!


  1. Gather a group of students from your college (minimum of 2 actors maximum of 8, you can also include a director, and lighting, sound, and set designers)

  2. Find or write a script of no more than 30 minutes (this can be new writing or an excerpt from a play / poem / collection of scenes... It’s completely up to you!)

  3. Complete the application form which you can find below, and pay the entry fee. 

  4. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse until 5th week! 

  5. Turn up for your slot, support other teams, and get excited for prize-giving!

If you have any questions contact your college Drama Rep or the Freshers Reps on the OUDS committee). To go to the Cuppers Facebook page, click here.

WHat other opportunities are there for freshers?

There is a plethora of opportunities for freshers interested in drama. For those interested in acting, an incredible variety of shows audition throughout the year which range greatly both in genre and performance space. The best way to keep up to date with audition opportunities is to sign up to the OUDS Newsletter which is sent out weekly during termtime.

University is also a great time to try your hand at other roles within drama as well: if you think producing or directing might interest you, it’s a great idea to look for opportunities to ‘assistant direct’ or ‘assistant produce’ shows during your first few terms to pick up some more skills and learn a little more about how drama happens at Oxford. The OUDS newsletter is again a great place to search for opportunities. If you’re on Facebook, joining the OUDS Producers’ Network and OUDS Directors’ Support Group is a good way to get involved! If you're looking to put on your first show as either a director or producer, have a look at our advice for first time teams here.

Marketing is absolutely crucial for shows and joining marketing teams is a great way to see another side of the production process, as well as helping bring theatre to Oxford and raise awareness of the arts. If you’re feeling creative, this is definitely something you should try your hand at.

Freshers, just like all members of the University, are welcome and encouraged to put together teams and bid for performance venues each term. Deadlines for bid submissions depend on the venue, but usually fall during the preceding term, so Michaelmas term is a great time to start building a team and thinking about potential plays to put on! More information on the bidding process and performance venues can be found here

If none of the above really interests you, don’t worry! There’s still far more to drama at Oxford, especially on the technical side. TAFF (Oxford University Theatre Technicians and Designers) have their own mailing list with opportunities and far more information for those interested in working behind the scenes.

Both OUDS and TAFF run a number of incredible workshops over the year: it’s well worth looking out for announcements of these on mailing lists and on our Facebook pages.

Finally, this list is definitely not exhaustive! Get in touch with the Freshers' Reps with any questions you might have by going to the Committee page. The Freshers’ Reps will be more than happy to try and help you, or to put you in touch with someone who can.