The mysterious world of Camdram explained
Camdram; one of those Cambridge terms we never really did understand. Here, MOLLY O’CONNOR explains all.
The shadow of Camdram looms large over the Cambridge theatre scene.
Promises of credits are exchanged for show-related favours and stalking the show history of new friends is an easy way to while away an hour. It’s not unheard of to have your DoS check out your schedule too.
However, Camdram is much more than just a means for thesps to watch their theatre credits build up while rubbing their hands together and cackling with glee. It’s an incredibly useful resource that’s unique amongst Cambridge societies in the support that it offers to all members of the Cambridge theatre community. With over 2,500 shows and 10,800 people listed, Camdram is unrivalled in it’s sheer scale, so for the uninitiated, here’s some FAQs answered so that you can get the most out of Camdram.
How was Camdram started?
Speaking to the team who maintain Camdram, I learned that website was all started by one person, Andrew Pontzen, in 2004.
Camdram has been a part of Cambridge life for longer than Facebook!
Pontzen, while serving on the CUADC committee as Communications Officer, realised the need for societies to all connect with each other, and for better sharing of information and ideas across the whole of Cambridge’s performing arts scene. Camdram is currently maintained by seven actively involved students and ex-students, but the team assured me that new contributers are always welcome to the team.
How can I use Camdram to get involved in plays?
Camdram has a constantly updated list of vacancies for actors that features dates, times, locations and requirements for auditions for all the plays going on in Cambridge. But this resource isn’t just for actors! It’s also got similar listings for directors, producers, publicity designers, stage managers and techies. There really is something for everyone, no matter you level of experience. Just look under vacancies and find what’s right for you.
What is the Camdram Infobase?
Camdram Infobase is a criminally underused resource that I would recommend as essential reading for anyone trying to get to grips theatre here in Cambridge.
Described by the Camdram team as “a wiki from before anyone had heard of wikis”, not only does it have brilliant advice for first time actors, directors, producers, techies and everything else under the sun, it also has an immensely helpful list of production resources.
Here you’ll find recommendations of charity shops known for having good props, reasonable costume rentals, scenery hire and information about poster printing facilities. It also has helpful technical information about performance venues ranging from the ADC itself to smaller venues in colleges, such as sound and lighting facilities. It also allows you to book rooms for rehearsal space. And the best bit is that can be edited by anyone with advice or information, so you know it’s up to date.
In short, if you’re trying to take on a production role for the first time with very little experience, the Infobase is a life saver!
Can I use Camdram to see what plays Stephen Fry did while he was in Cambridge?
Unfortunately no, Camdram only has information about actors who’ve been in Cambridge in the last ten years. But if you go snooping you can find plenty of famous names such as Eddie Redmayne, Lily Cole, Tom Hiddleston, Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, Tamzin Merchant and Mark Watson.
Do Camdram credits have any value in the real world?
Unable to comprehend why thesps go on about Camdram credits so much, a friend once asked me if you could exchange them for money. Sadly for us, the answer is no.
But that doesn’t mean the credits don’t have value, they create a lasting memory of your involvement in Cambridge theatre that you’ll be able to look back on for years to come.
So go on, check out the website and get yourself some credits!