CPT’s mission is to raise consciousness and nurture compassion through ground-breaking performances and life-changing educational programs.
CPT’s programming agenda is to produce work that is outside the mainstream offering a much broader range of work available to the Cleveland public and expanding the impact and originality of theatre across the country. CPT strives to make work that is excellent, extra-ordinary, and nationally competitive.
Our NEW New Play Development is based on our years of experience, community input, and key principles of:
- focusing on artists;
- valuing diversity of approach, aesthetics, and perspective; and
- balancing impact with investment.
We envision CPT as a nationally recognized hub for the development of new theatre that is extraordinary, edgy, and relevant. We hope to be a model for nurturing local talent in similar sized markets, the most regarded cultivator of new theatre for Cleveland audiences, a laboratory for promising research and investigation, and a launchpad for nationally-significant new plays.
Our approach is to combine:
- efficient programs that can stretch our limited resources to include many artists and
- highly customizable approaches that directly serve specific needs of projects with extraordinary potential.
An “open mic” for playwrights, a gathering of artists interested in new work, and an insider view of early creation. The Dark Room pairs playwrights with actors to perform (mostly) cold readings of short segments of scripts-in-progress in a spontaneous, low-risk, fun atmosphere. The Dark Room provides a space for informal feedback and is a great way to meet allies and potential mentors.
Every project is unique and has unique needs. Some playwrights need a producer to develop a staged reading, others just need time in the rehearsal room with their ensemble, help in gathering the right team together, or a way to share a short fragment and get feedback. Entry Point is a platform for artists to develop their work in the early stages of creation. CPT will customize its support of projects and provide a festival forum to share that work with the public. We imagine, for example, audiences/artists together seeing a staged reading in one space, then seeing a short devised work in a studio, and then hanging out in a feedback session. Feedback at Entry Point will be low-risk and focus on nurturing projects. CPT will connect projects to mentors who can help offer feedback and guidance.
Based on CPT’s success with our Big Box series, Test Flight offers opportunities to artists who are interested in co-producing works with us. Test Flight is a multi-week series where artists are given the keys to the theatre to develop their projects to a workshop level. In addition to serving local artists, Test Flight will also be open to national and international artists who wish to come to Cleveland to develop their pieces. Feedback for this series will be specific to each project, developed by the artist, and vetted/approved by CPT. CPT will suggest potential allies/mentors for each selected project.
The most extensive of CPT development programs, Catapult focuses on select projects that we believe have a high likelihood to be fully produced by CPT in the future. This program is intended to move projects from whatever point they are to being “production ready.” Each process will be totally customized to the work. Projects may receive a series of readings, significant rehearsal time, workshop productions, and/or invitational showings. Playwrights/Creators of Catapult projects will receive the Nord Family Foundation Fellowship and, while developing their work, will play an active role in the life of the theatre.
Feedback methodology will be customized, focusing on the direct relationship between CPT and the Playwright/Creators. One CPT staff member will function as producer and ally of the project and one additional ally/mentor will be selected for each project.
The application process for Catapult will engage nationally recognized artistic leaders.
In the past 10 years, CPT has fully produced more than 42 world premieres, 35 of which were by local artists. CPT will continue to fully produce new plays, and investing extra rehearsal time, dramaturgical support, and production time. CPT is well-positioned to build national allies around these productions and help make connections to other theatres.
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CPT will continue to explore other opportunities to support new work and the growth of artists. CPT’s creation class offered by Raymond Bobgan has spawned projects leading to many performances on CPT stages and has spurred many collaborations that have been very fruitful for the community. We plan to continue to offer this class. The Joan Yellen Horvitz Fellowship for Directors provides critical growth opportunities for early-career directors. The Kulas Theatre Composer program will continue to support entry-level and early-career composers/sound-designers in working on new plays.
Rigor and enjoyment are at the core of the process leading to risk, surprise, delight, and discovery as we deepen the ongoing work of our craft—to explore the human condition while championing consciousness and compassion.