The most extensive of CPT’s development programs, Catapult is intended to move projects that are outside the mainstream and align with CPT’s aesthetic from early to mid-development phase to being “production-ready.” Each process is customized and unique to the artist’s to the work. Projects may receive a series of readings, significant rehearsal time, and workshop productions.


Playwright/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.

Catapult (1)

The Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellowship is a 12-18 month program for playwrights and creators from Northeast Ohio that offers opportunities to develop work through readings, staged readings, and workshop productions. Now in its sixth year, the Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellows program is funded by a multi-year grant from the Nord Family Foundation.

Catapult is about striving to advance a project to the point of being production-ready and is intended to engage with projects that are at different stages of creation—from early concept to completed script. As part of the selection process, we will provide support and work with the artist to create a plan for development of the project. Catapult projects are likely to need specialized development work, but other CPT new work development series will be available to Catapult artists as tools. For example, a show might have a partial reading or showing in Entry Point and then have a series of follow-up readings later in the season; or a project may be in rehearsal for weeks at CPT, with some private showings, and then culminate as part of the Test Flight series. It is also possible that some projects will develop totally independent of our other series.


About Siaara Freeman


Siaara Freeman is from Cleveland Ohio, where she is the current Lake Erie Siren and a teaching artist for Center for Arts-Inspired Learning and The Westside Community Center’s Sisterhood Project in conjunction with the Anisfield-Wolf Foundation. She recently filmed a commercial for the Cleveland Museum of Art and participated with #teamyellowbrickroad the Black Joy Experience. She is a 2020/2021 Premiere Fellow recipient with Cleveland Public Theater. She is a 2020 Watering Hole Manuscript Fellow, a 2018 Winter Tangerine Fellow, and a 2018 Poetry Foundation Incubator Fellow. Her work appears in, The OffingBOAAT, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Josephine Quarterly, and elsewhere. She has toured both nationally and internationally. She is the co-founder of Outsiders Queer Midwest Writers Retreat. Chances are she’s by a lake, thinking about Toni Morrison, and talking to ghosts. In her spare time, she is growing her afro so tall God can use it for a microphone and speak through her. Her first full length manuscript, Urbanshee, is available for pre-order with Button Poetry.


Jeanne Madison is the 2021/2022 Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellow at Cleveland Public Theater. Her plays have been licensed to Karamu House, featured in The Dark Room, a play reading series at Cleveland Public Theater, and the Ensemble Theatre of Cleveland, where she is a member of the Stagewrights Unit.

Jeanne is a recipient of the Cleveland Scene Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Comedy for her work in Sassy Mamas by Celeste Bedford Walker at Karamu House. Favorite acting roles include pithy parts in the PBS broadcast of Greenwood, An American Dream Destroyed by Celeste Bedford Walker, produced and filmed at Karamu House; The Velocity of Autumn by Eric Coble at Karamu House; Picnic at Oberlin Theater Festival; The Oldest Profession at convergence-continuum, Talking With at Weathervane Playhouse, Left In Ink at Cleveland Public Theater, and the award-winning Cleveland Shakespeare Festival. She has also been in numerous films and TV commercials, including White Noise produced by Netflix, release date 2022.


Jeanne holds a BA with a Theater Arts minor an EMBA from Case Western Reserve University and recently completed Scene Study and Playwrighting Master Classes at Cleveland Play House.

After many years in corporate America, higher education fundraising and development, and leading her own fund development firm—during which she lived in Chicago, New York City, and Washington DC—she returned to Cleveland, Ohio, where she finds inspiration for her writing and acting in the richly diverse racial, cultural, and ethnic community of Greater Cleveland.

Past Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellows:

Juliette Regnier – 2013/2014 season – S Plays
Andrew Kramer – 2014/2015 season – Cut it Out
Arwen Mitchell – 2014/2015 season – (Style Is) The Answer to Everything—A (Subversive) Women’s Programme (Across the Century)
Gail Nyoka – 2015/2016 season – The Waters
Stuart Hoffman – 2015/2016 season – Canon Fodder
Greg Vovos – 2015/2016 season – Well Beings
Eric Coble – 2016/2017 season – The Family Claxon
Melissa Crum – 2016/2017 season – Everything is okay (and other helpful lies)
Caitlin Lewins – 2016/2017 season – Everything is okay (and other helpful lies)
Cassandra West – 2016/2017 season – Mira La Mer
Lisa Langford – 2018/2019 season – How Blood Go
Nina Domingue – 2019/2020 season – The Absolutely Amazing and True Adventures of Ms. Joan Southgate
John Dayo Aliya- 2020/2021 season – Our Lady of Common Sorrow



CPT is proud to be a leader in providing platforms for new work and emerging artists.

CPT has led the community in producing new plays by local and nationally recognized playwrights. In the past 10 years, CPT produced 107 staged readings and showcases, 98 workshop productions, and 55 full productions of world premieres—in addition to hundreds of community-created plays read, workshopped, and performed through our education and community programs.



a platform for artists to share their work in the early stages of creation, presented in a festival-like environment that encourages artist-audience exchange

TEST FLIGHT | Mar 7 -30

local and national artists are offered the keys to the theatre and the opportunity to self-produce workshop productions of new works, presented in a multi-week series


a customizable fellowship program that was developed to move projects from early to mid-development phase to being “production-ready”—made possible through support from the Nord Family Foundation