New Play Development

CPT’s mission is to raise consciousness and nurture compassion through groundbreaking performances and life-changing education 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, extraordinary, and nationally competitive.

Our New Play Development programs are 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 and incubating 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.

The Dark Room

This free monthly series is 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 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.

Click Here for information about the upcoming evening of The Dark Room.

Entry Point 

Every project is unique and has unique needs. Some playwrights need a director to work with, others just need time in the rehearsal room with their ensemble, 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. Entry Point activities can include staged readings, short excerpts from works-in-progress, guest panel discussions, and facilitated feedback between artists and audience after every showing.

Test Flight

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/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.


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 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.

Full Productions

In the past 10 years, CPT has produced 55 full productions of world premieres. CPT will continue to fully produce new plays, investing in 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.

Click for more information about General Submissions.

Other Opportunities

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 Premiere Fellowships celebrate, reward, and support artists who have demonstrated excellence in and are committed to new play development. 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.