CPT Announces Catapult 2021 Request for Proposals





Cleveland Public Theatre’s 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 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, locally impactful, 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;
  • balancing impact with investment.

CPT is a nationally recognized hub for the development of new theatre that is known for work that is extraordinary, edgy, and relevant. We seek 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 launcher of nationally significant new plays.

Catapult Summary

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

Playwright/Creators of the selected 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 Description

The goal of Catapult is to advance a project to the point of being production-ready. Catapult is intended for projects that are at different stages of creation—from early concept to completed script. As part of the selection process, we will 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, have some private showings, and then culminate as part of the Test Flight series. That being said, it is possible that some projects will develop totally independent of our other series.

Cleveland Public Theatre will:

  • Select a project for Catapult each season, with the understanding that the process of Catapult may span over more than one season.
  • Award the playwright of a selected Catapult project, the Nord Family Foundation Fellowship, which includes a $2,500 contract.
  • Invest $2,500 in production costs which may be used to pay artists fees, implement designs, purchase specialty equipment, etc. Total estimated “per project” value from CPT (including all direct costs, occupancy, and cash) is $10,000.
  • Provide rehearsal space, as available, throughout the period of the project (including work unrelated to Catapult).
  • Provide all presenting support for Catapult public showings.
  • Provide one “staff ally” for the Catapult Artist who can function like a mentor and assist in navigating the process of Catapult.
  • Provide free attendance (plus one) to all CPT shows during the fellowship.

Catapult Artist/Nord Fellow will:

  • Provide artistic content.
    • Content will be original and must be in development. (Project cannot have had a previous full production.)
    • Content must be owned by artist or the artist must have authority to use material (in case of adaptation or inclusion of other content).
  • Attend a majority of opening nights at CPT and play an active role in the life of the theatre, which includes attending artist meetings, volunteering when appropriate, and being a great ambassador for CPT throughout the fellowship.
  • Enter into an agreement with CPT related to subsequent productions that will stipulate crediting CPT.
  • Fully engage in the rehearsal and production processes.

CPT holds a right-of-first-refusal to produce Catapult projects in the future.

Selection Process and Criteria

The selection process for Catapult has four rounds.

  1. CPT staff will assess projects based on:
    • Project readiness
    • Artist readiness
    • Fit for CPT’s programming agenda and mission

Top ranked projects/artists will be moved to round two.

  1. Round two proposals will be read by three reviewers: an out-of-town artist (director or playwright); a local artist with a history of new work development; and one CPT staff member. During this step in the process, CPT may request additional info from artists, if warranted. Projects will be ranked, and submitters will receive aggregated comments from the readers. The highest ranked proposals will then move to the third round.
  2. The third round will involve an interview between CPT artistic staff to discuss the proposed project, artistic goals (both personal and project related), past experiences, etc. Final selection will be made by CPT staff.
  3. The final step in the process will consist of selected applicant(s) meeting with CPT to review a draft plan and determine if both parties have a similar viewpoint and can agree to an overall process for development.

We are seeking projects that have great potential to move toward a full production on CPT’s stage. Projects will be ranked on their potential quality, artistry, and aesthetic fit for CPT. CPT will also evaluate proposals based on the impact staff feel they can make on the project and the readiness/interest from artist for feedback and guidance.

Advice to Applicants

Catapult is not intended to serve all new projects. This program is for artists who have a hunger for feedback and guidance, and who regard CPT as a premiere developer of new works. Catapult will focus on works that are in direct alignment with CPT’s mission and programming agenda.

Playwrights will either need to:

  • have a full draft of a script with great potential
  • have an extensive history of success and a strong project description

For devising playwrights, please provide a compelling explanation of the planned process and scope of the project, as well as demonstrate a strong experience in working in this methodology. This is not a good program for devisers who have not led at least two professional, full production devising projects.

Catapult may include performance-based installation work and other non-traditional performance forms!

Please answer e-mails quickly and professionally. We often have follow-up questions for your application. This means we are interested in the proposal or want to make sure we have a complete understanding.

Please complete the application and submit it with additional materials electronically as an attachment to CPT’s Artistic Associate, India Nicole Burton, at iburton@cptonline.org.

Deadline for submissions is Monday, June 28, 2021


Catapult Request for Proposals – Microsoft Word
Catapult Request for Proposals – PDF


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