CPT Announces Catapult 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 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, 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; 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 launcher of nationally significant new plays.

Catapult Summary

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 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 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 1-3 projects 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 $2,000 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 by the Nord Fellow unrelated to Catapult).
  • Provide all presenting support for Catapult public showings.
  • Provide one staff ally or mentor for the project and the Catapult Artist.
  • 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 assess projects based on
    • Project readiness
    • Artist readiness
    • Fit for CPT’s programming agenda and mission

All projects/artists that are ready and relate clearly to CPT’s programming agenda will be moved to round two.

  1. Round two proposals will be read by three reviewers: an out-of-town artist, director, associate, or literary manager at a theatre focusing on new work; a local playwright (working in a similar process as applicant—i.e. scripted, devised, conceived, etc.); and one CPT staff member. CPT may request additional info at this time, if warranted. Projects will be ranked and 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 Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan.
  3. The final round 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. They 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. Applicants will want to be clear about how their project fits with CPT and with this approach to new play development.

Scripting playwrights will need to either have a strong track record or have a full draft of a script that is very compelling.

Devising playwrights will need to demonstrate their artistic merit and be clear about the process and intended product. The experience of the playwright in devising work will be extremely important, as well as a clear sense of scope and theme. This is not a good program for devisers who have not led at least two professional devising projects.

Catapult may include performance-based installation work and other non-traditional performance forms! (Experience working in those forms will be critical for selection.)

Answer emails 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 iburton@cptonline.org.

Deadline for submissions is Monday, April 13, 2020.


Catapult Request for Proposals – Microsoft Word
Catapult Request for Proposals – PDF
Comments are closed.