Test Flight 2023 Request for Proposals

Test Flight

Request for Proposals

Deadline for submissions is Friday, August 5th, 2022


Cleveland Public Theatre’s New Play Development

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.

Test Flight supports work that is outside the mainstream aesthetically, thematically, and in the creative process.

Test Flight Description

Test Flight offers artists or groups the opportunity to co-produce their own workshop productions of theatre, dance, performance art, music, or genre-defying performances.

This series is for works that are not yet ready for full production. Productions should be beyond a staged reading, but not attempt to be fully produced with sets, etc. Test Flight is about moving projects forward, so we are interested in projects that have a sense of trajectory and a plan to move to the next step after Test Flight.

Total estimated “per project” value from CPT (including all direct costs, occupancy, and cash) is $10,000.

All artists involved in Test Flight must be vaccinated.

For each week of Test Flight, CPT will select one or two projects.

CPT will support each project by providing:

  • On-site rehearsal space for one week, prior to load-in to James Levin Theatre
  • Complete access to the James Levin Theatre for one week with public performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights
  • Stage Manager for three rehearsals in the evenings of performance week
  • A lighting designer to attend one rehearsal
  • Repertory light plot, sound system
  • Access to CPT equipment and stock
  • 4 hours of technical support for sets, lights, etc.
  • Front-of-house and box office
  • Direct mail piece advertising the series, eblast for each week, and social media postings
  • Each project will receive a percentage of the box office receipts of 50% (30% for groups sharing a double bill). A minimum guarantee of $1200 ($700 each for double bills) will be paid in advance of the performance
  • For any non-local artists chosen, CPT will provide an additional $750 for housing/travel

Lead Artist(s) will provide:

  • All artistic content
  • Content will be original and must be in development, having had no previous full production
  • Content must be owned by the artist, or the artist must have authority to use material (in case of adaptation or inclusion of other content)
  • Rehearsals prior to Test Flight. These must be arranged separately by the lead artists and their team (CPT cannot provide space for these rehearsals)
  • A fully staged, adequately rehearsed production with all performers off book
  • All design and production elements
  • Creative team – including performers, designers, technicians, etc. Test Flight lead artists will separately contract these individuals
  • Attend up to five mandatory meetings with the cohort of Test Flight Lead Artists
  • Attend majority of the other Test Flight showings
  • Enter into an agreement with CPT related to subsequent productions that will stipulate crediting CPT
  • Non-local artists will provide their own transportation to and from Cleveland
  • Proof of vaccination for each team member

Advice to Applicants:

Test Flight is about moving projects forward and supporting artists in developing their own work. We are not looking for experienced producers, but we are seeking teams that are well-positioned to produce a quality workshop, so share your team’s unique artistry and potential throughout the proposal questions.

The selection team is looking to answer these questions:

  • Is the project compelling and does it have strong potential?
  • Is the work, and the artist, at the correct time in the process for a workshop? (e.g. If the project is really production ready, artists will be frustrated with the limitations of a workshop; If it’s too early in the process artists will be under undue stress to complete the project)
  • Is there a good team that can successfully complete the project?
  • Is the work aligned with CPT’s programing agenda of producing ground-breaking performance?
  • Does the Lead Artist demonstrate qualities of a strong collaborator and co-producer (excellent communication skills, a positive approach to the work, enthusiasm for the process, etc.)?

Be aspirational and bold in your intentions and frank about your limitations.

If you are submitting a scripted project that does not have a complete script, please explain your plan to complete your script before Test Flight begins.

If you are a creating playwright (deviser), choreographer, or other performance creator, please explain the creative process you intend to follow. Without a script to judge artistic merit, experience in creating new work is critical to demonstrate the potential of the project. (Please note, CPT encourages proposals in which the main deviser is not also an actor in the show).

Test Flight includes work that is not considered “theatre” by the conventional definition. Dance, music performance that is beyond a concert, new forms of dance, performance art, and experimental opera are encouraged. It is important for applicants in the non-theatre arena to explain their process and how Test Flight will serve the development of the work.

We often have follow-up questions for your application, so please keep an eye out for contact from us. This means we are interested in the proposal or want to make sure we have a complete understanding.

Contact for applications: artistic@cptonline.org.

Deadline for submissions is Friday, August 5th, 2022


Test Flight 2023: Request for Proposal – Microsoft Word
Test Flight 2023: Request for Proposal – PDF
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