Deadline for submissions is Friday, October 6th, 2023
Forget everything you know about Test Flight! Okay, maybe not everything… but the process will look quite different this year. We’re piloting a new approach to this program based on feedback from playwrights in our community. We want to create an even more creative space that allows for supported risk from the artists involved. This version of Test Flight is perfect for those who want to learn how to self-produce their work; but don’t worry, the things you love about Test Flight will still be there! It will still be a great space to workshop new projects. The projects chosen will still get 1 week (split rehearsal time and performances) in the James Levin Theatre, and things will feel the same for our devoted audiences.
WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE THIS YEAR?
The Application Process…
This year, projects must be submitted and proposed by teams of two people. One of these two people will serve as the Producer of the project. This person should not be the Playwright, though it could be the Director or another member of the team. We are hoping this allows the writers of these projects to focus more on the development of their scripts instead of on learning how to produce a show. You may request an exception to this rule, which may be granted in certain cases (for devisers, or those who have served as producers on several other projects, etc.) though we strongly recommend applying in teams of two.
The Pre-Production Process…
The teams chosen for Test Flight will become a cohort for the next 6 months. During this time frame, we will meet 6 times to engage in professional development workshops and discussions on new play development and producing. Our aim is to create a clearer educational and mentorship pipeline to support Playwrights and Producers through this Test Flight experience, and to demystify the processes of “Producing” and “New Play Development.”
Some topics that may be discussed during these meetings: contracts and how to engage artists for your production, pre-production timeline and what that looks like, how to market your show, fundraising strategies, adding new pages and writing materials in the midst of a workshop process – how to continue to further your script when you notice moments aren’t working, how to run tech rehearsals, and whatever the cohort decides is important to them collectively. These meetings will also serve as a time to check in with each other about where you’re at in the process and to learn from each other’s experiences. We want this to be a great resource for you all.
These meetings are tentatively scheduled as follows:
- November 4, 2023: 10am – 1pm
- November 18, 2023: 10am – 1pm
- December 9, 2023: 10am – 1pm
- January 13, 2024: 10am – 1pm
- February 3, 2024: 10am – 1pm
- February 24, 2024: 10am – 1pm
The Production Process…
Like in the past, each project will get access to the James Levin Theatre for one week. The Producer will get access to the space as early as 10am on Monday morning. The group will rehearse in the space from Monday through Wednesday. Performances will be Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7pm. Current Test Flight dates are scheduled for March of 2024.
CPT will provide:
- Key to the space (to Producer).
- On-site rehearsal space for one week, prior to the load-in to James Levin Theatre.
- 4 hours of assistance from Tech Director/shop staff during your load-in, if you need it.
- 4 hours of programming time with a lighting technician – to be used Monday or Tuesday.
- A stage manager for 4 hours of rehearsal per night (Mon – Wed), and for performances.
- Repertory light plot, sound system.
- Access to some CPT equipment and stock.
- Front-of-house and box office.
- Direct mail piece advertising the series, eblast for each week, and social media postings.
- A $1,200 advance to each project, plus an additional 50% of the gross box office revenue or $500, whichever is greater.
The value of the entire project on a per week basis is over $20,000.
Lead Artists will provide the following:
- Attend at least 5 of the mandatory meetings with the cohort of Test Flight Lead Artists.
- 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).
- Rehearsal 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.
- Creative team – including performers, designers, technicians, etc. Test Flight lead artists will separately contract these individuals.
- Enter into an agreement with CPT related to subsequent productions that will stipulate crediting CPT.
- Attend majority of the other Test Flight showings.
ADVICE TO APPLICANTS
Test Flight is about moving projects forward and supporting artists in developing their own work, while also expanding their skillsets. You do not need to be an experienced producer – we’ll teach you how! However, we are seeking teams who are great collaborators and communicators, and who are well-positioned to create a quality workshop, so please share your team’s unique artistry and potential throughout your application.
The selection team is looking to answer these questions:
- Is this a team that will benefit from the new Test Flight Process?
- Is the project compelling and does it have strong potential?
- Are both the work, and the artists, at the correct place/time in the process for a workshop? (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 this a strong team that can successfully complete the project?
- Is the work aligned with CPT’s mission of producing ground-breaking works?
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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org