Kulas Foundation Theatre Composer Initiative Application

Deadline for Application is June 23, 2014

The Kulas Foundation Theatre Composer Initiative is a nine month fellowship program providing early-career composers with first-hand experience creating music and sound design for theatre.

This initiative engages composers in a collaborative process under the guidance of the show producer and director to compose and produce original music for at least one full production in CPT’s Season. Composers gain hands-on learning experiences and play an integral role in the creative process.

The program is intended to significantly grow CPT’s capacity for developing original music and supports the growth of local artists.

Based on time and budgetary constraints this initiative will primarily focus on composers and creators of electronic music, though exceptions may be considered.

In order to insure the development of work past this residency, both the composer and Cleveland Public Theatre will own full rights to materials developed through the Theatre Composer Initiative.

Program Expectations:

Composer and CPT will work together to plan out an intense and fruitful fellowship. The following represents the main pieces of the fellowship, but note that the plan will be adapted to the specific fellow chosen.

  • Compose and produce original music for three full stage productions. Composers will be expected to attend the following meetings and rehearsals for each show. These meetings do not include the actual time composing and producing music for the show.
    • 3 early stage meetings with director and artistic team (75 minutes).
    • Weekly production meetings for six weeks leading up to opening (75 minutes).
    • One rehearsal a week for first five weeks of rehearsal (4 hours each).
    • 7 tech and dress rehearsals in two weeks leading up to performance.
    • Meet with director and/or producer throughout the project to engage in a collaborative creative process.
  • Participate in other learning opportunities and support CPT’s work
      • CPT will provide a series of other opportunities for the composer to deepen their knowledge of theatre and collaboration including shadowing experiences, workshops and forums.
      • Composer may be asked to take on a sound or music related project for the theatre—for example to run sound for a show, or to assist or produce specific music composed by others.
      • CPT may provide other intern level opportunities in non-music/sound areas, if Fellow is interested.
  • Participate in the life of the theatre
    Composers will have opportunities to interact with staff, artists and audiences through attending opening nights, special meetings and events.

In addition to providing the experiences in this program CPT will also provide the following:

  • $5000 Fellowship upon completion of program
  • Up to $1500 in recording and musician expenses
  • Possible additional underwriting for musicians and specialized sound equipment for implementation of design—not to exceed $1,000 to be approved by CPT Artistic Director.
  • Free Tickets for Composer and Guest to all CPT shows during the course of the fellowship


  • Applicant must be a resident of Northeast Ohio.
  • Applicant must be at least a senior in college or have equivalent experience in composition. (We anticipate that most successful applicants will have recently graduated or are engaged in a graduate program.)
  • Applicant must have significant available time to work on major artistic projects. Rehearsals and other commitments are typically in the evenings and weekends.
  • Applicant must have had experience in music composition for theatre or dance and have some knowledge of sound design.

Selection Criteria

We are looking for a composer that has demonstrated ability and extraordinary potential.

This is our second year of the program and we are taking a different approach this year. We hope to learn and experiment throughout the year to test this new approach. So, in addition to talent and ability, we are seeking an adventurous and generous artist that relishes the collaborative process and enjoys working with others in evolving environments.

We want to have the largest impact on the community as possible, so we are looking for a composer who is at the “right time” in his/her growth to most benefit from the residency.

Applying for the Program

If you would like to be considered for the 2013-2014 Kulas Foundation Theatre Composer Initiative, please follow the application instructions below, and submit electronically to Associate Artistic Director Beth Wood at bwood@cptonline.org.

Process and Notification

A receipt will be emailed upon receiving application. CPT hopes to complete the process by late July.

The selection process will involve follow-up email questions and interviews.

Students may be asked for a letter from their department chair or advisor recommending the applicant and assuring CPT that the student will be able to fully participate in the program.

Deadline and Important Dates

  • Applications must be received by Monday, June 23, 2014
  • Finalists will be notified in July, 2014
  • Recipient will be notified in July or August, 2014
  • The grant year is August –May 2014

CPT’s Kulas Foundation Theatre Composer Initiative Application

Deadline: Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Please complete the application and submit it with your supplemental materials as an attachment to bwood@cptonline.org.

SUBJECT LINE: state your name and “Kulas Composer Initiative Application”—for example: Jane Smith, Kulas Composer Initiative Application.

General Information

Phone   Cell   E-Mail  
Title of Composition Sample A  
Title of Composition Sample B  

Please include up to three pages for detailed answers to the following:

  1. Please read the above activities carefully. This program requires significant time on-site at CPT and in composing and creating the music.  How will you assure that you will have the necessary time to participate fully in the program?
  2. Describe your current state as an artist. What areas of your artistry are you most excited to explore and deepen in this residency? Why are you interested in working at Cleveland Public Theatre? What do you hope to learn during this program? Why is this the “right time” for you to undertake this residency? How do you anticipate the Composer Initiative will impact you as an artist?
  3. Explain your experience and approach to collaboration. Why do you enjoy collaboration? What advice would you give to others about how to best collaborate?
  4. This program is specifically for composers who are interested in the theatrical form and who want to learn more about the inner workings of this discipline. Why are you drawn to theatre? Outside of composing, what other opportunities at CPT would be beneficial to your growth?
  5. Theatrical creation requires composers to adapt and adjust music throughout the entire process, often necessitating last minute changes. For this reason, prerecorded orchestration will not be effective. Therefore, music for shows need to be either electronic compositions or will require live musicians. If you anticipate working in the electronic approach, how would you use the additional recording budget and are there any specialized sound equipment needs you believe your composition will require? (For example: Because of the complexity of my sound I will need a system that can handle 12 speaker isolations.) If you plan to compose for live instrumentation, who would you engage to play that music and explain how those musicians could be afforded within the above budgetary needs. (For example: I plan to compose for a piano which I will play for each performance; or, I plan to compose for one cellist and I know several that can do the show for the budget listed above.)
  6. Please share any important context for your music samples—was it a collaborative piece? Who are the musicians? What was the piece created for?
  7. Is there anything else you feel we should know about you in considering you’re application?

Attach Supplementary Materials:

The following should be attached as pdf documents:

  • Resume (if you have separate artistic and work resumes, please include both)
  • Bio (a 200 word narrative of your resume)
  • Recommendation—you must include one letter of recommendation. The letter should speak to your talent and your ability to complete projects. A second letter of recommendation is optional.
  • 2 mp3 samples of your composition. At least one sample must be electronic music or apply directly to question 5 above: either electronic or for the instrumentation you propose.

Materials will not be returned to applicants.