Request for Proposals: Big Box 2014

Deadline for submissions is Monday, March 17, 2014

Big Box is the centerpiece of our 14-15 season. Big Box has played a significant role in the formation and growth of three local theatres and works from Big Box have gone on to full production at CPT and beyond.

Big Box offers artists or groups the opportunity to produce original works of theatre, dance, performance art, music or genre defying performances. Big Box is about what the artist wants to focus on. We open the doors and let the artist experiment, charting their own course, making their own decisions and taking their own risks.

Big Box gives artists the opportunity to self-produce their new work. CPT offers organizational guidance through strict deadlines and clear deliverables, and provides resources of space,equipment, front-of-house, basic technical and marketing support. Artists are fully responsible
for producing the work.

Big Box is not about huge production values. This is for workshopping new pieces beyond a staged reading but short of a fully produced work. It’s about core artistry, not fancy finishes. The artist shouldn’t get too caught up in elaborate plans because they don’t have much time in the space. But don’t confuse minimalism and resourcefulness with lack of style and quality.

Although we produce a direct mail piece advertising all of the artists/groups, it is up to the artist to promote his or her own show. We will send out a press release for listings only, provide flyer templates, offer use of copy machine and may be able to help with distribution. Since the work being done is in development, there will be no critics invited.

This is a chance for us to get to know an artist’s work or new work by artists we already know.

Series logistics:

  • CPT selects six or more artists/groups to be part of Big Box.
  • Each of these artists/groups gets the James Levin Theatre for one week, Sunday through Saturday.
  • Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:00pm.
  • The series is currently scheduled for January 4th – February 21st 2015.
  • The space is set up with a rep lighting plot suitable for theatre and dance. Each artist will have a few specials that can be moved around for their particular needs, but the lighting plot must remain intact. Each project will receive a minimum guarantee of $600 ($400 each for projects sharing a double bill) against gross box office split of 50/50 (30/30/40 for double bills). For example if a project makes $1000 at the box office the project will still get $600. If the box office is $4000, the project will get a total of $2000, an additional $1400 over the original $600.
  • CPT provides a Big Box Stage Manager, box office and house staff, but it is up to each artist to provide their own artistic collaborators and any additional technical staff needed.

Selection Criteria

In selecting projects for our New Work Development Series we will look at a number of factors.

Adventurous, New Work

Is the work adventurous and new? CPT has a history of producing work that no one else in town will produce because it is somehow “outside the box.” Artists proposing for CPT’s development series are encouraged to consider why CPT is the right place for your project to grow.

Artistic Growth

How will participation in this program impact the applicant professionally and artistically? CPT wants to have a real impact on the community and provide resources to projects that will benefitthe most.

Leadership Skills

Has the artist/group demonstrated the ability to produce and create the proposed work? We aren’t looking for top notch producers, but we do want to feel confident that the artist/group has a clear understanding of what it takes to pull off a show and how to assess their own capacity.


All artistic enterprises require risk and there are no guarantees. However, it’s important to demonstrate a level of artistic excellence and an understanding of artistry. This might be demonstrated in a work sample, résumés of lead artists, script of past or current work, or in a
project summary. Video materials are NOT necessary to apply, but can be helpful in demonstrating artistic level.

Advice to Applicants

Incomplete Script

If you are submitting an incomplete script please explain the process for completing the script. For example, what are your deadlines for the script and who will you be working with to give you feedback along the way?

Applying as a Playwright

Please identify who will direct your piece. CPT rarely accepts proposals in which the playwright will be the director as well.


If you are devising, then please explain the devising process and the structure (hierarchy) of the collaborators. Without a script to judge artistic merit, experience in devising work is important. CPT rarely accepts proposals in which the main deviser is also an actor in the show.

Abstract Project

If you are working on a project that is abstract, then please emphasize what the through-line will be. (If you don’t have a plot, what will draw people into the piece and how will they be engaged?)

Non-“theatre” proposals

Big Box often includes work that is not considered “theatre” by the conventional definition—we have included music composition, dance, performance art and opera. It is important for applicants in the non-theatre arena to explain their process and how Big Box will serve the
development of the work.

Applying for Big Box

If you would like to be considered for the 2015 Big Box Series, please complete the application form.

Deadline for submissions is Monday, March 17, 2014


Please contact: Caitlin Lewins
New Play Associate
216-631-2727 x 211

Big Box ’15 Application

Deadline: Monday, March 17, 2014

Thank you for your interest in CPT’s Big Box. Please complete the application and submit it with your resume and any additional materials electronically as an attachment to New Play Associate, Caitlin Lewins at

This application can be completed with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Either Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader can be used to fill in this form. Get the free latest version of Adobe Reader from (Or contact Caitlin Lewins for a version of this application that does not require Adobe (

General Information

Primary Artist Contact Name:
Other Artists Involved:
Title of Work:
Length of piece/event:
Artistic Discipline (e.g. music, theatre, dance, puppetry, etc.):

Sometimes CPT pairs up artists or groups with shorter works to maximize box office and space.
Would you be willing to participate if you were on a double bill?
If no, please share why your proposal is best served as a singular evening?

Do you have a preference or need for a specific week in January and February? If so, please number three weeks you are available in order of preference.

Week 1: Jan 4 – Jan 10 Week 5: Feb 1 – Feb 7
Week 2: Jan 11 – Jan 17 Week 6: Feb 8 – Feb 14
Week 3: Jan 18 – Jan 24 Week 7: Feb 15 – Feb 21
Week 4: Jan 25 – Jan 31

Web-link to posted video (youtube, vimeo, etc):

Please include the following as an attached PDF document. This document should total at least three pages in length.

1. Describe the project. What is the current state of this project?

2. How will participation in Big Box impact you as an artist and the growth of the proposed piece?

3. What is your background, experience and skill-set that gives you confidence that you can successfully lead and complete this project?

4. Understanding that CPT gives minimal technical support to development series (i.e. rep light plot and basic sound), what are your other technical needs for the piece? What is your plan to implement/meet these needs?

5. Who will you be engaging to produce this work? If you have committed artists, tell us about them. If you are reaching out to specific people but they are not yet committed, let us know. How do you plan to complete your team (auditions, interviews, etc)?

6. Beyond CPT efforts, how do you plan to get the word out about your show?

7. Include an artist bio of no more than 200 words.

Supplementary Materials:

Please email additional material to support your application including script, artistic statement, etc to Caitlin Lewins (

Materials will not be returned to applicants.