Starting Blocks at CPT is a unique project development / peer network programme for solo theatre-makers and small companies
Starting Blocks is CPT’s unique artist development / peer network scheme, tailored particularly (but not exclusively) towards solo artists.
Applications are open for Starting Blocks 2024 until Mon 18 Sep 2023. Click here to read the 2024 call out for artists and apply.
Each year, 5-6 artists or companies develop new work from scratch over an intensive and collaborative ten-week residency at CPT. In recent years, Rachel Mars’ hit show The Way You Tell Them, Louise Orwin’s Pretty Ugly, Haley McGee’s The Ex Boyfriend Yard Sale and 2018 Underbelly Untapped Award-winner Queens of Sheba by Nouveau Riche have all started life on Starting Blocks and gone on to national and international tours, four- and five-star press reviews, with extended runs at CPT and beyond. Starting Blocks artists are selected by interview after an open call for submissions.
Starting Blocks runs January to March for ten weeks every year at CPT. The call-out for applications is issued every summer and can be found on the Artist Call-Outs page of our website.
"Starting Blocks is THE artist support programme for emerging artists making work on the fringes." Jack Boal (SB artist 2022)
"Starting Blocks is amazing, and the only reason I made my first show, did my first run at Edinburgh Fringe, Adelaide Fringe, toured to Norway, Germany and a thousand village halls. Apply, you sillies." Hannah Maxwell (SB artist 2017)
"The rehearsal space is invaluable, as are the weekly meetings, which guide you towards the articulation and clarification of ideas. The sharing of experience and the sense of community add to that feeling of support, and there’s creative energy surrounding the whole thing which is infectious and inspiring.” Susan Kempster (SB artist 2016)
Starting Blocks alumni since the scheme was launched in 2011:
2011: Barometric (Thomas Martin & Nina Segal); Anoushka Athique; Ben Buratta & Barry Fitzgerald; Francesca Millican-Slater; Ira Brand.
2012: Rachel Mars; HalfCut; Greg Wohead; Bread & Goose; Chris Dugrenier.
2013: Louise Orwin; Emma Frankland & Keir Cooper; Anne Langford; Splinter Group (Anna Clover & Jessie Brooks); Joel Cahen.
2014: Foxy & Husk; Grace Gibson; Tom Hughes; Lawrence Speck & Joe Wild; MOTHS; Natalie Clarke & Edmund Sage-Green.
2015: Owl Young; Rebecca Biscuit; Caretaker Ministry; Venice as a Dolphin; Cape Theatre and On the Run
2016: Marion Burge, Elisabeth Carlile, Philippa Hambly, Susan Kempster & Adam Foster, and Tanya Singh.
2017: Christina Hardinge, Embolon Theatre, Haley McGee, Hannah Maxwell, Double Trouble and Ryan Calais Cameron
2018: Natasha Simone; Claire MacNeill; Dirty Rascals; Kelly Green; Sebastian H-W; Natalie Liconti
2019: Alex Roberts; Charlotte Fraser; Claire Gaydon; Peyvand Sadeghian; Sara Dawood; and Tom Chamberlain and Jack Tricker.
2020: Adam Lenson; Appetite Theatre; Fran, Kat & Perdita; HIT THE GROUND; Miranda Prag; The Peaceful Defeat
2021: Clumsy Bodies; Aminita Francis; Nick Blakeley; Frankie Thompson; Tom Ryalls; Callum Berridge.
2022: Eden Jun; Jack Boal; Meg Hodgson; Louisa Doyle; Jonny Khan; Chris Yarnell, Shambles Ensemble.