Regional Theaters are artistic pillars of their community. Let CPI help you build deeper relationships with the communities you supply with fine art. Find your story together with your home community, and you will find the community much more deeply invested in your process. Look at our programs below, or work with us to design your own.
The Community Takes Stage:
Performing Your Place, Your Stories, Your PeopleDescription: The future is about telling stories with people, as the avalanche of "reality" shows demonstrates. Theater professionals are finding creative ways to hand storytelling back to the people. A full-length play made at the intersection of your theater and the community-at-large will use local stories, local people, your skills and your company. For twenty years, the professional theater team of cpi has been creating community-defining works of art with huge casts of amateurs. Along the way we've tapped into the immense authenticity and energy that arises when communities are supported in telling the stories of their people and their place. Now you can be that support in your community and put that authenticity and energy to work for your theater building audiences, strategic partnerships, and committed supporters. Begin with story exchange (your theater's stories, your community's stories); staff, company, and local folks share their stories together. Next CPIs playwright, Jules Corriere, and composer Heather McCluskey (www.tinpancountry.com) craft the script and music for your play (optionally, they can also train your writer and composer in the cutting edge art form of Community Performance). A public reading provides vital input for the evolution of your script and is a unique public relations opportunity. After script and music revisions, the play is cast with members of your company and volunteers from the community. Some of these volunteers may be aspiring actors, but many others will be extraordinary ordinary folks who gift the process with the authenticity of their presence. Yes, there are challenges--rehearsal schedules, Equity, length of run--but the audience and relationship building transcend these obstacles. Your theater will become the heart of your community as your play defines your place and your people.
Duration: Year-long process concluding in a full length original play.
Target Audience/Size: Your theater space--or a found space of your choosing; a cast of 50-150.
Special Requirements: Full scale theater production as part of your season, or in a special off-season offering.
Takeaways: New audiences. Definitional ceremony for your community and your theater. Transform your community into one where broader sectors support your theater. Closer ties with the community, individual friendships, and stakeholders in your work will result. Enlarge your funder base and your opportunities for grants. Deepen the understanding of the role of your theater in your community. If desired (and it will be!) this process can be done annually with CPI's continued guidance, or entirely using resources in your own theater. Greatest of all, your theater will earn the respect, love, and participation of your community in a new and unimagined way.
Staffing: Producing Director, Writer, Composer. Additional cpi staff available: designers, choreographer, music director.
Bring Your Cause Alive with Story, Performance, and Song
Description: Utilizing your cause as the text of performance, this process creates a touring production able to incorporate local stories and performers at each site. Working with the parent organization to utilize key stories, terms, and concepts, CPI writes and scores your theater play with music on your chosen topic. The show tours and at each site the trained cast gathers stories and performers to include in that particular performance. The result is a music theater piece that delivers your message performed by the touring cast and personalized at each site with local stories and performers. Post-performance discussion, or break out circles of 6-8, create an audience-inclusive conversation and followup.
Alternately, a single Master Story Crafter and one music support staff can lead a one or two week residency to build a cause-driven performance around a combination of pre-existing text and music including locally gathered stories. Master Story Crafter and music staff person conclude by performing with local participants.
Duration: Several weeks writing and rehearsal produces an hour-long touring performance, plus discussion.
Target Audience/size: Professional cast of five, up to 10 local participants (or CPI hired professional cast), audiences of up to 300.
Special Requirements: Equipped theater with lighting control or large meeting room.
Takeaways: Participation raises awareness and creates local stakeholders for your cause. Performance educates the public, and can serve as a fundraising tool.
Staffing: Master Story Crafter, composer, director/drama therapist, touring cast/crew.