Starting Blocks

“Starting Blocks at CPT offers a rare situation where the making process is supported and driven. 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 (Starting Blocks artist, 2016)

Starting Blocks is CPT’s unique artist development / peer network scheme, tailored particularly (but not exclusively) towards solo artists.

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 alumni since the scheme was launched in 2011 are:

  • 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
CPT is a charity and we rely on the generosity of our supporters to enable us to deliver our Artist Development programmes. Click here to donate today or found out more about becoming a member.

No Place Like Home by Alex Roberts. Image credit (c) Joseph Farinha