ASPIRE Creative Pitch Guidelines

ASPIRE students will create and pitch a theatrical season and/or a new theater company to a selectors panel of theatre professionals.  Students are welcome to consider the current impact of COVID-19 on the performing arts industry. However, the current pandemic should not limit the student’s imagination in the creation of their company. This exercise will prepare ASPIRE students to think critically about leadership styles, programming, and models while demonstrating the student’s ability to think outside the box.  The following is a set of recommended guidelines to help prepare an effective pitch:

  • Students have 10 minutes to present their pitch followed by 5 minutes to take questions from the selectors; students will be responsible for allocating their own time accordingly. 
  • The presentation must include the name of the theater company, the mission of the theater company, where the theater company or theatrical season will take place (town, city, state, country), and play titles/authors (if known). Please do not include the name of your school in any of your materials.
  • Students are invited to be as innovative, creative, and practical as possible in their presentations and should pitch a compelling theatrical season/theater company using whatever resources are available to them.
  • Students should articulate the role and relevance of their season and/or new theater company in terms of audience, community, and efforts towards greater diversity. 
  • Students should be mindful that while budgets, season calendars, and other higher-level elements of a theatre’s operations are important, the allotted time does not provide the selectors a chance to review these materials critically.  Emphasis on mission, values, season selection, and on audience and community engagement is strongly encouraged.
  • Students are encouraged to work independently and consider all the elements of producing and theater management necessary to support a theatrical season or theater company’s vision and infrastructure.
  • Students should consider preparing their pitch during the various ASPIRE workshops at the festival
  • Students must also provide a bio of up to 150 words for the interview

 The selectors will evaluate pitches based on the student’s ability to effectively communicate a vision, demonstrate knowledge of theatre and arts management, and incorporate audience and community values into their mission.  The semi-finalists chosen by the selectors will move on to the second round of ASPIRE interviews to select one finalist to participate in the ASPIRE weeklong fellowship as part of the National Festival.