Call for Artists: Lightning Rod 2018

Patrick's Cabaret seeks Writers, Directors, & Performers for Lightning Rod

Presented by Patrick's Cabaret
Co-Produced by Kat Purcell & Marcel Michelle-Mobama
Performances: March 30-31 at 7:30 PM
Phoenix Theatre - 2605 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Theater in a flash! The second year of a radical experiment in performance inviting over 25 artists to create new works about current events with random collaborators--in the space of just a week.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: Monday, February 19th, 2018 11:59pm CST

Ready to apply? Visit the online artist application at

About Lightning Rod

Patrick’s Cabaret is seeking artists of various artistic backgrounds and experience levels to participate in Lightning Rod 2018! Come play a theater game, with serious consequences.

Lightning Rod is a week-long project creating flash theater. Six teams of participants will spend six days (throughout the week of March 25th) making and then performing devised (collaboratively created) work that responds to the immediacy of that week, generating performance from the prompt: "What needs to be said this week?" Drawing from curated prompts, and what's on the hearts and minds of artists in our community, this unique event will be a lightning rod to capture the electricity in the air.

We hope that participants will appreciate this opportunity to work with a diverse range of styles, backgrounds, skills, bodies and proclivities. We’re mixing the pot; both as a generative practice and a community involvement exercise.

Time Commitment

  • Sunday March 25th (all participants required to attend) – Orientation Day. The day will require five hours for "auditions", group devising time, orientation, and rehearsal schedule set and other logistical negotiations. Refreshments and breaks provided.
  • Monday, March 26th (writers) – Concepting shows, writing. Write a 20-25 minute long piece with minimal prop and costume requirements, following the parameters and challenges set before you on orientation day. Parameters will include—but may not be limited to— prompts, specific news headlines, the performers assigned to you, any other prompts or constraints that encourages you to respond in the moment and/or think outside the box.
  • Tuesday, March 27th (writers) – Rehearsal begins. Writers must submit pieces in whatever state they are in and agree to make no further amendments, edits or unsolicited remarks.
  • Tuesday March 27th and/or Wednesday, March 28th (performers & directors) – Rehearsal requirement is a minimum of three hours, with optional extra time if your team is willing and able.  
  • Thursday, March 29th (performers & directors) – Tech rehearsal in the evening
  • Friday, March 30th and Saturday, March 31st (performers) – Performances. Writers and directors, attend the performance of your new work to enjoy the results! We would also be delighted for you to participate in talk backs, Q & A’s and pre-show rituals if you are able.


  • Support Patrick’s Cabaret Mission: Patrick’s Cabaret is a queer-led performance art incubator supporting the growth and development of artists on the edge of culture. The organization produces work by hundreds of artists each year, with a particular focus on making space for artists of color, with disabilities, and/or with queer trans identities to tell their stories in a welcoming, supportive, and transformative environment. (You do not have to live with or inhabit any of these identities to participate)
  • Attitude: Have a vested interest in or curiosity for collaborative work, particularly in new contexts with fresh faces. Passion for taking creative and professional risks for the sake of powerful work.

Roles & Compensation

There are three roles available, all of which are open to anyone regardless of previous experience with performance:
  • WRITER - With a curated selection of articles about contemporary events to serve as inspiration, you will write a new performance piece approximately 20 minutes long for your team of collaborators. We are especially interested in subversive spectacle fully embracing intersectionality.
  • DIRECTOR - You will work with a team of performers to lead the staging of a brand new performance piece. You will have limited time and will be working with performers of all abilities, backgrounds, and experience levels. We love Directors willing to see the intentional limitations of this "flash theater" process as opportunities for creativity.
  • PERFORMER - You will work with a team of other performers to bring to life a new piece of performance. We commit to making the process of performing as supportive as possible to enable you to take risks, and value performers with the courage to try something new.
Compensation for all participants is $60. There will be no artist ticket sales program this year.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: Monday, February 19th, 2018 11:59pm CST

Ready to apply? Visit the online artist application at

Estimated time to complete application: 15-20 minutes. For assistance filling out the application form, please contact or 612-724-6273

If you have any questions regarding the project, you can reach Kat Purcell at or Marcel Michelle-Mobama at
Thanks so much for your energy, and good luck!