We’re so glad you’re here.
If you’re interested in presenting your work at PortFringe, you’re in the right place. If you can’t find what you’re looking for below, contact us any time.
Do you have questions about PortFringe 2022? Attend our Virtual Open House on Sunday, January 16th, at 7 p.m.
Fringe curious? Get your questions answered. We hope to see you there!
Zoom link: https://tufts.zoom.us/j/93841610587?pwd=M1gzNEpBUGlJbm5PTXlZUlgydXB6Zz09
Meeting ID: 938 4161 0587
One tap mobile:
+16465588656,,93841610587# US (New York)
+13017158592,,93841610587# US(Washington DC)
PortFringe. This isn’t theater. This is fringe.
If your work can clear the financial, logistical, and institutional barriers of the traditional theater or art world, then that’s where it belongs, but for everything else: we’re here.
We’re not a space for regurgitating your old work, or anyone else’s. We’re not here to play it safe.
Fringe is about celebrating the leap of faith. It’s a place to fail better. It’s about grabbing onto the most intense, ambitious performance idea you’ve ever had and committing to it 100%, no matter where you might end up.
Fringe is radically human. A reminder in a world full of corporate gloss that we’re all chaotic balls of teeth, tears, and toenails who contain multitudes. In a world full of righteous certainty it’s probably better to be authentic, vulnerable, and kind than to be right (…about most things).
So don’t give us what you think is a “Fringe” show. Instead sift through all your laughter, pain, hysterics, sorrow, and love until you find an idea that you need to make real before it consumes you, and then bring it to PortFringe.
Welcome to PortFringe, sweating and raw with light.
We are a by-lottery, non-juried fringe festival.
We support new and experimental work.
We celebrate imagination and innovation.
We are inclusive, intersectional, and unafraid.
We celebrate and contribute to Maine’s vibrant performance art community.
PortFringe 2022 – Important Dates for Potential Artists
- December 20, 2021 – Applications open
- January 31, 2022 – Applications close & application fees due
- February 6, 2022 – Lottery Results Sent to Artists
- February 14, 2022 – Deadline for Artists to Accept PortFringe Participation Offers
- February 28, 2022 – Production Fees Due
- March 14, 2022 – PortFringe 2022 Artist line-up revealed to the public
- June 13 – 18, 2022 – PortFringe 2022 Festival dates
How PortFringe Selects Our Artists: Up to 21 Short-format shows will be chosen in a random chance online lottery draw. 11 of these spots will be reserved for BIPOC Artists who will be selected in the first round of the lottery. BIPOC Artists will have the opportunity to self-identify and opt into this process as part of the application. 4 Late Night Shows will be selected by the PortFringe Committee based on the probability of being an exciting, memorable, social/cultural, interactive experience for the PortFringe community. While there is no lottery pull for the Late Night Shows, priority consideration will be given to BIPOC Artists who apply. More details about the selection process are in the application.
2022 Festival Fees
Application Fee (due by Jan 31) – $25.00 (USD, non-refundable) – Pay your 2022 application fee here.
Production Fee (due by Feb 28) – $75.00 (USD, non-refundable). The production fee secures your spot in this summer’s festival, three performances during the week (in a PortFringe-managed venue), comprehensive box office and accounting oversight, festival-wide marketing efforts including a listing in the 2022 Festival Guide, and a dedicated management-level PortFringe “Buddy” to help you and your show through the entire process from lottery to final payout – and everything in between! Note: The 2022 production fee payment link will be sent to selected Artists in February.
There are no other fees for particpating in PortFringe.
WHAT’S NEW IN 2022?
What’s new? Honestly, quite a bit.
The last two years have been pretty rough for artistic communities everywhere – and Portland/Maine is no exception. PortFringe cannot exist without the many Maine venue operators, artists and volunteers that contribute talent, time and Fringe enthusiasm each year. That is why we’re choosing to focus our efforts on the recovery of our community – and it feels right that PortFringe 2022 will celebrate the people and places that literally make this festival possible. To that end, there will be some some significant changes to this year’s festival:
- Applications are open only to Maine Artists – You must live (year-round) in the Portland area (or another Maine location) in order to apply. We look forward to welcoming our national and international touring artist friends again in 2023 and beyond.
- All PortFringe Artists (and audiences, volunteers, etc) must be vaccinated for COVID-19 – including a booster. Applicants, and all of the Artists participating in PortFringe 2022 must provide proof of vaccination. No exceptions. There are more details in the application below.
- PortFringe is on the move! – After nearly a decade, we’re trading the comfortable, traditional performance spaces of the Arts District, for the artsy, innovative small businesses of Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood.
- (Most) Shows will have a time limit of 20 minutes – To further encourage innovative and experimental work, PortFringe is going back to our roots with a celebration of short-format performance work. Additionally, four one-night-only “Late Night” shows will be programmed, one on each of the four weeknights of the festival.
- PortFringe is committed to being a more accessible and equitable festival. We’re reserving 50% of our festival spots for BIPOC performance artists, and working to address the the physical and financial accessibility of our festival. We welcome your feedback – contact PortFringe with your suggestions and observations about our access and equity work.
What does all of this mean? It means Maine-based dancers, theater makers, painters, spoken word artists, ceramicists, fiber artists, clowns, acrobats, comedians, musicians, web designers, burlesque, performance artists and beyond: all are welcome at PortFringe–and all are encouraged to apply with their Fringe show!
Is PortFringe 2022 the right fit for you?
What is PortFringe?
As the organizers, we want the festival to be a safe, equitable, and accessible place for independent artists to experiment with work that doesn’t “fit” into the mainstream. It’s a gathering point for everyone who understands the importance of art for art’s sake. It’s a carnival of belonging built for everyone who feels out of place in today’s world. Ultimately, it’s a moment when artists and audiences can come together and celebrate fearlessness, risks, and leaps of faith.
What’s the ideal PortFringe show? It’s fresh, unique, and your heart (or hearts!) have been poured into it. It can be angry or joyful, frenetic or peaceful. It can send the audience to a transcendent fantasy world or push them further in the chaos of everyday reality. A great show’s message can be shouted through a megaphone or delicately whispered.
We’re passionate about being uncensored and unjuried because it allows you, the artists, to pack your work full of authentic emotion and passion without worrying about being “too challenging.” In return, we put our trust in you to do exactly that: to take risks, go big, make art that you can be proud of. As much as anything we do, it’s the consistent ability of artists to create work that astounds and amazes us that defines the identity of PortFringe, and the best show to “fit” the festival is one that pushes that identity forward.
PortFringe 2022 – Logistical Recap
About the Short Format Show
What is it? Apply with your short-format (under 20min) production! PortFringe will match your short show with 2 other short shows to create an exciting one-hour, three-show PortFringe event.
-selected by random chance lottery (uncurated)
-number of performances throughout the festival week: 3
-run-time of up to 20 minutes (including load in/load out)
-artists sharing multi-feature performance tracks split (equally) the box office revenue for the event
-simple tech / lights up, lights down / be ready to enter the space, and “pop-up and go”
About the Late Night Show
What is it? There will be one late night show, in one PortFringe venue, on each of the four weeknights of PortFringe. These are not to be considered as “longer PortFringe shows” – they are specifically designed to be exciting “experiences” for the audience. More details are in the application!
-selected at the discretion of the PortFringe Committee (curated)
-number of performances: 1
-run time: approx 50-75-minute range (there will some flexibility here depending on the show)
-artist will receive 100% of the box office revenue for their performance
-simple tech / lights up, lights down / be ready to enter the space, and “pop-up and go”
Artists may apply with both a short-format show and a late-night proposal, and will pay the $25 for each application submitted. In the event that more than one show from the same Artist is selected, the Artist must choose the one show they’d most like to present.
The same application process (including the January 31 deadline) and $25 application fee apply for both short-format applicants and late night applicants applies; however, selected late night shows will not have to pay the $75 production fee.
Ticket Prices and Artist Payouts:
PortFringe returns 100% of ticket sales back to our Artists.
The base ticket price for 2022 will be $15.00. A sliding scale option for a single ticket may result in some tickets being sold at a lower rate, and some being sold at a higher rate. There will also be opportunities for you to include your Venmo/similar details in the festival guide and other print materials for additional tipping by PortFringe patrons this year. Full box office details will be announced later this winter.
some final considerations…
Make it New! In order to create space for as many types of artists and work as possible, PortFringe asks that you do not apply with a show you’ve already done at PortFringe, or that has been done in the Portland (Maine) area within the 12 months preceding the start of our festival. This includes re-packaging work you’ve already presented with a new title, or some modest edits to your script. Bring something to Portland that you haven’t shown us yet.
Make it Simple! PortFringe 2022 venues will be non-traditional performance spaces, with seating for approximately 30 audience members. PortFringe will provide very basic lighting and audio playback capabilities in each venue. PortFringe will also provide a projector and a screen for any performances that include a film component. There will be no storage for props and set pieces in your venue. There will probably not be a formal “green room” in your venue. PortFringe cannot guarantee a venue that can go completely dark.
The 2022 mantra will be Keep It Simple. Set yourself up for success – be able to “pop-up and go” in any space assigned to you – in fact, your performances will likely be scheduled across multiple venues. Plan accordingly.
Make a Commitment! If you’re planning to breeze in and out of PortFringe just to perform your show, you are definitely missing the point of PortFringe. Celebrate FRINGE and lean into the festival aspect of PortFringe. All Artists must be available Monday through Friday evenings, June 13-17, and all day/evening on Saturday, June 18. Show up. Attend social events. See the work of your fellow artists. Be present. If you cannot commit to full participation, there is someone else who can. Let them have a chance.