Welcome welcome welcome to the PortFringe 2018 Volunteer Center!
This page will be your first go-to for resources and information about volunteering at PortFringe.
From scheduling and FAQ to best policies and practices, this is the place to get started!

PortFringe is an all-volunteer run festival. From our organizing team to the folks hanging posters, we rely on you, our volunteers, to make it all happen. Join one of Portland’s most diverse and most bizarre arts offerings this year. Volunteering is a great way to connect to Portland’s performing arts community. All volunteers receivee a free PortFringe Volunteer T-shirt, plus one free show pass per shift they work, and a number of other perks!

Sooooo….. This year, we’ll be managing and scheduling our amazing team of Volunteers based on what kind of volunteering they’ll be doing:
Box Office/Publicity and/or Technical Theatre, AND those two kinds of volunteers will be coordinated by different members of the Fringe Team.   Here are some examples of what volunteering in these two different areas might look like:

BOX OFFICE/PUBLICITY volunteers will work with Liz Patterson as Box Office/Publicity (BOP) volunteers at our various performance venues around Portland; BOP folks may also be asked to spend part of their shifts doing general publicity support (Street Team).  Generally each venue has 2 BOP volunteers per shift. BOP folks welcome and greet audience, hand out programs, serve as ushers, and deliver short curtain speeches at the start of each show. Click here to sign up for shifts!

In addition to BOP volunteers, we are also looking for folks with some previous Box Office/Theatre experience to be Box Office Managers.  If you’ve volunteered or worked in a box office before (whether it’s at Fringe or any other performance environment/event!) and would like to take more of a leadership role in terms of coordinating with Artists and participating in the inner workings of Fringe, we’d love to talk to you about the amazing benefits of Managing!!  Interested?  Curious?  Email Liz directly!  liz@portfringe.com

TECHNICAL volunteers will work with Corey Anderson and Caroline Kyros to help with load-ins, tech rehearsals, and to run light and sound boards during shows.  Folks interested in doing Technical volunteering should contact Corey (corey@portfringe.com) or Caroline (caroline@portfringe.com) directly.  


  • Scheduling:  When you sign up for a Box Office/Publicity shift, you become responsible for covering that shift and position in full.  One of the core values at Fringe is community, and we feel like the best way to build that community is to make sure that all of our amazing Artists and our incredible Volunteers arrive with clear expectations, prepared and ready to go.  
  • During the Show:  PortFringe shows are amazing, and we totally get that you want to watch them.  Who wouldn’t?? But if you’re working a show in Box Office/Publicity, we need your attention and focus to be on those arenas, and show time is oftentimes even busier than pre-show:  handling late comers, making sure that tickets out matches money in, organizing box office materials, etc. Again, this is in best service of our Artists and audiences. With this in mind, our best advice to potential Volunteers is that you NOT sign up to work a show that you want to see.  
  • Volunteer Passes:  In addition to your amazing PortFringe Volunteer T-shirt, you will also get one FREE Volunteer Show Pass for each full shift you work.  If you only sign up for one shift, you can pick up your Volunteer Show Pass as soon as your shift is over. If you work more than one shift, you can pick up all of your passes as soon as your first shift is over.  


Q:  What if I don’t have any experience in theatre?  

A:  Any and every skill set is valued and appreciated at PortFringe, particularly in Box Office/Publicity!  As long as you have energy and excitement and a willingness to engage with people (and a little bit of chaos at times), we want you!

Q:  How long are shifts?

A:  Volunteer shifts are four hours long. You can work one shift, or you can work two, three…. Or ten! We love it if volunteers can commit to 2-3 shifts over the course of the festival, and we make special preference for our Tech Volunteers who are available to staff the same venue for multiple days.

Q:  What’s in it for me?

A:  All PortFringe volunteers will get one FREE Volunteer Pass (1 free show) per fully completed shift worked. If you work 16+ hours (4 shifts) you will get one FREE VIP Pass for the entire festival.  All PortFringe volunteers will also get a free PortFringe Volunteer T-shirt, and for 2018 we are adding in some special incentives and goodies for folks who work shifts on the last weekend of the festival.  Stay tuned for that!

Likewise, volunteering for PortFringe is an excellent opportunity to get to know the theater and performing arts community locally. It’s also a great chance to experience a huge amount of performances and learn from the successes and risks of the 40+ artists involved in the festival.

Questions?  Concerns? Comments?  Helpful household hints you’d like to share??  Send ‘em my way!

Liz  |  liz@portfringe.com