Portfringe 2024 festival application


If you’re interested in presenting your work at PortFringe, you’re in the right place. Please make sure to read this entire page before making your final decision on whether or not to apply. If something on this page gives you pause, or makes you ask additional questions that aren’t answered here, please contact us and one of the PortFringe Committee Members will happily get back to you in a timely manner.

Applications OPEN on January 1
Applications will CLOSE on January 31
(application appears at the bottom of this page)


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: PortFringe is 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.The ideal PortFringe show is fresh, unique, and your heart has been poured into it.

We put our trust in you 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.

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 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.


In 2022, after a decade (including 2 pandemic-impacted years), PortFringe moved our festival operations to a new neighborhood, and made significant changes to our programming format. As we look ahead to 2024, we will be investing in infrastructure, deepening our relationships with our new venues and community partners, and working to prioritize the accessibility, safety, and enjoyment of all participants. While we have a long history of welcoming national and international touring artists to PortFringe, we will be accepting applications from local artists only in 2024 so that we can more fully focus on this work. We look forward to welcoming touring artists back to Portland next year!

PortFringe only accepts applications in two categories – Short Format work (30min or less), and Late Night Audience Experiences (60-75min). There are additional specific requirements for each of these categories outlined below on this page.

For the purposes of this application process, “Local” is defined as any Artists within commuting distance of Portland, Maine or with direct connections to friends/family and housing within commuting distance of Portland, Maine. Contact us if you have further questions.

Please review our 2024 health & safety updates.


  • January 2, 2024 – Applications open
  • January 31, 2024 – Applications close & application fees due
  • February 15, 2024 – Lottery results sent to Artists
  • March 1, 2024 – Production fees due (link will be provided to accepted artists)
  • April 6, 2024 – PortFringe 2024 Artists announced to public
  • June 24-30, 2024 – PortFringe 2024 Festival takes place


PortFringe 2024 will accept applications from any local (to Portland, Maine) artists who present live performance work of any genre. We are particularly excited about interdisciplinary work that surprises our community. PortFringe asks only:

  • That you bring something to Portland that you haven’t shown us yet. In order to create space for as many types of artists and work as possible, do not apply with a show you’ve already done at PortFringe, or that has been done in the Portland (Maine) within the 12 months preceding PortFringe 2024 (so, nothing taking place after June 1, 2023). This includes re-packaging work you’ve already presented with a new title, or some modest edits to your script.
  • That you make arrangements to fully participate in the 2024 Festival. If you’re planning to breeze in and out of PortFringe just to perform your show, you are definitely missing the point of PortFringe. We expect artists to do everything they can to show up, attend social events, see the work of your fellow artists, and be present. If you cannot commit to full participation, there is someone else who can. Let them have a chance.

Special Note for Young Performers: We welcome your interest! If you are under the age of 18, and would like to participate in PortFringe, we will need additional information from you.  Please contact us before applying so we can guide you through this process!


As indicated above, there are 2 options for presenting your work at PortFringe 2024. Please review the following information carefully before deciding how to proceed. You may submit just one application to PortFringe 2024.


Apply with your short-format experimental work, scripted piece, storytelling, or any other performance art that fits the rules and parameters of our festival!

  • 20-30 minutes in length
  • 3 performances
  • Shared billing (your show will be matched with another PortFringe short-format show to create a double feature ticketed event
  • Will be presented in a non-traditional (non-theater) space with minimal tech requirements
  • 100% of the box office returns are split equally between the 2 shows

Selection Process: Short Format Shows will be selected by way of a random lottery process. This lottery will be conducted and all applicants notified of outcome on or before February 18, 2024.

Anticipated Number of Accepted Short Format Artists in 2024: 12


Apply with your original, longer-format show that provides an engaging, one-of-a-kind performance experience for the PortFringe community!

  • 60-75 minutes in length
  • One-night only
  • Single billing (you do not share your performance slot with other artists)
  • Take place in a restaurant/bar/social gathering setting. Audience members are encouraged to patronize the bar during your performance. Keep that in mind before applying
  • You receive 100% of the box office returns for your show 

Selection Process: Applications will be reviewed and shows selected by a subset of the PortFringe Committee. All applicants will be notified of outcome on or before February 18, 2024.

Accepted Number of Accepted Late Night Artists in 2024: 4

The PortFringe 2024 Equity-Seeking Artist Priority Lottery

PortFringe 2024 is holding 50% of our Short-Format Show spots for Equity-Seeking Artist applicants. Equity-seeking artists are artists who are members of a group, or groups, who are marginalized by societal structures and systems of oppression.

The 2024 priority lottery is open to self-identifying Artists as follows:

  • Artists who are Indigenous, Black, Brown, Asian, Arab, Southwest Asian, and North African
  • Artists who are members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community
  • Disabled Artists
  • Neurodivergent Artists
  • Artists with two or more intersecting identities listed above

More information about this lottery filter can be found in the application. Equity-seeking artists are under no obligation to participate in this priority lottery.

PortFringe is committed to being a more accessible and equitable festival. We are also addressing the physical and financial accessibility of our festival in 2024. We welcome your feedback – contact PortFringe with your suggestions and observations about our access and equity work.


There are two Artist Fees at PortFringe – an Application Fee ($25) for each Artist applicant, and a Production Fee ($175) for each Artist selected for participation in the Festival. There are no other fees associated with PortFringe participation.

These fees offset part of the expenses of festival management each year including venue rentals, technical equipment, marketing, box office operations, and printing of festival guides. PortFringe also receives generous support from festival sponsorships, individual donors, and the proceeds of our annual POP-UP PortFringe event.

While we work hard to keep our Festival affordable, we acknowledge that for many artists payment of these fees in one lump sum may cause financial hardship. If that is the case, please contact us to arrange installment payments, or to discuss other ways we might be able to alleviate some of the financial burden.


Click the big button below to begin the application. Please read everything carefully and do not forget to click SUBMIT at the end of the form. You will receive a copy of your responses upon submitting your application. If you do not receive a copy of your responses, your application may not have been received.

Contact PortFringe if:

  • You did not receive a copy of your responses after submitting your online application, so we may check on the status of your submission, or provide technical assistance; or
  • You are unable to access or use the Google Form application (for any reason), so that we may find an alternative way to receive your application information!

Thank you so much for your interest in PortFringe!


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