How To Apply: 2019 Scranton Fringe Festival

2016 Fringe Preview Party

The 2019 Scranton Fringe Festival (September 27th – October 6th) is a celebration of community and the performing arts! For the past four years we have presented hundreds of creative works to over 10,000+ unique audience members!

Applications will open February 22nd – but till then, we have some VERY important information for you to review to help you prepare!

So you want to do a show at the Scranton Fringe Festival? … Fantastic!

We are dedicated to providing an engaging and accessible platform for artists (and audiences) of all kinds! Theatre, puppetry, dance and much more on welcomed on the Fringe! The Scranton Fringe team is here to help whether this is your first time applying or you’ve been involved before. We are an emerging festival based inside a walkable downtown footprint and focused on the community experience of our artists, patrons, & community partners.

The 2019 Scranton Fringe Festival will be held Friday, September 27th through Sunday, October 6th across downtown Scranton! Many performances will be scheduled from Thursday, October 3rd through Sunday, October 6th — Touring / out of town artists are NOT required to arrive the from the very start of the Festival.

Applying to Fringe

Please read ALL of the info below before applying – even if you are Scranton Fringe alumni (welcome back) there have been MANY big changes! We are honing in this year to make the festival even better – so production slots will be more limited than previous years. Please read carefully and be sure you understand the changes before completing your application. These guidelines and application will also be part of your contract with Scranton Fringe. Applications will be open Friday, February 22nd to Sunday, April 7th at 5:00 pm (EST).


What types of shows / mediums work best at the Scranton Fringe?

2019 will be our 5th Scranton Fringe Festival, and we’ve been listening to audience and artist feedback to help guide what works best/what isn’t the best fit.


  • We are looking for: new takes on old works; newly created pieces; quirky, unusual, vibrant and creative theater; cabaret; dance; puppetry; magic; musicals; comedy; immersive theater; circus; solo shows, children’s programming and select Site Specific performances!


  • We are NOT looking for: anything shorter than 45 minutes, stage readings (that will be called for in a different application),  or reprises of productions recently performed in the Scranton area.


Expectations for Scranton Fringe Festival Performances

We believe there’s a place for everyone “on the Fringe” and we welcome participation from anyone who wants to take part. That being said, Fringe isn’t the right place for every kind of production. Out of necessity, Fringe’s production framework is rather specific.

  • Performance Length:  All shows must fit either the standard (45-60 minute length) OR extended (60-80 minute length) time limits. All shows require at least 45 minutes of content (it will not be permitted for a show to justify 45 minutes with intermissions/set changes/etc).


  • Performance Tech: Basic theatrical lighting and access to a sound system will be supplied at all venues. No elaborate tech should be expected. All productions are expected to set-up/ strike their stage in the 10 minute windows prior to and following their set performance time.  Adhering to this timeframe is critical for the tight performance schedule during our Festival weekend. Production storage is available at all Scranton Fringe venues, but the amount of available space varies from venue to venue. The “featured/extend length” productions have the potential for more advanced tech, though fundamental Fringe principles still apply. Additionally, production teams may supply additional technical equipment such as projectors with advanced notice and permission.


  • Marketing: Promote! Promote! Promote! All productions / shows within the festival are required to promote their performance using our official Scranton Fringe Festival logo on all marketing materials. Scranton Fringe will supply you with digital files of our logo, best practice tips, regional press contacts and will conduct a marketing workshop leading up to the 2019 festival. At least 1 delegate from each production must attend one of the sessions. Skype attendance will be arranged for out-of-town artists.


  • Children’s Theater: This year, we are once again accepting applications for our children’s programming, Early Stages, within the main application. This is a curated series with slightly different aims/rules than the main festival. We are proud to present all productions in this series thanks to generous community supporters and a grant from the Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department. Please email with any questions regarding Early Stages.


  • Site Specific Theatre:   We understand that not all theatrical pieces are best suited for a traditional theatre-space.  If your production would benefit from, or requires a setting other than our provided venues, you have the option to propose your own performance space!  Want to stage Moby Dick at a fish store? An original play in a full working kitchen? We want to help!

All Site Specific Applicants should complete the regular Fringe application, where you will be able to expand upon your production and site specific plans.  Site Specific productions are expected to secure their own performance space and production tech. Upon applying, we will be in touch via email to discuss further details of this arrangement.


Please note that we will only accept one application per primary contact and/or one application per producing company. If accepted into the festival, this primary contact will be responsible for ensuring ALL members of their team get any updates from Fringe and comply with the contract. While it is not prohibited for performers to participate in more than one Fringe production, Scranton Fringe can make no specific scheduling accommodations for actors to be in multiple shows.


RETROSPECTIVE (presented by the New Vintage Ensemble)

THE BASICS: Time and Money

  • Scranton Fringe Festival 2019 will take place Friday, September 27th – Sunday, October 6th. All shows should be prepared to perform anytime within the festival (as well as 1 tech rehearsal leading up to / during this time period). Please note majority of performances will occur Thursday, October 3rd through Sunday, October 6th — Touring / out of town artists are NOT required to arrive the from the very start of the Festival.

Scranton Fringe does not charge any application fee – you are free to submit your most Fringe-worthy production without risking any funds!


  • Each production receives 70% of its box office receipts (paid by check / mailed 6-10 weeks following the festival).


  • If selected, all productions are required to pay a production fee. Production fee revenue will be utilized to help cover just part of the festivals many expenses (venue rental, tech, staffing, insurance, printing, general marketing, etc). Please note while we do not require insurance of any production (unless production utilizes extreme items such as fire, smoke, etc) the Festival requires all productions to release the Festival from liability. Having your own production based insurance is a matter for each show / producer to consider. 


  • Production fees vary depending on number of shows and size of venue. These fees directly fund the festival costs and help make the festival sustainable. Fringe will try to accommodate your choices as space/schedule allows & the specifics will be noted in each contract. The breakdown of fees is as follows:


  • 2 performances small venue ($80)
  • 2 performances medium venue ($120)
  • 2 performances large venue ($240)
  • 3 performances small venue ($120)
  • 3 performances medium venue ($180)
  • 3 performances Large venue ($360)

                 Additional performances, site specific work and other special      circumstance fees will be discussed on a case by case basis.


  • Selected shows will be offered a contract (with venue/schedule) by May 2019. Production fees are due upon signing. Shows that fail to reply by the TBD deadline run the risk of their slot being offered to another applicant.


Important 2019 Dates/ Deadlines:

  • February 22nd: Main Applications & Early Stages Applications Open
  • March 30th: Main Applications & Early Stages Applications Close
  • May 31st: Festival acceptance / decline notices sent by this date (approx)
  • September 27th through October 6th – 2019 Scranton Fringe Festival


What you get:

  • Between 1 – 5 scheduled performances at the 2019 Scranton Fringe Festival
  • 70% of your box office sales.
  • Tech equipped venues with basic lights/sound.
  • A dedicated venue manager (to assist with questions / communication leading up to the festival).
  • Guaranteed 1 tech rehearsal (2 to 3 hours in length) in your venue under supervision of our tech director (or one of their appointed assistants).
  • Ticket sales handled (advance and walk-up), box office staff and front-of-house services.
  • Free access to workshops and one-on-one help sessions with Fringe staff including creative feedback, marketing advice, reference to community resources, etc.
  • Spec sheets and/or photos of your venue.
  • Listing / page for your show on our website.
  • Listing / publicity image within the widely distributed 2019 Scranton Fringe Guide (10,000+ copies printed and online for download)
  • Distribution of your show’s basic information and publicity image to all Scranton Fringe media contacts.
  • A set amount of artist passes for your cast/main production crew to enjoy the other shows at the Fringe
  • Assistance securing free or reduced price accommodations during the festival for out of town acts.


What you’re responsible for:

  • You find or create your own script (it can be an existing piece), arrange for your own actors and director, costumes, props and any internal payments. You’ll also be responsible for acquiring any necessary rights or permissions BEFORE you sign your contract and providing copies to Scranton Fringe.


  • Performing the production / show you apply with! We understand (and love) the organic process many performing arts projects undergo, and while reasonable change/growth is fine we will not permit companies to submit with SHOW A but then at a later date wish to produce SHOW B. We need to know who & what we are promoting, and as our Festival Guide goes to press early, substitutions are not allowed.


  • A dedicated tech manager to help set cues and run the boards for your show.  


  • Marketing your own show. We spend a great deal of time and resources marketing the overall festival – it is up to you to promote your own show!


  • Abiding by the Fringe rules and deadlines.


  • Coming from outside the United States? You’ll be responsible for arranging all necessary visas and work permits. Please note that the visa process can be long and complicated, and we may not be able to assist you. The sooner you contact us with your interest the more help we are likely able to provide!

We are so grateful for your time and talents! Questions? Let us know!