Fringe Show Applications

The Scranton Fringe Festival returns for its third year of engaging and eclectic theater, music, dance, puppetry, comedy and much much more! The 2017 Scranton Fringe Festival will take place September 27th – October 1st in several venues throughout downtown Scranton.

Once again the Scranton Fringe Festival is thrilled not to charge ANY application fees – all are welcome to submit and share their submissions freely!

Applications will be live February 10th through March 25th – please read below for important information you will need before applying OR download a PDF of the info here!

2017 Scranton Fringe Performing Arts Application

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

Fantastic! We are dedicated to creating 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. If that sounds like your kind of festival, please read below for more details!

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 filling out your information. These guidelines and application are part of your contract with Scranton Fringe.

Applications will be open February 10th to March 25th at 5:00 pm (EST).

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

2017 will be our 3rd Scranton Fringe Festival, and we’ve been listening to audience 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; immersive theater; solo shows; and children’s programming. 
  • We are NOT looking for: anything shorter than 45 minutes, stage readings, music, or reprises of productions recently performed in the area. 

Is Fringe right for your production?

We believe there’s a place for everyone in Fringe and we welcome participation from anyone who wants to come play. But Fringe isn’t the right place for every kind of production.

Out of necessity, Fringe’s production framework is rather specific.  We don’t want to discourage you from dreaming big, but there are some real limitations you’ll have to take into account for your show:

  • All shows must fit either the standard (45-60 minute length) OR extended/feature (60-80 minute length) time limits. These time limits include any curtain calls or audience discussions. Shows that run longer will be cut off by the house lights to maintain the schedule, without exceptions.  PLEASE NOTE: 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). 
  • No elaborate tech. You must be able to load in and set up your show in ten minutes, and you get the same ten minutes to strike after your show. Storage is available at ALL Scranton Fringe venues, but the exact amount varies. The “featured/extend length” productions have the potential for more advance tech (though fundamental Fringe principles still apply). 
  • You may bring in additional projection equipment to venues only with advance notice and permission. We understand multi media / AV projection can be a creative element in your show, but help us help YOU by giving us as much notice as possible. Fringe reserves the right to not allow any special / outside tech in certain venues if advanced notice was not given.
  • Promote! Promote! Promote! All productions / shows within the festival are required to promote their own show using the Scranton Fringe festival logo (provided) on all marketing materials.
  • Marketing Workshop. Scranton Fringe will conduct a special marketing workshop (at least two sessions) in advance of the 2017 festival. At least 1 delegate from every production must attend one of the sessions. Skype attendance will be arranged for out-of-town artists. 
  • Stage Readings: Fringe loves work that is “in progress” – however for our mainstage performances we will not be considering any stage readings for 2017 (The free Teen Playwright Showcase being the only exception). Stage readings are not what our audiences are typically looking for. However, we are currently considering offering a “Playwright’s Lab” during the 2017 Festival so writers can present their own stage readings as free performances. Interested in mounting a stage reading at Scranton Fringe 2017? Contact us at (Please note “stage readings” do not apply to poetry or prose readings wherein “Reading” the work live is the standard medium). 
  • Stand Up Comedy: More info on how to submit to the Comedy Showcase coming soon!
  • Children’s Theater: In 2017 we have added a special application for our children’s programming, Early Stages (formerly called FringeYOUTH). This is a curated series with slightly different aims/rules than the main festival, presented free to the public with funding from a Lackawanna County Arts & Culture grant. CHECK BACK FEBRUARY 10TH to apply for Early Stages.

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.

The basics: Time and money

  • Scranton Fringe Festival 2017 will take place Wed. September 27th – Sunday October 1st. All shows should be prepared to perform anytime within the festival (as well as 1 tech rehearsal sometime between Friday September 22nd –Tuesday September 26th).
  • 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 4-8 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).
  • 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 (based on venue size x number of performances)
    • Featured Venue: $100 per show* 
    • Large Venue: $75 per show 
    • Medium Venue: $50 per show 
    • Small Venue: $35 per show 

* All those applying will be able to offer their suggested number of performances / venue size (though final offer is made by Fringe / presented with initial contract). The “featured/extend length” productions have the potential for more advance tech. Please note all shows wishing to be considered within the “featured” slots must commit to at least two (2) performances. 

  • Selected shows will be offered a contract (with venue/schedule) by May 2017. 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.
  • Keep in mind the most important 2017 dates / deadlines:
    • February 10th:  Main Applications & Early Stages Applications Open
    • March 25th: Main Applications& Early Stages Applications Close 
    • April 5th – Open Call for Visual Fringe
    • May 31st – Deadline for Visual Fringe

What you get:

  • 1-3 scheduled performances at the 2017 Scranton Fringe Festival 
  • 70% of your box office receipts.  
  • Tech equipped venues with basic lights/sound.
  • A dedicated venue manager (to assist with questions / communication leading up to the festival). 
  • A dedicated tech manager to help set cues and run the boards for your show. 
  • Guaranteed 1 tech rehearsal (2 hours in length) in your venue with tech manager.
  • 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.
  • Blueprints or photos of your venue.
  • Listing / page for your show on our website.
  • Listing / publicity image within the widely distributed 2017 Scranton Fringe Guide.
  • 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, 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. 
  • It’s up to you to provide costumes, props, sound cues and set pieces. Please keep your tech (lighting / sound / set strikes / etc) flexible and simple.
  • 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. 

Please remember that Fringe is a different producing environment than “normal” theater. This isn’t just another kind of venue rental — you’re part of a bigger picture here, which is part of the fun. The Fringe pace is faster, the timeline is more compressed, and you have less control over venue choice, tech, ticketing and schedule. Requests that might be reasonable in a single-show venue might be a logistical nightmare in Fringe, with so many shows in so many venues. This is NOT to “restrict” your creativity, but to create an opportunity many groups could not afford without a platform like Fringe.  We need you to trust that our guidelines and rules are in place to keep everything running smoothly. We work VERY hard to get you the widest and most excited audiences possible – we encourage you to take advantage of all that makes a Fringe unique!

Producers who fail to follow the rules will be removed from the festival, which may result in the forfeiture of production fee, performance slots and box office receipts, and may impact their eligibility to participate in future festivals.

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!

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