Interested in presenting artistic work in the 4th Annual Milwaukee Fringe Festival? Awesome!  Submissions are NOW OPEN!

Our volunteer team of arts professionals is already hard at work! As we venture into 2019 – our fourth year of the festival – we’re excited to continue to grow our community of artists. Read the info on this page and take a look at our Letter to Participants before submissions to the Milwaukee Fringe Fest!

What are we Looking For?

The Milwaukee Fringe Festival is a unique multi-faceted performing and visual art festival and we hope to include art from various disciplines from Milwaukee, the state of Wisconsin and beyond! We are looking for live theatre, one person shows, dance, live music, visual artists, and performance art! Submissions are judged and selected for the Fringe Fest based primarily on: originality, creativity, and professionalism.

Have an idea for a show but it’s not created yet? Tell us what we can expect! Provide us with as much information as possible. If you only have a concept for a show, elaborate on what you would want the show to be including themes and subject matter. You can include a video of your performance or style, talk about your vision and tell us if your video is what we will see on stage, or just an example of the art you can do.

Applying to the Fringe

It’s easy. Read all of our information provided here and then go ahead and fill out our online application. (Note that we are unable to accept late applications.) Submissions are accepted starting February 2, 2019 and the final deadline is March 31, 2019 at 11:59pm. Application fee is $25. Your completed application and payment of submission fee are due no later than the final deadline of March 31st, 2019 at 11:59pm.

Accepted performances will require a production fee to be paid to help cover costs of the venue, but artists will be paid back a percentage of ticket sales (many artists from last year made a profit on their shows.) Outdoor performances will not be charged a production fee, but outdoor shows aren’t ticketed, so they will not receive a percentage of ticket sales.

  • A limited number of scholarships will be awarded to cover the production fee. You can indicate your need for this on the application form.

Please complete one application per project/company wishing to join in the Milwaukee Fringe Festival! (Submission fees from applicants not admitted to the festival are non-refundable.)

Returning performers already familiar with the process can submit here.

Basic Information

  • The Milwaukee Fringe Festival performance dates are Friday, August 23rd Saturday, August 24th and Sunday, August 25th, 2019.
  • The application fee is $25.
  • All applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified by April 30th, 2019.
  • Production fee for indoor performances (Vogel Hall and Todd Wehr Theatre) is $215. There is no production fee for outdoor performers, roving performers or visual art. Fee paid upon acceptance into the festival no later than May 1st. Please read our Letter to Participants.
  • The MKE Fringe will include artists and artwork from as many domains as possible (ie. theater, dance, music, performance art, painting, sculpting, & mixed media).

What You’ll Get

  • One or two performances in the Milwaukee Fringe Festival.
  • A professional-grade venue with a standard light plot and sound capabilities.
  • Indoor performances will include professional technicians to run tech during your show, a Stage Manager, Ushers and support staff.
  • A short tech time to set lighting, sound levels and cues.
  • Promotional information on the Fringe and venue for your show.
  • Listings on all official Fringe schedules, website and social media.
  • Distribution of your show’s information to press (when applicable).
  • Artist passes for you and your cast to see other Milwaukee Fringe shows for free.

What You Are Responsible For

  • Submitting a complete application and paying the submission fee on or before the deadline.
  • Finding/creating your show. This includes actors, performers, musicians, directors.
  • Any payment arrangements for your cast.
  • Acquiring any necessary rights or permissions for your show.
  • Providing costumes, props, set pieces, and cues for your show.
  • Marketing your show! (We work to get people out to the Fringe, but it is your job to grab attention and build your audience.)

Please keep in mind that the Milwaukee Fringe Festival is different than producing your own show. Your show is part of a greater picture – more than 40 different events in 2 days. We take care of the venue rental, production staff, scheduling and ticketing. The Fringe schedule and event runs at a fast pace, and our timeline is compressed. Reasonable requests in other circumstances could be an unrealistic request in the Fringe. There are so many shows and venues within the Fringe. We need you to trust in, and comply with, our guidelines and rules to keep everything running smoothly. We ask you be professional, on time and prepared for a great weekend!

Companies, directors, and/or shows that do not follow the rules will need to be removed from the festival. Keep in mind, this may result in the forfeiture of the submission fee, production fee, performance slots, and other work put towards your Fringe Fest show.

Is the Milwaukee Fringe Right For Your Show?

We sure hope so! We’ll do all we can on our end to make sure that your show, if selected, will be successful. We believe there can be a place for everyone who wants to present work. With our past experience, we have learned that the Fringe is not quite right for every type of production…

Out of necessity, Milwaukee Fringe Festival’s framework, rules, and guidelines will not be negotiated and individual exceptions will not be made. We value your prior experiences and self-efficacy, but there are some real limitations that need to be accounted for.

Indoor Performances

  • All shows must be no shorter than 15 minutes and no longer than 60 minutes in length. This time limit includes curtain calls, bows, and audience talk backs (if applicable). Nothing starts late, and nothing runs long.
  • No elaborate tech. Tech time and availability is very limited and will run on a tight schedule. A standard light plot is available which will provide a lot of options, no lights will be moved for your show.
  • No Storage Space. You are responsible for loading in and out your set, props and costumes for tech and your show. Storage space in venues is not available.
  • Not all indoor venues have projection capabilities. If you are hoping to include projections in your show, make sure to note this in your submission application. (It is not guaranteed that if you request to be in a venue with projection capabilities that we will be able to place you in one.)

Outdoor Performances

  • Your show/performance length can be flexible.
  • Outdoor performances will happen rain or shine.
  • Provided tech equipment will be limited. Depending on your outdoor location, little to no tech will be available. Please indicate in your submission any tech needs. Tech can not be provided for roving performances.
  • You may accept tips or sell your own merchandise with signage. No begging or demanding of money of any kind will be accepted.

Visual Art

  • Live Painting/ live art making, artist collaborations, interactive displays, or art that promotes audience input are encouraged at the Festival.
  • Visual artists accepted to the Fringe Festival will be given space to display art outside rain or shine. You must provide your own display method.
  • You may accept tips or sell your own art with signage. No begging or demanding of money of any kind will be accepted.

**Please note that your request for an indoor or outdoor performance space/venue must be made on your original submission.  We have the right to choose the venue most appropriate for your performance.**

The Juried Process/Selection

The submission process for the Milwaukee Fringe Festival is a juried selection. All submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges from each arts discipline. Submissions will be chosen based on originality, creativity, artistic integrity and relation to the mission of the MKE Fringe Fest.

If you have any questions about this process, just ask!

Ready To Apply?

Whew! That was quite a bit of information but you got through it! We’re glad you’re still with us. Please know that the Milwaukee Fringe Festival Team is doing and will continue to do as much as we can to make this festival and your show a success.

If you’ve got questions, please contact us at or on our Facebook page.

Submit Your Online Application Here!

Good luck!