2021 Festival

On behalf of the Board of Directors and BorderLight Festival staff, it is with heavy hearts that we announce the postponement of this year’s in-person BorderLight Festival, which was scheduled to take place July 22-24, 2021. This decision was made at a special meeting of the Board on April 30. Virtual fringe programming and self-guided audio events will continue as planned. Please find our full update via the link below.

BorderLight 2021: A Theatre Festival for a Changed World.

In light of the ever-changing situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 BorderLight International Theatre + Fringe Festival has been reimagined as a primarily outdoor event, with safety protocols overseen by health advisors and in compliance with regional public safety guidelines.

BorderLight will remain achored in downtown Cleveland, making the festival accessible to visitors from across the city and beyond. Performances will take place across outdoor stages, green spaces, and other open air locations that allow for social distancing, along with virtual options to enjoy from any location in the world.

BorderLight is a hybrid festival model, featuring:

  • a curated selection of international touring productions,
  • commissioned collaborations between Cleveland professional theatres and international artists, and
  • fringe festival programmed through an open call for submissions, featuring all genres of theatrical performance self-produced by local and national artists.

We believe that theatre has a role to play in rebuilding the bonds of community strained by prolonged isolation, illness, trauma, economic upheaval, and social inequity. It is with great excitement that we build and plan the 2021 Festival in service to this mission. We welcome your support.

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For all other inquiries, contact us here.

"BorderLight has ignited a beacon."

- Thomas Mulready, COOL Cleveland

2019 Festival Recap

BorderLight's debut exceeded expectations by key measures. Enjoy this recap and get a taste of what's to come in 2021.

Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback of artists and audiences alike - we believe Cleveland is ready to embrace the festival as part of the cultural landscape of the city.


Roger Titley's Creatures

With the support of key advisors, stakeholders, staff, and board, we are excited to announce that the next BorderLight International Theatre + Fringe Festival will take place July 2021. We hope you will join us in advancing BorderLight’s growth as an enduring biennial summer theatre festival and a sustainable organization.


And thus, our work continues! The last few months have included everything from touring prospective new venues downtown, attending a national convening of fringe festival producers, building our base of supporters, and preliminary work on the international programming front. It is a fertile and active time for our young organization. We welcome your interest, your curiosity, your commitment, and your support.



In the meantime...

Relive the magic of the festival by following this link which includes photos, press, and other highlights. And please consider supporting our efforts by making a donation with the button below. Every bit counts - thank you.