BorderLight, Heavy on the Fringe.

Thursday, August 3 - Saturday, August 5, 2023.

BorderLight returns in 2023 with our first all-fringe devoted festival. This all-fringe festival will focus on domestic artists and will support work at many stages of development.

Join us on February 5th at 3:00 P.M. EST for our live Q & A session led by BorderLight Associate Producer Josy Jones and Executive & Artistic Director Dale Heinen. Learn everything you need to know before the application deadline of February 28th, 2023.

Register for free below or scroll down further to start the application process.

Applying is As Easy As 1-2-3!

Applications for the 2023 BorderLight Fringe Festival are now OPEN! Deadline to apply is February 28, 2023!

The BorderLight Fringe is the open call submission part of the Festival—the application fee is $25. The Festival welcomes work from both established and emerging companies—we look forward to hearing from you!


Read our 2023 Application guide, and familiarize yourself with our FAQs.


Download the Sample Application. Please note, your actual application will be submitted through an online portal (in Step 3) and there is no saving mid-process on that portal. Use this sample to prep and save your answers before you copy them over.


Submit the online application. The deadline for submissions in February 28, 2023.

Important note: the online form must be completed in one session - no saving mid-process. See Step 2 for more details.

Questions? Read our Frequently Asked Questions. If you still have questions, email in advance of the deadline. We look forward to receiving your submission!

Due to the limited number of venues and schedule slots, the BorderLight Fringe program is determined through a selection process. The application does not guarantee acceptance in the festival. All proposals are reviewed by a diverse panel of industry professionals and theatre practitioners, in collaboration with BorderLight Festival staff. Productions that are not chosen during the initial selection may be placed on a waitlist in the event of a cancellation.

What is "The Fringe" Anyway?

The “fringe” concept first developed in 1948 in Edinburgh, Scotland, when groups of local actors, performers, and musicians—in reaction to the more conventional lineup of the Edinburgh Theatre Festival—launched an alternative program to run concurrent to the main event. Now almost 73 years later, the term ‘fringe’ widely refers to work that resides on the edges of the mainstream—and fringe festivals have served as a critical launch pad for independent artists to self-produce, showcase original work, engage new audiences, and network with fellow indie artists and producers inside of a vibrant festival environment.

There are now 100s of fringe festivals in North America and across the world... and each has its own structure and personality.

BorderLight is a proud member of the United Association of Fringe Festivals (USAFF) and World Fringe Network.

The Best is Yet to Come

BorderLight has been delighting audiences with fringe performances since 2019. Learn about our history, as well as what we're planning for the future!


BorderLight debuted with 40 productions and special events over 4 days, including work from South Africa, Syria, Mexico, Ireland, and Israel.

See More from 2019


Due to COVID-19, the festival pivoted to a Virtual Fringe Festival, featuring 38 live-streamed and on-demand performances from around the world. 

See More From 2021


BorderLight returned to Downtown Cleveland with 46 shows over 5 days, including work from Germany, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia. 

See More From 2022


BorderLight adopts an annual cadence with its first all-fringe festival!

Apply for the 2023 Festival


BorderLight International Festival & Fringe returns.

Ready to Apply?

If you have read through everything you need to, and are ready to apply, click the button below to start your application. Remember, there is no saving mid-process, so make sure to have your sample application close by for quick reference and copy/pasting. We can't wait to see your ideas for BorderLight 2023!

Frequently Asked Questions

Still Have Questions?

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