Shoe Box Fest 2020!

May 15 - 17, 2020

@ Venice Island

Performing Arts Center

Over the last three years, the Shoe Box Festival has produced dozens of staged art pieces involving hundreds of artists from a plethora of different genres and disciplines. Our stage has hosted puppets and dancers, live painting and improvised noir, experimental film and straight drama, red nose Clown and a Ranch-dressing themed amusement park. We have a strong nose for envelope-pushing work, and our featured artists are given complete creative control. Our job is to make your work shine!

Submissions are currently open for 2020's Short Theatre Festival. If you have a latent performance rolling around in your head waiting to get created or re-created, we encourage you to apply! Shoe Box seeks a wide diversity of pieces, and we will consider any act no matter how strange or apparently straightforward.

WHO: Anyone.
WHAT: A weekend of theatre pieces, each no longer than 45 mins.
WHERE: The Venice Island Performing Arts Center in Manayunk. 7 Lock St., Philadelphia, PA 19127.
WHEN: The weekend of May 15, 2020.
WHY: Because art.
HOW: Submit using the form below!

WHICH: This!


We call it a theatre festival, but we encourage submissions from interdisciplinary artists too! Or if you would like to be involved but don't want to submit a piece yourself, e-mail us at to introduce yourself. We would love to hear from you.


-A VENUE. The Venice Island Performing Arts Center is a state of the art, 250 seat theater in Manayunk. Each group handles all costs of its own production.
-REHEARSAL SPACE. We will have regular open rehearsal slots at Venice Island in the months leading up to the festival.
-AN EXPERIENCED TECH STAFF. The week preceding the festival will be a tech week during which each of the groups will work with our rad tech staff, which includes a lighting designer, sound designer, and backstage hand.
-DRAMATURGICAL CONSULTATION. Our in-house dramaturg will provide one free session of feedback, based on the stated needs of your production! This could involve script assistance, structural analysis, performance notes, or tablework. Further sessions can be scheduled for a negotiable fee.

-PUBLICITY. We will create and disseminate an original poster, facebook event, and publicity materials for the 2020 festival. We will also happily share any publicity materials you forward to us, though we encourage each group to advertise their events individually!
-OPTIONAL FILM OF YOUR PERFORMANCE with our simple one camera set-up.

-KINDNESS AND SUPPORT. We want this to be the most positive and exciting festival it can be!

Shoe Box Theatre Collective will curate the event and set the show schedule. Each piece will have one showing, as part of a larger block of entertainment. Ticket sales will defray our tech staff and materials costs, but we welcome the collection of donations.


We have intentionally put very few restrictions on the sorts of pieces we will consider. The festival is a blank canvas upon which local and regional artists can bring their ideas to fruition. However, these details are important to note.


The runtime of the piece may not exceed 45 minutes (otherwise it wouldn't be a short theatre festival, now would it). We often have a shortage of shorter pieces, so our selection process will be more competitive for pieces above 30 minutes.

Entry to the festival is $35 if you apply by January 12, 2020, and $50 if you apply by the final deadline of February 16, 2020 at midnight. Since we will only collect fees from those acts that are accepted into the festival, the fee must be paid sometime between your acceptance and the end of February. Please contact us with financial concerns, we are happy to open a sliding scale dialogue.


All questions, inquiries, requests, additional submission materials, or fervent exclamations should be directed to:

Submit your idea here! 

Can't Wait?


Check out some notable moments from our 2018 Festival!