Shoestring Theater Festival

Ghost Light Players’ Shoestring Theater Festival is a chance for local theater artists to gather in a community setting and perform works of their choice.  There are no restrictions on genre, style, or scope.  There are, in fact, only two restrictions:  time and money.  

What It Is:

Rule#1:  Each production is restricted to a total budget of $50.00.  

Rule#2:  Each production must have a maximum run time of 50 minutes. 

Rule#3:  Each production will have 10 minutes total for setup and breakdown (to be divided up according to the production needs).

Other than that, anything goes.  Want to mount a musical?  Do it.  Want to perform Greek tragedy?  Have at.  Want to workshop an original piece?  We invite you to join us.  The more diverse, the better.  Aim high, disrupt expectations, have a blast.  We can’t wait to see what you put together. 

Who It Is:

Ghost Light Players will be hosting and running the festival. Participants can be from an established theater company, or a group of theater artists who come together for just this production.  A cast of 40, or a one-person show.  There are no restrictions on cast size, crew size, or affiliation with an existing theater company.  All are welcome to participate, as long as they follow our Rules. 

When and Where It Is:

Ghost Light Players’ Shoestring Theater Festival will take place the weekend of September 6-7.  Performances will be on Saturday, September 7.  Friday, September 6 will be short load-in and tech sessions for each production.  

The Festival will take place at Ghost Light Players’ home space, The First Church of Marlborough, 37 High Street in Marlborough MA.  

What Is Provided:

As your host, Ghost Light Players will provide the venue and all logistics for the festival (including audience management, ticketing, publicity, etc.). 

We have partnered with Rich Greaves to provide lighting and sound equipment in a standard setup.  

We have secured an ASCAP license to cover incidental and transitional popular music used in your production.  

We will provide a stage management team as well, to help your group navigate setup, breakdown, and running of the show.  

What You Must Provide:

A show! You or your group provides actors, running crew (if needed), costumes, props, set pieces, music, cue lists, and whatever else your imagination conjures.  

Caveat: Given the nature of our Shoestring Festival, we strongly encourage groups to keep things minimal and simple, and we will work with you to make sure that your production will go off without a hitch.  We reserve the right to make firm suggestions if we feel that some aspects of your production will not be feasible due to venue, safety, or logistical restrictions. 

We also ask each participating group to assist with publicity efforts for the festival, and will provide publicity materials for groups to distribute. 

How to Sign Up:

To register for the Shoestring Theater Festival, please fill out and submit the Registration Form below.

All participants must pay a $25 registration fee (this does not count against the budget for your show).  This fee will help us cover venue and administration costs for the festival.  This fee will provide members of your production with complimentary tickets to view the other shows performing at the festival.  You can pay for registration by clicking on this link (payment requires a valid credit card or PayPal account):

Ghost Light Players will contact you shortly with additional information, and begin coordinating with you regarding your production. 

If you have questions or need more information about the Shoestring Theater Festival, please reach out to us via email.  We look forward to hearing from you!


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