5-Minute Fringe Festival 2023

5-Minute Fringe Festival 2023

Reading Theater Project’s 8th annual 5-Minute Fringe Festival offers a platform for performing artists to create new work, develop and explore theatrical ideas, challenge their own expectations, and collaborate with an artistic community. 

Each year we choose a theme to unify the performances in the Fringe Festival.  This year, the theme is Shadows. Whatever you create should be your own interpretation of Shadows, literal or metaphorical, in whatever performance medium is best for you. Though Shadows may first bring to mind the dark, we encourage you to also explore the light. 

The 5-Minute Fringe will be held at the Yocum Institute for Arts Education’s Schumo Theater from Thursday, February 16, 2023 through Sunday, February 19, 2023.  


  • There will be an information meeting / brainstorm session on Tuesday, December 6, at 7:00 PM over Zoom.  All are welcome to attend, especially those who are new to the 5-Minute Fringe. Please email info@readingtheaterproject.org to sign up and get the Zoom link.
  • You submission must include:
    • Name(s)
    • Title or working title
    • Performance Genre(s)
    • Script or Outline of performance
    • Headshot or photo for marketing
    • 100-word bio
    • Contact info: email, phone, mailing address, pronouns
    • Confirmation of original material
  • All pieces should be between five (5) and ten (10) minutes in length. 
  • Reading Theater Project will provide basic lighting. 
  • Participants will be expected to provide their own props, costumes, sound and whatever else they need for their performance, within reason. 
  • Sets should be minimalist and you are expected to be your own stage crew. 
  • Each piece will receive $100 to use as needed: stipend, costume, props, gas money, materials, anything. This will remain true if it is a solo piece or a group piece. 
  • Interested in acting or directing in someone else’s piece? Email info@readingtheaterproject.org 


  • Weekly Creative Labs offer artists the opportunity to share their works-in-progress and receive constructive feedback on their work throughout their process. We ask that you come prepared to perform and ask for the feedback you need (we can help you if needed).  Our goal is to empower you through working with an artistic community. 
  • Performers may attend all of the Creative Labs but MUST attend at least TWO in person (no Zoom option).
    • Tuesday, January 24, 6:30 PM
    • Tuesday, January 31, 6:30 PM
    • Thursday, February 2, 6:30 PM
    • Tuesday, February 7, 6:30 PM
  • All in-person Creative Labs will be held at the Holy Cross United Methodist Church, located at 329 N. 5th Street, Reading, PA 19601. Parking is available in a lot behind the building on Church St. If it is your first time visiting, you will need to make sure you get one of the pink Visitor Parking signs to put on your dashboard. These can be obtained upon your arrival. 


  • We will have a mandatory run through of the entire production on Saturday, February 11, 1pm, at Holy Cross United Methodist Church. This will be a chance for performers to see each other’s work and for the production team to confirm the order, run time, and prepare for tech week. 
  • Technical Rehearsals will be held on Tuesday, February 14 and Wednesday, February 15, beginning at 6:30 PM. All performers are expected to attend. 
  • The performance dates are Thursday through Saturday, February 16 – 18, 8:00 PM each night, and Sunday, February 19, 2:00 PM. Call times for these dates will come at a later date.
  • All Technical Rehearsals and Performances will be held at the Yocum Institute for Arts Education located at 3000 Penn Avenue, West Lawn, PA 19609. Please park in the lower lot and enter through the stage door at the back of the building.


  • Vicki Haller Graff, Director 484-797-2156, vicki@readingtheaterproject.org


  • Tuesday, December 6, 7pm – Virtual Information Meeting
  • Tuesday, December 27, 11:59 PM – Submission Deadline
  • Wednesday, January 4 – Offers Emailed
  • Tuesday, January 24, 6:30 PM – Creative Lab
  • Tuesday, January 31, 6:30 PM – Creative Lab
  • Tuesday, February 2, 6:30 PM – Creative Lab
  • Saturday, February 11, 1pm – Run Through
  • Tuesday, February 14, 6:30 PM – Technical Rehearsal
  • Wednesday, February 15, 6:30 PM – Dress Rehearsal
  • Thursday through Saturday, February 16 – 18, 8:00 PM – Performances
  • Sunday, February 19, 2:00 PM – Performance, followed by Strike


  • Playwrights may submit a play and will be responsible for working with a director and actors to bring your production to life.  We may be able to help connect you to a director and actors or you may contact your own.  
  • Directors and Actors may be needed to work on someone else’s project.  You will be contacted if you are a good fit.
  • Interested in crew or front-of-house support?  Please email info@readingtheaterproject.org with your interest.