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Important Info for all Fertile Ground Producers

1. Festival Overview

2. What are the Participation Qualifications?

3. What are the Registration Fees

4. After Registering, What Else Do I Need to Submit?

5. What about Press Photos?

6. What's the Deal with the Hold Harmless Agreement?

7. How does the Participant/ Fertile Ground Partnership work?

8. What is Expected of me as a Participant?

9. Can I hire AEA Actors in my Fertile Ground Piece?

10. Who are the Fertile Ground Contacts?

Registration Open from 08/15/2020- 10/15/2020

LATE Registration is available through November 1st. ALL steps must be COMPLETE by November 1st at MIDNIGHT. 


Ready to submit your project? Click HERE.

1. Festival Overview

Portland’s 12th Annual Fertile Ground Festival will be held January 28-February 7, 2021.

In its 12th year as a city-wide festival of new works, Fertile Ground is brought to you by the Portland Area Theatre Alliance, a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to strengthening the quality, quantity and professionalism of the Portland theatre community.

Fertile Ground is a non-juried festival of new works representing a variety of artistic genres, from fully staged world premiere works of theater, to experimental and ensemble-driven work; from workshop productions, readings, and performance events, to collaborations including dance, music, comedy, and visual art. Unlike a typical fringe festival, Fertile Ground’s focus is on sharing the work of our local artists, ensuring that the artistic and financial benefits of the festival stay in Portland, while showcasing Portland‘s creative community to the world. 

In a concentrated, 11-day time frame, audiences are able to choose from a vast depth and breadth of works at all different stages in the creative process. This approach is nationally unique, providing a new model for creating and publicizing new works that will be of substantive value to the national theater, dance and arts conversation. 

2. What are the Participation Qualifications?

Each participant is responsible for producing their own event, with Fertile Ground acting as an umbrella of publicity, marketing and consulting support. Click here to browse SpaceFinder Portland for a venue.

Participation qualification in the festival varies by production type:

  • Fully staged productions must be world premieres, defined as not having had a fully staged production in another venue in its current form regionally or nationally.
  • Staged readings and workshops of new plays, performance pieces, works of dance, visual art, or film in development may participate as long as the most recent draft being presented has not been staged for public viewing before.
  • Fertile Ground welcomes work generated non-traditionally, collaboratively, and using new techniques and methods, and work that transcend the boundaries of traditional theater, dance or other artistic models.
  • New adaptations of established literary works are welcome as long as this production constitutes an entirely new script and not a revision or edition of an earlier adaptation of the work.

The Festival project offering should be Portland-generated. This means everyone on the project are Portland artists. Fertile Ground is intended to feature the work of Portland artists.

3. What are the Registration Fees?

Registering for Fertile Ground requires that you create an account with Box Office Tickets, and pay your registration fee by October 15, 2020.

Registration opens AUGUST 30, 2020 through October 15th, 2020.  There is a late registration period from October 16th - November 1st.  A $25 late fee will be charged for registrations received after October 15th. No Submissions will be accepted after 11/1/20.

Registration Fees are as follows:

  • $170 - for current PATA members
  • $220 - for current PATA members if you are *not using Box Office Tickets as your ticketing service
  • $220 - for non-PATA members
  • $270 - for non-PATA members if you are *not using Box Office Tickets as your ticketing service

*Fertile Ground uses a ticketing service called Box Office Tickets. It is highly recommended that producers also use BOT for maximum ease for both administration and ticket-buyers. However, we recognize that some producers must use their own established box office. A $50 fee is charged in those instances.

Producing More Than One Event - NEW!

If a producing entity is mounting more than one event/show, they do not need to register and pay the registration fees twice. However, for each show/event the producer WILL need to submit separate show/event listings. Beginning with Fertile Ground 2019, a nominal fee will apply to cover the costs of additional listings:

3-5 listings/events: $25.00 additional

6-10 listings/events: $50.00 additional

11+ listings/events: $75.00 additional 

To be clear, this change is only for producers who are producing more than one show/event under their organization. With each event, all producers can schedule as many performances of shows as is reasonable for time and budget!  There is still no additional fee for the number of performances. 

4. After Registering, What Else Do I Need to Submit?

You must complete the Project Details Form by October 15, 2020

This form includes details about:

  • Producing Company Information
  • Festival Event Listing Information
  • Staff listings for volunteering
Please ensure your Form is complete and accurate when you submit, and that it follows format guidelines exactly.

5. What about your Show Image & Press Photos?

AFTER your Project Details have been submitted, we ask that you submit BOTH a show image AND press photos for your project as soon as you have strong photos. Photos are critical in telling your story and getting audience and media attention. Detailed instructions: 


PLEASE SUBMIT ONE SHOW IMAGE  for your listing on both the Fertile Ground website and Box Office Tickets.


PLEASE SUBMIT 1-3 hi-res jpeg press photos for marketing, media, website and social media. 

  • Photos much be high quality (300 dpi) or they cannot be used.
  • It is VERY important that you label each photo with name of show (a word or two is fine), producer, photo number if there is more than one and photo credit. Format: nameofshow_nameofproducer_photo ID_photographer credit.jpg
  • Submit to Nicole Lane at nicolealane@comcast.net AND to Abby Christopher abby_c_christopher@yahoo.com.  

Send them to Nicole and Abby as soon as you have them.  If you do not have photos yet, please do try to take some good ones that "tell a story" about your show, those will suffice for now.  They may be used for pre-marketing materials, ads, social media, website, etc. 

Contact Nicole Lane at nicolealane@comcast.net with any questions.

6. What's the Deal with the Hold Harmless Agreement?

Please be sure to submit the PATA/Fertile Hold Harmless Agreement Form by October 15, 2020.

  • By filling out the online form, you agree to sign the Hold Harmless electronically in accordance with the ESIGN Act.  To view and fill out this form, click HERE .

Your completed hold harmless agreement must be received by October 15, 2019 or Fertile Ground will have to pull your event from our Festival listings.

7. How does the Participant / Fertile Ground Partnership work?

Festival participants independently produce their own events. Fertile Ground can be a valuable producer resource and can offer support. The primary function of the Festival is to promote and market all participants as a part of this Portland Festival. Fertile Ground Festival is not legally liable in any way for your event.

A.  Ticketing

  • Producers retain 100% of all single ticket revenue generated.

B.  Festival Passes

Festival Passes are offered to the public, this is the revenue that funds Fertile Ground, just like a ticket sale funds a producer. 

  • Festival Passes are $70, with Early Bird Pricing of $50 from December 1st - December 31st. 
  • A Festival Pass is good for all participating Festival Performances and grants admittance to all Festival events. 
  • Passes are sold through the Fertile Ground website, the participating producers and other partner organizations.
  • The FG ticketing service provides a drop down menu with each pass sale allowing buyers to select a producer to which they’d like to direct $20 of their $50 purchase.
  • If you wish to make money on Festival Passes, direct your patrons to select your organization when purchasing a Festival Pass and you'll get $20 for each pass sold when your organization is selected at check out.

C.  Festival Guide Booklet (Circulation 5,000)

  • Your project listing is included in the Festival Guide Booklet
  • You supply a 200 word show description listing including press photo or marketing image, box office contact information, venue information, dates, times, genre 
  • You receive comprehensive calendar placement
  • You receive city-wide distribution via distributor, producers, lobby/event marketing tables.

D.  Festival Website

  • Your project is listed on the Festival website
  • You supply the listing, description, photo/image, link to producing site.

E.  Public Relations  & Marketing

Media Relations

  • Your project is included in Festival press materials distributed to local, regional, national media
  • Your project is also provided with media coverage development for Festival coverage in print, web, radio, TV outlets

Social Media

  • Your project receives support via Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, etc.  

Marketing Outreach

  • As opportunities develop, your project is included in special events, community partnerships,  restaurant partnerships, etc...

F.  Box Office Support

Fertile Ground partners with Box Office Tickets, who generates the online Festival calendar and sells Festival Passes as the ticketing service for most producers in the Festival.

  • Producers not using BOT are charged an additional $50.
  • The Festival helps you to troubleshoot problems, makes suggestions and offers one boot camp with Box Office Tickets staff.

G.  Workshops and Roundtable resource events

Fertile Ground offers informational gatherings, workshops and networking opportunities in the months leading up to Fertile Ground such as a four hour PR & Marketing Bootcamp, a Meet the Press night and a hands-on Box Office Tickets/Passes workshop.

H.  General Support

Fertile Ground has a volunteer staff to support you, answer questions and be helping hand to your experience as a producer. Look at the “Contact” page on the website to direct your inquiry.

8. What is Expected of me as a Participant?

A.  Ticketing Expectations

You must honor ALL Festival Pass tickets for each performance (pending availability) during the 11-day span of the festival.

  • The minimum expectation is 20 seats RESERVED for passholders per performance. Passholders are expected to make reservations for your show on a first-come, first-served basis.  With the 20-seat minimum exceptions are possible for extremely small venues, but must be cleared through FG staff.
  • You may set a limit on the number of Festival Pass holders you will honor per show, as long as you make those seats available on a first come, first served basis at the door, and make every effort to accommodate Festival Pass holders when possible.
  • More seats are always appreciated and can be dynamically determined, and up for reservation, on a per show basis to ensure full houses through arrangement with Box Office Tickets.
  • Please honor all comp requests from Fertile Ground staff with regard to Media, Sponsor, Major Donors and Artistic Leaders.

      B.  Festival Promotion Expectations

      • Promote Festival Passes. They are $50 and there is a drop-down menu where your patrons can select that $20 of their pass fee go directly to YOU.
      • Include the Fertile Ground Festival logo on all ads and printed material for the production.
      • Include a descriptive sentence and web url for the festival in all media releases related to the participating production. Individual producer media releases strongly suggested.
      • Include a description of the festival and a link on your website to the Fertile Ground website www.fertilegroundpdx.org.
      • Promote your show in conjunction with Fertile Ground to your mailing or e-mailing list.
      • Sell, or allow Festival staff to sell, Festival Passes and merchandise to patrons in the lobby.
      • Distribute Festival Guides in your lobby December – January.
      • Provide two volunteers for advance sales of festival passes and Festival promotion in December and January.
      • Provide the Festival with an ASCII tab-delimited list of contact info for your past Festival ticket-buyers for use on a festival postcard mailing.

      C.  Communications Expectations

      • Meet or precede all Festival Deadlines.
      • Provide complete, accurate information in the format requested.

      9. Can I hire AEA actors in my Fertile Ground piece?

      Producers who are interested in hiring AEA members need to sign AEA members to an appropriate AEA contract (SPT, Special Appearance, etc.).  They should contact Ethan Schwartz, Field Representative at eschwartz@actorsequity.org.

      10. Who are the Fertile Ground Contacts?

      Nicole Lane, Festival Director

      Abby Christopher, Social Media Coordinator

      Dre Slaman, PATA Fertile Ground Chair

      Jessica Gleason, Web/Graphic Design

      Gary Corbin, Ticketing/Festival Pass Coordinator

      Jenni  GreenMiller, Volunteer Coordinator

      Maddie Odegaard, Marketing Assistant

      Andrew Golla, Artists/Producer Liaison

      Trisha Mead, Founder

      Committee at large:  Carol Kimball, Karen O'Donnell Stein, Nancy Matthews, Scott Stephens


        Fertile Ground Opening Party is Friday, January 31, 2020!

        More details to come!

        Portland Area Theatre Alliance

        3121 S Moody Avenue

        Suite 200

         Portland, OR 97239


        The office is not wheelchair accessible. To request in-person service at an accessible location, please email us to arrange an appointment.
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