Built on Stilts is a forum for people (*ages 16+) to present their own work. All are welcome to take part. The festival invites all kinds of performance, not just dance. You may contribute a short play, live music, circus arts or any other kind of performance if your material meets the following criteria:

- It can be presented with bare bones technical needs. (Lights and sound up and down only)

- It is appropriate for children (NO nudity. NO foul language live or in any recorded music.)

- It is no longer than SEVEN minutes.

All artist registrants aged 16 and over should use the main Choreographers' Registration Form below to apply.

Children under 16 may ONLY register to include their own work with express consent from the festival director. These applicants are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may only be included if there is a collaborating adult choreographer or the children have sufficient training that demonstrates their ability to make their own dance. Work sample may be requested in such cases. Advancedshop and Stiltshop-aged children residing on the island must ALSO participate in those workshops if they wish to (and qualify to) contribute their own dance as well.


Choreographers' Registration
B.O.S. registration ends July 1 for the August shows.

There is a $30 non-refundable registration fee and form required for participation to help cover production and administrative costs. Please download and complete the registration form. Be sure you understand ALL the guidelines before registering.

Visiting artists are responsible for their own housing. DO NOT APPLY UNTIL YOU'VE SECURED HOUSING. Please email festival director to firm up dates before you register. All forms must be SIGNED, cut as indicated, and postmarked by July 1. NO LATE REGISTRATIONS accepted.

To register, download either the Word or the PDF,

whichever you prefer, by clicking on the icons to the right


If you prefer to pay for your registration via Paypal (not availble for Stiltshop payments), please send $31.50 to, at the time you mail your registration form, being sure to note on your registration that you have sent it with Paypal. The extra $1.50 is for the % Paypal takes from "merchants". Thanks!


By registering in B.O.S., you agree to the following terms:

1. You will not be registered in the festival until your registration fee and form has been received. Send payment the same day you email or mail this form. Your $30 registration payment is non-refundable and cancellations within 3 weeks of the festival will incur an additional $25 fee that must be paid before future participation is allowed.

2. Tech Dates: Each piece will be given one slot in which to mark the piece in the space and give cues (between 1/2 hour and 1 hour) at some point within the days leading up to or on the days of the festival before your first show, (generally on the day-of first show for visiting artists.) Each group MUST attend the 4pm dress rehearsals on ALL days of the shows in which your piece is to be included. Participants must arrive ON TIME for the 4pm production meetings and dress rehearsals and stay until the whole dress rehearsal is over. Once all the registrations are in, approximately one month in advance, you will be provided with a more definite schedule of your time slots.

3. Performance Dates 2019 TBA: Dress rehearsals on your show date/s are at 4pm. Show call for performers is 7pm. Curtain is at 8pm. Each piece will be in 1-3 of the performances. Once all the registrations are in, you will be provided with a more definite schedule of your time slots, approximately one month in advance. Visiting artists are provided with dates much sooner.

4. You and ALL your dancers agree to attend the tech, dress rehearsal times and performance times scheduled for your piece. Unfortunately, we can’t adjust to everyone’s schedules; therefore note that you and your dancers MUST attend the times allotted to you for your tech, dress rehearsals and performances. Please do not make special date requests unless absolutely necessary. If you have unavoidable conflicts, please detail them above on your registration form. I'll do my best to accommodate you but can’t guarantee it. Examples of unavoidable conflicts are family emergencies, being off island, at a wedding, funeral etc…not simply your preferences and we certainly can't work around 150 people's job schedules so make sure your employer knows you may take some personal time.

5. All dances and/or performance works MUST be 7 minutes or less. This does not mean your piece should be 7 minutes. Consider your audience, their attention span as well as the dynamics and engagement of your work. Short can be sweet! Solos are strongly encouraged to be 5 minutes or less.

6. There is no special light or sound cueing available for the show. We are minimal tech. There is only bump or fade up and bump or fade down for lights and one level of light you may choose for your piece. Music is on and off only, no manual fading. Your music should be engineered with fades or pauses as needed in advance of submitting your music. You agree to have your music made into ONE TRACK and EMAILED upon request.

7. Any large prop use must be cleared well in advance and may not be able to be accommodated.

8. You will not include any nudity or foul language in your work and there can be NO OFFENSIVE LYRICS or SWEARS IN YOUR MUSIC choices, nor ANY overtly violent or sexual content out of respect for this all-ages event.

9. You agree to submit your program info, a short biography and your music by the date requested in the BOS follow-up information we will provide you with in early July. You will submit it IN THE FORMAT REQUESTED therein, not in advance or late, and not bit by bit. All the written info we will request should come BY EMAIL, all together in one email. Proofread in advance before you submit this info.

10. Dance schools or groups that require participants to PAY to be in their BOS piece are asked to donate 10% of such income to the festival, in addition to their registration fee as Stiltshop has done for years.

11. You agree to show respect for your fellow participants and staff, to be well rehearsed and prepared. The stage is an honor. Please respect it.

12. No inside saving of seats by participants. Must wait outside with audiences for seats until the doors open.

13. No USE OF THE VENUE for rehearsal or visit outside of the exact times & dates noted herein unless you have your own signed contract with MVPT.

14. No FOOD OR DRINK is allowed in the venue.

15. No videotaping allowed at the performances. Videotaping is allowed at the dress rehearsals or techs only.

16. Participating choreographers must be at least 16 years old or be co-choreographing with someone 16+ years of age, with permission from festival director. See details above.

17. Development of new work is encouraged. Work previously presented at the festival in past years is not allowed.

18. Each choreographer or group is allowed ONLY one piece unless cleared well in advance by the festival director.

19. PLEASE do not register if you aren’t certain you will be able to participate. Late cancellations cause programming problems. Fee is non-refundable.

20. PLEASE do not report to the press or media regarding BOS without consulting the festival director, as you may be asked to include specific language.

21. You and your piece’s participants will not hold BOS, The Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, or BOS staff liable for injury, theft or loss incurred on the premises.

22. NO TAP SHOES, SKATING, or other footwear that may DAMAGE THE FLOORS IS ALLOWED. Sorry!

23. You agree to confirm receipt of information emailed or mailed to you by BOS when asked to do so.

The official website for Abby Bender


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