An informal, low-tech showcase for dance, music and performance originated by On the Boards in the 1980s.

12 Minutes Max

An informal showcase of contemporary and experimental performance works in dance, theater, music and multimedia, 12 Minutes Max provides a platform for artists to showcase 12 minutes of material supported by limited technical elements. Performances are curated by different members of the arts community three times a year. Past curators include Donald Byrd, Owen David, Florangela Davila, Sruthi Desai, Glenn Kawasaki, Sean Lally, Veronica Lee-Baik, Keira McDonald, Megan Murphy, Tyisha Nedd, Pol Rosenthal and Hendri Walujo. After reading through the guidelines below, you may submit an audition application for the next edition.

Base’s 2019/2020 season includes three editions of 12 Minutes Max:

Fall: Nov. 24 - 25, 2019. Audition Oct. 13.
Winter: Feb. 23 - 24, 2020. Audition Jan. 26.
Spring: May 17 - 8, 2020. Audition April 19.

Performance Information

  • Performances can be no longer than 12 minutes.

  • Performances must require minimal technical support.

  • Performers are not paid.

  • Performances are videotaped and the artist receives a digital copy.

  • Please keep tech simple and minimal. There is little time in between pieces to strike/set.

  • Live animals, open flame, cigarettes or greasepaint make up are not allowed.

  • The performance area measures approximately 30' x 35'.

  • A basic light plot and sound system are available.

  • Microphones may be arranged upon request.

  • ALL performers must be available for a day-of-show tech, rehearsal, and run-through prior to the performance and should be prepared to assist as stage crew during the show.

Audition information

Two curators select works by audition. The slate of curators rotate so that each production of 12mm is curated by a different pair of community members. We look for work from a variety of art disciplines. Tips for your audition:

  • Bring a device that can be connected to an auxiliary cord if you need sound.

  • If bringing equipment that requires power, please provide your own extension cord.

  • Arrive 15 minutes before your audition appointment.

  • Audition appointments are scheduled in 15 minutes slots and must include set up, performance and strike, as well as any questions curators may have about your piece.

  • Audition notification will be sent via email within a week of the audition.

Questions? Email us. Interested in auditioning? Complete an audition application.

12 Minutes Max is a performance lab for new and experimental works that was first developed by On the Boards in 1981. In this series artists present 12 minutes of material, while audiences get an opportunity to be the first to see works-in-progress, some of which will go on to become full-length pieces. 12 Minutes Max has inspired similar programs in Vancouver, B.C., Bellingham, Salt Lake City, Chicago and Houston, and the works presented range from performance art to dance, from experimental theater to sound art, from spoken word to comedy, and more.

Over the years, audiences at 12 Minutes Max have been the first to hear from our region’s most innovative voices, including artists such as Pat Graney, zoe|juniper, 33 Fainting Spells, Paul Budraitis and many more. In 2017, On the Boards passed the program to Base; since then, 12 Minutes Max has featured Lavinia Vago, barry johnson, Carl Lawrence, Susan Finque, Sarah Alaways, Fernando Luna/Latino Theatre Projects, Naomi Macalalad Bragin and many more.