Minnesota’s festival of performing arts
August 1–11, 2013 / Minneapolis

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Comedy /

By Far From the Tree

Created by Minrod Mier

Wendy loves to read books, but Jack the Jerk likes to read ahead to spoil the ending. Wendy, her friends, Greek Gods, Flying Robots, Pirates and more join forces to teach Jack a lesson. Don't spoil the ending!


World premiere

Just so you know, this show has Loud noises/gunshots.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Saturday, 8/3 10:00 p.m.
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Sunday, 8/4 8:30 p.m.
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Tuesday, 8/6 5:30 p.m.
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Thursday, 8/8 8:30 p.m.
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Saturday, 8/10 10:00 p.m.
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Minneapolis Theatre Garage

711 W Franklin Ave.

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Audience reviews

Good Clean Fun

By Michael Sheeks / August 11, 2013
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Energetic, committed, boisterous...you pick the adjective. This great group carries this show from end to end. A classic fringe frolic filled with the everything that audiences enjoy. The narrative gets a little muddled, but that's not the point here, so who cares?

Funny,funny show

By Jerrod Peterson / August 9, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

I got a real kick out of this show. Many great singing voices and some great skits. I gave it a good score and I am not even a friend or relative as some people must think only friends and relatives of the cast give decent reviews. Ridiculous........go see the show.

Better than anticipated

By Andrew Stern / August 9, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

Going into this show, I was cautiously optimistic. I walked out of the show feeling fantastic. Spoilers! had me at near-constant laughing, often verging on tears. This show is very fast-paced and humorous. My only complaint is that the show does take a 15-minute tangent to do a musical review of 'The Princess Bride.' Normally, that would lower my rating, but the show had me on board from the beginning and The Princess Bride segments had some of the funniest moments.

Cute with high energy

By LuAnn Monahan / August 9, 2013
This user has reviewed 23 shows

I both agree and disagree with one of the previous reviewers. I do think the majority of the reviews shown here are friends and family of the cast, but I don't think it's the worst show of the Fringe (trust me on this one). The show is definitely geared toward a younger audience but also has it's moments the older crowd will enjoy and appreciate. The cast was extremely upbeat and energetic with their performances - they must be exhausted at the end of each show. A fun performance, but not a must see.

Almost sold out

By Alison Jacoby / August 8, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

I felt lucky to get in tonight as only very few seats remained. The cast was animated and relaxed. The audience was a huge supporter of the work being done. Thoroughly enjoyable. Only one show left. Don't miss it.

Great cast

By Jon Spelling / August 8, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

Lots of talent in this show. The three pirates have incredible timing and chemistry. They have worked together before. The preacher who marries the princess bride is just hilarious. I really enjoyed this silly show.

Good comedy

By Mary Nice / August 7, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

This is the fringe festival-----new, fresh, creative, silly,experimental, actors having great fun. See it if you can.

Had potential

By Emma Dalen / August 7, 2013
This user has reviewed 4 shows

It had some great potential if they had stuck with their original story line instead of going off into all the parodies. I love Princess Bride, but a fifteen minute parody that wasn't even beneficial to the story line?

Love to Laugh

By Claudia Haas / August 7, 2013
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Spoilers promises and delivers an hour of laughter. I was still gratified by some moments of low-keyed sweetness delivered beautifully by the 4 young actors: Miranda Mier, Lillian Walker, Noah Solfest & Sam Sanderson. Stellar voices filled the theatre in song and lively antics. There is great fun to be had among Pirates, Princesses, Counts, Ninjas and I dare not say anymore for fear of spoiling it!

1 person found this review helpful

Loved it.....

By Ardis Virnig / August 6, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

This was a very clever show. The cast was talented and extremely funny. I enjoyed every minute of it. This is what fringe is all about. Go see it.

I'm Delightfully Spoiled (Again!)

By Steve Sanderson / August 5, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

Utterly entertaining from stem to stern, 'Spoilers' nails it!!! Fun, fast paced, with plot upon subplots. Acting, singing, and hilarious script. Allusions to present and past pop culture. With a musical interplay.

Miss this show, you've missed Fringe this year!!!

Five stars is not enough!!! I'm fortelling my future but I'll be there again to see this hit!

1 person found this review helpful

Super fun!

By Karen Bair / August 4, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

Fun story that was silly and entertaining. The cast was committed and made it really a pleasure to watch them
Great direction and very fun songs! A classic fringe show

1 person found this review helpful

Spoilers -didn't spoil it for me.....

By Rhonda Freier / August 4, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

I thoroughly enjoyed this cleverly written and wonderfully executed comedy. There were definite stand outs in the show. The plot was easy to follow and ridiculous at times but that only added to the event. The costumes were well done and the personalities of the actors came through beautifully. The ensemble works well together and play off each other brilliantly. This director was able to secure some excellent talent for the show. It is worth seeing for a good laugh...

2 people found this review helpful

Honest Opinion

By Gregory Ng / August 10, 2013
This user has reviewed 8 shows

So I would like to make one thing clear. This is just my honest opinion and I respect other opinions as well. I respect the work these actors put in to these shows and I especially respect THIS cast as it is a very large one. I myself have been in theater as well. That being said, I have to say the show was hard to sit through. The plot seemed all over the place and it was very confusing. The only real part I laughed at was when the characters addressed that there were family members in the audience. Maybe I just couldn't hear some jokes. I agree that some of these reviewers are family members but I also agree this isn't the worst show at the fringe. If people went to this show I completely respect that. It just wasn't for me.

1 person found this review helpful

Appreciate the work

By Mia Gonzell / August 9, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

I normally don't do reviews but I feel compelled to speak after I have read some of the others. If you know theater at all, you realize the work, the memorization,the practice, the costume gathering, the blocking, the timing and the blood, sweat and tears that go into putting on a show. I am appalled at people who give zeros and ones for these shows. I can guarantee you that these very same people would not have the talent or the guts that it takes to perform or they wouldn't be so harsh. Certainly, this cast had some very talented people in it and they should not be marginalized in such a way. This was a clever, funny show. This is the fringe.....it is meant to be different.

Ignore the Reviews and go for yourself!

By Jeanie Johnston / August 9, 2013
This user has reviewed 24 shows

Ok People, this is a fun show!! I can't believe the reviewers that endured the "longest hour" and called it "the worst play at the Fringe". I have seen 19 to date, and trust me, it isn't.....you can read my other reviews to make sure. This is a fast paced musical comedy. If you love pop culture you will definitely enjoy this. I loved the Princess Bride part, the pirates and the flying robot things. This show was clever and fun. I enjoyed it a lot!!

Fun details! Confusing whole picture

By Ryan Vanasse / August 9, 2013
This user has reviewed 10 shows

I got the vague feeling that someone said "Let's do Princess Bride the Musical!" and they did it (and it was good!) but realized that it was about 40 minutes too short to be a fringe show, so they tacked on a confusing frame device and some other parodies to make it fit.

I liked having a story focused on real teenagers, but the story quickly became focused on an internal logic that I couldn't grasp. This led to some parodies (PB worked, Twilight/Hunger Games didn't), and to a meh ending. Lots of little fun things in this, but the overall result is patchy.

So bad...

By Jennie Eckholt / August 8, 2013
This user has reviewed 2 shows

It's terrible. Truly terrible. I'm convinced the good reviews for this show are family members. If you read this review and still decide to go, then you deserve your fate. Worst fringe show I have ever seen.

Cute show

By Roger Nelson / August 7, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

This is a fringe show. Wacky, funny, clever and ridiculous at times. A good laugh was had by all.

Great experience

By Vince Meyers / August 7, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

I love the fact that high school aged actors were given main roles. What a wonderful experience for them to be creative in this wonderful fringe venue. I recognized many of the other actors from theater I have seen all over the twin cities. A very talented group that worked well together. Fun show.


By Lonnie Ebertowski / August 7, 2013
This user has reviewed 5 shows

A couple of almost bright spots, but for the most part I found the show to be a disjointed jumble of overstuffed scenes that only sort of fit together.

1 person found this review helpful

Musical parodies on parade!

By Anna Amyx / August 6, 2013
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Funny, clever, fast-paced. Great use of music -- sometimes through clever lyrics that get a laugh, other times with a familiar melody that adds layers to the humor. Pop culture references, lots of costumes, and a large cast. Good fun. My only complaint was that sometimes I couldn't hear the actors, so I missed some jokes.

Longest hour

By Fan of Theater / August 6, 2013
This user has reviewed 9 shows

To mumble jumble.....it had to many parts that got mush together. It was hard to sit through the whole hour.

2 people found this review helpful

You will laugh!

By Anissa Lubbers / August 5, 2013
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This show is exactly what it promises to be; a night of fun and laughs with the pop culture references flying at you. However while it's easy for a show to just skewer every genre out there, this one also manages to have some very genuine moments where you can stop to reflect...then you start giggling again. A wonderful job by this cast and I have to say my favorite part was the standout moments by Terry Foy (aka the Renn Fest beloved performer Zilch) and his musical stylings. Go see this and you will have a great time!

See It!

By Sonja Peterson / August 4, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

A hilarious page turner. But I won't spoil the plot. See it soon!

LeVar Burton would be pleased!

By Peter Out / August 10, 2013
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Energetic cast with a fast-paced script! Very fun!

High school musical for real people

By Jane White / August 9, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

Watching this made me remember why grew up loving theater. This is fun in all the right ways for the right reasons--everyone in the cast is super happy to be there and put in lots of work & love. I felt it was really accessible, like if I were 15 again these would be my friends. The actors are playful and genuine (and I'm saying that as someone who doesn't know them/isn't a friend or family member) and did a fabulous job. I'd recommend the show for younger audiences or adults looking for something lighthearted. GREAT JOB!

Non stop laughter

By Marie Smith / August 9, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

To start off I do agree that a lot of these reviews where written by family members, I was sort of weary but decided to go despite this, and I have to say that I was not let down.
This show deserves every high mark it has gotten, I couldn't stop laughing. I will agree that sometimes there was a lot going on, but I still love the show. If you want to have a fun night at the fringe be sure to put this one on your list.

Off the hook

By Tim Nelson / August 8, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

Great,fun show. So many references to pop culture that everyone can understand. The audience was howling with laughter.....

Just plain silliness

By Charity Hughes Charity hughes / August 8, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

This is classic fringe. Witty, silly and a cast that is having a great time. Don't get me wrong,there was great talent in this cast and it showed in their comedic interaction. Go see it.


By Vanessa Percy / August 7, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

Really a fun show with a talented cast. Don't miss it.


By Simone Lee / August 7, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

This is good for a laugh. I loved the pirates and the princess bride scene. Hilarious!!!!!

Unbalanced show

By Steve Soler / August 7, 2013
This user has reviewed 6 shows

The show really pushes the 60 minute time limit, and includes a lot of superfluous subplots. I feel like the show would be strengthened if it focused on the original plot and one storyline. I have no problem with the characters encountering and interacting with other storybook characters, it's kind of a cool idea, but executed in a way that made those stories unimportant to the overall story of this show. An inexplicably long amount of time was spent on retelling "The Princess Bride" as a musical. And while that portion of the show included a pretty cool musical number with all the female characters singing an anthem lamenting their less-than-awesome available women's roles, the song didn't actually affect the overall show and plot.

4 people found this review helpful


By Roger Gooding / August 6, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

What a good laugh. I concur with the 4's and5's. Anything less must be a personal attack. These actors worked really hard and the timing was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A Family Fun Musical Delight

By Marisa Tejeda / August 6, 2013
This user has reviewed 11 shows

This show is for everyone. It has plenty of pop culture references, nerdy jokes, and big musical numbers that will keep you laughing until the end of the show. Although the show seemed a bit rushed the overall plot of the show kept me entertained. The writer of the show did a great job with coming up with a wonderful script packed with jokes and music for all ages.
If you have time, I would definitely suggest attending!

Fun for the sake of fun!

By Paul LaBissoniere / August 5, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

Quite the romp. Makes me want to see it again. It was like Ionesco had too much mountain dew and went on a Monty Python tear.


By Gloria Osero / August 4, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

This is a very humorous production with the pirate scene and Princess Bride scene being very entertaining. There are musical numbers included as well as dancing. All the actors did excellent performances. I would highly recommend you see this show.

1 person found this review helpful


Background information + more

You’ve been waiting.  Your last book ended with a cliffhanger with that last page proclaiming “Story concluded in Part Three!”  Or the season ender of your favorite TV show ended with the broken body of your favorite character bleeding, on the edge of death, as the words “To Be Continued…” are superimposed across the screen.  Or there’s a movie you’ve wanted to see since they announced it two years ago, with a special twist ending or mystery character, and you can’t wait to see for yourself…

Wendy is in high school and she’s a reader.  She loves books, immersing herself in the stories and the characters that are more meaningful, magical and exciting than the real world.  But Jack the Jerk likes to read ahead in her favorite stories and spoil the ending - on purpose.  What can be done?  A twist of fate plunges Wendy and her friends – including Jack the Jerk – into the fantasy worlds that Wendy loves.   Powerful Greek Gods, Flying Killer Robots, Rough Hewn Pirates, Stealthy Ninjas, Psychic Gypsies and more join forces to teach Jack a lesson.  But the same thrills that make her fantasy stories so exciting to read pose real life and death danger to Wendy and her friends threatening their lives at every turn.  Can they escape with their lives?

Oh, and did we mention a 15 minute rockin’ Musical Version of THE PRINCE’S BRIDE?!  Right in the middle of it all?  Oh, yes!

You might want to be up to speed and in the know on the "The Hunger Games!" "Twilight," "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Princess Bride"  Possible Spoilers Ahead!!

Cast + crew bios

Diannah Robertson

Stage Mgr / Chorus

Cast out of Texas at a young age for being too smart, Diannah likes making animal puppets nearly as much as she enjoys playing with and training real animals. Which is interesting because puppets seldom poop.

Kevin Dexter

Backspacer/Count Rugen

Kevin is currently playing God in Children of Eden. As Steve Martin would say, "Somebody's got to do it!" Kevin's been in a couple of these Far From the Tree Fringe shows and so far shows no sign of wising up.

Lolly Foy

Madam Roskoff / Chorus

Lolly Foy has been acting professionally for over 35 years. Along the way she has added singing, costuming, directing and professor of theatre arts to her professional credits. Fans of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival may recognize her as Queen Margaret. MSU alum may remember her from a plethora of productions. And really old audience members may recall her stunning performance as a giant pig for Minneapolis Children's Theatre.

Terry Foy

Mr. Nice

Terry Foy grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, went to college, and, in spite of the best efforts of the faculty, received a B.A. in theater from St. Cloud State University. He is a prime example of the damage a liberal arts education can do. He has been in plays before, but cannot remember any of the lines, so what’s the point in mentioning them here? For the last four decades, (Four decades! Oh my god! I had a future once.) he has been performing as Zilch the Torysteller at Renaissance Festivals where he has mystified children and drunkards in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, North and South Dakota, and Texas. He has performed at the "Robin Hood Festival" in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England, without causing an international incident. His renditions of Rindercella, Loldigocks and the Bee Threars, and Jomeo and Ruliet have tickled audiences at Theaters, Civic Celebrations, Corporate Parties and Shopping Malls from coast to coast. At fifty-five years old, he has never held a real job, but has ordered from the Senior Menu. He currently resides in Mankato, Minnesota.

Melody Hanna

Effing / Valerie

This is Melody’s 4th Far From The Tree Fringe show. You just never know where the Fringe might take you. She’s been a Bitter Festie whose husband died under mysterious circumstances, a Greek acolyte, and a French cat woman helping foil Steampunk time travelers. Now she’s back as a representative of the Capitol and making miracles with Miracle Max. The insanity continues….

Mim Harries


Mim has appeared (and disappeared) in many past Fringe Shows, including Green as Grass, Steampunk Apocalypse and as a dancing acolyte in Alexander at Delphi. A student at some remote College in Iowa (but then again, aren't they ALL remote if the they're in Iowa?) she is studying Theatre and Statistics, which means she knows the exact odds of making a living in the theatre.

Christian LaBissoniere

Primrose / Inigo Montoya

Christian is this tall kid who came to rehearsals with his Mom, so we gave him something to do.

Alana LaBissoniere

Rusty Cutlass / Vizzini

This is Alana's first MN Fringe adventure and she couldn't be more excited. She has played with several theaters around town, including Bloomington Civic Theater, Cross Community Players, Morris Park Players, Freshwater Theater and Guthrie Theater. She loves the MN Fringe Fest, as it provides so many opportunities for actors, directors and audience members.

Collin McAninch

Impressive Clergyman/Chorus

Cowwin has appeawwed in a wot of pways all ovah the Minneapowis Awea. He's a weawwy well wespected actow with a warge beawd.

Steven McKillen

Miracle Max / Squeezer

Steve has been in many shows over the years. So many, in fact, that he only has a few brain cells left to memorize lines, so he has taken to turning to audience members at odd times and asking them to ad-lib something for him. This makes every show Steve is in an adventure for everyone! :)

Miranda Mier


Miranda Mier is this crazy theatre nerd girl who really loves this online comic thing called Homestuck and spends most of her time chasing after buckets and trolls and stuff. She goes to that hippie charter school Avalon in St Paul where she will begin the Tenth Grade in September. Someday she will read this bio and it will change, but for now let's just say Dad is waiting for the disapproving teenager face...

Christina Nelson


Chistina has been noted to say "Life is a Drag!" from time to time. In this show she gets to play a guy. Is this wish fulfillment, irony or poetic justice? Who are we to judge? She lives with her husband Tony and her 27 children in a very large shoe in South Minneapolis. Every night she sings; "Please re-lace me, let me go!"

Brandon Osero

Larkspur / Fezzig the Giant

This is Brandon's third fringe production with Far From the Tree. Besides shivering timbers and asking about peanuts, he performs at local community theaters including Lyric Arts, Lakeshore Players, Morris Park Players, Mounds View Community Theater, and Cross Community Players. Trained in flailing and general nonsense, Brandon has performed in Hello, Dolly! (Cornelius Hackl), The Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow), Pirates of Penzance (The Sergeant), A Year with Frog and Toad (Frog), and Honk! (Ugly Duckling). He was last seen dying on the barricade in the community theater regional premiere of Les Miserables at MVCT. Brandon is excited to be less miserable, and less dead, in this zany production of Spoilers!. Warning: The show might be so funny you will pee your pants...oops, spoilers!

Bryan Pierce


Whether you're referring to Fringe or the world of acting, this is Bryan's first time - so please, be gentle. He's no stranger to the stage, however, as you may see him perform around the Twin Cities with improv troupes Geek_Out, Jesters, and the upcoming Clue: The Improvised Murder Mystery. Bryan is grateful to the absent-minded directors who for some reason let him be part of this show. You can expect to see a clean-shaven Bryan immediately following its run.

Sam Sanderson, Esq.


Sam is back this year after playing a role of such diversity and spirit and…brains…from last year's Fringe Festival's 'Steampunk Apocalypse.' He has performed in countless community and school theatrical productions. Don't be mockin' the ninja!

Noah Solfest


This is Noah's first Fringe show appearance. Favorite roles include: Riff from West Side Story, Jesus from Godspell, the Ringmaster from Pippin, and Dolly Levi from Hello, Dolly! He hasn't PLAYED any of these parts, they're just his favorites. Noah enjoys his favorite hobbies of being tall, freelance mockery and snarky sarcasm. It is unlikely that he will grow out of these hobbies any time soon.

Taylor Van Denburgh

Buttercup / Dance Captain

Taylor has been working as a professional performer in the Twin Cities since completing her BAs in Vocal Performance and Sociology at The College of St Benedict/St John’s University in 2009. Currently, performing with The Murder Mystery Company’s Minneapolis Troupe, Taylor is honing her improve skills. Other recent credits include, Guy and Dolls with Rooftop Theatre Company, Hamlet with the Minnesota Opera, The Nark-A World Premiere with Freshwater Theatre Company, Out of the Frying Pan with Theatre Terra Firma, and Il Trovatore with Minnesota Concert Opera. Taylor’s newest adventure has been delving into the world of circus performing. She takes classes in aerials at Xelias in NE Minneapolis, and if you ask, she will proudly show you her most recent bruises! Find out more at taylorevandenburgh.webs.com and like on her Facebook!

Lillian Walker


Lillian is thrilled to be in a show where she doesn't have to play an animal. Seriously! What is that makes people cast her as dogs or mice or anything else?? Really? Sometimes being short and cute is a real pain in the neck...

Adeline Wendt

Fred the Sickie / Chorus

Raised by wolves in the wilds of Northern Minnesota, Adeline was captured and sedated and placed with a nice family in South Minneapolis, who are raising her as their own. We're all waiting for when the sedative wears off. That'll be a Night to Remember!

Sadie Wendt


Sadie weighs more than a duck, and therefore - is NOT going to the fire? Okay? Put down those matches!

Harrison Wendt


Harrison, when he's not hangin' with his gang in the hood, has been seen carrying on and making general noises of a grunting and barking nature. Then, eventually he wakes up and the grunts become more or less intelligeble mumblings. We are all grateful the show runs at night when the mumbles catch a few consanants now and again...

Teresa Jackson

Music Director

Teresa is trying very hard not to sing along as she works from behind the piano. Spoilers! marks not only her Fringe debut but her first stint as a musical director. When she's not occupied keeping the director on the straight and narrow, she enjoys dressing up as Princess Leia from Star Wars at various charity and non-profit events.

Minrod Mier


Creator of last year's hit show "Steampunk Apocalypse", Minrod is back again for more critical punishment this year! Other past Fringe shows (out of nine or so) include; Green as Grass, Free Falling and Sally Steps Out. Minrod directs shows at community theatres around town and lives in North Minneapolis. Thank you for considering our show, and we'd love to have you come and see it for yourself! :)

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