About Minnesota Fringe

There is one big thing that makes Fringe different from any other event in town: All the shows you'll see at Fringe were selected randomly by lottery.

Yep. That's right. Each year the lineup is crafted by placing numbered ping-pong balls into a bingo cage and drawing them out, one by one. From stage veterans to people who are brand new to theater, Minnesota Fringe is a forum for anyone with a story to tell. We also provide the necessary support to make producing a show as easy as possible, regardless of where you land on the artistic spectrum.

Anyone (yes, anyone) can apply to have a show in the festival. If you'd like to have a show in our next festival, applications will go live in November here on our website. Sign up for our newsletter to receive a reminder as well as information about other theater events happening around town.

The mission of the Minnesota Fringe is to promote creative freedom and diversity of artistic expression by linking adventurous artists with adventurous audiences. Thank you for joining in this adventure!

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Showtimes

Shows start and end on time at Fringe. With 850 performances of 167 shows in just 11 days, we have to run a tight schedule to avoid descending into chaos. Performances are no more than 60 minutes long with a half hour between each show.

On weekdays shows begin at 5:30pm, 7pm, 8:30pm and 10pm. On weekends there are additional shows at 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm.

Late seating: There is NO LATE SEATING at Minnesota Fringe. In addition to keeping our schedule, late seating is a safety issue for artists and audiences.

Safety for artists: Some of our theaters require that patrons walk across parts of the stage to reach the seating area, and many of our production companies’ stage work encompasses entrances and exits from the house.

Safety for audiences: Entering a darkened theater, possibly for the first time, and trying to find open seats puts patrons and volunteers at unnecessary risk.

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Fringe Central

Fringe Central, sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown, serves as the late-night watering hole for artists, staff, volunteers and audience members alike. Come in after a day full of shows to grab a beer and some bar food. Talk about what you loved and what you didn’t. Meet the artists behind the scenes and actors on the stage. Find out what you should see tomorrow or dream up your own idea for next year. You never know what will happen during Fringe, but dropping by Fringe Central gives you a serious head start.

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What to Wear

Shorts and a t-shirt. Seriously. Also, a pair of comfy shoes will serve you well in case you have to wait in line. Pro tip: Most Fringe shows take place indoors in air-conditioned venues, so having a layer to throw on in case you get chilly is also advisable.

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Choosing a Show

With 850 performances of 167 shows, it's scandalous to see just one. But how to choose the perfect lineup?

Search by genre: You can filter for genres when trying to decide what to see.

Talk to people: It only sounds scary. Just look for the folks in lanyards. Lanyards are worn by Fringe artists and there are at least a thousand of them dying to tell you about their show.

Read and write reviews: See what audiences are raving about on our audience review page, then return the favor and let others know what you thought.

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Get Involved

Fringe isn't just a festival - it's a community, and it couldn't exist without people like you.

Create: Applications for the 2018 festival will go live mid-November on this website. Fringe is open to everyone, all shows are selected by lottery, and you don't even need to have a show ready when you apply.

Attend: Thanks to the new day pass system, attending Fringe is easier and cheaper than ever.

Volunteer: Our 400+ volunteers are near and dear to our hearts and make our festival go, so we shower them with lots of love and complimentary seats! Sign up for a shift now!

Socialize: Join us any night of the festival at our official hangout, Fringe Central sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown, for a beer, a burger and maybe even some late-night shenanigans.

Support: Help us create Minnesota's Summer Theater Crawl by donating to or sponsoring our annual festival. Gifts of any size make a large contribution to our ability to meet our mission.

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Box Office Info

Pass + Token = Your Admission

Everyone needs a valid pass to see a show. In addition to your pass, you will receive a token at the venue which guarantees you a seat. Turn in your token to the usher when you enter the theater.

More information about passes and policies here.

Reservations

Optional reservations guarantee a seat for a particular performance and can be purchased online in advance. You must also have a valid to get in. Day passes can be bought online with a reservation to save time, and can be picked up at the venue box office 30 minutes before the performance.

More information about reservations here.

Rules

For everyone's safety, Fringe does not allow late seating or re-admission. Photos and video are prohibited without written permission from the production staff. Fringe cannot provide refunds or exchanges.

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 Drama 

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Serpentine

By Maximum Verbosity
Written by phillip andrew bennett low

Playing at Strike Theater

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Warnings: Violence, Adult language, Sexual Content.

A young boy slaughters a pair of copulating snakes, and is cursed to spend his life as a double-gendered voyeur -- a prophet, both male and female, whose visions of the future are ridiculed by their subjects.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 12-15 and up

 

Fri, 8/4 @ 8:30pm
 

 

Sat, 8/5 @ 1:00pm
 

 

Mon, 8/7 @ 7:00pm
 

 

Wed, 8/9 @ 10:00pm
 

 

Sat, 8/12 @ 5:30pm
Audio described

* Reservations not required, but a Day Pass is. Find out more below.

Ticket Options

Day Passes are $16 on weekdays; $22 on weekends. Day Passes serve as entry to any show in the festival on a given day. Optional reservations to guarantee a seat for a particular performance are available by clicking the "reserve" button above. Day Passes can be purchased in advance with a reservation or at any venue box office during the festival.

Weekdays 1pm-3pm and Weekends 11am-1pm we'll also open an Alternative Box Office at Fringe Central so you can grab a Day Pass and skip the lines at the venue before the show.

Day Passes for kids 12 and under are available at any box office during the festival just $5 every day.

A 2017 Fringe button isn't required for entry, but it does get you access! Wearing it not only identifies you as a part of a fabulous Fringe community, it also entitles you to special deals at local bars and restaurants and access to reduced ticket prices at various theaters throughout the year. Get your 2017 Fringe button for only $4 at any Fringe preview event or Fringe venue during the festival.

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Read the reviews

Old and new

by M. Baker on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Greek myths combined with characters in a modern context. Engaging.


the storytellers made the show

by Lyle Larue on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

Saw this show as I have seen some shows that Jena Young has done. The first time I saw the actors in tunics, I didn't quite understand what was being depicted. But it made more sense to me after Jena, the first storyteller. I said 'I get it' as it made me think of an Oedipus-type story. And I understood the 'tunics' scenes to be metaphors, and I like metaphor. That being said, it was the storytellers that made the show. I liked the honesty in what they told us. And one doesn't have to be trans-gender to find it relatable. The second storyteller, the Mississippi native, spoke about being dis-owned, and some of us know what this is like when it happens for ANY reason. And I liked mention of 'truth being mocked' since this is often correct.


Dense Gender-Bender

by Cetius d'Raven on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 50 shows

disclaimer: I have a working relationship with a cast member

A dense depiction of the Tiresias myth with some (dark/uncomfortable?) artistic liberties (that are fitting of the tale), along with a few personal stories betting the subject matter. Ms. Michels and Mr. Weingartner do a wonderful job sharing the role and dialogue of the protagonist, particularly when they are both speaking the same line. Sadly, the recorded audio both overpowers and does not sync as smoothly with them. Additionally, the "summoning storyteller" sequences feel long, even if they are setting-appropriate, and the costuming was perhaps its weakest element.

It's fasted paced so one must pay full attention or risk becoming a bit confused.


Solid and engaging.

by Siarde EvansChristoffer on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Everything about this worked. Admittedly, haven't seen many plays with this sort of structure, but being open to it, I felt that it was great! The transitions flowed. Regarding the louder sound cues - those were absolutely effective for what they were supposed to represent. I loved it. Hard not to give some of the play away with talking about it, but I believe it was absolutely apropos to the situation. Though people may be disturbed by some of the content, it was all thoroughly engaging. Kudos to all involved!


Beautiful stories. Offensive Pairing.

by Holly Peterson on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 18 shows

This is basically two shows performed in one.

The first show (Greek Myths 101 + SeXXX) has a great cast, but it's a bad show. The show bumps the rating of standard Greek myths to X, which is so unnecessary. Those things are sexy to begin with.

The second show is true stories about being trans. A mother mulls over her worry for her trans daughter. A trans woman talks about her losing her family and trust because of her identity. She almost saves the show with a connective anecdote about Tiresias. Both women tell powerful stories that made a bunch of us cry.

Ultimately, though, the audience is left with a show that tries to equate the experience of a trans person with a bunch of destructive sexual behaviors. That's a gross thing to do.

1 person found this review helpful


Wanted to like it

by Seb C. on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Story was bogged down by so many transitions, costumes that seemed to need adjusting a lot, and the odd sound design. With just a little more focus and a tightening of some moments between scenes, the show could work well.


First Blood: Tears edition

by Joe Allen on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

This is a difficult show to review.
It starts out pretentious and masturbatory (par for PBL's course) and you will very likely squirm. Then you realize you're supposed to squirm. Then you realize your squirming is complicity as you bear witness to some absolutely true humanity. Both spoken word pieces transition so effectively and intelligently from the supporting text that the playwright's earlier indulgences and unshakable male gaze are almost forgiven. This is Life and Death. Check your privilege at the door.
The sound cues are too loud, and unnecessarily jarring.


The right kind of pretentious

by Dave Stagner on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

This show is very, very theatrical. The sort of faux-Greek poetic language and costuming, the sound design, the mythic structures... it's about magic and theater and classical mythology, with anything modern or humanist almost dehydrated away. That said, it creates its intended atmosphere quite well, especially within the limitations of a Fringe show and the simple Strike stage. The choreography was especially good, although I often wished for a raised stage. The words painted an effective picture of transgender experience as mythic structure.

The personal monologues by Jena Young and Christy Marie Kent rehumanized what could have been too cold and abstract. They ached with sincerity. Fine work by all involved!

2 people found this review helpful


mehhhh?

by Zoe Morales on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

The true beauty in this show was the simple and honest story telling. I could've done without the sex and snake none sense. Clearly a talented cast, but the script was not great.


Challenging performance

by Eric Meininger on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 31 shows

Challenging performance to follow. The viewer would be best served by reading at least the Wikipedia entry for the mythology of Tiresias to help understand the context. Otherwise it will feel like some type of Druidic secret society ritual until the readers come in.

I would advice the sound tech people to turn down the volume of the sound effects (especially the voiceovers). They make the words of the actors particularly hard to understand and add more frustration than feeling of awe.

Overall, a great attempt at tying the story of Tiresias into modern day struggles of many of our gender nonconforming siblings, but more work is needed. Kudos for the attempt.


Two shows in one

by Eric Cohen on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 19 shows

Both the Greek mythology described above and two storytellers telling of their experiences with related issues. Both well done, but the back and forth made it harder to get into. Add to that overloud sound effects that covered some of the lines, and I don't feel it reached it's potential.


Dense and beautiful

by Windy Bowlsby on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

The text is dense as you expect from a bennet lowe show. Dense, a bit uncomfortable, but full of beautiful prose.
The staging is absolutely gorgeous and the actors are fully committed and lovely to watch.
The two storytelling segments included are extremely personal and affecting.
My one complaint: The prophecy sound cue is absolutely unintelligible.

If you're up for something a bit challenging, this is really worth your time.


Interesting premise, sort of pulled off?

by Tom S. Tea on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

(There is a very brief depiction of a sexual assault in this play)
I really wanted to love this show. The premise fascinated me, and I was excited to see a show about trans issues. That said, while the storytellers were engaging, and I could follow the main narrative fine enough, there were some sound design choices that jarred me and made some parts of the show hard to understand. I think if you can get past those, and you like the writing style, this is a solid choice


The Storytellers were great!

by Jim Louis on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 30 shows

I have a member of the nonprofit I manage in this show.

The Greek mythology based story made no sense. It wasn't too challenging to see what was happening, it just a mess of trying to do too much with too little. The extra vocal special effects were too hard to understand, the costuming seemed incomplete and the actors' vocial levels were hard to hear at times.

The two storytellers save this show. Their stories were moving.


Snakes Alive!

by Carney Gray on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Beautifully staged, well acted, compelling and engaging, Serpentine delivers much more than it promises. While the material may be too challenging for some audience members, those who have a passing familiarity with Greek mythology will certainly enjoy this show. Not the typical running around and shouting you may find at the run-of-the-mill Fringe show, Serpentine works on a more subtle level and has multiple layers of symbology. While the inserted stories are a bit incongruous with the main story, the storytellers are still very charming and their stories are both funny and poignant. The show is well paced and well rehearsed, and the message is quite timely. Overall, this is an experience that will stand apart from the crowd. Recommended.

1 person found this review helpful


Well... that happened

by Danielle S on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

The title was all I could think to say when I was asked how I liked the show immediately after. But I've had more time to think about it since then!

I liked the spoken word parts. But when it came to the actual play - it was very hard for me to follow. The writing is poetic and spoken fairly fast, so my brain cannot keep up while also trying to "translate" the poetry to what it means. So I ended up with just the general gist of what was going on, without understanding the details. It was also a bit too far on the weird side for my taste.


A mixed bag

by Lanny L. on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

This play had an interesting premise, which led me to the theatre. There are two parts to this play. An actual play, and a few bits of storytelling that are inserted between scenes.

The play itself was difficult to follow. I honestly wasn't sure what was going on for most of it.

The autobiographical storytelling was engaging, and gave some insight into what it is like for transgender person to transition. But it wasn't until about 30 minutes into the play, when one of the storytellers gave some context for the experimental play that was happening, that I started to understand some of the plot in the play.

If they do this play again, might be good to start with the storytelling first to give the audience the context so they aren't lost.

1 person found this review helpful


Inspired experimental art

by Christopher DeVaan on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

I was entranced by Serpentine. Well, most of it anyway.
A poetic, Lysistrata era experimental art piece about a man who lives as a woman for a number of years was, at its outset, a little hard to follow, but then when that piece gave way to two performers' real-life stories dealing with transgender transitioning and the affect it had on them & those around them, it became more clear.
That said, I am not sure the mixture of the two really truly works, but it kept my attention & gripped my heart.

1 person found this review helpful


:(

by Alex Dall on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This show lacked a lot for me. The plot forced me to come to the show, because it sounded so intense and new. The cast didn't do it for me. The overt, constant, and unnecessary sexual snake stuff did not work and I think they could've ventured more into plot to make the show stronger. Unfortunately, I do not recommend.

1 person found this review helpful


Relevant morality tale that hits hard

by Don Nowicki on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Strong visual delivery complemented with poetic prose. This production would have really benefited from a venue with a larger stage.


WTF... but in the best way

by Dahlia Acman on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

This piece deserved a bigger stage! STRIKE is a difficult space this year and I would have loved to see this with more fleshed-out movement.

That being said, it was very difficult to watch at times, but I feel lucky to have been in the audience. The storytelling was moving and relevant.


Difficult but wonderful

by Bradan Swatch on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Very powerful show. At times, a difficult show to watch. I will say that I don't necessarily agree that this show is appropriate for 12+ year olds, maybe leave the kids at home for this one but share the message with them when you get back. Hats off to the cast and crew - this was a beautiful show.


Blindingly Good!

by Justin DeLong on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 20 shows

A great, gripping storytelling piece that uses accurate retellings of Greek Myths of Tiresias to explore the Transgender community.
Some parts seemed shaky, but on the whole, well played by all.

1 person found this review helpful


Intense

by Dan Patton on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Visually stunning. Well written and acted.


Cast and crew

phillip andrew bennett low

playwright/producer

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phillip andrew bennett low is a Chinese-American playwright and poet, storyteller and mime, theatre critic and libertarian activist. His solo performances have won acclaim from Minneapolis to Chicago, DC to LA -- even as far as Melbourne, Australia. He was the co-founder of the Rockstar Storytellers (a supergroup of bestselling Twin Cities spoken-word artists), founder and producer of the touring theatre troupe Maximum Verbosity, and currently hosts what he believes to be the country's only open-mic dedicated to speculative fiction, The Not-So-Silent Planet, and its associated podcast. He has published a book of political humor, Indecision Now! A Libertarian Rage.


Michelle Schwantes

director

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Artistic Director of Poetry Alive! Theatre Company. She is a playwright, choreographer, and international artist-in-residence, including work in China, Ethiopia, Japan, Switzerland, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Ukraine, and Romania. Directing credits include: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Lakeshore Players), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; Inspecting Carol (Northfield Arts Guild), The Wizard of Oz; Into the Woods; Cinderella (Young Artists Initiative), Willy Wonka (Masquer's Theater), Cloud 9 (Anam Cara Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Montford Theatre), Cinderella and The Sneetches (AD, Children’s Theatre Company).


Anna Gregory

Althea

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Anna Gregory is excited to participate in her first ever Fringe show. She has previously appeared in American Idiot with TASU Theater Company and Spring Awakening with Children's Theatre Company. She currently resides in Chicago where she attends the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. "All my love goes to Mikey and Bella!"


Michael Hentges

Gnosis

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Mike Hentges is excited to be performing in his fourth Fringe Festival. When not doing Fringe, Mike can be found in other Twin Cities theater productions or doing improv. He was recently in a production for the Phoenix Theater's Fledgling Program and is currently in the improv group r/WhatTheImprov.

In the 2017 Minnesota Fringe, he is also appearing in Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler by Katherine Glover Presents.


Christy Marie Kent

storyteller

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Christy Marie Kent is a writer, storyteller, and math geek who transitioned from male to female more than fifteen years ago. She was born in Mississippi at the height of the civil rights movement. Her parents moved to a new state every couple of years, but no matter where they went, she found them. She lives now in the Twin Cities with her husband, two sons, and a cat that begs to return to a warmer climate.

In the 2017 Minnesota Fringe, she has also written Pope Joan by Featherstone Creative.


Sylvia Michels

Gynaika

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Sylvia Michels graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a Theatre Honors Major. She has appeared in several shows: Sweeney Todd-the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (The Musical), More Light, Not I, Love's Labour's Lost (The Musical), Angels in America: Millenium Approaches, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Trojan Barbie. Michels is thrilled to be a part of the 2017 Fringe Festival and is looking forward to her next two productions with St. Croix Festival Theatre: Death of A Salesman and It's A Wonderful Life. "Thank you to my family, friends, and mentors for your unwavering support!"


Michael Weingartner

Andras

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Michael Weingartner is enjoying his second year as an actor in the Minnesota Fringe Festival. He appeared in 2016 as part of The Non-Producers, and has since appeared around the Twin Cities in various productions. He is also an improviser, writer, and producer who's very excited to be a part of this wonderful cast!


Jena Young

storyteller

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Recognized in a women’s restroom as a “local actress,” Jena hopes to break into regionals in five years. She’s performed with several companies, including Six Elements, Maximum Verbosity, and Walking Shadow, and has also worked several production roles, including director, stage manager, costumer, writer, and fight choreographer. Her Fringe involvement since 2008 includes Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead, Highlander: the Musical, Caucasian-Agressive Pandas and Other Mulatto Tales, and her own one-woman Memoirs of a Welfare Queen. She’s a regular at the Encyclopedia Show Minneapolis, on cast for Vilification Tennis, and founding member and events coordinator for Fearless Comedy Productions.

In the 2017 Minnesota Fringe, she has also done fight choreography for The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi by Headcanon.

More information

"Copulation of serpents determined my destiny. Boyish, unmanly, I
ventured, adventured my way into forests primeval; glanced down in the
dirt, in the dirt-trodden path, where I witnessed the scaly sinews of
snakes intertwining in love..."
- from "Serpentine"

Praise for Maximum Verbosity

"With a control over the rhythm and pacing of his words that rivals Saul Williams, low paints a beautiful and sometimes not so beautiful picture..."
- Katelyn Coyne, Indianapolis Fun City Finder (Indianapolis, IN)

"...low has a hell of an ear for language. Those are some downright beautiful sentences...the guy gives good aural."
- Glen Weldon, Washington City Paper (Washington, DC)

"...dark and passionate...thought-provoking theater..."
- Daniel Gerzina, Time Out Chicago (Chicago, IL)

"...a healthy blend of outrage and amusement..."
- Natasha Lewin, Tolucan Times (Los Angeles, CA)

About the Show

A new expressionistic verse tragedy, in which a young boy slaughters a pair of copulating snakes, and is cursed to spend his life as a double-gendered voyeur -- a prophet, both male and female, whose visions of the future are ridiculed by their subjects.

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