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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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.


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.


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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Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical

By Devious Mechanics
Written by Keith Hovis

Playing at Mixed Blood Theatre


Just so you know, this show contains Violence, Adult language, Sexual Content.

Twenty years after a freak accident ended the Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Pageant, three contestants will settle the score and see who should've won by finishing the pageant, in all its pre-teen glory.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Thu, 8/3 @ 7:00pm
Audio described


Sun, 8/6 @ 1:00pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 7:00pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 10:00pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 5:30pm

* 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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Cast and crew

Kelly Houlehan

Frannie Foster Wallace

Kelly Houlehan is delighted to return to the Fringe in another Keith Hovis original musical. A B.F.A. graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University, Kelly has performed locally with Lyric Arts, History Theatre, the Old Log, Artistry, the Guthrie and is a core member of the Revisionary Theatre Collective, a group dedicated to new and developing work. Favorite roles include Carrie in Teenage Misery, Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof and Corie in Barefoot in the Park. For more info, visit www.kellyhoulehan.com.

Ryan London Levin

Liam Ackerman

Ryan London Levin is excited to be working again with some of the creative minds behind Teenage Misery! Levin was recently seen in Trademark Theater's The Boy and Robin Hood and History Theatre’s Orphan Train. Other works include Artistry: Fiddler on the Roof, Les Misarbles, Putnam County Spelling Bee and Brighton Beach Memoirs. Cromulent Shakespeare Company: Romeo and Juliet. Minneapolis Musical Theater: Gilligan’s Island the Musical. Bitter Boy: Silence The Musical. Paul Bunyan Playhouse: Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Leslie Vincent

Val Hutchinson

Leslie Vincent is an actor and musician around town. Recent theatre credits include: The Diary of Anne Frank (Park Square Theatre); The Marvelous Wonderettes (Sidekick Theatre); Teen Idol: The Bobby Vee Story, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (History Theatre); June (Savage Umbrella). Education: B.M. from Catholic University. When she's not twirling a baton or playing the kazoo, you can catch her singing at the Troubadour Wine Bar the last Monday of every month.

Zach Garcia

Travis Harmon

Zach is excited to be making his MN Fringe debut with this brilliant group of artists. Zach's recent regional credits include Children's Theatre Company (Cinderella), Guthrie Theater (The Primrose Path), Park Square Theatre (The Palabras Project), Frank Theatre (The Threepenny Opera), Walking Shadow Theatre Co. (Marie Antoinette, The Whale, A Midwinter Night's Revel), Artistry/BCT (Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel, Guys and Dolls, Proof), Freshwater Theatre (Pioneer Suite), Theatre in the Round (Six Degrees of Separation), as well as performances in Chicago and Falmouth, MA. Make sure to catch Zach in Theatre Latte Da's upcoming production of Man of La Mancha in the role of Sancho. Zach would like to thank God, his beautiful wife Jessica, his family, friends, and this beautiful cast and crew for their unending support.

Jimmy LeDuc


Jimmy LeDuc holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Oklahoma. Directing credits include Wit, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Collected Stories, Kindertransport, Blithe Spirit, Grey Gardens, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Laramie Project. He is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association. He is thrilled to be working on this production with such an amazing team.

Keith Hovis

Writer/Composer/Music Director

Keith Hovis grew up in the small, rural hamlet of Princeton, Minnesota. He is a writer, composer, and performer currently based in Minneapolis. Previous fringe endeavors include the musicals Teenage Misery and Shakespeare Apocalypse. His Minnesota history musical, Pioneer Suite, was produced by Freshwater Theatre and featured at the Ivey Awards. Most recently, his play, Public Exposure, had its premiere with Market Garden Theatre in December of 2016. As an actor he has worked with DelakoArts, Minneapolis Musical Theater, Lakeshore Players, Savage Umbrella, Seasons Dinner Theater, and once held the starring role of an essential at the Guthrie. He is a core member of Revisionary Theatre Collective.

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From the writer/composer of hit Fringe Festival musicals Teenage Misery and Shakespeare Apocalypse comes a brand new, dark comedy musical about small town life, that moment when you realize you're technically an adult, and what it really means to go back home.

Welcome to Jefferson Township. Population: 847.

In 1997, a tragic accident permanently ended the popular Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant when a contestant died onstage. Twenty years later, Frannie Foster Wallace still blames all her failures in life on losing out on the chance to become Jefferson's Sparkling Junior Champion.

Until now.

When Frannie loses her job and is forced to move home, she is desperate for a change. After randomly reconnecting with Liam, another contestant, old rivalries flare up and the two decide to finish the competition, in all its pre-teen glory, to finally find out who would have won.

Add in Val, the faded 1996 pageant winner desperate to be relevant, and Travis, an even more faded former high school football star, and this will be one messed up, memorable pageant. 

What Have Critics Said About Previous Devious Mechanics Fringe Shows?

Teenage Misery: A Horror Musical

“As they blithely quip, sing, and assault, the cosmos concocts a hilariously mystical retaliation. The vocally proficient cast’s giddy but focused high energy align nicely with Keith Hovis’s clever music and lyrics.” – John Townsend, Star Tribune

“It's everything you want a Fringe musical to be - fun, clever, over-the-top, with strong performances
and catchy tunes.” – Cherry and the Spoon Blog

“These jokes were funny. Self-referential, self-aware, place-specific, satirical humor works here.
Keith Hovis writes a tight script that equally celebrates and questions millennials--and he is very
good at it.” – Lisa Hu, Minnesota Playlist

Shakespeare Apocalypse: A New Musical

“With twists and turns at every corner, Shakespeare Apocalypse does not follow the normal path of
apocalypse stories at all, making it truly original and innovative. This absolutely hilarious musical is
filled with clever pop culture references, as well as tons of sneaky musical theater references.” –
Grace Peterson, TC Daily Planet

“…the show is chock full of humor, great songs, and an energetic and talented young cast.
Shakespeare Apocalypse is Fringe musical theater at its best.” – Cherry and the Spoon blog

“It's a frivolously funny musical about the end of the world… Composer/writer/keyboardist Keith
Hovis' fun songs are delivered by uneven voices, but you might be laughing too hard to notice…” –
Run Hubbard, Pioneer Press


Joia Spirit