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 hundreds of performances and dozens of 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 a local establishment, 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. 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 hundreds of performances and dozens of 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 are live on this website. Fringe is open to everyone, shows are selected by lottery, and you don't even need to have a show ready when you apply.

Volunteer: Our 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 a local establishment, 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, Reservations, and Tickets, Oh My!

In 2018, Fringe will still offer passes but is also re-introducing single tickets options to see shows. We are re-tooling our Box Office policies to reflect our changes. Please check back for more information in the spring.

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Minnesota Dance Ensemble Presents CARMEN

By Minnesota Dance Ensemble
Choreographed by Samantha Collen

Playing at Crane Theater


Opera/New Music, Modern Dance, Greater Minnesota company (outside the metro area)

Bizet's opera "Carmen" has beguiled audiences for over 140 years. MDE's modern dance version brings this classic up to date with operatic & modern music. This is not your grandma's opera!

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


Thu, 8/3 @ 8:30pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 5:30pm


Mon, 8/7 @ 10:00pm


Thu, 8/10 @ 8:30pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 4:00pm

* 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.

Read the reviews

Good show!

by Gavin O'Connell on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Fun show! I enjoyed watching all the dancers and you could tell they were having fun!


by Emily Stamp on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Interesting interpretation. The ghosts were beautiful. Well done!

I adore Carmen, but . . .

by Florence Brammer on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 41 shows

I love Carmen and have enjoyed many dance productions of it/inspired by it. The choreography here was so elementary, uninteresting and repetitive that this looked more like a dance school's recital than a theatrical production. The whole thing just looked really awkward and unpolished. Much of the movement was more a series of held poses than choreography. The on-stage singing was very nice at first, but then in the final number, the singer was singing over a vocal recording and you could scarcely hear the live performer at all.

A Very Fringe Carmen

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

The adapted story played well, but unversed in dance though I am, I felt the choreography was dull (particularly for the men) and (most) dancers beginners or poor performers (the notable exception being Heidi Haukos as Micaëla). The live singer was a fun addition, but was better when singing solo rather than along with the recorded track (why not splice the male role to allow him the solo?).
Give this one a pass unless you enjoy seeing different interpretations of Carmen or are willing to set the full show to hear a few operatic numbers.

1 person found this review helpful

O.K. Carmen

by Patrick Pfundstein on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

There was a lot to like here; some good dancing, the live singing that gave a club feel, and some of the choreography (especially the creepy masked fortune-telling scene and multiple duos). I thought other things didn’t work as well including other parts of the choreography that seemed dull/static or extraneous to the story, and the directorial choice to play a core emotional scene as light comedy thereby venting most of the steam from the ‘second act’. Solid show, but not great.

1 person found this review helpful

Two leads fuel a revamped Carmen

by Don Nowicki on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Beautiful work by the two lead dancers, great costumes and well paced. Singing was adequate and would have worked better in a combination with dance, rather than solo. Pump up the volume a bit.

Great little show!

by Brianna Berg on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

The show was really fun! Impressive male opera singer and it seemed like the dancers all had a good time.

Everything but the dance

by Mark Webb on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

I enjoyed the interpretation of this Carmen. Interspersed classical soundtrack with the modern numbers really worked well and gave the show a fresh look and sound. For a dance piece though, I must admit that I was expecting more experienced dancers - choreography was simple and appeared to be no challenge at all.

1 person found this review helpful

A fun little "opera"!

by Sandy Paige on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Great music and fun dancing/acting retell the classic operatic tale. Enjoyed seeing dancers of diverse ages and abilities share the stage. The singing was delightful, the perfomaces were fun and entertaining, and I thoroughly enjoyed the show!

I give them a star for showing up.

by monte vognsen on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 11 shows

By far the worst thing I saw at the fest. Dancers with little training, no athleticism, nil skill. Choreography that was insipid, simplistic, and cliché, except for injections of "edgy" pop drivel. Just excruciating.

Something different

by Preston Smith on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Music and dance without the obligatory hammy acting. An enjoyable experience. Great effort by the performers.

Nice change of pace

by Michael Heiser on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

If you want a change from sketches and dramas, check out Carmen. The dancers are obviously love what they do. There was a great mix of modern music in conjunction with music from the actual opera that made this very accessible for someone not into opera. The sound system did tend to drown out one or two of the few vocal numbers. But the piece over all was quite creative and fun.


by Thomas Hickson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Horrible sound with weak singing and marginal dance.

Not my cup of tea

by Lisa Lamb on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I liked the energy of the Dancers and the singing and the modernized storyline but it just didn't come together for me

1 person found this review helpful

Energy and pop

by Richard Terrill on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

The story, of course, is timeless. The production is clever, sexy, funny, thoroughly entertaining. Imaginative costuming, well chosen music, fast pacing. It looked like the dancers were having a good time, and the audience did as well.

2 people found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Samantha Collen


Samantha just returned home to St. Cloud after dancing 6 years in Russia, touring throughout Europe and Asia. Samantha has danced with companies including Madison Ballet, San Diego Ballet, Malashock Dance, Minnesota Opera, Opera Colorado, as well as many companies throughout Russia. ​

Tiffany Morgan


Tiffany has been with MDE as a company dancer since 2014.
Tiffany started dancing at age six, and continued dancing throughout highschool and college. She was a member of the UWRF Dance Theatre, focusing on modern dance choreography, while she attended the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. She graduated summa cum laude from St. Cloud State in 2011.

​Tiffany lives in Monticello with her husband, 14 year old daughter, three lovable bumbling dogs, and cat. In her limited spare time she's a documentary film buff, thrift store junkie, and loves reading, coffee, and photography

Nicholas Benner


​This is Nick's second year in Minnesota Dance Ensemble. He has always loved to dance but didn't get really passionate about it until age 16. Since then he has been in multiple musicals including West Side Story, Music Man, White Christmas, Hairspray and multiple others. When Nick is not dancing he is a manager at Caribou Coffee.

Missy O'Connell

Frasquita and Thief

Dance has always been Missy's sanctuary. Though she didn't grow up in a studio she felt a strong connection between movement and music from a very young age. Once the opportunity arose in high school to join the dance team, Missy's passion soared as she danced in countless competitions and state tournaments. She continued dancing through college, taking classes including ballet, jazz and hip hop. Missy graduated in 2004, with honors, from St. Cloud State University with a degree in Elementary Education and took a break from dance and a career to raise her 4 beautiful boys. Over time, she no longer had that sanctuary that dance provided. With the support of a loving husband and fantastic friends, Missy joins MDE for her third season.

Heidi Haukos


Heidi started dancing when she was 6 and trained mainly in classical ballet at various studios throughout Minnesota all the way through age 22. This is her first season with MDE and she is excited to expand her dance repertoire and collaborate with other dancers in the community. Heidi graduated from the University of Minnesota in May with a degree in nutrition and is pursuing the path of becoming a Registered Dietitian. In addition to dancing and cooking healthy food, Heidi enjoys being outside, drinking tea, yoga, baking, and spending time with her husband and dog.

Lucille Guinta-Bates


Lucille Guinta-Bates returned to dance in 2015 after many years away. As a child and teen she studied ballet and pointe work. In college she studied Modern, Jazz and Tap dance, obtaining a degree in Pre-Dance Therapy at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA in 1989. She performed with the New Dance Company in Stockton, CA and taught dance classes in the community in the early 1990’s. Many years later she completed a M.S. degree in Social Responsibility at St. Cloud State University and is now an adjunct instructor in Human Relations and Multicultural Education at SCSU as well as in Diversity and Social Justice at St. Cloud Community and Technical College. Her personal mission is to bring the joy of dance as a life-long endeavor to her community. She teaches adult beginning ballet at Revolver Studios, and created the community group “Gotta Dance” as a way to create space for adult dancers of all abilities to enjoy dance and movement. She recently self produced and performed in the three person show, Cabaret de Lune. Lucille shares her home in St. Could with her husband Chris, daughter Barbara and cat Jake.

Jeff Anderson

Escamillo and Thief

Jeff currently serves as a theater instructor, teaching children and adults to explore their imagination while giving them tools to grow as actors. Jeff graduated from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication and Fine Arts. He will be directing the Lion King this year with SOAR Regional Arts. His credits include directing High School Musical with SOAR Regional Arts, Leading Ladies with Great River Arts, Frosty the Snowman & Mr. Popper’s Penguins with GREAT Children’s Theatre along with assistant directing Les Miserables for the GREAT Theatre Company. Jeff is currently work with TAG, a teen lead board through Soar Regional Arts to produce four live theatre performances for the city of Otsego this summer. Jeff has also done work with the Guthrie Theater on and off throughout his theatre career. He has performed in a number of shows including: Les Miserables, Rent, You Can’t Take It with You, Drowsy Chaperone, Shrek the Musical, and Something’s Afoot.
This is Jeff Anderson's first year with Minnesota Dance Ensemble.

Alec Waters


Steve Kuebelbeck

Zunka (Boss)

Jenessa Roland

Fortune Teller/ Extra

Lynn Collen


Gregory Collen

Costume Assistant

Andre Heywood

Vocal Coach

More information

Minnesota Dance Ensemble presents "Carmen!" The story of Carmen from Bizet's original opera has beguiled audiences for over a century. Desire, greed, vanity, and revenge come together in this classic tale of love gone wrong. MDE brings a modern dance version of Carmen, with classic and modern music paired with live vocal perfomances. Along with the classic storyline, MDE brings humor and relatability to Carmen. This ain't your Momma's opera!

Bryant Lake Bowl