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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By Imagined Theatre
Written by Phil Darg

Playing at U of M Rarig Center Arena


Political content, National/international company


Warnings: Short show length.

An elderly man suffering from dementia struggles to understand his situation and maintain a relationship with his daughter, even as he forgets how he ended up in a senior care facility.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Thu, 8/3 @ 5:30pm


Sat, 8/5 @ 2:30pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 7:00pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 10:00pm


Sun, 8/13 @ 1:00pm

* 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

Important topic

by Julie Peters on August 14, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Really worth seeing. Strong show all around.

Heartbreaking, but poignant

by Cayla Marie Wolpers on August 14, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This show captured a subject that's very hard to think about without getting emotional. No one wants to think that their parents or grandparents will end up the way the gentleman did in this show. Paul had great physicality for Lionel in this show, and it broke my heart to see Lionel struggling the way he did. This was a heartbreaking show, but it brought up a topic that is rarely discussed. Bravo to everyone involved!

Disturbing and important

by Robert Cohen on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

As some have stated, the show is not easy to watch since it not comforting, but it makes some very good points about senior care. It also had some of the best acting that I have seen in this year's fringe.

Very Good, but Hard to Watch

by Dylan Olmsted on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

This show is very emotional and kind of a bummer. It's supposed to be that way. I was very moved and the topic hit close to home. To say I "liked" it would be the wrong word, but I'd give the writing and the performance an A+.


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

Very moving depiction. The daughter's performance at the end brought me to tears.

Moving and All Too Real

by Cetius d'Raven on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 50 shows

A gripping story about the emotional pains for those losing their mental facilities and requiring 24-hour care.

This play only reaffirms my personal stance that I don't want to live to infirmity.


by Lynda Dahl on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This brought me to tears. All of the performances were really strong, but I have to give a shout out to Paul Brissett. He did a wonderful job. I HIGHLY recommend seeing this show, and you've got 2 chances left! Go see it!

Sad but True

by Lori Roovers on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Having been through this situation recently, this show is spot on. The story is beautifully condensed to include the major issues faced by families with a loved one who has dementia. Paul Brissett convincingly plays Lionel and gives us amazing insight into what it would be like to be a victim of the disease.

Powerful Piece

by Kristi Manning on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Paul Brissett is excellent in this short, yet powerful piece. His dramatic portrayal of a dementia patient left me heartbroken for his character, as well as his daughter. The female characters are a bit overdone, however the emotion of the character Rachel is very real. Some scenes seemed to drag on, but overall the show was well put together.


by Mariellen Jacobson on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 38 shows

A sad tale and gut-wrenchingly true. Very fine performances and excellent use of the “in the round” space. When you need a break from the sillier Fringe fare, catch this thought-provoking piece.

Well done, but hard to watch

by Austin Robinson-Coolidge on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 37 shows

This is a very well done show about how we treat our elderly and the choices we're face with. The actor playing Lionel, in particular, is incredible. Very moving.


by Sara Robinson-Coolidge on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 49 shows

This isn't a happy show but it is reflective of the reality of what hapens when an elderly family member develops dementia. It's very well acted; in particular, the man playiing Lionel, the dementia patient, is excellent. There's a lot of exposition about why Lionel can't be taken care of at home and at points it feels a bit belabored, but overall this is a moving piece.

Stark Drama

by David Evenocheck on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

The character of Lionel, a dementia patient in a facility was played by Paul Brissett masterfully. So well, in fact, that at the end (not a spoiler) it is a little jarring to see him step out of his character at curtain call. The story is well crafted, introducing us to a variety of characters. Julie Ana Rayned did a great job playing the heart wrenching role of the daughter just trying to help her dad. The Arena stage seemed to be the perfect venue for this production. A donation from the proceeds goes to the Alzheimer's Association. Go see it!

One of the MUST SEE shows this year

by Brian Stepanek on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

WOW WOW WOW! This show, which tackles the very real challenge of dealing with an aging parent with dementia, hit hard (two of my grandparents had similar conditions to the man in this play) and felt so very real. The acting was superb and believable, and the script found a way to take on many of the issues that come with this sort of disease in a heartfelt, honest depiction. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. A must see!


by Kelly M. on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Not sure what to make of the reviews calling it a textbook or documentary. Not my impression at all. This is indeed a drama with some really good acting, and its pretty emotional as well.

A textbook or a Fringe performance?

by Corrie Fiedler on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 43 shows

I resonated with a previous reviewer's comment: this felt more like a documentary than a Fringe performance. Though I would state it differently: this felt more like a passage from a textbook in a university class about 'social work with our aging population and their children'

Did I enjoy it? No, not so much. But then I don't take classes about that topic either.

At the end of the day, Fringe is not juried, so why not a chapter from a textbook!!?? Not my cup of tea, though the elderly man's acting was fantastic.

Fantastic script and cast

by Patti Gage on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This show was well executed and the script really hit home for me. The cast did a fantastic job, especially Paul, whose portrayal of a man with dementia was eerily believable.


by Sara Robinson on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

But not sappy. Very sincere acting by a great small cast.


by Gillian Randall on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This is a performance that I know I will be thinking about for days to come. The performances were astounding. This shows realism pushed the audience to a kind of discomfort an informed and engaged audience member craves. I found myself worrying about the future for my mother and eventually myself. Go see this show, and be ready to discuss with your friends after.


by Connie Petersen on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Thankful for the shorter length of this production as it is a huge emotional piece. The cast is spot on. Absolutely brilliant performance by Paul Brisset as Lionel. Bravo cast and crew, this will be in my personal top 10.


by Mark Lee on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Serious script, acting, and issues. Go see it - seriously!

Remarkable and Thought Provoking

by Beth Darg on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Having experienced this first-hand, I was amazed at how spot-on this play was in showing the many aspects involved with dealing with an elderly person. I highly recommend seeing this show.

Important, moving, and informative

by Sam Peters on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Facility handles a topic that is not easy to tackle, and presents it in such a way that the audience can gain a better understanding of the effects of dementia on loved ones and those closest to them. A necessary and emotionally engaging watch, I would highly recommend this show to any Fringe-goer.


by Thomas R. on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

But in a good way. Intriguing, swift revelation of lives led.


by Ellen Just on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Very moving show and performances. Hits home to those of us who have had family and friends who have experienced nursing care. Terrific acting and staging!


by anca sima on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

great play, a piece of life you never know if it will relate to you or not. Everybody was perfect in their characters, and I recommend this as a must!

It looks like a play, but it's not.

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

I'm sorry, but this is not a play. Rather, it is a depiction of a dementia patient as documentary. The character is well-written and very well-acted and poignantly shows how dementia affects the patient (my father had dementia), but, well, nothing happens. A plot is attempted with a horribly clichéd attendant, but the action means nothing. The piece felt like a here"s-what-to-expect-in-the-future for family dealing with a recent diagnosis.

One for the serious fringer

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

A landscape of the mundane/everyday placed alongside the desperate patient and their family member. I was wrapped up in it the whole way - like sitting in the room and watching it happen. The main actor is brilliant.

Poignant, undeniable need for change

by Kathy Bedford on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Amazing performances and a story that hits so close to home. Not only for those in the "sandwich " generation, but for all of us who will be getting old. So basically, everyone.

On my thumbs up list

by H.R. McCormick on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

It's very serious and has a solid cast. Recommended for those looking for some real substance. Covers a lot of ground, poses a lot of questions.

Not easily explained

by Allan Lundquist on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Dramatic depiction of a very tough situation. Realistic, even gritty. Fascinating interplay between the characters, each of whom had a different agenda - yet they're all inhabiting the same situation. Some slow pacing - yet, it seemed to fit the mood of the piece.

Poignant, well acted

by Rach Towner on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This is an uncomfortable watch. It should be. Very well done - the temptation to overwrite or philosophise on the subject has been avoided. This is an awkward 45 mins. Recommended if you feel up to it. Some very powerful performances.

It's complicated

by S. Andersen on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

The situation, the characters, and the plot - there's much to digest here. Definitely on the serious side.

Relevant for me

by R. Henkel on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

As someone who has lived through many aspects of this situation, I identified with the daughter character. Well written and acted. The daughter and the senior patient were especially good.


by Andy Rakerd on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 16 shows

This play shows us a different kind of horror; one we might all unfortunately face one day. Imagined Theatre, which produced The Pound last year, shows off its versatility with this production. With powerful performances from the cast, they can disturb as well as entertain. Go see it, but brace for intensity!

A shallow but realistic dive

by Daisuke Kawachi on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

If the intent of the show is to provide a glimpse of the lives of those who suffer from dementia and those who work with it or have family who suffer from it then it was very successful. That said, the show suffers from a lack of focus, touching on numerous aspects (I.e. healthcare, elder care, legal issues) without ever investigating them in a satisfying manner. But perhaps that bleak and unsatisfied feeling I got at the end is precisely what's intended. After all, I imagine many if us will leave this world unsatisfied.

Thought provoking

by Candace Milovich on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This show really made you think. Uncomfortable to watch but very important message. Good acting esp. By daughter and senior male.

Depressing but Amazing!

by Casey Marie Holmes on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

This show is so well done. The ensemble does an amazing job. This show is extremely hard to watch as it portrays everything about dementia and senior care that we like to try to forget/ignore. However I think it's a show everyone needs to see.

Depressing, thoughtful, necessary

by Dick Sandberg on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This play tears the viewer out of his or her comfort zone, with deep personal emotions that connect to those who have, or will soon, experience dementia up close. I suppose the downside of medicine saving us from heart disease and cancer is old age dementia. So we should all be prepared for our future. Most performances were well done, particularly Lionel.


by Peter Davies on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Dead serious subject matter; realistic and certainly heavy in its mood; very emotional.


by Melissa Granlund on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

wow . . . this show is not for those looking for laughs. It is VERY serious. Strong acting, with a very emotional tone. Very moving - and sad.

Memories are fleeting

by Duke McMillen on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

As a person that has seen first hand how much a person with dementia can impact the lives of the family, this show resonated strongly with me. Strong performances by all. Thank you for tackling such a difficult topic.

Cast and crew

Paul Brissett


At the tender age of 68, Paul decided that he wanted to be an actor when he grew up. So he moved from Duluth to Minneapolis (where, just coincidently, his grandchildren live), joined Raye Birk's Actors Workout, and started hustling gigs. His first was as the cowardly professor in "Fahrenheit 451" at Theater in the Round. He had a featured role in a Fringe Festival show in 2016, and roles in "Volpone" and "The Merchant of Venice" - both produced by the Creative Actors Ensemble. He has also had roles in industrial videos.

Julie Ana Rayne


Julie Ana Rayne (co-founder of Imagined Theatre) is an actor, composer, director, playwright, and producer of new plays and original musical theatre works, and earned her bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Julie produced Sasquatched! The Musical at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) in 2013, and co-authored and co-directed The Pound: A Musical for the Dogs, which premiered in the Twin Cities in 2015 and the Minnesota Fringe Festival in 2016. In 2017, The Pound was selected for Theater Now New York’s Sound Bites 4.0 Festival (Signature Theatre). Authored plays from 2017 include: Booby Trap (Manhattan Repertory Theatre) and The Walking Advisor (City Theatre of Independence Play Festival). Past favorite roles include: Nancy in Oliver!, Reno in Anything Goes, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, the Wife in Rashomon, and Karen in Speed the Plow. Julie is a member of the Playwright’s Center and has several new works currently in development.

Tim Williams


Tim is thrilled to be making his professional Twin Cities theatrical debut with Imagined Theatre’s production of Facility. Originally from Des Moines Iowa, Tim earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts from Simpson College, and has appeared in a number of regional productions including: Peer Gynt, A Winter’s Tale, and Memory of Water. He has also performed with the Des Moines Playhouse in 12 Angry Men, with the Des Moines Young Artists in Stop Kiss, and has worked with the Des Moines Metro Opera. Tim is also currently appearing as a performer with the Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Company in Minneapolis.

Nicole Korbisch


Nicole is excited to be back for another Fringe Festival! She has performed in and around the metro area with The Chameleon Theatre Circle, Really Spicy Opera Company, The Seasons Dinner Theater, Old Gem, and the Cross Players. Some recent favorite roles are: Cathy (The Last Five Years), Magenta (The Rocky Horror Show), Angel/Reno [understudy] (Anything Goes), Paula Abagnale (Catch Me If You Can), and Countess Ceprano (Rigoletto).

Phil Darg


Phil Darg is the author of more than two dozen plays and musicals, the composer/producer of more than 250 musical works (some broadcast on MTV and The History Channel), and has performed at 54 Below in New York City. His piece, Sasquatched! The Musical (www.sasquatched.com), premiered at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) in 2013 and in Minneapolis in 2014 (nominated for 6 Minneapolis BroadwayWorld Awards). In 2013, Phil co-founded the non-profit Imagined Theatre (www.imaginedtheatre.org), with its mission to author and develop new musical theatre works. In 2015, Phil co-authored and co-produced The Pound: A Musical for the Dogs (nominated for 5 Minneapolis BroadwayWorld Awards), and in 2016 produced it for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. In 2017, a number of his new dramatic works were produced, including: ‘Til Death (Darkhorse Dramatists, Binghamton, New York), which was also a winner of the Artists Exchange One-Act Play competition (Cranston, RI); We Need To Talk (Manhattan Repertory Theater), Critical (Carrollwood Players, Tampa), The Interrogation (Chagrin Valley Little Theatre in Ohio), and was a semi-finalist for the Lakeshore Players' ten-minute play festival. His one-act drama, Facility, was a selection at the 2017 William Inge Theater Festival Play Labs, and will be produced at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in August 2017. In addition, an excerpt from The Pound: A Musical for the Dogs was selected for a performance as part of Sound Bites 4.0 (www.tnny.org) in New York at the Signature Theatre in May 2017.

AJ Cadotte

Voice of young Rachel

AJ Cadotte of Eden Prairie is 6 years old and will enter first grade this fall. While “Facility” is his first true foray into theater, some past, more casual roles include The Injured Little-Brother in “The Cadotte Family Chronicles” and The Chick Magnet in “The Adventures of Preschool and Kindergarten.” AJ is following in the theatrical traditions of his mother and his grandfather – who plays Lionel in this show.

More information

Facility focuses on senior dementia, its effects on family relationships, and the system that treats this debilitating condition. This one-act drama was a selection of the 2017 William Inge Theatre Festival Play Labs, and was reviewed by a panel that included Beth Henley - Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (Crimes of the Heart) - who called the piece “very disturbing.”

Facility explores the challenges and themes that many “sandwich generation” adults face when dealing with parents who can no longer take care of themselves.

Ghoulish Delights