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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Subpar Heroes

By Renegade Theater Company
Created by Renegade Theater Company

Playing at Southern Theater


Sci-fi/Mystery/Horror, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, Greater Minnesota company (outside the metro area)


Just so you know, this show contains Adult language.

When a passing comet lightly irradiates some donuts, a group of friends gain trivial, insignificant powers. As evolution takes a tiny, pointless leap forward, these heroes will rise up to save their town.

Grown-ups only (18+)


Sat, 8/5 @ 10:00pm


Mon, 8/7 @ 8:30pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 8:30pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 4:00pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 7:00pm

* 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.

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Cast and crew

Andy Bennett

Director / Co-writer

Andy Bennett is a writer from Duluth, Minnesota. He's the recipient of an ARAC/McKnight Artist Fellowship Grant, a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant and was a member of the Loft Literary Mentorship Series in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He's currently earning his MFA in Creative Writing from NYU. He's a member of the 2017 Renegade Theater Company Resident Artists and is married to Renegade's Artistic Director. Nepotism RULES!

Mary Fox

Christine Heather Gretchen Pfeiffer Stocke

Mary has acted in and around the Twin Cities and Duluth with companies including Yellow Tree Theatre, Theater Latte Da, Children's Theater Company, 7th House, Girl Friday Productions, The Playwrights Center, and Renegade Theater Company. She is very excited to be back at the Fringe! Mary's last Fringe show was "Shelley Bachberg presents: How Anne Frank and Helen Keller freed the slaves, the musical" with The Catalysts in 2013.

Andy Frye

Brian Forte

Andy Frye is a visual and performance artist based out of Minneapolis, MN. Music for Subpar Heroes written by Andy and Marcus Omeish. Recent credits include; West Side Story and A Chorus Line at The Ordway Center, The Great Work by 7th House at the Guthrie and he is currently working on the 4th season of Take It With You: Live Radio Theatre from Duluth, MN www.takeitwithyou.org. Upcoming for Andy; String and Still Dance The Stars at Yellow Tree Theatre and an original work, Dance TV. www.andyjfrye.com

Katy Helbacka

Patty Frost / Co-writer

Katy Helbacka is the Artistic Director of Renegade Theater Company in Duluth MN. When she's not directing shows, she enjoys being in them. She's very excited to be working with some of her favorite people at her very first Fringe experience.

Angie Martin

Becky Piddleson

Angie has lived (and cater-waitered!) in some of the best cities in the world including New York, London, and Duluth, Minnesota. She is a graduate of the Perpich Center for the Arts and the University of Minnesota, Duluth and has trained with the Atlantic, Upright Citizens Brigade, and Magnet Theaters in NYC. Angie is thrilled to be on stage with this amazing group of people and is very excited that two of her favorites – Renegade Theater Company and MN Fringe – have come together for this show!!

MacKenzie McCullum

Stage Manager

MacKenzie McCullum is a Duluthian-turned city girl who is thrilled to be working with her Renegade babes in their first Fringe show! She lives with her aunt and two cats and she loves you. She really means that.

Zachary Stofer

Johnny Fortune

Zachary Stofer is an award winning actor who has performed across Minnesota with the likes of the Renegade Theater Company, Yellow Tree Theatre, Wise Fool Shakespeare, and The Duluth Playhouse. He is also a featured cast member of Take It With You, Live Radio Theatre from Duluth, MN.

Carolyn Trapskin

Sally Leavitt

Carolyn Trapskin is thrilled to be on stage with her best and most talented UMD alumni friends. She has been busy playing her favorite and most challenging role parenting three kiddos and one man child. Thanks to the Fringe, Renegade, Andy, Katy, family, and lovely husband, Sam, for making this opportunity possible.

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Welcome to a town called Hope. Once a bastion of baked goods, the town's been on hard times since the donut plant was sold and the new owner fired the entire staff, replacing them with who knows what. Maybe robots. But, when a passing comet lightly irradiates some donuts, a group of laid-off friends gain trivial, insignificant powers.

They were down. They were out. They were one pastry away from giving up. But now, as evolution takes a tiny, pointless leap forward, these 'super' heroes will rise. They will stand united against the forces of evil. And they will use their stupid, trivial abilities to save a town called Hope.

Created and developed by the Renegade Resident Artists - a grand-funded cohort of 13 Duluth actors, directors, designers, choreographers and stage managers - this world-premiere comedy features a script from Renegade's Artistic Director, Katy Helbacka, and Andy Bennett, a Renegade Resident currently earning his MFA in Creative Writing from NYU. 

The show stars members of the Renegade Improv team, Renegade Resident Artists, and Twin Cities performers who've worked with the Ordway Center, for the Performing Arts, Yellowtree Theater, Theater Latte Da, 7th House Theater, and starred in 2016 Fringe shows Couple Fight 2 and Take Talkback. 


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