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 Sheep Theater
Created by Sheep Theater

Playing at Mixed Blood Theatre

Ex mobster Gepetto wishes his wooden puppet child, Pinocchio, to life and now there’s an insane puppet who can walk and talk and gets involved with the mob and Jiminy Cricket’s expected to make this kid good.

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


Fri, 8/4 @ 10:00pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 7:00pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 8:30pm


Thu, 8/10 @ 10:00pm


Sun, 8/13 @ 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.

Read the reviews


by Janis Emily Peabody on August 16, 2017
This user has reviewed 48 shows

Loved the twists. Fun for all including the kids. Great acting. Nice set. All good.

Awesome retelling!

by Bailey H. on August 15, 2017
This user has reviewed 29 shows

I think a lot of us can agree, Pinocchio is a pretty boring movie. But this rendition made it so much cooler! Pinocchio himself was creepy, but endearing (talent!) and the supporting cast was energetic and earnest (Jiminy was a favorite.) Sheep theatre creates awesome work, look out for more from them.

My Fringe Gem

by Milli Manchester on August 14, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

i think this was my favorite show of the day! this was a twisted, dark rendition of pinocchio and i loved every minute of it! it was eerie and weird and i just wanted more! i am so glad i made it out to this one!!

Well-written and acted fun

by Florence Brammer on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 41 shows

The performances really make this well-written script shine. A very fun hour.


by Alex Yang on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

A very fun hour of theatre. The performers' timing was spot-on and the jokes land.


by Liz Blank on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows



by Mariellen Jacobson on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 38 shows

Fabulous parody with side-splittingly funny, strong, and clearly-drawn performances that drew you in and delivered the story with clarity and a punch. Squeeze it into your calendar!


by Richelle Amundson on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 39 shows

Pinocchio and Jiminy were the stars for me. Overall, not as funny as I would enjoy for a comedy nor as thought-provoking as I like in a drama. In the end though, worth the view.

Smart and Funny

by Steph Clarks on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

A great take on a classic story. I wasn't really sure what to expect going in and was pleasantly surprised. A lot more humor than I was expecting. See it if you can!

Always a Laugh (or 20)

by Alyssa Brooke on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

I always have high expectations when I see Sheep productions because they just keep raising the bar. I'll admit I think Michael Rodgers and Iris Rose Page stole this one- but not to anyone else's detriment. The unwavering mixture of laugh lines and gags had the audience stopping the action just so we could clap and catch our breaths. Cast & crew was solid. Fast-paced, fun to watch, not too heavy. Thanks guys!
See this show! Seriously. See it.

1 person found this review helpful

Out of 20 shows this in top 5

by Gene Bard on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Well acted. Entertaining and also with serious material to consider. Clever. Well staged.

How Do They Do It?!

by Krispin Jacobson-Shax on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 11 shows

Yes, the jokes are amazing. Yes, the live scoring is perfect. Yes, the acting is perfect, from the Hobbesian tabula rasa of Pinocchio straight in through to an almost rude-boy sexy Lampwick.

But what sets this production apart is writer and Stromboli actor Joey Hamburger's uncanny, divine ability to have it both ways: its both a stupefyingly absurd parody, and yet also a rather real, profound satire and philosophical rumination on choice, love, and selfishness.

How does he do it?!

1 person found this review helpful

Clever, spooky, hilarious!

by Michelle Blaeser on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 11 shows

A definite highlight of this year's Fringe. Clever re-telling of Pinocchio which I much prefer over the Disney version!

1 person found this review helpful

Clever and Hilarious!

by J. Bach on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 26 shows

A very clever adaptation! SO funny! One of my favorite shows in this year's Fringe!

1 person found this review helpful

So great!

by Jamie Fields on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I thoroughly enjoyed this production. It was hilarious at times, kinda creepy at times, and it had a lot of heart.

1 person found this review helpful

Haunting Humor

by Maria Bartholdi on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Dark and delirious the way the story of Pinocchio was meant to be told. This production shines with exceptionally beautiful live scoring, an impeccable and hilarious portrayal of the show's namesake character, and terrifying transformations of humans into donkeys. This show will haunt my dreams and I couldn't be happier. Also: really big cigarettes.

Wonderful Experience!

by Konrad Case on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Joey Hamburger and the rest of this cast put on an incredibly entertaining show! Sheep Theater continues to impress!


by Rebekah Peterson on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

I saw Sheep Theater's production at Fringe last summer and had to check out this one. I just love how they take classic stories and twist them into something new and different with clever humor, brilliant performers, a simplistic set, and a whole lot of energy! Highly recommend!

Sheep brings PINOCCHIO to Glorious Life.

by Matt Saxe on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 10 shows

I love Sheep Theatre's work. The script is full of that wonderful smart, wise-acre Sheep humor, and still gives you a story with heart. Robb's performance as the title character, who has an unapologetic appetite for destruction and pleasure after he's brought to life is just creepily hilarious and then moving as he realizes other people matter too. Rogers is a perfect foil to him as the unwilling conscience tapped by the resplendent Blue Fairy (Iris Rose Page). Joey Hamburgers frustrated gangster Stromboli is a great villain and he's aided by Page and director Michael Hugh Torsch to gain his revenge on the reformed Geppeto, an intimidating, then loving father Jacob Mobley. John Hilsen provides excellent music. Its a superb, must-see show.

A different view of Pinocchio

by Richard Heise on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 25 shows

Definitely not your Disney variety Pinocchio. A bit on the dark side. Well done and cute characterization.


by Brendan Philip on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 11 shows

This show is awesomely weird (weirdly awesome?) in the best way. It's hilarious and engaging in unexpected ways. The momentum of the show is slightly interrupted with the scene changes about 2/3rds in, but even with that I loved it. Highly recommend.

Hell yes.

by Jonatan Mitchell on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This is my first Fringe Festival and this show is what sold me on having to come back for more. Marvelously acted, brilliantly written, and completely engaging throughout. I found myself wondering how they could pack so much entertainment into just one hour. See.this.show.

1 person found this review helpful

Sheep Theater does what it does best

by Sunny Sorenson on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

Once again Sheep Theater's signature style of new American clowning is laugh out loud funny.

A unique take on a classic fairy tale is full of charm and wit, this company-collective brand of theatre is sure to make you laugh. I am interested to see where Sheep goes as they progress through the Twin Cities milieu. For me, the Fringe is about trying new things and expanding one's artist self. I hope to see Sheep Theater do just that: try something new.

But hats off to Sheep for finding their voice and using it with humor and heart.

2 people found this review helpful

Nothing but comedy

by Mickey Anderson on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

If you're here to have a good laugh, this show is the perfect one for you. It was very very funny and had me laughing at almost every joke. However, outside of that the plot is, to be frank, quite boring, and when you're not laughing, the show really just drags itself along. Even with all of the comedy in it, a lot of the jokes were either cheap or over used. Go for a laugh, not for the show.

Character-driven comedy

by Phillip Germond on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

I loved this show. It didn't rely on easy humor. Instead it took a story we all know and explored the extremities of it. Though the characters were absurd, I ended up caring about them. That made the hi jinks all the more hilarious.

What? How? Why?

by Obviously A Bear on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Where the inspiration of this interpretation came from will remain a beautiful mystery to me.
Come see this cast balance comedy and darkness (so much darkness)

Another One!

by Paris Kelvakis on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 19 shows

After seeing Most Dangerous Game last year I knew this company's show was going to be at the top of my list of must see shows, and it did not disappoint. Pinocchio is an unmissable romp. Don't sleep on Sheep.


by Kelly Glader on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

I kid you not this is the hardest I've ever laughed during a show... comedy or otherwise. Pinocchio's character was so well done that I didn't know what else to do but just laugh with joy. When the house lights went up at the end of the show, I saw every person around me wipe their cheeks from tears of laughter. Pinocchio's character was so well done, so ridiculous but incredibly seamless. Wow. I can't say enough praise. This company is one to watch out for. Their use of the stage and vertical space (yes, really) is something so unique. Go see this show and every other show this company does in the future!!

Creepy Puppet Boy

by Mary Johnston on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 11 shows

I loved this take on Pinocchio! I have long considered the tale to be one of the strangest ones around, and it seems I am not the only one. The play was hilarious and strange. The only bummers for me were the same same two bummers from last year: only one female actor and I lost many lines due to a lack of waiting for the laughter. I am a fan of Sheep Theater and look forward to their next production!

well done

by Sarah Lanners on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 10 shows

This performance was well acted (Stromboli and Jiminy Cricket in particular) and the live music was phenomenal. However, sometimes the music made me feel like the show was extremely intense when I wanted to be laughing, or vice versa. I love the take on the classic story, but I wasn't sure how I was supposed to feel during it. And that's probably okay.

unexpectedly entertaining

by Jessica Lindgren on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 20 shows

I was a little wary when I saw the Pinocchio-meets-mobster storyline in the show description, but I warmed up to it as soon as the actors took the stage. Great cast, fun take on the Pinocchio story, and amazing live music.


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

Constantly inventive, surprising, and witty, this piece was far and away the best thing I saw at the fest. The ensemble has great presence and impeccable timing. One big WOW.

Wow! Clever and Funny

by Bradley Johnson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

A fellow Fringer recommended this show and I'm really glad they did! Their adaption of Pinocchio had me laughing and smiling throughout. One of the things that really added to the full experience was their use of subtle music. Kudos to musician John Hilsen!

Not a friend or family review.

by Larry Bieza on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

I was blown away by the ability of the actors, and an adult retelling of a classic story. After 4 full days of Fringe, this VIPasser has seen a lot of shows, and Pinocchio is in the top two. I highly recommend this wonderful production!


by Diana Thompson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Okay, if you get a chance to see this show, you absolutely have to. Seriously, if you are reading reviews right now, deciding what to go see, GO SEE PINOCCHIO.

Sheep Theater's production of Pinocchio was, in a word: BRILLIANT. Pinocchio was an amazing performer with hilarious instincts, Jiminy Cricket was great as Pinocchio's conscience. I loved this, I want everyone to see this.

A perfect cast

by David Nienaber on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Absolutely loved the writing and portrayal of character in this show. The actor portraying Pinocchio was magnificent. While not the Pinocchio you expect he is simply brilliant from the first gasp. A meaniful, well though out fairy tale that strikes many chords of an honest look at humanity. Loved it.

Delightful rewrite of a classic story

by Kim Olson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Haven't laughed this hard in a long time! The actors really fit their characters - especially Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio. I was also impressed with how well they managed with such minimal stage decor. WELL DONE!!

I'd Sell My Soul to Sheep Theater.

by Emily Grace on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Whenever I'm asked out the local Twin Cities theater scene I always talk about sheep theater, I've seen a handful of their shows and I always leave having had a good laugh and super happy!! Their writing and jokes are always so spot on - that it makes me want to be a better writer and performer myself. I just want to be up their with them having fun! Pinocchio is no different - freaking brilliant. Loved how the jokes kept coming back up- the music - and whomever played Pinocchio was a smash ;) A true must see this year at Fringe.

Amazing show

by Sasha Gerner on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Really enjoyed this show, great script, made me and the audience laugh so many times, wonderful actors.

funny and honest

by Lyle Larue on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

I have seen plenty of shows that Joey Hamburger has done, it is why I chose this one. He and Michael Torsch are brilliant and work well together. I liked how this wasn't just a 'retelling' of the Pinocchio story, but an 'update' of it. I laughed a lot. But I liked just as much was how there was plenty of social commentary in it, such as asking why one has to be good.

Interesting premise, needs workshopping

by Siri Hammond on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

While the premise of this show has a lot of potential, this show didn't strike much of a chord with me. The comedy seemed very self-aware, so it wasn't to MY taste. The use of musical underscoring, while beautifully performed, was overused and I found that it lulled me to sleep and became background noise rather than highlighting or underlying specific moments. also, for a show that introduces work with an actual puppet in the beginning, that puppetry work never reappeared so in retrospect I would have loved more integration of that idea! Lastly, there were a LOT of males onstage and only one female actor... why? HOWEVER I do think that this show is full of potential and has a lot of great things going for it, including brave actors.

No Lie, PINOCCHIO is Great

by Zander Lee on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Sheep Theatre has become Must-See for me at the Fringe and when I'm in town. They have an incredible range of young talent on every level. Joey Hamburger writes some of the funniest , moving, and most intelligent scripts you will see and whatever collaboration that others provided just added to it . Great direction by Michael Hugh Torsch, great live original musical accompaniment by John Hilsen, and great performances all around by a gifted ensemble, especially Mr. Goetzke in the title role. Keep your eye on Sheep, they are special.

1 person found this review helpful

real boy

by Nadra Wass on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Takes the story in a new and fun direction. Nice use of a minimal set.

Nailed it

by Nellie DeLasale on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This show was perfectly executed in just 55 minutes. Pinocchio nails it with his expressions and the show itself definitely makes the audience question their own morality. Sheep Theater nails another performance, thanks for the laughs, Gnocchi Doe!

1 person found this review helpful

🤥 YES.

by Hillary Olson on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 15 shows

This was one of the best executed shows I have seen so far at Fringe. The comedic timing was brilliant! Seriously impressed with the physicallity and voice of Pinocchio. Wow.

2 people found this review helpful

My Nose Did Not Grow Writing This Review

by Samson Perry on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Sheep does it again! While I have many "to see" shows on my list for Fringe, but few shows are considered a "must see" for me, and Pinocchio rightfully made that list. The directorial eye of Michael Torsch, mixed with the comedic timing of the entire cast, takes this classic tale and whittles it down to the absurdity that it always was underneath. Robb Goetzke nails the titular role, and everyone else follows suit to round out this hilarious production. As if the production was solid enough, John Hilsen returns to Sheep to deliver a fantastic live soundscape that makes you wonder why more theatres are not trying to replicate what he brings to each show.

See this show early, because I am sure it will be selling out later in the festival.

2 people found this review helpful

Lots of laughter and fun

by Mark Webb on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

Clever material and lots of laughs, this was a great show to end the evening. The re-envisioned classic was brought to life by a fine cast.

interesting, but not too well executed

by Jonathan Zucker on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

That said, Pinocchio gives a great performance. The rest are extremely uneven and the concept, while fun, needed more development.

There are some great moments (and laugh lines), but it is not a must see.

The Greatest Story Ever Told

by Gnarles Xavier on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Sheep has been putting out top notch stuff since they started a few years ago, and they've only gotten better. This show could have been one where they made this strange puppet do crazy things and the audience would have been satisfied. It's more than that; it's a deep exploration of morality and freewill. Kudos to both Hamburger and Rodgers. Couple that with a tight direction from Michael Torsch and gorgeous music from John Hilsen and hey what a show.

Also, you have no idea someone is made for a role until you see it happen. Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan, and now Robb Goetzke as Pinocchio. He was simultaneously hilarious and terrifying, all the while being innocent to what makes him either. Like a real boy.

1 person found this review helpful

Get ready to laugh out loud

by Samantha Sobash on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

John Hilsen's composition maintained such a beautiful flow throughout the performance. This show has an honest script with commanding performances by the entire ensemble. I couldn't help but laugh out loud at this hilarious twist to a classic story. Bizarrely comforting.

Not your Godfather's Pinocchio (wait...)

by Hailey Colwell on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

Sheep Theater brings it again with this hilarious twist on 'Pinocchio.' It had me engaged, laughing, muttering "what the ..." and most of all just enjoying the fast-paced, cinematic story. John Hilsen's score added both magic and creepiness. Robb Goetzke was perfect as the title role, and supported by a tight cast. It was dark, ridiculous, intelligent, and often poignant. If you haven't seen a Sheep Theater show, this is a great introduction and if you have, this one will not disappoint!

2 people found this review helpful

A must see!

by Brenna Horn on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Creative twist on an old story, Pinocchio had the audience uproariously laughing throughout the production (at times, causing us to miss some lines!). Strong performance by everyone! I I enjoyed the lighting and music as well. I did not give it a rating of 5 because Bechdel test. HIGHLY RECOMMEND

Humor with heart

by Kayse Sondreal-Nene on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

A well-assembled cast executed a humorous twist on a classic tale. This production had a great balance of wit and heart. Highly recommended!

1 person found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Robb Goetzke

Performer and Builder

Jacob Mobley

Performer and Marketing

Iris Rose Page

Performer and Designer

Michael Rogers

Performer and Playwright

Michael Torsch

Performer and Director

Joey Hamburger

Performer and Playwright

John Hilsen

Composer and Musician

More information

Sheep Theater produces original plays with an emphasis on really really big stories that highlight the insanity of people with sincerity and honesty. 

 To find out more visit www.sheeptheater.com

Reviews of past Sheep Theater shows:

The Good Boy and The Kid, City Pages, Jay Gabler, 2017
The Good Boy and The Kid, Single White Fringe Geek, Matthew Everett, 2017
The Assassination of the Archduke of Austria-Hungary Franz Ferdinand, Single White Fringe Geek, Matthew Everett, 2017

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