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 (lumin)theater lab
Written by Rob Andersen

Playing at HUGE Theater


Shakespeare adaptation, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer

What could go wrong when 'Hamlet' castmates discover that Ophelia is still under the spell of a stage hypnotist she saw last night? Betrayal of trust? Sexual opportunism? Criminal activity?

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


Fri, 8/4 @ 5:30pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 1:00pm


Mon, 8/7 @ 7:00pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 8:30pm


Sun, 8/13 @ 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

Appealing lead, good twist

by Little Voice on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 16 shows

Good premise, but the humor didn't land for me. The lead actress was very good, though.

So Fringey!

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

A model Fringe show - collaboratively developed by the cast, zany stereotypical characters, allusions to classic theatre, clever, quick, plot twists, lighthearted, economical use of costumes/props (and a tiny stage), 50 minutes. Loved it!

2 people found this review helpful


by Chris M. on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Cute, light comedy. I enjoyed it.

Hypnotizing in the All Wrong Ways

by Riley Parham on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

The script is poorly developed and failed to build to a climax. The hypnotism bit is cute, but failed to draw me into the world. I was especially turned off when the hypnotism turned into manipulating a woman to perform a strip tease on two separate occasions, one of which was intended for blackmail.
As storytellers, we can, and should, do better than this. I do not recommend this show.

One of the best comedies of Fringe 2017

by Katherine Radsan on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I unreservedly recommend this comedy to all Fringe patrons, young and old. Swoopstake's fun premise, hilarious script and talented cast had me hooked.

2 people found this review helpful


by Seb C. on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Chuckled a lot at this one. About 45-50 minutes long. Fun!!

3 people found this review helpful

Smart and quick-witted!

by Rachel Warg on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

We loved Swoopstake! From the writing, comedic timing, and the plot twist no one saw coming, you wont be sorry you made this stop on the Fringe list! Plus, it's only 35 to 40 minutes in length. Looking forward to more from this young and brilliant company!

Charming, fun and clever

by Michael Johnson on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

A really fun show by a new(er) company out of Hastings, I am really glad I went to the Sunday Matinee. New comedies are tough, and I was extremely pleased that there were never any attempts to shock or be gratuitous - the comedy is quite clever at times, and comes from a place of truth. Great show, guys - and totally appropriate to bring the whole family too!

2 people found this review helpful

Light and Humorous

by Sara Robinson-Coolidge on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 49 shows

Clever concept and a lot of humorous but not outright hilarious moments.

Couldn't stop laughing

by Rachel BA on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This show is filled with silly punchlines, creative characters and a few twists. Trust me when I say, you think you have the plot figured out until it goes in a totally different direction! I fell into a laughter fit multiple times and couldn't believe it could get even more funny but it did! Must see show ☺️

3 people found this review helpful

Loved, loved, loved it!

by Angela Bruch on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I love a play that bursts an unexpected laugh out of me...and this one did that many times! Clever writing, a quick pace, belly laughs and a sneaky plot twist all packed into a tidy hour. My favorite kind of surprise in a play. Well worth every moment, every penny.

2 people found this review helpful

Swoopstake is a Must See!

by Leah King on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Great characters, unexpected plot turns and clever dialogue keeps you entertained and laughing the entire time!! Fantastic show, two thumbs up!


by Michelle Del on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Unexpectedly funny, witty, and lighthearted. Fun concept that I would love to see explored better in a full sized play. Loved it!

1 person found this review helpful

Hamlet, hypnosis and humor

by Kelli T on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Using Hamlet and its revenge plot as a backdrop, Swoopstake is a hilarious take on the intrigue and plot twists that take place behind the scenes of a small theater company. Well-acted, fast-paced and refreshing. Great Fringe debut from a young company.

1 person found this review helpful

Script lacking.

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

Interesting premise here, but the script took no chances. Actors were earnest, but ability varied.


by Maureen A. on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Light, amusing, very well cast. The timing was perfect, the cast meshed well. Very fun.

1 person found this review helpful


by Allison Buckner on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Clever screenplay and lots of fun. If the Shakespeare allusion intimidates you, don't worry- this is merely the springboard to a completely unexpected turn of events. Check it out!

1 person found this review helpful

Thank you for a fun night!

by Ellie Browne on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

Original and funny, without disparaging the Bard. Well done! Can't wait to see more from this young company.

1 person found this review helpful


by Denise Franz on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Swoopstakes kept me laughing and wanting to applaud! The actors had perfect timing in their comedy! A truly enjoyable and talented performance that I recommend others experience!

1 person found this review helpful


by Patti Soler on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

A must see!

Cast and crew

Steve Soler


Steve Soler is a company member of (lumin)theater lab and previously was the assistant director for (lumin)’s Escape From Happiness and also was one of the assistant directors for Pieces. Some other favorite projects of his include: a directing internship for Gremlin Theater’s Fool For Love, directing Kiosk Theater’s You & I: Verse in the 2015 MN Fringe, directing WAR Theater’s Letters in the 2016 MN Fringe & co-directing Black Dirt Theater’s Hamlet. Steve enjoys writing and directing, but also has worked with a lot of companies as a stage manager including: Theatre Pro Rata (T Bone N Weasel); Freshwater Theatre (Turn Signals); Theatre Unbound (Motherhood Out Loud, Anna Bella Eema); Chameleon Theatre Circle (Art, Eurydice); & Black Dirt Theater (Sound of Music, The Odd Couple, Tis A Gift, Arsenic and Old Lace, Steel Magnolias, Perspective). Steve is currently the stage manager for Black Dirt Improv and since 2010, Steve has also been part of the production team for Sample Night Live. Upcoming projects include: directing WAR Theater’s Ben + Trish (December 2017) and directing Cymbeline with (lumin)theater lab (May 2018).

Michael Kelly

Stage Manager

Michael Kelly has performed with the Dakota Valley Symphony and Chorus and trained in voice-over with Don Cosgrove's Talent Center. He came to acting in 2013 with NewBridge Theatre's Shakespeare Festival, playing the roles of Banquo in Macbeth and Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Since then he has been associated with Black Dirt Theater, playing The Ghost in Hamlet, writing Love Hangover for The Twenty-Four Hour Play Challenge, performing in the chorus with Wizard of Oz, and stage-managing Meet The Poes. He has recently joined Black Dirt's improvisational comedy troupe, the Zingers.

Rob Andersen

Playwright & "Lowell"

Rob Andersen is a company member of (lumin)theater lab. As an actor, he most recently was Tom in (lumin)theater lab’s Escape from Happiness, Reverend Hale in Locally Grown Theatre’s The Crucible and King Claudius in Black Dirt Theater’s Hamlet. Rob has written several plays including Swoopstake which is the third play of his to be produced. He currently has a fourth in pre-production. Rob is very excited to see Swoopstake become part of the MN Fringe Festival this year.

Patrice Veit


Patrice Veit enjoys theater from all perspectives: on stage, back stage, administration, and patron. Her favorite theater performances have been in Black Dirt Theater's Steel Magnolias and Bedroom Farce; in St Croix Valley Summer Theater's Our Town and State Fair, and in River Falls Community Theater's Fiddler on the Roof and Christmas Story. Patrice currently serves on the board of the River Falls Community Theater. She is delighted with RFCT's partnerships with the City of River Falls to bring theater to its summer recreation program, and with the River Falls High School to underwrite and give technical support to its theater program, so that the theater arts are accessible to a new generation. When not on stage, or setting a budget, or selling tickets, or costuming, or giving cues backstage, or managing the house, she likes to sit in a comfy theater chair herself.

Caitlin Weber


Caitlin Weber is a company member of (lumin)theater lab. She has been performing for the past six years with (lumin)theater lab (Escape from Happiness), Black Dirt Theater (Bedroom Farce, Guys & Dolls, Hamlet, Annie, Odd Couple), Locally Grown Theatre (Our Town, The Crucible), and The Phipps (Best Christmas Pageant Ever). She has also had the opportunity to perform in a few short films (Illegal Aliens, Senior Living: Dating Tips). Caitlin was a member of the Black Dirt Theater improv team for four years. Her favorite roles include Elizabeth in The Crucible, Jan in Bedroom Farce, and as part of the ensemble of ‘Tis a Gift.

Tom Sorenson


Tom has done theater off and on since high school, taking part in a few shows at Augustana College as he received his B.A. He then joined up with Black Dirt Theater upon his return to Hastings in 2012. He has done many shows, musicals and improv comedy with Black Dirt as well as Our Town and The Crucible in with Locally Grown Theater in Cottage Grove, Lend me a Tenor with Woodbury Community Theater and most recently in The Three Musketeers with Theater in the Round.

Zach Filkins


Zach has been doing theater in a lot of different ways for a little over a decade. He has done shows mostly in Hastings with Black Dirt Theater, but also with: Locally Grown Theater, Youth Performance Company, Guthrie Theater, Chameleon Theatre Circle and others. Zach also has been directing and choreographing at Hastings Middle School for the past five years.

More information

(lumin)theater lab was founded in 2017 and includes members: Leah Christine, Caitlin Weber, Kelli Tatum, Libby Wasylik, Rob Andersen, Steve Soler, Tom Sorenson and Aaron Henry. The company is based in Hastings, Minnesota, though they perform throughout the Twin Cities area. Past performances include: George F. Walker's Escape From Happiness as well as a scenes and monologues show called Pieces. (lumin)theater lab's mission is to create a safe environment for a core group of artists that encourages: inspired creativity, trusting collaboration, audacious experimentation and rigorous exploration of theater. Their mission includes more than just producing full-length shows. There is a strong commitment to learning and development by reading new plays and continuing to hone skills in all areas of theater.

Information about the company, past shows & upcoming projects can be found on their website: lumintheaterlab.com
Hastings Star Gazette Article
Channel 14 Interview

Swoopstake is an original comedy with its world premiere at the 2017 MN Fringe Festival. Rob Andersen developed the concept for the script and wrote it with colloboration from the cast (Patrice Veit, Caitlin Weber, Tom Sorenson and Zach Filkins) and director (Steve Soler).

Swoopstake is a comedy about an up-and-coming theater company attempting to produce Hamlet. During one rehearsal, the cast discovers that the actress playing Ophelia is still able to be hypnotized by a trigger word after seeing a stage hypnotist the night before. The cast is concerned but also wonders how they could potentially benefit from this situation. Swoopstake deals with the question of how far you would manipulate a friend to get what you wanted, though this script takes that concept through a complex roller coaster of twists and turns that will keep the audience entertained and engaged.

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" -Hamlet, Act II, scene ii

Bollywood Dance Scene
Wayward Theatre - The Weir