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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The Buttslasher

By New Endeavors
Written by Andy Rakerd

Playing at Ritz Theater Studio


Sci-fi/Mystery/Horror, Actors' Equity participants


Warnings: Nudity, Violence, Adult language.

An old-school detective and his young, hotshot partner team up to hunt down the cheekiest villain ever to terrorize the crime hub of Stillwater, MN. Crack the case of this melodrama inspired by a true story.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Fri, 8/4 @ 7:00pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 1:00pm
Sold Out


Mon, 8/7 @ 10:00pm
High sell-out risk


Thu, 8/10 @ 8:30pm
High sell-out risk
Audio described


Sat, 8/12 @ 2:30pm
High sell-out risk

* 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

Noire, noire, noire

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

An excellent capture of a noire feeling. Well paced and well performed, but I had my doubts about how based on a real story this actually was. I remember a bicycle butt slasher in the twin cities once upon a time. Is that what this was supposed to be based on?

Silly, but well done

by Austin Robinson-Coolidge on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 37 shows

This is a silly send-up of 50's noir, and it does a good job of being that. There's not a lot of depth, but the point is to make you laugh, and it does that well.

Fun Silliness with Noir and Puns

by Sara Robinson-Coolidge on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 49 shows

This show is a lot of fun. It's not deep, but it's funny and enjoyable. The cast does a great job in their roles as well.

Excellent and Very Professional Show

by Tim Erickson on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

This was overall the best written AND performed of the 7 shows I've seen at the Fringe this year. A very talented cast and well written script.

At times it almost felt too professional for the Fringe (that is not a criticism) - not sure what that says about my expectations.

There is nothing deep or thought provoking about the show, just a really well written and performed light hearted comedy.

Great writing and performances

by Florence Brammer on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 41 shows

This was a ridiculously fun show. The writing was really good (although the last scene could use some reworking, IMO, as the narrative and energy seemed to unravel during the last few minutes). The performance of the lead detective was especially and wonderfully noir-ish.

1 person found this review helpful

Exactly What You Want In A Fringe Show

by GW D on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Well-written, superbly staged, tidily executed and professionally acted... everything a good Fringe show strives to be! On top of that it is funny, fast-paced and holds nicely together. Go see it.

No if, ands, or BUTTS about it

by Ashley Halbach on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Comedy + Film Noir + Butts = The Buttslasher. A fun show with a well-written script and creative plot. It's anchored by a strong cast that nails the dramatic humor including the plentiful butt jokes/puns. I'll never think of Stillwater the same again! A delightful fringe show.

Right on the Button.

by Mike Toonen on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Lots of laughs with great acting. Puntastic fun!

What it's cracked up to be!!

by Josh Schaack on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Fantastic show!! Great writing + great acting = AMAZING experience! If you are on the fence about this one, I strongly suggest giving it a try! Five Stars!!!

On Point Line Delivery. Great Script.

by Holly Peterson on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 18 shows

There are a lot of fake noir pieces this year, but this is one is well worth seeing. The comedic timing of all of the actors was on point (especially the daughter and the lead detective).

There was a little bit of line flubbing at the performance I saw, but for the most part I thought it was a great show. Definitely recommended.

Cracked me up (*)

by Holly Brimhall on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

This show was solid. From the first line of the show I was hooked. Fantastic line delivery, great writing. The two male leads in particular had great comic timing. My only criticism was that the last scene felt a bit muddy, lost the pacing and had a few too many jokes squeezed in. All in all highly recommended.

That's Asstastic!

by Andrew Dahlen on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This show is actually hilarious. It lacks pretension (take notice, most local theater) and is actually just funny. Great butts on display. Witty puns. And the lead is great. Keep it up, New Endeavors.

Puns Galore

by Matt Pitts on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

There's some beauty in the script of this show. Watch it and keep your ears open. Definitely a cheeky good time! Had me laughing my buns off the whole time.

Perfect Fringe Show

by Mark A. on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

This is why I enjoy Fringe. Shows that are a bit too odd to build into your typical community theatre season, but hilariously funny. Kudos to the actors and writers.

1 person found this review helpful


by Adrian Jones on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

You won't like this show if butt jokes aren't your thing. If they are, are you in for a good time! The butt's the thing.

1 person found this review helpful

Puntanstic show

by Divya Maiya on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

All actors did a great job, so many laughs! The deserved a bigger venue! Reserve your tickets as they are a high sell out risk.

1 person found this review helpful

No ifs, ands, or . . .

by Phil Darg on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Great premise: film noire + ridiculous villain. Very fringeworthy!

1 person found this review helpful

Bumshoe follies

by Eric Meininger on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 31 shows

Follow an intrepid gumshoe who failed to anhiliate narcotics from Stillwater schools in a rogue tale of a serial buttslasher.... or not. Great for some puns and laughs, though by the end the butt jokes become tired. Not a lot of plot, and more derrière than you really wanted to see.

Ridiculous fun!

by Kara Garbe Balcerzak on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

The Buttslasher is ridiculous in the best way! A campy homage to the noir crime genre. The writing was clever, the acting spot-on. Lots of puns and butt jokes that got better as they got worse. This show is a great counterpoint to more serious Fringe fare.

1 person found this review helpful

Campy fun

by Diane Hellekson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Two adults and one 15-year-old dug both the acting and pacing in this witty, silly romp. We didn't even mind the puns (given the crime, what comedy writer could resist?). The detective in charge is an absurd throwback in appearance and language, with only his preferred drink (which I must resist revealing) placing him in 2017. Other characters occupy a range of positions on the contemporary-to-noir spectrum: His barkeep amour, for example, is thoroughly modern in appearance (and refreshingly atypical for a straight romantic lead), but she's happy to engage in old school banter. The show moved right along, up to a surprising, ridiculous ending. We were amused and impressed that the playwright had a bravely revealing cameo.


by Reggie Kae on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Andy Rakerd never fails to entertain us with creative, well-written scripts! This show was hilarious, and most of the actors were amazing - especially Glen (Heck Bills) who really makes the show. See The Buttslasher, and get your tickets beforehand. It sells out for a reason!!

2 people found this review helpful


by Gregory Revak on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Had me laughing out loud!! Great acting & characters, I just might see it again...


by Matthew Jedlinski on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This show was hilarious! Great casting, excellent directing. I loved every minute. Highly recommend to anyone. This show is a can't miss!

1 person found this review helpful


by Genevieve B on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

They had a few really good jokes. Felt that it dragged a little in the end. Lots of puns so get ready!

Buns Puns Neverending

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

I enjoyed watching this sold out show, but I had to really let go of any sense of reality as it merged together 2 time periods that were decades apart. Regardless, I had many good laughs (in spite of all the butt puns) and Glen L. Dawson as Det. Heck Bills was quite good.

I feel like I've seen this all before

by Don Feeney on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Some amusing moments, but I left feeling beaten over the head by an endless onslaught of butt jokes. C'mon--anyone can write butt jokes. And hasn't the film noir parody been done so often that there's really nothing original left to say?

1 person found this review helpful

Laughing my butt off!

by Cayla Marie Wolpers on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This show was incredibly funny and punny! It was great to see such a stylized show with some silly humor mixed in. The cast was fantastic and the writing was carefully crafted. Well done!

Stillwater Minnesota

by Walter Furtney on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 35 shows

Terrific. Small fun show that hits all the marks.

Not what I expected

by Amanda Baxter on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

The title intrigued me, but the play left me wanting a little bit. It took a while for me to really get into it and understand what was happening, and when I did see what was happening, I still didn't see the purpose. Still very comical and the use of butt jokes was entertaining

Cute little piece

by Richard Heise on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 25 shows

Maybe a bit slapstick and filled with cliches but very enjoyable. Really a cute performance well worth seeing.

But seriously...

by JL Charrier on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Andy Rakerd wrote a clever, funny script that fits perfectly into the irreverent tone of Fringe. Despite the need for better projection and one glaring miscast, the show was well-executed with strong performances from Dawson, Wasserman and Schalter (not to mention the slasher victims!) I look forward to more shows penned by Rakerd!

Lots of puns and buns

by Harvey Zuckman on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I'm a sucker for puns and this show was full of them. Really quite a silly story, but it was well acted and I liked it. They stage is limited. But they make great use of the space.
I cant say rush to see it, but if you're in the neighborhood or want a filler, see it.

A puntastic noir satire

by Eric Cohen on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 19 shows

Well acted, lots of puns, and a dose of fun lazzi. Pacing was a tad slow, butt lots of laughs to keep me interested.

Really Enjoyed Myself, But...

by Tom S. Tea on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

...one of the humor devices is a constant volley of butt puns. It almost conditioned me to stifle a giggle every time a character says the word "but". Nevertheless, it was a well done, solid parody of noir and buddy cop movies. If you can stand all the puns, you'll like this show.

1 person found this review helpful

Funny. And very, very silly.

by Christopher Allen on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

Wonderfully acted, though (ironically) I enjoyed it most when they were not making constant butt jokes. It did a great job of being funny and poking fun at the crime noir drama, and I loved those parts. But, they so often went for the low-hanging fruit and it cheapened the whole experience. But, it's called the Buttslasher. You get what you pay for, and nevertheless, I enjoyed myself.

1 person found this review helpful

Great comedy spin on classic noir

by Don Nowicki on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Two strong leads (the detectives) elevate this locally set laugher to a must see. But you better haul "ass"; it should easily sell out the small venue.


by Richelle Amundson on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 39 shows

Film noir style story as if written by Bart Simpson. Well worth seeing.

So funny!

by Lisa Bauch on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

The Buttslasher had me in stitches! (Get it? Slash...stitches?) I have no idea how the cast made it through the show with CRACKING up. Okay, enough puns...Butt seriously, see this show!

Beyond Expectations

by kirsten Dawson on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

A funny noir show with energy and humor, local color, and a cast having great fun.

Don't miss this show!

by Sarah Trapp on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Exceeded expectations, awesome cast and great writing.

Noir done right.

by Stephanie Alexander on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

A sold out show, and rightfully so. Each character convinced me of the seriousness of The Buttslasher!

Cast and crew

Taylor Palmer


Taylor is thrilled to be directing her first Minnesota Fringe Festival show, The Buttslasher. Taylor graduated from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO with a BFA in Directing and a BFA in Technical Theater/Design. When she is not directing, Taylor specializes in sound design and enjoys working on props. She moved to Minneapolis in the last year and has fallen in love with the theatre community in the Twin Cities. Some previous shows Taylor has directed include: The Most Massive Woman Wins, Frog Loves Christy, and an original piece she co-wrote, Who Am I Kidding?. Some of her favorite designs include sound designing Columbinus, A New Brain, and The Surgeon from the Dead of Winter Double Feature, and props designing Moonlight and Magnolias and Violet. Taylor would like to thank Geoff Conklin, Andy Rakerd, and New Endeavors Productions for making this show and her involvement with it possible. She also wants to thank stage manager Jason Gaarder, the incredibly talented cast, her fiancé Matthew, her dog Obi, and, of course, Minnesota Fringe for putting together this amazing madness that is Fringe Festival!

Glen L. Dawson

Det. Heck Bills

Glen L. Dawson is thrilled to once again participate in the Fringe Festival! After a fifteen year hiatus, Glen returned to the stage, and made his Fringe debut last year. He also fulfilled his dream of starring as Harold Hill in "The Music Man" last October. Having not yet had the chance to work with anyone in this cast, Glen's excited to tackle Det. Heck Bills, and bring this show to life with a very talented group of people!

Dorothy Owen

Joanna Finlayson

Dorothy is super psyched to be taking the stage in her third Minneapolis Fringe Festival production, especially as part of such a stunning and thrilling piece of original theatre. She couldn't be more grateful to be working with such a stellar cast and crew, some of whom she has had the pleasure of working with previously! She was just Annie Oakley in Masquers Theatre's production of Annie Get Your Gun in Forest Lake, and The Lady of the Lake in Woodbury Community Theatre's Spamalot. Enjoy the show, and hold on to your butts!

David Wasserman

Det. Eric Balls/Postcard Design

David is delighted to make his Minnesota Fringe debut as Detective Eric Balls in The Buttslasher with New Endeavors. It’s his first summer in the cities! David completed his undergraduate performance degree at the University of Northern Iowa with emphases in classical voice, performance art, and acting. Subsequently, he worked as an actor in the apprentice program at Commonweal Theatre Company. His favorite experiences in the theatre include The Great God Pan, Scotland Road, Les Misérables, and Spring Awakening. Catch David’s next performance in We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! with Candid Theater Company.

Stanzi Schalter

Genevieve Bills

Stanzi is excited to make her fringe debut with New Endeavors. A proud resident of Stillwater, MN, she has worked locally with Mission Theatre Company, Classical Actors Ensemble, and Desperate For Approval. She holds a BFA from Otterbein University in Ohio and has trained locally with Twin Cities Meisner Training. Stanzi sends special thanks to her family, cast and crew, and to you for your attendance tonight!

Varghese Alexander

Det. Heart

Varghese Alexander (a.k.a “Alex”) is a dancer, actor and a playwright who has performed in various stages in and out of Minnesota. He debuted in MN Fringe Festival through “Hi Hello Namaste” [Bollywood Dance Scene Production] (2014) and co-wrote and performed in MN Fringe Festival plays “Spicy Masala Chai” [Bollywood Dance Scene Production] (2015) and “Bezubaan: The Voiceless” [Bollywood Dance Scene Production] (2016). He also acted in “Writers Block” [World Crime League] (2016) and “The Surgeon” [World Crime League] (2017). He is thrilled to be part of the super talented cast of "The Buttslasher".

Joy Rakerd

Chief Karen Bently

Hey Fringe goers! Joy has been working in the Twin Cities for more years than she cares to admit. Some of the theaters include Chanhassen Dinner Theater, The Old Log, The Bryant Lake Bowl, and the Plymouth Playhouse. Also, Joy appeared in the original production of Hey City Theater’s Tony and Tina’s Wedding. She’s been seen numerous times at Park Square Theater but is most proud of her 9 year run as Mrs. Frank in Diary of Anne Frank and Amanda in The Glass Menagerie. Oh, she’s also the mother of the writer of this production!

*Equity Actors are appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association

Harry Lantto

Jerry Sensor/Officer

Harry is normally found stage managing for BCT, but decided to "take a stab" at The Fringe Festival. He is happy to be slashing with this group of funny and clever artists at New Endeavors!

Jason Paul Gaarder

Stage Manager

Jason is a theater artist most recently seen playing Puck in Midsummer and Tinman in "Wizard of Oz." He's taking a brief pause from performing to help run the incomparable "The Buttslasher."

Geoffrey Conklin


Geoffrey is excited to bring another new work to the stage with his good friend Andy Rakerd and New Endeavors: His credits include Love and Persuasion (director) 2015 MN Fringe Festival, The Surgeon (director) The World Crime League, The Primrose Path (directing intern) Guthrie Theater, Steerage Song (assistant director) Theater Latté Da, Leaves of Glass (director) The Play Ground.

Andy Rakerd


Andy is a Minneapolis actor and playwright. His previous produced works were The Surgeon, and Love and Persuasion, which won an encore performance in the 2015 Fringe Festival. He would like to thank the cast and crew of The Buttslasher, and his family for their undying support.

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