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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The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi

By Headcanon
Created by Dave Stagner

Playing at U of M Rarig Center Arena


Sci-fi/Mystery/Horror, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, First-time producer


Just so you know, this show contains Violence, Adult language.

What if Obi-Wan Kenobi was actually the villain? Tragedy and comedy collide in an epic tale about how we lie to ourselves, to justify doing things we know are evil. Laugh. Cry. Bring balance to the Force.

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


Sat, 8/5 @ 10:00pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 5:30pm
Audio described


Thu, 8/10 @ 8:30pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 4:00pm


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.

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Cast and crew

Dave Stagner

Producer / Writer / Obi-Wan Kenobi

Dave is thrilled to write, produce, and perform in The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi, his first production for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, he also wrote Star Teckla and The Y Files, for the Trans-Iowa Canal Company. As a musician, he has composed music for several Fringe productions, including The Forgotten Angle and Dancing with Death, and performs with several bands in the Twin Cities. He is currently working with Beth Kinderman on Hero's Journey, a concept album about Joseph Campbell's hero cycle.

Paul von Stoetzel


Paul von Stoetzel is a member of Shadow Horse Theatre, and has directed over 40 short films/music videos and as many plays in the Twin Cities area, including his feature documentary, SNUFF: a documentary about killing on camera, which has won numerous awards, while also receiving major North American distribution, as did his second documentary, Scrap. He is proud to return directing for Fringe Festival with his two shows, The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Blackbeard's Revenge.

Jena Young

Fight Choreographer

Jada Beulah

Stage Manager

Matthew Englund

Luke Skywalker

Matthew Englund is ecstatic to be a part of this year's Fringe Festival with such and amazing cast and crew! Matthew studied Theatre at the University of Minnesota Moorhead. Most recently was in A Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical with Minneapolis Musical Theatre and was a part of Gilligan's Island: A Tropical Musical at last years Fringe Festival! Up next, Matthew will be a part of Ex Gays: Not a Straight Remount with Savage Umbrella!

Heather Jo Raiter


Elora Riley

Princess Leia

Elora has been acting onstage for ten years now, spending four of those years studying theatre at St. Catherine University. However, she has been a fan of the galaxy far, far away since she could say "Papa! Papa! Stah Waws!". Princess Leia was one of her first role models, and she couldn't be more excited to portray this iconic General alongside an incredibly talented cast/crew for this year's Fringe. She would like to thank her family, friends, cohorts, and enemies for their continual support of live performance.

Rest in beautiful moonlight, Carrie Fisher.

Smokey Throbinson


When we asked local entertainer Smokey Throbinson for a bio for this section, we discovered he had decided on a method acting approach to Chewbacca and would only deliver his bio in character. Here is his quote verbatum: Muuuawwwhhhhh Muah MRRRRRRUUUUUAAAAAA RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR UuuuUUUurrrrrr MMMMM MMMMRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAA muaw ruuuuuaghhhhhh muuuuuuurrrrrrr UUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRHHHHHH. (It was at this point Smokey appeared to get upset and storm off the set. The last we heard of him he thought to be constructing a tree fort down by the Mississippi river.) Find him on facebook and instagram!

Alison Anderson


Nathan Gerber

Han Solo

Nathan was born in the 11th week that The Empire Strikes Back was in theaters. He fell in love with Star Wars and ultimately the walkers at a young age. Until he can operate an AT-AT, he will continue performing comedy as a member of Fearless Comedy Productions, with the award winning Wise Fools at Minnesota Renaissance Festival, and on his own in whatever capacity his fickle nature desires.

Alyssa Rae


Alyssa Rae is a local actor and Star Wars fan. At Minnesota State University, Mankato she appeared in To Kill A Mockingbird, The Haunting of Hill House, and a masterclass production of Romeo & Juliet. This is her second year appearing in the MN Fringe Festival after last year's SmashHammer: The Heavy Metal Musical. May the Force be with you!

Matthew Kessen

Voice of Darth Vader / voice of the Dianoga

Matt Kessen is a writer, actor, dramaturg, and French cabaret chanteuse who has recently worked with Comedy Suitcase, Fearless Comedy Productions, Ghoulish Delights, Green T Productions, and all kinds of folks like that. His solo show, Reverend Matt’s Monster Science, has appeared throughout the Twin Cities, including at the Encyclopedia Show, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. This is the fifth specific and distinct roar he has had cause to develop for a show and he is over the moon about it.

Joe Allen

Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker

A proper Joe-of-all-trades. Recent stage work spans: Four years as a company member with the Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company; Joining the international repertory of Shit-Faced Shakespeare; a self-produced Fringe play; and various work around the city onstage including at The Guthrie, The Southern, and The Ordway. Joe is most satisfied lending his body, mind, and soul to the creative process.

Matthew Saxe

Emperor Palpatine

Matt is a member of SAG/AFTRA and the founder, co-owner, and artistic director of Shadow Horse Theatre, the producers of A Drinking Game-Minnesota. He has over 100 film, TV, and theatre credits. His B.A. in Theatre is from the University of Alabama. Minnesota Fringe Festival Credits: 2010: Sex, Soap, Torture, Weather, 2011: Once Upon A CSI, 2012: Tales From A Twisted Universe, 2013: Theatre 101 & Grimm For Kids. 2014: The Jungle Book 2015: Melancholy London, 2016: So Bright the Night & 2017 this show and Waiting For Gygax. Onstage STAR WARS credits: Darth Vader-A New Hope: A Drinking Game-Minnesota, Yoda, Wampa, & Boba Fett-Empire Strikes Back-A Drinking Game-Minnesota, Jabba the Hutt, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious, and Admiral Ackbar-Return of the Jedi: A Drinking Game-Minnesota, and Darthius the King of Deathstark-Dark Lord of the Sith in HAMLUKE produced by Dana's Boys.

More information

Nobody believes they are evil. 

Do not assume anything, Obi-Wan. Clear your mind must be, if you are to discover the real villains behind this plot.


Why did Obi-Wan lie to Luke about his father? Why did Obi-Wan fake his own death at Vader’s hands, for Luke to see? Why did R2D2 go along with Obi-Wan’s lies? How did Obi-Wan just happen to find them a ship whose first mate used to fight along Yoda in the Clone Wars?

What if Obi-Wan Kenobi was actually the villain?

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi is a retelling of Star Wars, trying to make sense of why the characters do the things they do. Sometimes tragic, sometimes absurd, this show will remind you why you love Star Wars. Or why you hate it. Or maybe both.

Cast in order of appearance.

Dedicated to the memory of Carrie Fisher. Our princess, our general, our hero. May the Force be with you.


Sunrise Banks
OneNeck IT Solutions