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 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


Warnings: Violence, Adult language, Strobe lights.

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
High sell-out risk
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.

Read the reviews

The Script Tries Just A Bit Too Hard

by Adam Boutz on August 16, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

The tragedy here was the amount of exposition and mental gymnastics required to make sense of the plot holes in the Star Wars franchise. Instead of bending over backwards to fit it all together, it would been better to create a new interpretation that delivers on the premise more fully. The droids stole the show. It would have been worth watching just for them.

A little long but better than prequels

by Todd Gorinsky on August 14, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Serious Star Wars nerds only! You really have to have a super love for minutiae in this series (and especially the novels in the original Expanded Universe) to "get" this show. This was just fine for me but my date didn't really laugh at all. The preview video pretty fairly shows you what you're getting into.

Kind of Hated It

by Dylan Olmsted on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

I've let this ruminate with me for a couple days, and although I really liked some of the acting (especially from the Matts in the cast) and I enjoyed some of the ideas, this was just not the right approach. The fourth wall breaking was painful (save for one or two behind the scenes Star Wars jokes that I liked) and the "translating" scenes were pretty badly implemented. Because it's in the round and they are facing opposite directions, you can only hear about half of the "translation" and the other half the time you are hearing R2's beeps or Chewie's growls when one or the other was facing you in the audience. It has POTENTIAL, but it needs reworking.

2 people found this review helpful

A Treat for Star Wars Fans

by Kendra Alaura on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Obi Wan has been getting less than desirable reviews and I fail to understand why. The show is a bit monologue heavy yes, but the main beloved characters are acted splendidly. Han promises all the confident cockiness of Ford with the looks to boot. Luke is hilarious and does a perfect homage to Mark's childlike acting that will have you giggling throughout the show. Vader and Palpatine fit into their roles effortlessly and their performances demand your undivided attention. Leia is perfect. Her energetic is addictive and commands the entire stage when present. R2D2 and C3PO are without a doubt the best characters of the festival. Both actors took on the roles with absolute fearlessness and nearly stole the show. Don't miss this one!

3 people found this review helpful

Truly a tragic story

by Sara Dibble on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll find out the truth about Obi Wan. Great cast, script and audience participation. So worth it!

3 people found this review helpful

Fun show with epic lightsabers

by Jessica Solinsky on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

This is a fun show if you're a Star Wars fan. I feel if you don't know the reference material, then you may not enjoy this one as much. The actors did a great job bringing to life the iconic characters though I have to agree with other reviewers that R2 stole the show.

2 people found this review helpful

Not bad

by Bryn Tanner on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

If you're a Star Wars fan (who isn't?) you'll probably get some enjoyment out of the more skit-based material. But I didn't find the glue that held the story together - the suggestion that Obi-Wan masterminded the plot of the original trilogy - all that compelling, and I wish Obi himself had been more dynamic. Like I said, if you're a Star Wars fan it's a solid romp. Special attention to R2's impressive footwork.

3 people found this review helpful

Most of the actors were excellent

by Bethany Nagan on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

I was exceptionally impressed by the acting talents of the majority of this cast. R2-D2 was especially charming. The trio of Leah, Luke, and Han nailed their impersonations of Carrie Fischer, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford. I wish there was more acting of the new twist on the story than the extended monologues. Kudos to the acting talents of the cast for their recreations of the movie scenes.

1 person found this review helpful

Absolutely Delightful

by Crystal Therese on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This show was so much fun. I found it delightful. I thought the concept was interesting and it was very entertaining. I'm only sorry I can't make it back to see a second performance.

3 people found this review helpful

Highlight of Fringe!

by Brian Wene on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

The characterizations of our BELOVED Star Wars were out of this world! Fans of the original trilogy will have an explosion of JOY. Heather Jo Raiter playing R2D2 was uncanny! The ensemble was very tight in this tremendous depiction of the greatest story ever created!
Thank you so, SO much!

2 people found this review helpful

Interesting premise

by Julie Schramke on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Tragedy of Obi-Wan is worth seeing, especially for R2D2 and for the study of mannerisms that the cast did. For people who are not Star Wars fans, they may not like it.

Just nope

by Erica Murphy on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

I wanted to like this show... R2D2 is good and 2 stars for showing up I guess?

2 people found this review helpful

Where can I get 1 of those light sabers?

by Connie Roni on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

I'm not a Star Wars geek but this is pretty funny show even if your just 'familiar' with the story line. Several stand out performances! Super fight choreography. Really enjoyed this show.

2 people found this review helpful


by John Gigrich on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Maybe actually a 3.75, so I had to round up :-) Leia and the amazing R2D2 steal the show. At times it does seem to wander a bit, but on the up side that did help to make it less predictable.

2 people found this review helpful

Intriguing headcanon

by Mark Roemer on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

headcanon. Noun. (fandom slang) Elements and interpretations of a fictional universe accepted by an individual fan, but not found within or supported by the official canon.

This show is a fine example of headcanon. It is not simply a parody. The comedy serves to emphasize the inconsistencies and logical gaps in the films. The narrative fits in well with the established canon and offers a legitimately alternative perspective to Obi Wan’s story arc. While exposition-heavy, the monologues are essential in developing the hidden motivations of the characters that lead to the conclusion. To that end, the show succeeded. Coupled with a number of stand out performances, this elevates the show to what I consider a must see for Star Wars fandom.

4 people found this review helpful


by Jackson Cobb on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Seriously - don't see this. There's pretty much no pacing, the plot is nonexistent, the acting is horrendous, and the execution is some of the sloppiest I've seen. R2 and Leia do a good job, but the rest of the cast leaves everything to be desired. Obi-Wan (who also wrote the play) seemed bored the whole time, and forgot lines more than once. I was legitimately looking at my watch the whole time to see how much time was left. Please, do yourself a favor and skip out on this one.

4 people found this review helpful


by Chorf Mender on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 10 shows

Just... not good.

3 people found this review helpful

Which way is up?

by Adam Engdale on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This show seems to have problems deciding what it wants to be, a spoof on George Lucas, a fan-theory, literary theory applied to star wars, or exploration of the character and motivation of Obi-Wan. Unfortunately these different objectives often get in the way of one another and muddle the show up as a whole.

Despite some of these scripting issues, a lot of the acting have exceptional comic timing and the performances of Han, Leia, R2-D2, C3PO really stand out.

5 people found this review helpful

Play or Fan Theory?

by Jacob Steinbauer on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

When this show was on, it was ON. Some great laughs sprinkled throughout, especially with the droids and Leia. Some fun examination of script and directorial choices in the original films. The storyline was perhaps too close to the director's heart, though, because it seemed to take itself too seriously, putting it at odds with the rest of the fun. I had expected re-creations or out-takes or a push in a new direction for this material that I know so well, but much of the actual Star Wars material was merely spliced in like essay quotes, without humor and perhaps too dramatically.

3 people found this review helpful

Some strong Acting

by Trisha Raylen on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

This show really didnt work. There were however some good acting moments and strong elements that kept it interesting. The character actors shined at times. The over all effect was dampened however by weak composition and a lack of continuity.

5 people found this review helpful


by Danielle Larson on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

This was tough. It was clearly a passion project, which I think is exactly what fringe is for... And sometimes when that writer decides to also start in the show it works out. This time it did not. The lead role should have been cast elsewhere as Stagner was not strong and did not have volume. Long monologues left things stale. Highlights were tongue in cheek Luke, AMAZING R2D2, and Han (who busted completely through his pants and as quickly as possible changed into jeans and re-entered with quick wit).

6 people found this review helpful

Character actors saved it

by Kelly Regan on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 10 shows

This show got 4 stars from me because of the character actors. The Droids, Chewy, the Emperor, Luke, Leia and Anakin especially. The actors took what they were given (a meandering script and blocking) and really saved the show. The blocking in Obi Wan's monologues, along with his flat line delivery were somewhat numbing, but the other scenes were redeeming.

5 people found this review helpful

Dramedy in Space

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

This show is a series of vignettes, some connected, delving into speculation on motivations of the beloved characters of Star Wars - and it's fun. Sitting in the front row brought extra thrill during the light saber fights, since the lighting makes it feel as if the fight is inches away (but it isn't). The actors portraying the main trio managed to bring the essence of each of their characters without resorting to mimicking the originals, but the show was stolen by Heather Jo Raiter's R2D2. While some of the intended emotional weight of the piece may not have landed as intended, the laughs certainly do, and you too may come away wondering about the ethics of using intelligent droids for dangerous work. Viva la Droid Revolution!

1 person found this review helpful

It's okay...

by Michele Briggs on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Its an okay show, not great but okay. The best part of the show for me was R2D2. She was hilarious. The show didn't know what it wanted it to be. There were actors it appeared thought it was a slap stick comedy and others thought it was a serious piece of work. Then there was the pacing. Why pace? It made me tired. Then Obi-Wan. I couldn't hear half of what he said and I was in the second row.

4 people found this review helpful

Funny, moving take on THE geek classic.

by Scott Davis on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

It would be easy to merely poke fun of Star Wars, but this play isn't that. Instead, it celebrates the movies while pointing out their narrative shortcomings. What's really intriguing is how it plays with your expectations. Face it, we all know these characters. But what if there was more going on behind the scenes? Was that old man a little more bitter, duplicitous and determined than we thought? Did everything occur by mere happenstance? Was one character really content to wait on the sidelines? And what part do civil rights struggles play in a galaxy far, far away? Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi is very funny. But it's also quite clever and even touching, adding new twists on the redemptive storyline of the original trilogy.

3 people found this review helpful

Shot itself in the foot

by Harry Uxley on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

This would be a fun one-hour coversation over beers with another Star Wars fan, but worth a Fringe show? It's a mere re-hashing and trite parody, though parody it did not pull off. Mostly felt contrived or lazy. Gratuitous cursing poorly delivered. All that said, R2D2 was awesome and our 8-year-old loved it.

3 people found this review helpful

Potential, It Hqd

by Christopher DeVaan on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

Yes, I am going to use that term that makes artists cringe. This show had so much potential. Lots of great performances. R2-D2 stole the first 20 minutes. Luke Skywalker was great. Princess Leia was strong. The droids were fun. Emporer Palpatine was spot on, but entered way too late in the show. The lightsaber choreography was very good.
But, if you are going to have a title role, especially THIS title role, it behooves you to have an actor who can pull it off, and this one didn't. Obi-wan's monologues sucked the energy from the Arena every time he had stage to himself, making us beg when other characters would come back out.
Maybe after some tweaking, this will be the great show it could have been.

3 people found this review helpful

Very, very Fringe-y!

by Sarah Larson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Very, very Fringe-y!
This is such a fun show, and fits in well with the Fringe vibe. The homage to Star Wars is very satisfying, a little meta at times, and also calls George Lucas on some of his b.s.
Three cheers for the movement and the vocalizations generated by Heather Jo Raiter as R2D2.!

2 people found this review helpful

Dramatized fan theory - Needs work.

by Ariel Lopez on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 18 shows

The show is essentially two parts; reimaginings of the movies' scenes, and characters monologues. There are a few genuinely charming and funny parts of the show - R2D2 most notably; more seriously, Leia's monologue has some interesting points. Especially by Fringe standards, the costumes were great, and really evoked the original movies. Otherwise, the script is bogged down by belabored monologues which don't advance the plot, and jokes we've all heard before. I like the concept, but needs some serious reworking of the script.

5 people found this review helpful

Great concept, uneven execution

by Tony Sofie on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Disappointingly, this show can't seem to decide what it is: a satirical re-enactment? A sci-fi feminist manifesto? A re-imagining of the saga with Obi-Wan as mastermind?

The satire is occasionally spot-on (the Han/Greedo scene made me guffaw), there are some priceless impersonations (Chewie and R2 especially) and the fight choreography is great. But the pacing is punishing as the script alternates between slow-paced, overwrought commentary and high-energy re-enactments of iconic scenes from the original trilogy.

Stagner has a good concept, but I wish he'd allowed someone else to play the title role so that he could have fine-tuned the script instead of endlessly circling the stage while narrating in a gravelly, near inaudible monotone.

3 people found this review helpful


by Bailey Hess on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 29 shows

I love Star Wars. That's why I and I assume many others came to see this show. But I agree with other reviews, it really seemed like a bunch of people got together to dress up as Star Wars characters and act out the first three movies. It was just one giant summary. The Obi-Wan monologues made the whole thing seem like it was supposed to be a drama, but it was a comedy...?
The Greedo/Han scene was funny, but honestly I didn't laugh for the whole thing. And I love Star Wars.

3 people found this review helpful


by Matilda Ruth on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

As a Star Wars fan, I was drawn to this show. I'm all about alternative endings, recreations and even alternate story arcs, but this show just did nothing for me. Obi-Wan was difficult to hear and lacked emotion. Overall the story was boring to the point I was counting the people in the audience who appeared to be sleeping. Although I'm not a fan of the Rarig Arena, as a cast/crew/production team you really need to be able to adapt to the space you are given. This show did not do that. Scenes took place at the end of arena to where I had zero visual as to what was happening.

5 people found this review helpful

Very enjoyable

by Krystl Louwagie on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I had a great time watching this. To be honest, I did feel like Obi Wan's performance needed more passion and conviction to it, but all the other parts were spot on for me. I loved watching every single character's performance. The overall story was interesting, even if the funny parts were pandering to pretty obvious Star Wars cliche's, it still worked. It was funny, it was entertaining, and it made sense. Overall, I thought it was great and I'd highly recommend it.

2 people found this review helpful

Fun Fringe Nerdery to Reframe Star Wars

by Rob Roberts on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I really enjoyed this show! This is what fringe is for. Go see it if you think something was always a bit off about the story!

This show is like the Star Wars conversations I have with my friends and wife come to life. It addresses undercurrents in a story you think is simple and/or you thought you knew, but not just the typical low-hanging Star Wars jokes.

I think they made the right move to split the tone of the nerd conversation into comedy and drama, and neither was over-handed. Some (very :) ) faithful recreations of scenes and performances mixed in with unexpected internal thoughts of the characters.

Listen to Luke wine! See R2D2 scoot! See Han try to shoot first! You might even like Anakin more!

3 people found this review helpful

I'd like my hour back

by Michelle Walter on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Some parts were pretty good, but overall I would not recommend this show to a friend or Star Wars fan. Good use of the space though, and R2 and C3PO were great.

4 people found this review helpful

Fun and thought-provoking

by Susan Knutson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

As noted by others, the show has flaws. However, it reached me emotionally and intellectually. I laughed, I empathized with Obi Wan's angst, and I enjoyed the fresh insights provided by the back stories. Plus, just plain fun to see beloved characters brought to life with excellent casting and costuming!

1 person found this review helpful

I laughed and cried at this show

by Jim Louis on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 30 shows

There are members of the cast and crew that are part of a nonprofit I manage.

After reading reviews of the first night I was ready to go into this expecting not to like it, but I ended up loving it! The story was comedic and the right use of actors for the roles. There were so many performances that I fell in love with that I can't pick a favorite. If you are a fan of Star Wars, I would recommend seeing it.

3 people found this review helpful

Superb Casting & Retelling of Pop Myth

by Jim McDonough Jr on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

It is a rare experience in theater to cast a show with a perfect group of actors. This corps of space warriors could easily be used as doubles for the originals in Lucas' films. In fact, I thought Matthew Englund and Matthew Saxe were Luke and Palatine themselves! Kudos to Paul von Stoetzel and David Strand for knocking this one out of the Galaxy. I portend a series of future Fringe sequels and prequels in spite of the playwright's disdain for those attempted by Hollywood. Maybe this time, we'll get it right. Trust the Force and Princess Leia!

2 people found this review helpful

Uneven but GREAT - thought provoking

by John Blood on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Saw the show today. I LOVED IT!

I'm a Star Wars fan. I've seen the first three movies literally hundreds of times. I can recite the scripts and can visualize as if I were watching the movies. I have read the books. I am a fan.

I loved this production! It made me think. There were moments when I felt a dreadful eureka that brought me right back to the original scene where it played out in a new way. There were so many moments presented by this cast that were preciously funny! Leia, Obi-Wan, Palpatine, C3PO, and even the scene-stealing R2D2 delivered monologues filled with insights.

For those expecting the polish and formal theatrical techniques of the Guthrie, please. Remember your venue. This ain't the Guthrie.

This is passion!

6 people found this review helpful

The Empire Strikes Out

by Anne Christians on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

This show would have benefited greatly from committing to being a Star Wars themed hour of sketch comedy. The narrative parts, particularly Obi-Wan's monologues, brought the production to a screeching halt and should have been cut or greatly reduced. While there were some fun high notes, mostly attributed to the droids and Chewbacca, the unfortunate unevenness of the production overshadowed any fun the cast and audience were having and made this a longer hour than it needed to be.

5 people found this review helpful


by Cole Estrem on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Do not see this show.
The writing attempts to include commentary and internal monologue from the characters that only cause more confusion. This is aggravated further due to the fact that no attempt is made through tech or acting to differentiate between the characters' dialogue and internal monologue. The space itself was poorly used and the blocking was clearly not originally done in an arena setting. There were several times in which entire sides of the arena were completely ignored. Other times it was unclear if the blocking was sloppy or if the actors simply didn't know their blocking. Overall, the entire show needed far more rehearsal with the only exception being Princess Lea who herself was a diamond in this rough, rough show.

3 people found this review helpful

More Than You Could Ever Imagine

by Beth Kinderman on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This show is plainly a labor of love for everyone involved. The cast is having the time of their lives as they entertain with a mixture of comedy, drama, philosophy, well-choreographed lightsaber stage combat, and good old-fashioned Star Wars fan theories. The hilarious Heather Jo Raiter as R2D2 is a standout performer, as is Matthew Saxe who delivers an enormously magnetic monologue as Emperor Palpatine. The whole cast played off each other well and recovered from a few unavoidable technical glitches without missing a beat. Many of the issues with blocking and projecting referenced in earlier reviews appeared to have been corrected or at least improved by the time I saw the show. If you like Star Wars, you'll love this show!

4 people found this review helpful

Fun! And Entertaining!

by Cynthia Gerwig on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

I was entertained throughout this whole show! The story touched base on some interesting elements which were thought provoking. Despite some minor glitches outside of the cast and crew's immediate control, the performances were great and the comedy element added well with the drama of the story.

4 people found this review helpful

R2 is awesome - lots of great action

by Dennis Dienst on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

This parady is filled with fun twists and great additions that made me laugh and cheer. The sight lines made some action hard to see.

2 people found this review helpful

Fun Parody!

by Mickey Anderson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

An extremely comedic show if you love Star Wars!! Many funny moments and monologues from all of the characters. R2-D2, played by Jo Raiter was an absolute hoot, Princess Leia has a both comical and realistic monologue about feminism (played by Elora Riley), and the comedic gold of Luke Skywalker was priceless (played by Matthew Englund). Another stellar and simple performance of from the fourth wall scene break between Han Solo and Greedo, played by Nathan Gerber and Alyssa Rae respectively. All in all, great cast and amazingly funny performances, and if you're like me, it's easy to find the comedy in even the simplest parts of the show.

4 people found this review helpful

So pleasant!

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

I immensely enjoyed the humorous nature of this show, but some of the monologues went kid of long. But as someone who doesn't know much about Star Wars, this was a hoot!

2 people found this review helpful

The best kind of fan-fic!

by LaDonna Bartol on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Another reviewer called this fan-fic and, ya know what, it absolutely is! It's obvious from the start that this was a Star Wars fan's work. Not just a casual fan, but a hard core geek with a wealth of knowledge about the fictional universe. Fortunately for this show, this was not a predictable role-reversal but, rather, a more in-depth look at often missed character motivation.
The costuming and props were stellar, showing an attention to detail rarely seen in a Fringe show.
3PO and R2 definitely stole the show, and their scene needs to be seen to be appreciated. Heather Jo Raiter and Alison Anderson are a powerhouse duo!
Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Vader, and Palpatine were fantastically cast - these actors carried their roles wonderfully!

6 people found this review helpful

Uneven Re-Creation

by Jesse Swanson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

This show never decided if it was a farce, instructive, or light comedy. Outside of the monologues, the actors were committed and enjoyable. I was mostly bored.

4 people found this review helpful

More Plagerism than Parody

by Belle Allan on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Upon invitation, here is my review. I wholeheartedly agree with Nick Glover's review. The fight choreography was great (save for awkward silence highlighted by the tapping of plastic sabers together) but slow and R2D2 was impressive albeit exhausting. This show is simply a live action staging of a fan fiction. It is less tribute than it it a whitewashed recreation complete with lifted dialogue—more plagiarism than parody. For a full 55min the plot to Star Wars: Episode IV was mumbled to me. The lame attempts to break the fourth wall culminated in a monologue from Leia in which she pandered to Fringe's female audience by describing how the films pandered to a female audience. One would be better off watching the movie with a commentary track

5 people found this review helpful

R2D2 steals the show

by Hazen Markoe on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

While an interesting take on the Star Wars mythos, this uneven production is underdone by an Obi-Wan (Dave Stanger) who aimlessly paced the stage and was extremely hard to hear, even from the first row seat I was in. Elora Riley, on the other hand, had a strong monologue as Princess Leia, while Matthew Saxe and Nathan Gerber are fun as the Emperor and Han Solo respectively, while Stanger, Joe Allen and Matthew Englund strongly handle Jean Young's fight choreography. However, it is Heather Jo Raiter who steals the show as a hilarious R2D2!!! With her scuttling gait, expressive facial expressions, and assortment of beeps and boops, she adds a delightful amount of fun to this show and is worth the ticket price alone.

4 people found this review helpful

Entertaining For Sure!

by Mari Anderson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I am a huge Star Wars geek and I was looking forward to this show because the title is intriguing. The show itself it decent, not fabulous but certainly not the worst thing I've ever seen. However, the title of the show did not match up with what the show was. The acting was well done, costumes were clever, and I appreciated the "adult version" of some of the more classic Star Wars scenes. The hardest part for me was how the monologues seemed to have to tie-in to the scene preceding or following which made the plot challenging to follow.

TlDR version: it's fun, it's witty, it's different, and who doesn't want to see light saber fights 10 feet away?!

Complex and provoking

by Laura Kauth on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

This is a hard show to describe on a single scale, and a hard range of tones to transition in a single hour.

Obi-wan develops some of the story gaps for major, yet essentially background, characters. The brevity favors the comical (and the droids nail the comedy of the source material). But what lingers is the deviation from Lucas' black and white morality: the complex conflicts of emotion and motivation, the ends that make the means seem justified, yet tarnish the charger.

These sections would have, I think, benefited from a more intimate, confessional setting. The comedy works well at the full volume necessary for the space. The tragedy faces the choice of nuance vs projection.

Overall, definitely worth seeing, and discussing.

7 people found this review helpful

fun popcorn flick

by jl hatlen linnell on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I went in expecting a sharp headcanon twist to the story, painting Kenobi as a manipulative villain. That is not what I got. Instead we have different character perspectives on Star Wars, from emotional to campy. And it was fun. Not high art, but definitely an hour well spent.

Cast was a blast. R2 stole scenes!Palpatine, Leia and Han shine brightly and Luke was a beautiful performance of an established caricature.

Pacing was iffy. Needed someone to block the scenes rather than just have people pace while talking, and (as a friend) given Dave's vocal cord injuries this year he should have had a mic, or given his baby to another actor.

This was fun; if you love or hate star wars you'll find amusement poking fun at it from a few angles.

2 people found this review helpful

The Force is Strong with OBI-WAN

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

This is the best STAR WARS related Fringe show since HAMLUKE. This is NOT a parody but a smart & different perspective of the story. Matthew Englund makes for a charming Luke in his evolution from farm-boy to Jedi-he's wonderful. Our two droids (who want to be recognized as Female) and Chewbacca are hilarious. Fans will really enjoy the Han/Greedo scene-Nathan Gerber makes for a perfectly cocky Han. Elora Riley honors Carrie Fisher with her terrific performance as Leia. Two actors combine as Darth Vader & voice and fighting are both top-notch. Matthew Saxe is brilliant & terrifying as the Emperor. He embodies the role, and his chilling monologue & final scene are outstanding. You really can't ask for a better Fringe STAR WARS show. 5-Stars

4 people found this review helpful

R2D2 rules!

by Mariellen Jacobson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 38 shows

This show was quite uneven, and can be understood only if you’ve seen the movies, but there were enough fun moments in it for me to give it 4 stars. R2D2’s character was hilarious and stole the show! Princess Leia had powerful lines/ideas and delivered them beautifully. C3PO was a hoot. You could almost speak along with much of the text, taken directly from the movies. Lightsaber fights were colorful. But some performances were weak (especially Obi-Wan’s). It was both entertaining and frustrating.

3 people found this review helpful

No-bi wan

by Jon Golden on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 16 shows

I really had high hopes for this show but I was let down almost immediately. This is a show that I found myself staring at the ground more than actually watching what was happening because of how bored i got. The biggest problem with this show I believe is the script, its incredibly long winded, filled with monologues that last way too long and are not that great, and kinda trite. There are some good performances in Matthew Saxe and Matthew Englund but beyond that I found myself incredibly bored and straining to care. Obi Wan is incredibly hard to hear anytime he talks and the constant circular pacing does not help that at all, and I'm not talking small pacing, I'm talking in and out of darkness through the entire space.

5 people found this review helpful

Interesting take on Star Wars

by James Zappa on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 10 shows

This show was a fun, deconstruction of the original star wars trilogies, the re-enactment of movie scenes were fun, and never took themselves too seriously. However some of the jokes went on a little long. C-3PO and R2-D2 had the best scene in the show, and made better because you could tell how much fun the actresses were having. What caused the show to drag were the monologues explaining the characters path through the stories. Some were well done; the droids, Han and Chewie, and Leia really stood out. But the Emperor and Obi Wan's dragged and at times felt put in to pad the length, and relied on the audience knowing Star Wars as well as the creator of the show. A show for star wars fans for sure, but enough in there even if your not.

1 person found this review helpful

Fun Performance with Substantial Flaws

by Todd Walden on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Obi Wan is quite lucky to have a great cast around him.

For a show about Obi Wan Kenobi, I would have preferred to see the Jedi master's performance delivered with a lot less monotone and a lot less aimless pacing.

Outside of Obi Wan's performance, however, the show was entertaining and very clever. I do think the show struggles a little bit in deciding what it wants to be. Characters trying for farce are struggling against the characters trying for tragedy, but while the whole is a little shaky, many of the individual pieces are wonderfully crafted.

R2D2 was spectacular, and, frankly, stole the show.

Overall, well worth your time.

2 people found this review helpful

Some good moments

by Jacob Gulliver on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

This is a situation where the 1-5 star rating system doesn't really capture what I want to say. There were some great things about this piece, some of the moments of parody and the impassioned performances were really fun and enjoyable. The droids and Palpatine were particularly compelling, and I wish they'd been given something a little more concise to work with. The main trouble with this is the script - the concept is unique and there are many interesting moments in it, but it is ultimately trying to do way too much. I found myself frustrated to see elements from the EU Star Wars books - as though were canonical, surely confusing for non-fans. This show is performed with much passion, but it ultimately feels very scattered.

6 people found this review helpful

Live your Dream, now Let it Go

by Hannah Coleman on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

This show is someone living a passion and dream they had on stage. Wonderful for them, I am glad of it.

But as for theatrical quality and entertainment value, it is not as great. The endless rambling monologue's performed while walking in the same circle around the theatre is droning and frustrating: As is the re-enactments of the films with some added cheeky dialogue that mostly results in swearing and storming off. The actor who played Luke Skywalker seemed to be the only one who knew it was a parody and he did a good job keeping me even vaguely engaged. The script was terribly sub-par.

One star for living out a Star Wars Fan's Dream, and for the effort of writing a script to make it happen. But let's hope it ends here.

5 people found this review helpful

A must see for the Star Wars fan

by Sonja Freeman on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

R2D2! Leia! Han! Loved the females in this show especially. There was a good amount of content in the monologues to entertain even the mild enthusiast, and probably many references that were lost on me.
The dark side: As others have said, it was exceedingly difficult to hear Obi Wan at times, and the monologue blocking was pretty mind-numbing. This venue is tough.

2 people found this review helpful

OMG Leia!

by Grenacia Green on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

I absolutely loved Leia's monologue. It was fabulously written and flawlessly performed, and said so much that needed to be said - she was a fabulous tribute to Leia Organa and Carrie Fisher. There was also some great comedy bits, and some good stage combat and drama. Some dialogue was straight from the original movies, but always with additions of comedy and/or additional material to explain motivations and fill plot holes. I saw their first performance and there are some kinks that hopefully will be worked out: R2D2 was awesome but sometimes it was hard to hear C-3PIO over her. It was impossible to hear Obi-Wan anytime the audience was laughing at whatever he'd said previously - he didn't pause and should have a microphone.

3 people found this review helpful

Insightful and funny

by Frank Neubecker on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

The show had its good and bad points. The good was R2D2 and the monologues that make you look at a familiar story in a different way. My main complaint was that Obi Wan was hard to hear at times and I was in the front row.

3 people found this review helpful

Definitely worthwhile

by Robin Rayfield on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

In the program notes for this show, Dave Stagner says that he wanted to recreate the wonder and excitement of the original Star Wars film, and the description above implies that this presents Obi-Wan as the villain. On one hand, I didn't see either of those promises kept. However, it was a great parody of Star Wars with fantastic acting, great dialogue, fun alternate perspectives of the characters, and it was definitely an entertaining show. Where it fell flat for me, however, was with Obi-Wan. Dave Stagner is both the strongest and weakest links. He envisioned and wrote a great show, but he didn't come off as either Obi-Wan or evil, and he was sometimes hard to hear. Overall, I do still highly recommend it. Great Star Wars parody!

3 people found this review helpful

If nothing else go to see R2

by Jeff Hoffmann on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

For being the main character Obi-Wan was hard to understand and at the end I went away thinking more of the interludes such as the monologues by R2, Chewbacca & Leia than Obi-Wan's story. Solid but not outstanding unless you're a big Star Wars fan.

1 person found this review helpful

The success of the tragedy

by Sara Julson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Review preface: I'm not a Star Wars fan. I am a fan of seeing people enjoying their passions. The acting. The comedy. The FIGHT SCENES. Costuming. The energy of all on the stage was evident. My whole family enjoyed it greatly!

2 people found this review helpful


by Molly Glover on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I don't usually leave negative Fringe reviews, but the writer/lead actor insisted we do so.

I really wanted to like this show. I am steeped in Star Wars lore daily, professionally even. I am the prime audience. But this was beyond dull.

First, the good: Gerber's Han Solo and Saxe's Emperor were bright spots. I was very impressed with the fluidity of the fight choreo, and with the actor playing R2-D2's movements.

The script was really, really rough. It alternates between straight-up Star Wars screenplay dialogue and meandering, uninteresting monologues. The blocking for the monologues only worsened this. Obi-Wan's acting was flat, his voice very difficult to understand.

I'm sorry to say it, but this is not the show you're looking for

6 people found this review helpful

Let the Hate Flow Through You

by Nick Glover on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I'm not normally the kind of person who will take the time to leave a negative review, but the writer/lead actor insisted folks leave a review regardless.

If you've seen Star Wars, you'll already be familiar with 75% of this show's dialogue, which is lifted directly from the movies (mostly ep. 4, A New Hope). The titular lead was incredibly hard to hear. There are huge blind spots in the staging for this space. R2D2's initially funny noises quickly drowned out her compatriot's dialogue. Pacing in a circle over and over is not a terribly effective way to deliver a ton of expositional dialogue.

Things I enjoyed: The fight choreography. A few of the jokes I'd consider original. Nathan Gerber being a lovable big ham as a comedic Han Solo.

4 people found this review helpful

Entertaining and fun, some slow moments

by JoAnn W. Pasternack on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

Cute take on the original movie. Scenes with Han Solo were funny, but somewhat overdone. Standout acting by Heather Jo Raiter who stole the show as R2D2. Worth your time.

1 person found this review helpful

Fun look at alt facts

by Thomas Rupp on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Entertaining perspective of Star Wars. Fun Easter eggs.

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.

Joia Spirit