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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Showtimes

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.

Reservations

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.

Rules

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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 Drama 

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Themselves They Made Immaculate: Clara Barton at Andersonville

By American Civic Forum
Created by Pat Harrigan and Matthew Foster

Playing at Bryant-Lake Bowl

In 1866, Clara Barton, the Civil War's Angel of the Battlefield, testified to Congress on her work in the postwar South. Linda Sue Anderson performs this sobering—but heartening—look into our past and present.

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

 

Fri, 8/4 @ 7:00pm
 

 

Sat, 8/5 @ 2:30pm
 

 

Sun, 8/6 @ 10:00pm
 

 

Fri, 8/11 @ 10:00pm
 

 

Sun, 8/13 @ 4:00pm
ASL interpreted

* 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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Read the reviews

Nice fringe material

by Mark Webb on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

Mostly a reading from the historical documents, this one is perfect for the fringe. Linda Sue brings Clara's testimony before congress to life. The material is relevant and powerful, and Linda Sue's performance is engaging.


Compelling and disturbing

by Robb Krueger on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Clara Burton's testimony about Andersonville reveals that little has changed in the US since that Civil War. A show consisting of people sitting and reading has rarely been this absorbing. Please see this; the material is as relevant today as it was in 1866.


Humanity in Reality

by Pj Doyle on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

Admittedly, I am biased as a Red Cross volunteer. However, the dramatic reading of Clara's testimony was lovely. Kudos to the team for keeping it simple. Linda Sue Anderson captured the woman's passion and eloquence. And, the additional information about Andersonville in the program is a nice draw for audience members to explore further.

1 person found this review helpful


Do You Think You Know US History?

by Edwin Strout on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

This is an amazing piece of work, AND it is just the actual word-for-word reiteration from the transcript before Congress. Please see this.

1 person found this review helpful


Gripping

by Alison Mahoney on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Don't miss this. An absorbing, enlightening, disturbing piece of "real news" from the past that helps us understand the present.

1 person found this review helpful


Heartbreaking

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

The content here is deeply moving with a decidedly unique historical point of view. I found myself a bit dragged down by the pace on occasion but over all was glad I had seen this moving work.


Compelling history

by Anne Emily Heaney on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

A riveting account of a little-known part of post-Civil War south. Linda Sue Anderson holds our attention as she recreates Clara Barton's testimony before Congress. I highly recommend this for all history buffs.

1 person found this review helpful


Amazing

by Caroline Toll on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

This was incredible.


Intriguing!

by Eileen Goren on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This wonderful show opens a door on events most Americans have never even imagined. Though I knew Clara Barton was a nurse, I never appreciated her strength or dedication or bravery. Bravo!


fascinating

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

I've never seen Congressional hearings presented onstage before - unique and well-executed concept. Looking forward to attending more productions with an historical focus.


Immaculate

by Will Tinkham on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Linda Sue Anderson sat front and center on the tiny, stark Bryant Lake Bowl stage and took the audience on. As Clara Barton, she spoke on the atrocities committed at the most notorious of Civil War prisons and demanded we listen to her story—their story, the story of tens of thousands of unknown dead buried at Andersonville. Themselves They Made Immaculate (the play's title derives from the way southern whites presented themselves once the post-war finger-pointing began) is Barton's testimony before Congress concerning the horrors of the prison camp and the tireless search for the identities of those buried there.

1 person found this review helpful


Everything old is new

by Christine Malcom on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

With the very extensive program notes and the nature of the show, this is certainly more lecture than drama, though that's not a bad thing. The performers capture the Kafka-Esque pace and tone of congressional hearings more USA-ians are getting to know in the current moment. The straight lines from Reconstruction-Era cries for a throw-rug of civility to cover the deep injustices beneath the surface and the same sentiments today are timely and productively depressing.


addressing inhumanity

by Warren Porter on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

her own testimony of Civil War aftermath
• identifying the fallen
• the state to which the black community had come
• unthinkable POW conditions


Very Moving!

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

I had heard of the POW camp before, but never about Clara Barton's role in helping so many families find peace. I learned so much from this show.


Revealing

by Timothy Mahoney on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I thought I knew my Civil War history pretty well, but the words (the actual words!) of Clara Barton were a revelation to me. Seriously and credibly acted, this play takes us on a tour to the dark edges of the American soul. There were many times during the performance when I found myself transported to 1866.


speaking truth to power

by Kris Sieg on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I have admired Claire Barton since a child but had no idea of her important role and the influence she had politically outside of nursing. Great production


Much more than tedious education

by Corrie Fiedler on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 43 shows

I expected to be educated about the conditions at Andersonville, and I was. I didn't expect to be completely engaged from beginning to end. I appreciated the 'read' (rather than acted) style. The setting was a congressional hearing - and both Barton and the Congressman seemed believable in this setting. The acting (especially that of the congressman) was perfect. Facial expressions and notations helped us understand his objectives in his lines of questioning.

I also appreciated the program notes - they give good perspective to both Barton's objectives as well as those of the congressman.

1 person found this review helpful


Important...but not compelling

by Brian Isles on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

This story is something that is deeply relevant to our society today, and it's something that should be taught in our schools with more focus and accuracy.

The production is essentially three people reading off of a script that's on a music stand; this is not an interesting approach. The performance from the lead is gorgeous and incredibly emotional, but it can be a bit unbalanced at times. Additionally, the lack of interesting stage pictures or variation in blocking makes the production a bit tedious at times. This is not a knock on the cast members, but I'd be interested in seeing this production with a different director at the helm.

This is a show that provoked a nice conversation with my friends, but it was certainly a short one.


A compelling snapshot of history

by Kevin McLaughlin on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Very well done... lean, well-paced, interesting, informative and compelling. Mrs. Anderson is simply wonderful, her rich and genuine portrayal solidly anchoring the show with superb support from Pat Harrigan (as Senator Jacob M. Howard) and Rachel Flynn (as Host). Note: I highly recommend reading the program notes before curtain.

1 person found this review helpful


Tough history, Strong performances

by Corinna Troth on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I had no idea about Clara Barton but wow - a remarkable woman brilliantly portrayed by Linda Sue Anderson. This show is very lovingly curated and while it's not full of action, not hilarious, not necessarily for everyone...it's a story that I wish more of us knew. Well worth your time and attention, especially if you have any interest in history or, you know, America.

1 person found this review helpful


Powerful and relevant

by Kara Garbe Balcerzak on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

This powerful show illuminates mistreatment of Union prisoners in a Confederate prison camp during the Civil War, as well as the condition and continuing oppression of freed slaves immediately following the war. The actors did a great job bringing to life the powerful testimony of Clara Barton before Congress. This is an important piece of history, very well staged.


A riveting look at a remarkable woman

by Florence Brammer on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 41 shows

American Civic Forum cites its commitment to merging art with history and citizenship, and this is a fascinating example of how it succeeds in not only entertaining us, but also informing and inspiring us. Through Clara Barton's own words before Congress -- powerfully and poignantly presented by Linda Sue Anderson -- we learn so much in 50 minutes about both Reconstruction and Barton. I will definitely be seeking out more information about this amazing woman.


Important History

by Sara Robinson-Coolidge on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 49 shows

Based on Clara Barton's Congressional testimony in 1861, this show illuminates aspects of the slave experience, Reconstruction, and the horrors of Andersonville prison.

1 person found this review helpful


Historical yet current

by Chris Gennaula on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Great show for my history and government geekish tendencies. It is based on Barton's 1866 testimony to the Joint Committee on Reconstruction. To quote from American Civic Forum's program notes "Our intent isn't another tedious white savior hagiography. We selected this piece because it's a concise, engaging window into Reconstruction..."

1 person found this review helpful


American War Crimes

by Eric Meininger on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 31 shows

Less an adaptation or an interpretation and more a reading of a story rarely told - of likely the first woman to testify before Congress on the atrocities committed in a confederate prisoner of war camp and the slow spread of the truth of the great emancipation. Recommended.


Cast and crew

Linda Sue Anderson

Clara Barton

Linda Sue Anderson

Linda Sue Anderson has appeared in numerous theaters throughout the Twin Cities Most recently she was part of 2016 Fringe show The Abortion Chronicles with The Red Letter Society and in Walking Shadow Theatre Company’s The Coward. You can also find her in the webseries Theater People at https://watch.seeka.tv.


Pat Harrigan

The Questioner / Producer

Pat Harrigan

Patrick Harrigan edits large academic anthologies about games and new media, including Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming (with Matthew Kirschenbaum); First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game; Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media; and Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives (all with Noah Wardrip-Fruin). He has written a novel, Lost Clusters, and a collection of short stories, Thin Times and Thin Places.

He regularly appears at Twin Cities spoken-word events, including A Great and Happy People, The Encyclopedia Show and The Not-So Silent Planet, and other work has been published by Camden House, Fantasy Flight Games, Chaosium, Pagan Publishing, Gameplaywright, and ETC Press.

He also co-hosts the podcast "Get Off My World," in which he expresses cranky opinions about Doctor Who.


Rachel Flynn

Emcee

Rachel Flynn

Rachel has worked in various capacities on and off stage with numerous theater companies including Theatre Pro Rata, Swandive Theatre, 20% Theatre Company, and Theatre in the Round Players. She is a company member of Freshwater Theatre where she has been seen in Table 12, Mrs. Charles, Better (or) Worse (writer and performer), and Dirty Girls Come Clean &endash; A Festival among others.

Rachel has also performed in more than a dozen Minnesota Fringe Festival shows. Her favorites include Good Friday with Dillinger and It Is So Ordered: The Supreme Court's Greatest Hits (2016); Turn Signals (2013); Knit One, Purl the Other (2011); Wonderland (2006); and Postcards from the Corn Palace (2002).


Matthew Foster

Producer / Director

Matthew Foster has a long and sordid history with the Fringe, from being Communications Director to having a string of hit shows with his previous company, Ministry of Cultural Warfare.

More information

Just nine months after the Confederacy’s defeat in the Civil War, Clara Barton testified before Congress on her work in the postwar South. Linda Sue Anderson performs this sobering—and heartening—look into our country’s past and present.


Themselves They Made Immaculate is taken verbatim from Clara Barton's eyewitness testimony to the Joint Committee on Reconstruction in February 1866. Barton had returned from identifying the Union's dead at Andersonville—the most notorious POW camp in the Confederacy—and reports back about her efforts... and about what she witnessed in the South during the tense postwar era of Reconstruction.


The Joint Committee on Reconstruction and Barton's questioner, Sen. Jacob M. Howard of Michigan, were gathering information to support the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Although the language is sometimes paternalistic, Sen. Howard was specifically looking to refute—not confirm—arguments against full citizenship for freed slaves. Although Barton's official mission to Andersonville was not concerned with the local population, much of her testimony was about her encouters with Southerners, black and white, in the period immediately following the war.


Barton is remembered best for being the "Angel of the Battlefield" thanks to her work as a nurse during the Civil War. Themselves They Made Immaculate, however, presents a glimpse into a different facet of Barton's exceptional and complex life. This is a woman who knows politics and how to navigate power. Her compassion remains the key to understanding her actions, even as we watch her transforming that compassion into concrete change.


This is American Civic Forum's second Fringe, following after last year's sleeper hit (and Encore winner!) It Is So Ordered: The Supreme Court's Greatest Hits.

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