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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Flyer Guy

By David Lawson
Written by David Lawson

Playing at Bryant-Lake Bowl


Solo show, Storytelling/Spoken word, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer


Warnings: Adult language.

Funny and wild stories from four years of handing out flyers in Times Square. Featuring a racist costumed Elmo, workplace rage going viral on Facebook, accidental indecent exposure to thousands, and more.

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


Thu, 8/3 @ 10:00pm


Sat, 8/5 @ 5:30pm


Mon, 8/7 @ 7:00pm


Thu, 8/10 @ 5:30pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 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

Loved it!

by Liz Larsen on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

So funny and entertaining, I really enjoyed listening to his stories and his interaction with the audience. Lots of laughing and enjoyment in the audience.

Close to gold

by Sara C. on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Fabulous material. Amazing stories. Could be perfect if David just makes it conversational rather than performed. Some tweaks and this will be gold.

Big Apple: Told in the Minneapple

by John Xavier on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Five stars for a simple reason. "Flyer Guy" has captured grit and glory in a snapshot of New York City''s Times Square - a snapshot as true as you can expect in a fringe festival,here or anywhere else. Perfection is not part of this capture any more than New York itself displays perfection. This is a well-chosen series of true tales, because in Neew Yawk there is no need to invent. It is all there, awaiting only observation followed by interpretation and a love of the dynamic, the glory and grit of New York. Delighting in the characters of Times Square, and making them fully known to the audience, "Flyer Guy" does it well on a human level. as this show deserves, and so gets five stars, though I am hard to please.

Engaging Storyteller

by TRAVIS BEDARD on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Polished, fun show by an engaging performer. Sits on the hybrid line between comedy set and one person show, leading to some of the desire you see in review for more... it's a sign of the strength of the performer not a weakness in the material. Would be a fun part of your Saturday night.

Amusing, But Not Impactful

by Adam Boutz on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

Fun and amusing stories, but nothing that left me feeling more as a person. The delivery was fine, but in the end they were just the accurately-told bizarre life experiences of someone who has had fore bizarre life experiences than most.

Needs more depth

by Austin Robinson-Coolidge on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 37 shows

Good storyteller, with good delivery and presentation. The stories were interesting and funny, but they didn't have enough depth, and there wasn't an arc tying the narratives together. I was disappointed because he's good enough that I wanted there to be more.

new york, new york

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

David's stories are quirky as Times Square itself. Would have loved a connecting thread to tell an overall story, and there were a few places I lost what he said due to the low timbre of his voice.

Great Show!

by Ada Cheng on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Great stories and personal observations of unique characters.

Solo Flyer

by Jesse Spalding on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

David Lawson puts on a very polished performance of his experiences working as a "flyer guy" in Times Square. He goes into great detail his candid outlook of the district's culture and all of the crazy stories he tells in his solo act. Lawson is very animated and really transports you into his lens. Seeing the photo for this show on the Fringe site really now makes me wish he could have incorporated them into his show as well, but did very well without it.

simple, amusing tales

by Lydia Blaisdell on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Strong delivery & good tales about the interesting folks that populate Times Square. I liked this show a lot.

Surface Level

by Claire Huber on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Some entertaining stories, but nothing that really makes you dig deep and think. He also mentions how he has no "shame" about his time spent in Time Square. However, I felt that the shame aspect is slightly hypocritical since the entire premise of this show rests on what feels like a slightly elitist foundation--one that posits that he, the flyer guy, is superior to or less of a "trainwreck" than the people he is telling stories about. Who knows--maybe I missed the point.

I give this three stars because I thought his delivery was outstanding. Barely any hiccups and was able to artfully weave one story into another. I agree that this could have been improved with accompanying picture slides.

CW: some very brief mentions of rape

Unconventional career choice

by Don Feeney on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

This was a good way to spend an hour, though I suspect it's more interesting if you've spent some time in Times Square. (Some slides might help--you really can't comprehend the naked cowboy until you've seen him.) David gives a polished performance (which you don't always get on opening night), and provides an interesting and amusing look into a career choice most of us would never think to make.

Get your photo with him for five bucks!

by Dave Stagner on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

If you're in Uptown and have an hour to spend, this is a pretty good way to spend it. David Lawson is a confident and fairly polished performer, telling us stories of various freaky people he encountered during his years working on Times Square. It's lighthearted absurdist fun. Like Times Square itself, it feels a little Disneyfied and not dangerous. That's okay. He's not baring his heart or telling you (very) horrible things. We don't always need that from solo performers! Go, and be entertained.

1 person found this review helpful

Funny but needs some work

by Ariel Lopez on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 18 shows

David's an engaging performer (which is why this is 3 rather than 2 stars), but the material is rather thin - he oversells a lot of the jokes, and feels like he's stretching out the anecdotes he tells to fill the time slot. Times Square life is not something I know much about, so the topic was at least novel and interesting to me, but that's not enough itself to be really entertaining. There were some real laugh-out-loud moments, but not enough for an hour-long comedy show.

Flyer Guy

by Melody Mendis on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

The show was clever, loved the comedic timing, colorful Times Square characters and felt drawn in from the very beginning!

Good story teller no story

by Alexander Swanson on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Everyone has a story to tell... so tell it. This show has a great premise but refuses to deliver to the audience a through line. If you want to hear a guy tell anecdotes there are dozens of old folks homes with far more riveting tales around the cities. The preformer does well in conveying thought but lacks connecting on any cathartic level.

1 person found this review helpful

Cast and crew

David Lawson

Writer / Performer

For over ten years David Lawson has performed one-man shows about things such as sleeplessness and outer space (Insomnia in Space), 9/11 from a Washington, DC perspective (Floundering About), video games (No Oddjob), and more. His one-man show about porn, VCR Love, has been published by Original Works Publishing. Lawson has performed on the popular storytelling shows Mortified, Kevin Allison’s RISK! live show, and Mara Wilson’s What Are You Afraid Of?

Eide Bailly
Ghoulish Delights