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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Blackout Improv

By Rogues Gallery Arts
Created by Blackout Improv

Playing at Phoenix Theater


Just so you know, this show contains Adult language, Sexual Content.

Members of this all person of color improv team take on the Minnesota Fringe in a way that only they can, with humor, swag, and a focus on social issues. Each performance will feature an amazing special guest!

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Thu, 8/3 @ 7:00pm


Sat, 8/5 @ 7:00pm
Audio described


Mon, 8/7 @ 8:30pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 5:30pm


Thu, 8/10 @ 8:30pm

* 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

Denzel Belin


Denzel Belin works as a director, actor, and improviser based in the Twin Cities. He currently works at The Brave New Workshop as a member of their Mainstage cast and at the Science Museum of Minnesota as an Actor/Presenter. He is an instructor at The Brave New Workshop Student Union and a teaching assistant at HUGE Theater. Belin is proud to be a part of Blackout and hopes to shine a light on African-American involvement and excellence in the improv community as a performer and instructor.

Alyssa DiVirgilio


My name is Alyssa DiVirgilio-- I am a graduate of the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and continued studies at American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Ivana Chubbuck studios in Los Angeles.
As a biracial person I grew up denying my blackness and often having my blackness denied. In the predominately white schools and neighborhoods I grew up in I was often given a "pass" of acceptance. "Well, you're not really black," I was told.
I joined Blackout to say I am black. And to find the love in my blackness. The vulnerability in my blackness. The power in my blackness.
I am finding that and so much more.

Joy Dolo Anfinson


Joy Dolo is an actor and improviser in the Twin Cities. She lives in Saint Paul, MN with her husband and two cats. Though she pays her taxes with her stage work, she has found this love of comedy through Theater of Public Policy and her 2nd family, Blackout. Her goal is to create a safe space for people of color to be on stage and to feel the same freedom she feels when she is performing. Shine BRILLIANTLY, claim your power, and fail FEARLESSLY. And eat sweets as much as possible, it’s sooooo good.

John Gebretatose


John Gebretatose rose from the ranks of a HUGE Improv Theater student, to a HUGE Improv instructor and now also the Director of Diversity and Inclusion. He trained and worked at Brave New Workshop and has been performing stand-up comedy in the Twin Cities for over nine years. John is a founding member of one of the hottest new improv groups, Blackout. He is the co-creator of the Black and Funny Improv Festival.

Kory Pullam


Kory LaQuess Pullam is a theatre artist from Corpus Christi, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University in 2013. Since moving to the Twin Cities, Kory has worked with the Guthrie Theater, Penumbra Theatre, Ten Thousand Things Theatre, Children's Theatre Company, Pillsbury House + Theatre, Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, and much more. Since forming Blackout Improv in 2015, he has performed and led workshops with the group all over Minnesota. Kory is also the founding artistic director of Underdog Theatre, a new company that serves the under-represented and unheard.

Duck Washington


Originally from Lansing, Michigan, Derek “Duck” Washington has been a theatre artist in the Twin Cities for over twenty years. He is an actor, director, audio designer, playwright and improviser. Duck is a member of American Civic Forum, Fearless Comedy Productions, and the insult comedy troupe Vilification Tennis. He is also a producer for The Encyclopedia Show: Minneapolis and is a former member of the board of directors for the Cromulent Shakespeare Company. Some of his recent artistic credits include companies like Chameleon Theatre Circle, Walking Shadow, Theatre in the Round, Comedy Suitcase, Freshwater Theatre and Little Lifeboats.

Nimene Wureh


My name is Nimene (nim-in-knee) and I have a passion for learning languages, traveling, people, life and new experiences. I joined Blackout to learn more about myself as a performer, an improviser, and a black woman. I wanted to hear different perspectives on being black in America and making it in the theatre world. Blackout was my very first improv troupe and I can't imagine starting anywhere else. They’re a wonderful group of people who are so fond of helping each other succeed and I love them:)

Khary Jackson


Khary Jackson is a poet, playwright, dancer and musician whose first poetry book, Any Psalm You Want, was published with Write Bloody Publishing in 2013.

Sami Dee

Stage Manager

Queen Drea

Special Guest Thursday 8/3

Jamila Anderson

Special Guest Saturday 8/5

Jason Sole

Special Guest Monday 8/7

Gregory Parks

Special Guest Wednesday 8/9

Shannan Paul

Special Guest Thursday 8/10

More information


In the cold

Who is Blackout?


Blackout Improv is a mix of comedy, social justice, and arts access. We seek to put more Black performers on more stages; to create comedic dialogue around serious truths. Blackout is changing the face of stages in Minnesota. Blackout's cast includes improvisers, stand up comedians, musicians, classically trained actors, dancers, poets, writers, storytellers, and educators.

The founding members and owners are Alsa Bruno, Joy Dolo Anfinson, Andy Hilbrands, John Gebretatose and Kory LaQuess Pullam. During a Blackout show you will encounter any combination of these talents as well as experience a dynamic show that will entertain you, take a look at serious current events, and perhaps even challenge you.


 What is Rogues Gallery Arts?
Alyssa hair

Rogues Gallery Arts was founded in 2010 by Blackout company member, Duck Washington. Since then, Rogues Gallery Arts has produced two other shows in the Minnesota Fringe Festival; Couch Aliens vs. The False World and The 612. After a brief hiatus Rogues is thrilled to be back and bringing along with it the the many amazing talents of Blackout Improv. It has always been a focus of Rogues Gallery Arts to give voice to unique ways of telling stories and perspectives and to encourage our audiences to experience more. What Blackout does showcases that perfectly. We are confident their unique voice and perspective will enlighten, inspire, and thrill the Minnesota Fringe Festival attendees.


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What to expect

Prepare to be engaged and be moved. Blackout will be bringing the hilarious and strong socially relevant improv and comedy we always do; plus each of our Fringe festival performances will feature a different special guest!

More information on Blackout Improv can be found at 


Please join us, we'd love to see you at the show!



Bollywood Dance Scene
Sunrise Banks