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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 Comedy 

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Blackout Improv

By Rogues Gallery Arts
Created by Blackout Improv

Playing at Phoenix Theater

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Warnings: 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
 

 

Mon, 8/7 @ 8:30pm
High sell-out risk
 

 

Wed, 8/9 @ 5:30pm
High sell-out risk
 

 

Thu, 8/10 @ 8:30pm
High sell-out risk
 

* 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

Just Fantastic

by Laurie Swenson on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

I've been wanting to see these performers for a long time, and it was well worth the wait. The show has a great blend of personal stories and reflections followed by lighter improv sessions about the same topics. I could have watched this all day, both for the laughs and the stories.


What a riot!

by Mariellen Jacobson on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 38 shows

My first improv this Fringe, and gosh it was fun! Special guest Shannon Paul was a riot, and the rest of the crew did a great job with the rather whacky topics suggested by the audience. I’ll be sure to check out this troupe in the future!


So good!

by Nancy M. on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I loved everything about this show. It was thought provoking at times and incredibly hilarious. Hopefully they get the encore because I would love to see it again. Great Job!


Blackout continues to raise the bar

by Imawizard Notafighter on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I have seen several of Blackout Improv's shows and each time I come away a little more woke and a lot more tired out from laughing so hard. Keep up the great work y'all! Love the special guests


Improv great-discussions drag

by Jon Golden on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 16 shows

These folks are very talented at what they do, my main problem was that some of the discussions that inform the improv went on tangential rants that lasted in incredibly long time. There are some important topics covered but I felt like it was a lot of talking in circles or going off. Once the actual improv began, the group is very good and very funny, it's just reigning in the conversations a little more would be helpful as they last longer than the improv.


Very impressed!!

by David Kern on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

You can tell these comedians work together frequently. There is a great vocabulary that they have with each other and I appreciated the willingness of the cast when the audience wrote down super weird and crazy specific things for them to talk and improv around.
I will 100% see them during their regular season.
Great job to all!!!
P.S. shoutout to Alyssa. She stole the show!!


Balanced

by James Gerlich on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

Other reviewers have well commented on what happens at the Fringe performances by this group, so I will just add what I especially appreciated about the performance --- the balance of comedy with thoughtfulness, and moments of poignancy. They are young, but they posses a maturity and confidence beyond their years; feeling no compulsion to have to strive for a laugh very 10 or 15 seconds. They are edgy sometimes, but show a genuine respect for the intelligence of their audience.


Hillarious

by Ryan Bockenhauer on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I loved every aspect of what happened tonight (Thursday). Improv shows can be hard, but this group brought a lot of wonderful and real commentary to the form. It felt very real and laid back. I appreciated all of it. Huge shoutout to the cast of What You Will for encouraging me to attend this this evening.
Worth seeing, could be a benefit to many Minneapolis folks.


Can't go wrong

by Sofia Lindgren Galloway on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

This was my first time seeing Blackout but I've followed several of the artists in their other endeavors. I knew it would be a solid choice and they didn't disappoint! This group has found the perfect balance of sobering intellectualism and straight up silliness. This will not be my last time in the audience!


Important & Funny!

by Chris M. on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Absolutely a great experience!

1 person found this review helpful


I was in Awe

by Katie Starks on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I am so glad I made it in to this show. This was the most though-provoking improv I have ever seen and a magnetic breath of fresh air. I loved every minute and will make it a point to see BlackOut on the 3rd Friday of the month at the Phoenix every chance I can get.


Smart and Funny

by Mirah Ammal on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

As other reviewers mentioned, it's not non-stop improv--there is discussion as well, but I feel in some ways, that's a real strength of the show, especially when you consider this all black cast is speaking and performing to a predominantly white audience in a city of strong liberal intent yet still a high level of de facto racial segregation. The show had the air of sitting in on an honest conversation among a group of frank and funny friends who then get really silly with the improv. I'll need to check out one of their monthly shows for sure. Have you seen this show yet? Do you have your reservation? Well, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? :D


Funny and relevant, had its dull moments

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

I really liked most of this show: it was super funny, tackled some very relevant current events in a humorous way, and the actors were really good at improv. I especially liked the segments on "I Don't See Color" and "Cats vs Dogs." However, there were periods where the cast was discussing topics that felt really slow too. Still, a solid show!

1 person found this review helpful


Light it up!

by Greg Hernandez on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

John Gebretatose was in our Fringe show in 2014 and I have known and liked Khary Jackson for many years so I may be biased in saying Blackout is fantastic. Not afraid to tackle big questions while having a great time on stage. So much energy and positivity! I do agree there was too much gabbing at points. The fuse could be shorter but the payload always hits! FYI This troupe performs all year at the same space.

1 person found this review helpful


More discussion than comedy

by Gene Bard on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

I expected comedy.... considering there is only one hour a lot of time was taken up in discussion about vocational choices, etc. Nothing wrong in that of course but it just wasn't what I thought it would be. Good segment on how we are all different and no denying that. That fits with my misguided expectation. My note here highlights that I hope. Will come hear the program at Phoenix.


HILARIOUS

by Berit Johnson on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Smart, honest, hilarious. So much fun. A MUST-SEE!


Topical Talk of the Town

by Adam Boutz on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

Fantastic as always. I guess I was kind of hoping for something distinct from their regular show, but it's still a thing of beauty.


LaughedOut Loud

by Riley Parham on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Hysterical improvisation of both social and personal subjects. It will be new every night, but you're in for a good show no matter what.


Killed it!

by Matt Pitts on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

As always. If you've ever seen blackout before, you know these guys are a really great improve group. If you miss their show at fringe, check them out anyway!


Can't Wait to Go Again!

by Joshua Humphrey on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

I've wanted to see Blackout Improv for some time, and I can't wait to go back and watch one of their shows during their normal season. I can't recommend this enough--it's fun improv laced with thoughtful discussions on race in the United States.


So glad they're year-round!

by Dahlia Acman on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

I LOVE the Swag-Hat format! Having a group of Black theatre artists discuss a difficult racial topic, and then making us all laugh about it. I definitely plan on attending more of their shows in the future.


Always On Point

by Christopher Allen on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

Honestly, there is nothing bad to say about Blackout. Just like their monthly shows, it takes extremely talented improvisors and gives them free reign to skewer a number of social issues. The shining star is their Swag Hat, which starts with a round-table discussion of the issue before the performers begin playing with it. It's a great way to bring these issues into an open forum, making it a night of laughs and awareness. I found myself looking at the clock again and again, because I was afraid it was going to end any second and I just kept wanting more. It fills up fast, so put it on your schedule and show up early!

2 people found this review helpful


Amazing, truly

by Javier morillojavi@gmail.com on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I've been wanting to catch Blackout Improv for a while and have never been able to make it. This show exceeded my high expectations. Goddammit, is it too much to as for talent of color to be showcased in our very segregated arts scene in MN? No it is not.

The ensemble manages to address serious societal issues while not losing their edge and hilarity. The whole cast is great.

1 person found this review helpful


Wonderful!

by Jessica Woldenski on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Disclaimer: I don't really see a lot of improv usually so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was blown away! The group of talented performers had myself and the rest of the sold out crowd impressed and laughing the whole time. I especially liked just how honest the show was. Great job to all involved. A must see!


Thinking and playing

by Richelle Amundson on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 39 shows

I enjoy going to lectures and panels on social issues, so the discussion among the group may have been even more enjoyable to me than the improv. They are a skilled group of performers and the improv interludes allowed for lighter space to laugh and play with the topics being discussed.


Improv-plus

by Florence Brammer on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 41 shows

This is such a skilled group of improv artists who wonderfully blend compelling race-related and other social justice issues into their show via group discussion, skits and special guests. It's inspiring to witness the bravery of artists working without a net, and wonderful to see Blackout in the Fringe.


AMAZING!

by Zoe Morales on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I dont even know what to say- Blackout is impressive as ever in their Fringe Show. I am always a fan of their work and they kept me laughing the whole time- no surprises. Supremely talented cast, and I hope you check them out here at Fringe if not after!


Can't go Wrong

by Mitch Vosejpka on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

Because its improv and everything is a gift right? Well, Blackout certainly has been a gift to Fringe this year. With an intention to make you think and laugh at the same time they do their job and them some, causing boisterous laughter with every show. Led by the amazing Joy Dolo Anfinson, this crew builds community, spreads smiles and creates dialogues necessary to these times. Thank you for a wonderful show and congratulations!


Fabulous!

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

Definitely going to catch their shows through the year.


Hilarious and information.

by Dylan Olmsted on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

I never got a chance to see this troupe before tonight, but now I will definitely seek more chances. As a white guy, some of the issues talked about were things that at best I was just kind of aware of, so I really appreciated the discussions and how those influenced the skits. Well worth going to.


Still smiling!!

by Lisa Lamb on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Still smiling as I drive home!! Great show!! Honest, real and hilarious!!


Refreshing

by Janis Emily Peabody on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 48 shows

I did not even know that this comic team existed in the Twin Cities, now that I do, I will want to see them again.


Fringe first

by Charles Borchert on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

So glad that I had Fringe as an excuse to see Blackout for the first time! Great improv talents, and I loved the format to discuss -and then goof with- charged topics. Fearless comedic energy provided lots of laughs. Looking forward to coming back to their shows in the future.


First time Blackout audience member

by Tara Kieffer on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Enjoyed the format of reaction/commentary to the swag hat topic followed by the improv. I definitely laughed and walked away with some new thoughts to mull over and explore. Thankful for this group to be at the Fringe.


I loved this!

by Cole Sarar on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Yay!!


Reliably Good use of a Fringe Slot

by S. Coleman on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Blackout is full of incredibly talented performers. It feels like we are honestly catching each individual member on their rise. They are following their usual format here, with a generous helping of swag hat (not complaining), and executing with perfection. If you have never seen them do their thing, Fringe is a fantastic way to dip your toe in and get hooked. Support Artists of color, and make it out, you will be glad you did!

Lastly it cannot be overstated of how rare, lucky, and freaking fantastic of an opportunity it is to have a round table of People of Color giving their individual opinions on audience suggested topics. I always leave a Blackout show with a lot of laughs and hope.


Absolute Must See!

by Gregory Bauhof on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Funny, thoughtful and honest commentary on topics that need to be talked about more? More please!


Hilarious

by Mark Goldberg on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

I have seen several productions that Duck Washington has been a part of at the Fringe before and have never been disappointed. This show was topical and extremely funny. Improv at its best!


Appreciative effort

by hawk eye on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Great team effort, funny, witty.
Spontaneous discussion in between was really encouraging.
Definitely an IMPROVED show.


Interesting and funny, but single topic

by Ellie Browne on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

I have very high standards, but this did make me laugh. I was a bit put off when one of the actors said something like "don't ask us to improv about Justin Beibet, we want to talk about police brutality." I'm paraphrasing here. I feel that if you are a professional improv artist, and someone wants to hear about Justin Beiber, you should have at least 40 minutes of golden material.


I laughed so much!

by Jim Louis on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 30 shows

There is a member of the cast who is involved with a nonprofit I manage.

I laughed so much at this show. I never know what to expect from Blackout Improv, other than laughter. A must see!

1 person found this review helpful


Funny and serious

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

I am not the biggest fan of improve, but this was very funny! I really enjoyed the discussions that were held on the topics. Go see and support this amazing group!

1 person found this review helpful


Fantastic!

by Laura Herbers on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

A must see--the talented cast created fun and thoughtful improv!

1 person found this review helpful


First time seeing Blackout Improv- wow!

by Jenna Gustafson on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This performance was so full of life. Couldn't recommend it more. Will definitely get tickets to see them outside of fringe.

1 person found this review helpful


Great Improv!! (From a non-improv-fan)

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

I've typically been disappointed by improv - not this time, oh no. Blackout is by far the best, funniest, and surprisingly the most real improv I've ever seen. Informative, thoughtful, and heartfelt all while being pants-shittingly hilarious. SEE BLACKOUT IMPROV.

1 person found this review helpful


Loved it

by Annie Scott Riley on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Awesome cast, awesome show, I laughed so hard my face hurt.

2 people found this review helpful


Fun, hilarious, and educational

by Mickey Anderson on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

This show is absolutely a must see. The time was split between the cast discussing social issues that are drawn from a hat, and the other half acting them out. It is incredibly hilarious, and incredibly educational. MUST SEE for fringe 2017!

1 person found this review helpful


Lots of Laughs, Substance too!

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

This was my first experience with Blackout Improv but I hope (and intend) that it will not be my last. These performers are smart, funny, and real, a delightful addition to any Fringe schedule.


Pure Joy....

by Doug Anderson on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Clever, poignant and important improve using the most important tool, comedy. Brava! Bravo!

1 person found this review helpful


Creativity & social relevance, see this!

by Scott Eastman on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

This improv is terrific! Innovative, engaging, with a wonderful talented cast. And to top it all off, POC (people of color) giving us all a window into what is is to be black in Minnesota today. I love this show and these people, and urge everyone to see it

1 person found this review helpful


It's improv and it's funny

by Matthew Kessen on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Listen: I'm actually not all that into improv, but went to this for Duck Washington. But it was hilarious; all of the performers were marvelous, and I laughed constantly. I'd go back if I could fit it into my schedule. Also Duck Washington is very good!

2 people found this review helpful


Funny and Thought-Provoking

by Robin Rayfield on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

It's difficult to review an improvisational show that has a different guest performer each night. Each night, the show is different. What I can say is that it was a solid show with extremely funny comedians, but it was thought provoking. The show deals with major issues of our time that the black community faces.

1 person found this review helpful


Great socially-conscious comedy

by Ariel Lopez on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 18 shows

If you're into the Improv scene here, you'll probably be familiar with Blackout's format, and they stick to the tried-and-true for their Fringe show: audience suggestions for topics are pulled from a hat are discussed seriously, and then they riff on the discussions in short improv scenes. A special guest adds to the fun. These are talented and thoughtful improvisors, and will keep you both thinking and laughing.

2 people found this review helpful


improv with a difference

by Dave Stagner on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Besides being a black-cast show in Fringe's sea of whiteness, they do their improv with an interesting setup. Topics are drawn from a hat, and then they discuss the topic seriously for a while before improvising. For a group trying to do socially conscious improv, it's a really good structure.

The improv itself is hit or miss, as improv often is. But two things stood out for me. First, Duck Washington, one of the quickest wits in the Twin Cities comedy scene, sometimes jumped in to save a faltering flow. It's not just that he's funny - it's smart and pointed. The other thing I loved was Khary Jackson's music in the background of the improv. Really interesting and effective!

3 people found this review helpful


Improv I enjoyed

by Katherine DuGarm on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

I have been to some improv that was good and to some that fell flat for me. This was one of the good ones. Characters I liked were Tickle-Me-Elmo, and Chuck-E-Cheese "I am there for you".

Queen Drea's opening music and monologue brought sounds of recognition. I can related a few of the hot flashes she mentioned. The volume of her music and looping was almost to much for me.

If I am free on the 3rd Friday of a month, I'd like to see them again.

I don't think these are spoilers, since who knows what will be drawn from the hat next time, and the special guest changes with every show.

2 people found this review helpful


Coming back!

by Kiaran Hartnett on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Blackout was incredible. I feel like I really got to know the performers. I'm happy it's improv because I'm looking forward to coming back multiple times

1 person found this review helpful


My favorite improv troupe

by CJ Mantel on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Socially relevant comedy and improve fun? Yes please.

1 person found this review helpful


Improv with passion!

by Andrew Rakerd on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This show has strong performances from people who believe in what they do. One or two sketches struggled to gain traction, but that's improv for you. There were plenty of laughs interspersed with strong social commentary. Go see it!

1 person found this review helpful


Awesomeness!

by Scott Gilbert on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I need to see black out for a long time, they usually perform past my bedtime. I love the comedy but enjoyed the commentary even more. I hope to hit the show again.

2 people found this review helpful


Cast and crew

Denzel Belin

Improviser

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

Improviser

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

Improviser

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

Improviser

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.


Theo Langason

Improviser


Kory Pullam

Improviser

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

Improviser

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 Sierra Wureh

Improviser

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

Musician

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

Queen Drea Voice-Loops N Effects creates conceptual soundscapes. By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language to her lyrics and compositions, she tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way and likes to involve the audience in conversation as they accompany her on her musical journey. Her performances directly respond to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences from the artist as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. With a conceptual approach, her work references love, pain, the feeling of not being “enough as a form of resistance against the "Normalcy" box people want to put her in.


Jamila Anderson

Special Guest Saturday 8/5

Jamila is an amazing actress Blackout has had the honor of partnering with multiple times. She is an amazing talent and a strong female black voice in our community. In her own words,"I've been acting for 18 years and every time I have to write a bio, it gives me anxiety. But I'm still super excited to perform with Blackout... for my third time! Laugh to keep from crying, y'all."


Jason Sole

Special Guest Monday 8/7

Jason has been a criminal justice educator for eight years and will become a Visiting Professor at Hamline University in the Fall. He is a national keynote speaker and trainer. Alongside his career, he is the president of the Minneapolis NAACP and is creating liberation programs for people of color. In addition, Sole was a 2013 Bush Fellow who focused on reducing the recidivism rate among juveniles throughout the state of Minnesota. He is currently traveling the country discussing his memoir, From Prison to Ph.D.: A Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances.


Gregory Parks

Special Guest Wednesday 8/9

Gregory Parks has been a Twin Citizen since June 1996 after graduating from Iowa State University. He is an actor, improviser, clown, teaching artist, and geek. Sometimes he's a rabble rouser and has plans to enter the media world quite soon, wrestling with geekery and representation.


Shannan Paul

Special Guest Thursday 8/10

Miss Shannan is a nationally touring comedian, radio host and Twitter Goddess. She has appeared on Nick Mom’s Night Out, Laughs TV and can regularly be seen bringing her wit, whimsy and pop culture expertise to Twin Cities television on "The Jason Show." Plus, hear Miss Shannan on MyTalk 107.1, and her weekly podcast called “Your Geek Show.”

More information

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Who is Blackout?


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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?
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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 


www.blackoutcomedy.org


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


Blackstage


Cedar Printing
Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL