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 Ballad of Bearclaw Jones

By Jacobin Grille
Directed by Chase Adelsman and Nick Sweetland

Playing at Ritz Theater Studio


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


Warnings: Adult language.

A group of scouts, lost on a hike in bear-infested woods, wind up telling tall tales about Bearclaw Jones, a camper from last year getting lost somewhere between memory and myth for these kids.

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


Sat, 8/5 @ 1:00pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 2:30pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 10:00pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 10:00pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 5:30pm

* 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.

Read the reviews

Funny and well done

by Janis Emily Peabody on August 16, 2017
This user has reviewed 48 shows

Delightful production, so glad I got in.

Quirky Perfection!

by Anne Costello on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This was easily my favorite show of a Fringe afternoon. Having a son in scouting for many years, I can only imagine the writer must have some insight into that "world", because the story was honest, funny (hilarious, really!) and matched our experience of scouting.... multi-dimensional examples of the quirky personalities one might encounter in a group of scouts were solidly in this piece. The young actors were fantastic and were clearly directed well- even the heartfelt moments sprinkled amidst the comedy were played honest and real. This show had it all- great script, fantastic actors, and excellent direction. My only hard critique is the older scouts should have had red neck kerchiefs for accuracy. This team easily made rank. BRAVO!!

1 person found this review helpful

Boy scouts

by Walter Furtney on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 35 shows

4.25 stars.. Really great acting by a young enthusiastic cast. Smooth transitions in a humorous lesson in life play. Looking forward to their work in the future.

Super Scouts

by Julie Elizabeth on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Easily the best show I saw at Fringe this year.
These guys retained the wholesome and innocent nature of young scouts while performing a hilariously silly script to perfection.
Never a dull moment. Did not shy away from sad and heartfelt moments. Each actor shone in their own way and stayed in character regardless of whether they were the focus of the scene. (I actually found some of the best comedy in the faces of the actors who were digging in backpacks, sharpening knives, etc.)
I want to see this again!

Sweet and engaging

by Richelle Amundson on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 39 shows

Really great story and performance.

Reviews matter!

by Corrie Fiedler on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 43 shows

Bearclaw was not on our radar at all until the great reviews started pouring in. College performers portraying (overly?) silly script. Excellent comic acting. We especially liked how Bearclaw's high-jinx provided motivation and direction for the kids.

Don't miss this one!

by Cristine Patlan on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

FANTASTIC acting! Great directing and great story. These actors had us laughing from start to finish. Add this show to your list of ones to see this year.

10 stars if possible - outstanding story

by Phil Carlson on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

A Triumph of story telling and high octane hilarious acting. Four outstanding versatile comic actors who will keep you wide eyed and laughing. This is what great local theater looks like.

1 person found this review helpful

A hilarious must-see

by James Carlson on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

I was blown away by how amazingly funny this show was. Great characters, great plot, great everything. I only wish my camp experiences were as fun as they made boy scout camp seem.

1 person found this review helpful

Rainy evening fun!

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

Starting fringe this was one of the shows that I had no idea about but was interested to see simply because of their promotional material. I judged the book by its cover and it did not disappoint. This show was a lot of reminiscent fun with some great direction and some hilarious performances. There were a few moments where it maybe gets away from itself but picks up seconds later. I would for sure say Samuel and Hannah are standout performers, both really created these characters that everyone knew growing up and both have really touching moments of honesty. Overall I'm glad I had this show on my radar and if you don't have it on yours, add it.

1 person found this review helpful

Amazing. Hilarious. Iconic.

by Mary Nyhus on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I went to see Bearclaw last night with high expectations after hearing nothing but positive reviews: my expectations were exceeded!! The show is incredibly funny but also has heartfelt emotional moments. Very well-written script; each character came to light so easily! Fantastic acting from everyone. I'm so proud to attend school with these incredible people.

1 person found this review helpful

Absolutely Fabulous!!

by Kimberly Adelsman on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Hilarious from the start, this energetic cast will capture your attention and keep you engaged throughout. This is a must see Fringe show full of comedy woven into the nostalgia of childhood. Well written and superbly directed, I would definitely return to see this again!

Silly Good Fun

by Mark Webb on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

I found this one to be quite humorous and . The accomplished cast was totally committed to the absurdities of the script until the very end. Lots of laughs and captivating performances all around.


by Ann Beimers on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Right from the start, this show had me giggling and smiling! The actors were fantastic and full of energy. It's an amazingly well written and clever show about hilarious Boy Scouts getting lost in the woods. A truly impressive and enjoyable performance!

I CAMP get over how good this is

by Joe Heyman on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I saw this show about 12 hours ago and I still can't get over how amazing it is. Every aspect of this show is spectacular. Weather your sides split or your heart aches, you wont leave this show disappointed.

1 person found this review helpful

Hilarious Must See!

by Jen Mahr on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This was a hilariously fast paced show, under an hour but a laugh a minute with these actors! You can tell how much work they put into their characters and physical comedy - five stars - go see it!!


by Michael Senich on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This hilarious show is full of youthful fun. Lots of action and fun. I was still giggling many moments after the show. Great cast, writing, and acting!

All-in acting & delightful silliness

by Florence Brammer on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 41 shows

The cast looked great, the premise held my interest, and I laughed out loud . . . a lot. I liked how the characters in the flashback scenes are played by different actors in each recreation. The script could have been a bit tighter, but the actors were so appealing and absolutely committed to the world of the piece. Everything worked!

A Must See!

by Jill Erickson on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Who knew a show about a bunch of lost boy scouts could be a laugh a minute. These young adults bring so much energy to the show. You will not be disappointed.

Wonderful show!

by Connie Storck on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I didn't know what exactly to expect but this show was outstanding! We laughed through the whole thing. Really good physical comedy!
I had a very enjoyable evening. This show is definitely worth seeing.


by Timothy Mahr on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Who would've thought that the plight of four lost campers could be turned into such an engaging, hilarious, and fast-paced production? I was surrounded in the audience by belly-laughs and snorts of delight. This is impressive work from really creative college-level talent. The script is as tight as the timing of the actors. I was impressed that a few tender themes made their way into the story-telling. Tickets are going fast. Make sure you get to this one!


by Shanna Frasier on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This show is hilarious and also quite witty. You should definitely make time in your Fringe schedule to see this show!

Bearclaw Jones is Worth Seeing

by Bradley Johnson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

You don't need to be a teenage boy to relate to this heart warming adventure. Bearclaw Jones wasn't even on my radar, but I'm so glad I saw it! Show was close to sold out, so you might want to reserve a seat.

1 person found this review helpful

You don't want to miss this

by Diana Thompson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

First off, this cast is just all around hilarious. Combine that with a fast-paced, cleverly written script and some awesome direction, and you've got a Fringe Festival must see. I loved the way that each actor was able to consistently play multiple hilarious characters. The comedic timing was spot on, and I was so impressed. Definitely recommend!

Worth getting a reservation!

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

I decided to take a chance and see this show, I was not disappointed. It has a good balance of comedy and real life application.

Made me want s'more

by Grace Bauer on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This is the most brilliant piece of original comedy I've ever seen!!! So funny, so witty but still had underlying themes and lessons that are good to talk about. Overall, side-splitting laughs from incredibly talented young actors! I'm not surprised the show sold out at it's second performance, make sure to get reservations if you're planning on seeing it still (which you absolutely SHOULD!!)

2 people found this review helpful

Silly, but it works

by LuAnn Monahan on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

A cast of four who play multiple roles and do so well. They made good use of the space and were a lot of fun to watch.

1 person found this review helpful

Worth your time

by Richard Heise on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 25 shows

Cute performance by a young cast. Not the most polished performance I have seen but if you like light comedy I think you'll enjoy it.

Jeepers Keepers!

by Mitch Vosejpka on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

This show is a keeper! Went in expecting good things and left blown away. This charming plot rose to its full potential in The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones. With a very funny and impressive script by Nick Sweetland whose well thought characters are brought to life by a hilarious misfit cast: you can't help but snort and jump with laughter. Reminisce of innocent times and experience this great tale before it sells out! Fantastic work campers!

2 people found this review helpful

Couldn't stop laughing!

by Emma Gasterland-Gustafsson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

A wonderful, heartfelt comedy with a kickass cast of actors that will keep you engaged from start to finish. This cast is incredibly talented and really went the extra mile with developing their characters. Overall a very relatable, heartwarming, and pee your pants funny production.

1 person found this review helpful

Awesome Bruh

by Riley Parham on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Go see this show! Chase Adelsman does an incredible job directing this piece, creating a wonderfully comedic and meaningful show. Beautifully developed characters will make you laugh and realize the genuine struggles hiding behind their scout uniforms.

3 people found this review helpful

Madcap fun!

by Harvey Zuckman on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Adolescent and childish, but oh so fun! A crazy story, and I have to say when it started and I saw the very young cast, I had my doubts, but their timing was perfect. They were adorable, as they were supposed to be.
So many laughs!

1 person found this review helpful

Thoroughly enjoyable

by Eric Cohen on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 19 shows

Well scripted, well acted, fast pacing, physical, and definitely identifiable if you ever went to camp. Pretty much exactly what I look for in a Fringe show.

1 person found this review helpful


by Cheryl Witsoe on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Incredibly funny, great acting, and a tight script kept me laughing from start to finish!

A Must See!

by Emma Myhre on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

The storytelling in this show will leave your heart warm and full of laughs. Very talented cast, amazing energy, and, above all, a lot of fun. What more could you ask for?

So much fun!

by Laura Herbers on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

There is not a slow moment! A hilarious script, committed choices, and a well rehearsed cast made for a fun and memorable performance!

1 person found this review helpful

Definite Must-See

by Austin Robinson-Coolidge on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 37 shows

I went in with pretty much no expectations and was blown away. The script is tight, the actors were great, and the story is sweet and funny. Great show!


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

Tight script, great acting, and SO FUNNY.

Supreme Comedy!

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

This show has a perfect mix of laughs and emotions, and a very well written "story telling" narrative. All of the actors did an amazing job, and there's nothing funnier than seeing college students pretending to be kids lost in the wilderness! So many funny parts, also full of moving moments that everyone can relate to on some level. A bit of a surprise, but also very happy ending! A must see for fringe 2017!

2 people found this review helpful


by Madelyn Bakken on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Looking for a laugh? Come see the great show and join the cast on a camping trip and you will be guaranteed to laugh! You won't regret it!

Birds, Bigfoot and pudding cups

by Sarah Caldow on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Four kids on one wild adventure to steal your heart. Just an all around fantastic show

2 people found this review helpful

This Ballad is a Bop

by Morgan Fuller on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

A show with big laughs and a lot of heart!

5 people found this review helpful

Camper approved!

by Ruth Marcott on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Great storytelling! Nothing like getting lost in the woods to bring out the best (and worst) in a group of teenage campers. Very fun.

3 people found this review helpful


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

SO fun & well crafted. Hilarious, well-structured script paired with versatile & silly actors. Really lovely storytelling. Add this one to your schedule.

3 people found this review helpful

Boy Scout Approved

by Nicholas Gersch on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Camp as I remember it, not how it actually happened. :)

5 people found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Jacob Marcott


Headshot  (1)
This year will be Jacob's second time performing at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Last Fringe, Jacob was both a musician and actor in The Invention of Baseball, which performed at the Phoenix Theatre. In the Spring, Jacob will be finishing his bachelor's degree at Gustavus Adolphus College with a double major in history and theatre honors. As part of his honors project for his theatre major, Jacob will be playing the role of Figaro in Beaumarchais' The Marriage of Figaro. Jacob is ecstatic to be able to perform in the Fringe again, and hopes to continue performing in future Fringe productions.

Samuel Burnham


1-14-2017 (1)
Sam will be a junior at Gustavus Adolphus College in the fall with majors in Theatre and Public Accounting. This is Sam's second year performing in the MN Fringe Festival and his second time performing in The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones. He is excited for another amusing and unforgettable show!

TJ Strandberg


Post Edit Headshot
TJ Strandberg is currently a Theatre major and is entering his Junior year at Gustavus Adolphus College. He originated the role Barry in the winter of 2016, and his past credits include Sweeney Todd, King Lear, and Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Currently he is traveling Minnesota as an Actor Educator with CLIMB Theatre.

Ryan Huxford


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Ryan Huxford is particularly excited to be performing in this year's Fringe. Ryan is currently attending Gustavus Adolphus College with a major in Theatre and enjoys singing at every time of the day.

Hannah Mahr


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Hannah Mahr studies theatre and English at Gustavus Adolphus College. Recent acting credits include Cordelia and The Fool in King Lear and Tobias in Sweeney Todd, both through the Gustavus Department of Theatre & Dance. Hannah also directed a show for the I Am We Are social justice theatre troupe at the 2017 Building Bridges Conference. This summer, Hannah is directing and teaching at the Young People's Theater Workshop in Northfield, MN and performing in the Northfield Arts Guild's production of The Pirates of Penzance.

Chase Adelsman


Nicholas Sweetland


Kathryn Dudley

Stage Manager

A recent graduate from Gustavus Adolphus College with a B.A. in Dance Honors and Theatre with minors in Arts Administration and Management, Kathryn Dudley is passionate about performing, choreography, stage management, and teaching. Kathryn is from Forest Lake, MN but attended Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists for high school where her love for the artistic community inspired her to pursue a career in the arts. Through her time at Gustavus she has had the pleasure of choreographing Sweeney Todd as well as various student dance shows. Currently Kathryn is the Assistant Choreographer intern for Hair at the Children’s Theatre Company in addition to stage managing a variety of shows throughout the Twin Cities.

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