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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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


Just so you know, this show contains 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.

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Cast and crew

Jacob Marcott


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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


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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


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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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