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 New Gig Economy, A Musical

By The New Two Bit Players
Written by phillip finkelstein

Playing at Phoenix Theater


First-time producer


Warnings: Short show length.

A group of contingent workers try to keep their dreams and economics boats afloat despite raging economic rapids. The workers dream, scheme and sing their way in hopes of a safe landing.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Fri, 8/4 @ 5:30pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 4:00pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 7:00pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 7:00pm


Sun, 8/13 @ 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

Very Entertaining!

by Sara Braverman on August 14, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I loved watching this show over and over. The concept was good and true with this evolving economy. The actors were down to earth and said it 'like it is'! I loved the Piano keyboard player. He did an excellent job and didn't flinch a bit as things came up, and was very flexible. The cast worked very hard and did great! I saw a few 'stars to be born'. The Director was smart and created a very nice story. I cannot wait for what he comes up with next!

Opportunity lost

by Corrie Fiedler on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 43 shows

What a great idea and perspective! I especially liked the 'baby boomer' impact of the gig economy. Execution needs more practice.

Good angle

by Robert Cohen on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

The show has a good angle to share, and I appreciated the efforts with the songs as well.

Not good

by Dean Michaels on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

After reading the positive reviews, I was lead to believe that this show would be worth the effort. Unfortunately, it was not. Uninvested acting, poor delivery, amateur singing, and a weak plot we're all present during the show I experienced. There were some funny lines now and then, but those did not elevate the performance. Supporting the arts is the reason to see the show.

1 person found this review helpful

Funny because it's true

by Katie Wheeler on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

If you're in six-figure student debt this play will ring true and you will laugh start to finish. A grip on the realistic emerging and evolving changes in the field of law and other once-desirable professions. The characters evolve beautifully in this short play and don't be surprised when you have one of the original tunes stuck in your head on the way out.

Gig Economy Tells It Like It Is

by John Orenstein on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

It's "A Chorus Line" with laptops. Anyone who thinks that as a professional, they are insulated from what's happening to other people economically, should see this.

Fantastic Play!

by Melody Reimer on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I absolutely loved going to this play! It is extremely well written and entertaining. I found myself laughing throughout the entire play. If you love to laugh and enjoy musicals then I definitely recommend going to see this one!


by Faith Kern on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

When I saw that this was a musical and that it had a 5 star rating I was excited to see it. Unfortunately no one involved in the show seemed to take it seriously. Lines were clearly not memorized and the cast was, unfortunately, reading the majority of the show. Some of the lyrics were clever and enjoyable but over all, the execution of this show was lacking tramendously!

2 people found this review helpful

The new gig economy

by Leah Cohen on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Funny, happy, sad, poignant and sassy view on what the millennials and older workers are doing staying employed in the 21st-century. Particularly loved Phil Finkelstein's heartfelt and funky efforts to communicate the current state of the working person with a serious but humorous vibe through a musical model.
Hope to see more of Phil's thoughts regarding the future of a liveable wage in the USA . Pay attention Bernie.

Lots of Laughs!

by Jeff Braverman on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

The New Gig Economy is a very cute and charming play. The cast is very funny.
The play is only 30 minutes, but it flows nicely and you will have a great time! Unfortunately reality hurts sometimes!
The music was also great!

A Load of Laughs

by Luke Blahnik on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I nearly feel out of my seat laughing at the humor presented in this play. It's the kind of humor any working-class person can relate to. The music and acting was fantastic as well. Two enthusiastic thumbs up.

An amuse-bouche for the brain!

by Janet Patience on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

A very well written "musicette" about the life of attorney working in document review in this brave new world we all inhabit. The writing was witty, the musical numbers were great and one number reminded me a bit of Janis Joplin's Mercedes Benz song - such a fun number and well sung to boot.

Witty and well-performed musical!

by V R Patience on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I greatly enjoyed The New Gig Economy! The musical lyrics were
very witty and apt, and were well-performed by the cast and soloists.
The musical deals with the very personal impact of the seismic economic shifts wrought by the Great Recession 2008 on lawyers new and old, and it does so with a very light and humorous touch. A truly original and clever piece of theater. If this is Phil Finkelstein's first Fringe production, I eagerly look forward to his next!

Dig the Gig

by David Shamsi on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Great jokes, great music, and a great topic. I highly recommend this to any one in the mood for something unique!

Great Entertainment

by Bill Maddix on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This musical explores how the new gig economy has extended its reach to the legal profession, where lawyers young and old are relegated to low-paying temporary jobs with no benefits or security. The cast converts this tragic circumstance into a comedic triumph in which professionals stripped of their dignity can laugh at themselves and their overseers through clever lyrics mixed with biting monologues. If you need to laugh or you're wanting to belly laugh, see this play.

1 person found this review helpful

The New Gig Economy

by Barb Bank on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

A poignant, clever and musical commentary on tough new world that workers face. Beautiful original songs. More than Well worth Seeing, it's a must See. It gave a lot to think about.

Fun and timely

by Maureen Smith on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Who knew someone could write a musical comedy about temp jobs for lawyers and it would be so much fun to watch? My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was funny and poignant and performed with a lot of spirit. Congratulations to writer-producer
Phil Finkelstein and the whole cast.

Good show

by Lynn Stafford on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

First time Fringe entry Phil Finkelstien does a clever job telling the tale of a day in the life of the contigent employee.

1 person found this review helpful

Has Potential

by Sarah Black on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

The script and songs were clever, but overall it could have used more rehersals. Also, the audio balance was off and accompaniment tended to drown out the lyrics.

2 people found this review helpful


by Philip Geller on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Phil Finkelstein has written his first play (a musical!) after a long career as a labor attorney, city councilman, arbitrator, photographer, junior high school track star, and center fielder for the Macs. He also wrote the lyrics and directed and produced the show. Who knew that he could sing (and compose!)? Many years ago, Finkelstein made a vow that he would "never flinch"--he has never broken that vow. A very gutsy performance by the whole cast and crew.

1 person found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Ari Braverman


Ari is attending high school at St Louis Park High School. In addition to playing piano, Ari sings and enjoys acting. He last performed in his school play: Into The Woods. Ari also enjoys long bike rides, his nieces, and gaming with friends.

Phil Finkelstein

Actor/ creator/songwriter, bottlewasher

Phil Finkelstein is a writer, photographer, attorney, arbitrator, poppy and partner.He spent almost 2 years thinking and then writing The New Gig Economy and its songs. It is his first produced play. Opposing counsel say he's been writing fiction for years. He is hard at work on his second play: Death, The Musical. Like everything good in his life, he owes it all to Barbie

Ira Golden


Ira is a loving husband, and grandfather. He is loving the first 6 months of retirement. When not corralling grandchildren, he is a regional representative for an outdoor landscape lighting company. He is dedicating his performance to his family.

Jerry Helfand


Jerry is pleased to say he escaped the practice of law to become a grain trader and is pleasantly surprised that Joan still puts up with him. He is sure glad she did. His idle pursuits include fly fishing and waiting in vain for Cleveland to draft an adequate quarterback.

Jay Juran


Jason is an atty, singer songwriter and on most occasions, a good guy. His Law practice specializes in family and immigration law.

Luke Maas

Actor, Assistant Producer

Luke has been a construction worker, union steward, writer and most importantly a husband, father, and grandfather. He dedicates this to Joie

Lynn Stafford


Lynn is a singer actor and attorney and not necessarily in that order. She is a veteran community theater actor and has been singing since she was 5 years old.

More information

I wrote The New Gig Economy because of my concern where work is headed and what our response has been.   While dot commers would have you believe in a future of blissful work where everyone is happily waiting at a coffee shop waiting for their next gig, the reality is often quite different.  

Temporary workers who have to cobble several jobs, none of which have benefits or a steady income.  For mature workers thrust out of their jobs before they are ready for retirement, the results can be ugly.   For young or middle age college graduates, it may be uglier yet with crushing student debt and no foreseeable future.

  But We, Americans, have always been a creative and hardworking lot.   Within many of us, there lies a spark that we need to nuture and create a real future. Our  musical comedy tells the tale of workers trying to come to grips with the new gig economy and their individual responses to it. We  hope you enjoy the show

Phil Finkelstein  

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