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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 Something different 


Oxygen Is Overrated

By Tesseray Productions
Written by Nicole Fende

Playing at HUGE Theater


Solo show, Sci-fi/Mystery/Horror, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, First-time producer

Captain Brenna Rain is still breathing - for now. Her spaceship is ancient junk, her co-pilot smells like sewage, and a dozen other bounty hunters are after the same elusive fugitive. And the week just started!

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


Thu, 8/3 @ 10:00pm


Sat, 8/5 @ 7:00pm


Mon, 8/7 @ 8:30pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 5:30pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 7:00pm

* 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

Its not easy being green.

by Susan Roberts on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Shorter show but big on high energy and a blitz of fascinating characters! Thank you Oxygen is Overrated for a very fun show!

Thanks Stan, it's not easy being green!

I was waiting for the next episode to start. Next time.

Update: I just spoke to the actress in the show and she said after I told her how much I enjoyed the show and was waiting on the next episode - that she in fact has written a book about the character and is available on Amazon. Cool.

Bounty hunting ala Janeway

by Pj Doyle on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

SciFi look at realizing your dreams. Well written script and program itself. Artistic take on a copilot. If Janeway had washed out of Star Fleet Academy, she might have taken up bounty hunting just like this.

Fringe sci-fi

by Thomas R. on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Good choice who enjoy sci fi mixed with the fringe approach.

Rough flight ahead

by Cali Mastny on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

I appreciate the work that goes into a fringe show - and I was interested in the sci-fi plot, but the result didn't quite work for me. I never really felt like Brenna was in peril, which made it difficult to identify with or root for her. Reading that the author/performer is a public speaker and sci-fi author makes sense. Her performance definitely wasn't flat, but it felt more like a motivational speaker than a well rounded character. The world-building was interesting - I enjoyed the unique alien co-pilot and his way of communicating. But other one-sided conversations were a little hard to get into and maybe would have worked better with more actors. And for me the moral of the story was too heavy-handed for me, but your milage may vary.

Sci-fi & Life Lessons!

by Ann Peck on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Science fiction with a female lead - Captain Brenna Rain, who dreams of having her own spaceship. Sci-fi isn't usually my thing, but I was intrigued by the one-woman show. As the writer and star of this play, Ms. Fende drew me in to the story, kept me engaged and rooting for her. I laughed and learned a few things, too. The ending message was a good reminder for me, as well as inspiring for my teenage son.

Could use more polish

by Jeff Hoffmann on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Nicely minimalistic but there were several mistakes that took me out of the flow of the story and I didn't really identify with the captain to be rooting for her at the end.

Abandon Ship!

by Jesse Spalding on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

A thin plot full of cliches that makes you feel you're at the Cringe Festival. Way too much backstory for a character you barely even know, let alone care about in the first place. How this director, with a seemingly great reputation, was even handed this screenplay to work this show is a shame. The actress was well intended and seemed to bring a charismatic light to the stage, however fell flat with poor dialogue and a few delivery mess-ups. Added star for an interesting set and immersive narrative that set the scene.

could live up to the clever title

by Warren Porter on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

There’s an intimacy to being shown an artist’s playing make-believe, and respect for her stamina in investing meaningful expression into each line. Among familiar, spacefaring tropes, her regard for a speculative kind of co-pilot speaks to diversity and accessibility. As Ms. Fende continues to present this work beyond opening night, it could be that she will expand her variation of pace of delivery; e.g. to pay off with punchlines, and, throughout the narrative, to lead into the explicit, overarching, life lesson.

A Great Sci-Fi Parable!

by Cathy Cowen on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

As Captain Brenna Rain, Nicole Fende gives the audience a glimpse into the life of a Galactic Bounty Hunter. Along with her co-pilot Stan (who happens to be a sentient plant!) Brenna pursues not only a wiley fugitive - but also her dream of being the captain of her own starship. A one-woman wonder with smart dialog and a great ending!

1 person found this review helpful

Sci Fi Fun

by Donna Chicone on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Nicole is a risk taker and brings her positive energy to this fun story. She does an excellent job performing this one person play. You will applaud her story. Thank you Nicole for a fun energizing time.

1 person found this review helpful

Fun and energetic

by Gloria VanDemmeltraadt on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Fende is a clever gal to write and perform a one-woman show. Loved Stan, loved Fende's energy. May she keep writing and keep acting. Sci fi isn't my bag, but she made it fun!

1 person found this review helpful

A Girl On A Mission!

by Mary Schultz on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

The concept is fun and quirky. A starship captain on a mission, relying on a plant named Stan. Brenna Rain's adventure is worth a look. I laughed a lot. It was over too soon.

1 person found this review helpful

Burning Plastic

by Dave Romm on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Aside from the nice painting of the plant navigator and the “scent-to-English” translation in the program handout, there’s little to recommend here. The plot is incredibly lame and full of holes. The one-woman show is full of bravura acting but never rises above the material. I’ve never been so thankful a Fringe show only ran 35 minutes.

5 people found this review helpful


by Fourth Wall on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

A one woman show with an artistic (think Georgia O'Keeffe meets Audrey Two) and illuminating sidekick! Does our fearless captain have 30 minutes or 24 hours? I'm not sure. A nice way to end opening night.

2 people found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Nicole Fende

Actor, Author & Producer

Nicole is making her debut as an actor and playwright at Fringe with Oxygen Is Overrated. Nicole was first bitten by the acting bug in high school. Combining her presentation skills and love of numbers, Nicole became a sought after public speaker known for making finance fun and relatable. The lines between speaking and performing blurred, until an alter ego was born. Nicole began to cosplay Brenna Rain, bounty hunter and starship captain. This led to the ground breaking novel The Prosperity Dimension published in 2016. Returning to her love of theater, Nicole is thrilled to premier Oxygen Is Overrated at the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

Basil Considine


Basil Considine is an award-winning composer, playwright, and director. He debuted at the 2014 MN Fringe with his opera The Frat Party; his Game of Thrones: The Musical premiered at the 2016 Minnesota Fringe and was one of the best-selling shows of the 2017 O’ahu, Maui, and Tampa Fringe Festivals. His play The Abortion Bomb premiered to critical acclaim at the Plays & Players Theatre in Philadelphia in 2011.

Basil studied opera composition with Samuel Headrick (The Hostage), fiction writing with Sandra Benitez (A Place Where the Sea Remembers), and playwriting with Lydia Diamond (The Bluest Eye, Stick Fly, Smart People. He is a graduate of Boston University and the University of San Diego. He is also the director for Really Spicy Opera's production of A Pickle and wrote the Fringe show Thor: Jurassic Park.

More information

Come on a swashbuckling space adventure with die-hard Star Wars fan Nicole Fende. Nicole’s experience in theater began in high school, starring as a suicidal blade of grass. The green facepaint faded, but the performance bug stuck. As the proud owner of eight movie quality lightsaber replicas, she tells a sci-fi parable of the struggles of her alter-ego, the bounty hunter Captain Brenna Rain.

Inspired by Nicole's own experiences as a successful entrepreneur in the world of finance, this is a story of grit and the relentless pursuit of your dreams.

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL