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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Blackbeard's Revenge

By The Park Theater Company
Directed by Paul von Stoetzel

Playing at U of M Rarig Center Arena


Historical content, Sci-fi/Mystery/Horror, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer


Just so you know, this show contains Violence, Adult language.

The most terrifying, notorious pirate on seven seas clutches his booty and a spectacular silver chalice; trapped in a snare he weighs his options-revenge or redemption? A mystery with violence, grace and song.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Sat, 8/5 @ 1:00pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 7:00pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 10:00pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 8:30pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 4:00pm

* 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.

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Cast and crew

Brian Hesser

Blackbeard/Fight Coordinator

Brian received a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Ausburg College. For the past 15 years, he has worked with a plethora of Twin Cities theater companies as an Actor, Fight Choreographer, Scenic Designer, TD Director, Teaching Artist, and Volunteer. He serves as Technical Director for nimbus. This is his second production with The Park Theater Company, previously appearing in TPTC's "Tales of Woe: Edgar Allen Poe" in 2009.

Kelly Nelson

Mary Ormand

Kelly is very geeked and grateful to be part of this Fringe production. Classically trained in theatre arts and dance performance from Minnesota State University of Moorhead, Kelly has been lucky to have worked for numerous companies around the Twin Cities in the last several years. Companies include: the Guthrie, Theatre Coup d'Etat, Artistry, Fox in a Box Productions, WAR theatre, Candid theatre, Black Market Theatre, as well as many others. She would like to thank you and everyone else that helped her get here. Enjoy the show!

Matthew Kelly

Israel Hands

Matthew is co-owner of Shadow Horse Theater, where he helps produce A drinking game MN. Beyond producing, he has been seen on stage most recently as Oberon in Midsummer Nights Dream. He has had the pleasure to entertain audiences with his roles as Bigby from Trainspotting, Lenny in Clive Barker's Crazyface, Mr. Much in American Midget, and the Voice of Raguel in Neil Gaiman's Murder Mystery. He also performs with Last Action Movie, a local improv troupe that has graced the stage around the country and Canada. Along with improvisational theater, he is also part of Masq: A half mask comedy, where he gets to wear masks and entertain with silliness. Matthew has also worked on a number of film projects with Killing Joke Films.

Kayla McCarthy


Adri Mehra

Lt. Robert Maynard

Adri has entertained audiences in over 50 theatrical productions since 1999. He has performed at many local theaters: Hook and Ladder Theater, Crane Theater, Phoenix Theater, Strike Theater, the Capri Theater, and the Rarig Center Theatres where he portrays Lt. Robert Maynard in "Blackbeard's Revenge" as part of the 2017 Minnesota Fringe Festival. Adri is pleased to be working again with his friend and colleague, Paul von Stoetzel.

Nichole Carey


A cabaret singer based in the Twin Cities, Nichole is thrilled to be playing again in the MN Fringe Festival! She has been seen performing at many well-respected local music venues including: Honey, Jazz Central, Studio 2, Vieux Carre, and the Dakota Jazz Club. This past April, Nichole made her NYC debut at the Duplex in Greenwich Village, and will be making her Chicago debut at Davenport's this September. She is also a published writer and producer, having created and starred in several musical revues at the Bryant Lake Bowl since 2011. She is a member of the Twin Cities Cabaret Artist Network and an alum of the International Cabaret Conference at Yale University. To follow Nichole and sign up for her email updates, check out more information at www.nicholecareysings.com

Mike Cohn


Currently teaching an after school dance class at Dowling grade school; Board member for Young Dance. Dances at Zenon School and has danced with Young Dance All Abilities Program. Attended a workshop with AXIS Dance Company in California. Served on three disability non-profit boards. Marketing and Fund Raising for NBIA Disorders 2007 - 2011.

In 1997, founded a non-profit organization called Promote Awareness. Promote Awareness' mission is to promote the Abilities of people with disabilities. Graduated from the University of Minnesota with an M. Ed. in Human Resources Development. Has worked with Dance Instructors Gretchen Pick, Justin Jones and Marie Tierney.

Marcus Wellhoefer


Marcus is a young actor, singer and all-round entertainer under the tutelage of talent coordinator, Lee Jordan. He was one of the Rainbow Valley townsfolk in The Park Theater Company’s 2016 production of Finian’s Rainbow.

Erin Green Vita

Stage Manager

Erin is pleased to make her Fringe debut with this production of "Blackbeard's Revenge. She has been freelance stage managing across the Twin Cities for the past 7 years most recently with Chameleon Theatre Circle, Lakeshore Payers and Segue Production. Other theatre's she has worked with include: Theatre in the Round, Morris Park Players, and Lyric Arts. She received her BA from Concordia College, Moorhead for Communications and Theatre Arts.

Tim Colby

Set Designer

Tim is a sometimes actor...but usually can be found designing and creating sets for various Fringe productions and The Park Theater Company since 2013. Along with his life partner, Robert Yarwood, ... Tim has created Blackbeard's Cabin in the Queen Anne's Revenge from recycled wood found curbside and in dumpsters around town. "Banged-up wood seemed the proper aesthetic for a pirate ship. If the wood fits ... sail it!" Tim said.

Richard Molby

Graphic Designer/On-set Photograhper

Richard is a freelance Renaissance artist specializing in video and audio production, graphic design, on-set photography, voice over, web design (Wordpress), email campaigns, and ... screenwriting. He still holds Beast Master status at Killing Joke Films. He has created graphics for The Park Theater Company's production of "Blackbeard's Revenge" that reflect the old adage that "a picture equals a thousand words."

Joel Raney

Dialect Coach

Joel is a native of Brookings, SD. He served in the U.S. Army as a medical specialist before graduating with an English degree from South Dakota State University. He currently works at the American Indian Magnet School in Saint Paul. His stage credits include Theatre in the Round, Shadowhorse, Bloomington Civic, Fortune’s Fool, Footprints Collective, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Park Square, nimbus, The History Theatre, Freshwater, Workhouse, and Theatre Pro Rata. He has served as a dialect coach for Chameleon and Theatre in the Round and has performed in short as well as feature films.

David Schneider


David has been performing in the Twin Cities since 2001, ranging from musicals to Shakespeare to experimental theatre to dance performances to pure fight shows. He continually trains in Stage Combat, which he performs, choreographs, and teaches. He has recently launched his own weapon rental and maintenance business, Northern Edge Armory. He has specific interest in movement-based theatre, especially with violence: need a choreographer? a few weapons for your soldiers? a training program for your students? Contact David – he can help.

Paul von Stoetzel


Paul is a member of the Shadow Horse Theatre and has directed over 40 short films/music videos and as many plays in the Twin Cities area including working with Hardcover Theater, Gadfly Theatre, Comulent Shakespeare and Urban Samurai. He is very excited to return to the Fringe directing both "The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi" AND "Blackbeard's Revenge".

Seamus McDonagh


Seamus McDonagh is the non de plume of Jim McDonough Jr., Ph.D. He co-founded The Park Theater Company; generated over $75,000 for TPTC’s productions; was TPTC’s Producer of Axel and His Dog (2010), Our Town (2011), The King of the Kosher Grocers (2013), The Illusionist: Shakespeare Reveals All (2013), The Forger’s Apprentice—The Musical (2015); wrote, produced, directed Buffalo Child (2016) and directed and starred as Finian McLonergan in Finian’s Rainbow (2016). His "Blackbeard’s Revenge" is the culmination of over three years of reading and research and weaves together a historical tale which is riddled with more questions than answers. His impetus for the project was the factual information concerning the choice of a life of piracy as a result of the cruelty of the British Navy and the form of egalitarian democracy epitomized by the pirate brotherhood.

More information

Inspired by a life-long fascination, playwright Seamus McDonagh of The Park Theater Company has created "Blackbeard's Revenge" an alternative interpretation of the most notorious and infamous brigand from the Golden Age of Piracy. The play is based upon historical accounts including the presence of a splendid silver cup in the ship's manifest of the "Queen Anne's Revenge". This world premiere is being directed by Paul von Stoetzel.

Cast & Crew

Blackbeard - Brian Hesser

Mary Ormand - Kelly Nelson

Israel Hands - Matthew Kelly

Gabriel - Kayla McCarthy

Lt. Robert Maynard - Adri Mehra

Pirates - Mike Cohn; Marcus Wellhoefer

Singer - Nichole Carey

Cast & Crew Bios


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