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 


A Mermaid Abroad & A Fish Out of Water

By Mermaid Productions
Created by Ariel Leaf, Scot Moore and Ben Layne

Playing at U of M Rarig Center Xperimental


Warnings: Adult language, Sexual Content.

From communism to circumcision, from getting high in Winnipeg to getting laid in Nepal, Scot Moore and Ariel Leaf invite you aboard for their adventures abroad. But use the bathroom first.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Sat, 8/5 @ 7:00pm


Mon, 8/7 @ 7:00pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 10:00pm
ASL interpreted


Thu, 8/10 @ 5:30pm


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


by Leif Wallin on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

the transitions and interactions between the two was both clever and smooth.


by Mark Hollock on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This was a delightful storytelling experience with two actors bouncing their tales back and forth. Very good. Last show tonight at 5:30. Worth seeing.

Makes me want to travel

by Gary Durham on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I have wanderlust now. Thanks, Scot and Ariel! My travel bills are on you.

Fun and Funny

by Vincent Hannam on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Two actors telling hilarious and poignant travel stories. Any fellow adventure will be able to relate.

The travel bug has bitten

by Katie Starks on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

This show made me ache to travel. These two are both so thoughtful and brave with their intimate travel logs. I loved the use of the space and the ebb and flow of passing the metaphoric mic. It was very natural, so much so, I almost forgot I was watching a show and not two friends swapping travel stories.

I liked half of it...

by Erica Murphy on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

I liked the format the interweaving of the stories, I liked Scott's delivery, but Ariel was hard to connect with.


by Richard Isaacson on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Two well traveled birds find themselves momentarily caged on stage weaving their songs into a wonderful harmony.

True Confessions

by Ragnar R on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I love the time-honored Fringe tradition of confessional shows. Ariel is so funny to listen to and Scott isn't bad, either. I await the next installment in the franchise!

1 person found this review helpful

Boring? Or just not our style?

by Corrie Fiedler on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 43 shows

We are Ariel fans (in fact, had dinner at Dilla's this evening, in memory of a line from one of her earlier Fringe productions).

Has she left behind her tumultuous youth, and now lives a life like most of us? In short, I think most groups of 25+ year old folks could come up with sharper, funnier stories with deeper learning embedded.

Make Time To See This Show

by Edwin Strout on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

These two storytellers have had multiple Fringe shows, and their mutual talents, as well as their different styles meld together extremely well. I hope that they will continue to work together. You will be engaged for the entire confessional of both performers.

1 person found this review helpful

Great material, weird segways...

by Brian Stepanek on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

I enjoyed 90% of this show, including some amazing stories that reminded me of my own travels. The acting was great, and I liked the use of lighting. The one weakness was the segways between acts...some of them felt either too forced or too awkward (such as the bathroom one). Otherwise, great show!

1 person found this review helpful

Great stories

by Nicole Wilder on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Ariel and Scot both have an incredible ability to paint such vivid pictures in their stories. I kind of feel like I got to travel with them. Also, they really used the space beautifully under Ben's direction.

1 person found this review helpful

Great storytelling

by Lauren Peck on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

An interesting, thoughtful batch of stories about traveling in various countries.

1 person found this review helpful

Travel storytelling

by Walter Furtney on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 35 shows

A pleasant enjoyable 3/4 hour of travel encounters in foreign lands. I loved Ariel Leaf's frankness until I didn't love her frankness. I could have done without the last two stories

Loose, friendly, fun

by Daniel Pinkerton on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Two friends spinning tales for our pleasure: it's a winning formula and the stories are great. Scot and Ariel are honest, open, freely admitting the best and the worst in themselves and the traveling companions they meet. I had a great time, but I had a small problem. I have heard both of the opening stories at other shows. While Ariel and Scot established a great rhythm and it sets the mood well for the rest of the show, I thought that Scot's half needed just a little more of the context it had in its previous show.

1 person found this review helpful

Great Chemistry

by Jim Chase on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Actors worked well together, making it more than two solo dialogues. Stories drew me in. Would work on making me believe this is the first time you've told it this way.

1 person found this review helpful

Moving Stories From Talented People

by Matt Saxe on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 10 shows

Scot and Ariel interweave their international adventures together so harmoniously its hard to believe they've never done it before. Both tell moving stories that are at times heart-wrenching, and other times extremely funny and never not interesting. They're unafraid to show the real, gritty and nasty details of the circumstances and their surroundings and their own honest raw emotions, desires, and humanity, flaws and all. I wish I've been where they have and could talk about it like they do. Its a great show, performed wonderfully, full of heart from two talented theatre artists.

2 people found this review helpful

A Mermaid Abroad and a Fish out of Water

by Judith Heineman on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Beautifully rendered Storytelling in the pure sense of the age-old art form that still captivates and takes us on exotic journeys. The artists used precise language, good voices, energy, focus interspersed with occasional humorous heckling between them.

1 person found this review helpful


by Vandana Mangalick on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Good storytelling, very dramatic delivery!
Although being from the city that she dishes out, i was a little jarred. It had a certain grain of truth but was way overlayed with 'digusting' detail.
I really liked the"Karen" story! The performers were both very good. The act was a bit too long for me.

Enjoy the Ride

by Malakai Greiner on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This unflinching, hilarious show really captures what is so desirable (and is sometimes very undesirable) about travel. These 2 storytellers deliver the fuck out of this meditation on the beautiful spontaneity of throwing oneself headfirst into the unknown. As a student who has been in what seems to be a constant state of travel for almost 3 years, it was nice to find a temporary home in this show -- a place to reassess, recenter, and laugh like crazy.

1 person found this review helpful

Honest humanity

by Joe Allen on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

Genuine, sexy, real adults having real feels, traveling to run away from human frailty, learning to value their homes.

Two one-person shows fall into the each others' orbit for a Fringe slot absolutely worth seeing for the humanity, humor, and grace.

If you find yourself recovering from any sort of relationship woes, if your heartmind is woggly, if you've ever struggled with a lover who doesn't communicate, come see this show.

Side-note: If you're going to bring your children to something that clearly states "Sexual content, Adult language" I guess it's your call when to leave, but you probably will.

1 person found this review helpful

Nicely done

by Mark Webb on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

I've had the opportunity to watch these two storytellers grow over the last couple of years. To see them perform together was a delight. The material is fresh, unique, and a nice insight to their human experiences. Well done!

1 person found this review helpful

Storytelling Pros

by Bradan Swatch on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

I was enthralled the entire time. Ariel and Scot are top notch storytellers. They had wonderfully natural banter the entire time which made this a 5 star show in my book. Fun way to spend an hour.

1 person found this review helpful

Well delivered stories.

by Michael Gauer on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

I liked listening to their stories. They have an easy way of conversing and passing the torch.

1 person found this review helpful

Travel stories, well told

by Florence Brammer on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 41 shows

I love travel and I adore listening to travelers' experiences. These stories were well-written and well-told in this intimate venue. The interaction between Ariel and Scot was endearing and provided skillful transitions among the stories. Very well-done and highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful

Absurdist Titles Lead To Great Stories

by Justin DeLong on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 20 shows

I truly enjoyed this show. From start to finish Leah and Moore spin fantastic tales.

Cast and crew

Ariel Leaf

Co - Creator/ Storyteller

Ariel Leaf is a storyteller, actress, lighting designer, director and general ne'er-do-well.
This is her 3rd storytelling show at Fringe (2013's Died in a Trailer Park/Woke Up a Mermaid and 2015's A Mermaid in Narnia (on LSD) )
She is Co-Artistic Director of Fortunes Fool and Company member of Wonderlust Productions and Freshwater Theatre

Scot Moore

Co - Creator/ Storyteller

Scot Moore has been working as a writer, actor, sound designer, and director in the Twin Cities for over 15 years. Previous Fringe exploits include the Freshwater smash hits Table 12 and Going Down on the Queen of Minneapolis, Devious Mechanics' Shakespeare Apocalypse, and his own shows, Men Will Be Boys and Break Your Heart. On top of his theatre endeavors, Scot's writing includes novels Gaymerica and Incendiary, and an ongoing blog: A Man's Guide for Appropriate Behavior in the 21st Century. In addition to his performance in Mermaid Abroad, Scot is appearing in Mame Pelletier's F@*k the 90s at the Ritz Studio. Don't miss it!

Ben Layne

Co - Creator/ Director

Ben Layne is proud to again be working with Mermaid Productions in the Minnesota Fringe. Ben has worked with both Ariel and Scot on their previous solo shows, having directed both Died in a Trailer Park/Woke Up a Mermaid and A Mermaid in Narnia (On LSD) in 2013 and 2015 respectively for Ariel under the Mermaid Productions banner, and has worked with Scot Moore on both Men Will Be Boys and Break Your Heart in 2015/2016. It has been a lot of fun bringing these talents together for this production. Ben is Co-Artistic Director of Freshwater Theatre with his lovely and talented wife Ruth Virkus, and is also a busy freelance director in his own right, at the helm of productions for Freshwater Theatre, Northern Srtarz Children's Theatre, Chameleon Theatre Circle, Fortune's Fool Theatre, Devious Mechanics, Swandive Theatre, and Box Wine Theatre, among others.

More information

Life is no more serene for storytellers Ariel Leaf and Scot Moore abroad than it is at home. While others might regale you with tales of ziplining through forest and cocktails with little umbrellas by the beach, these two bring you heartbreak in Abu Dabi and homecomings in the former yugoslavia. Where for most letters home are tales of adventure, here they are discoveries of failed trysts and humiliation. From communism to circumsicion, from Canada to Veranasi, Scot and Ariel will make you see that there's a whole different way to travel, perhaps that you've narrowly escaped, or wished you could join.

So grab a seat. The flight is cheap, and the ride is short, but it'll be a trip to remember. Just make sure you pee before the show starts.

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