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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En Passant

By McGo Productions
Created by McGo Productions

Playing at Jungle Theater


First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, Includes artists of color, First-time producer

The board is set. In a city of millions every move has a consequence, every move tells a story. Two strangers sacrifice, two players develop. We do the best we can.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Fri, 8/4 @ 5:30pm


Sat, 8/5 @ 10:00pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 7:00pm


Thu, 8/10 @ 7:00pm


Sun, 8/13 @ 2:30pm

* 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 Michael Novak on August 15, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

From me to all of you - thanks. Spread love and hope.

I loved the story

by Sandra Breuer on August 14, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Creative storyline. I thought the acting was well done. I also liked the way the two people connected up. A lot of nice surprises

Worth refining

by Mariellen Jacobson on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 38 shows

Interesting concept, worth refining. Effective set, but so many short scenes and set changes that it felt very choppy. One of the performers was so soft spoken that I could barely hear her lines, thus I missed some of the emotional impact.

1 person found this review helpful


by Kelly M. on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Interplay of actors and effects. The use of the chess analogy was pretty original.

1 person found this review helpful

Soooo good!

by Melissa Colorado on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

En Passant was awesome. Really enjoyed the music. The acting was stellar and the transitions were smooth. It's a well-paced drama that has sharp writing. Definitely worth your time, if you want to see an excellent drama!

2 people found this review helpful

Great Story, Well Written

by Pamela Mazzone on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

En Passant is such a creative and interesting perspective on those seemingly minor details & occurrences in life. I found I was captivated from the beginning and curious to find out what happens next or how this came to be.

See this show!

1 person found this review helpful


by Chorf Mender on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 10 shows

I liked that there were women and people of color involved. And that's about all I liked.

Appeared to be well directed but poorly written. You can only do so much with a bad script. I couldn't hear the actors half the time because the sound effects were so loud!

A Mesmerizing Tear-Jerker

by Greg Johnson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Full disclosure: I didn't cry. Though that has more to do with my being a robot than anything. The lady next to me cried. My girlfriend was an absolute wreck at one point. This play was emotionally raw, unfiltered, and admittedly a bit uncomfortable to watch at certain times... I absolutely loved every minute of it!

What this play may have lacked in polish it more than made up for in boldness. The set pieces alone were daring and unique. Where most shows lose my interest between scenes, En Passant kept me on edge the whole time. The way the cast shuffled around set pieces in an almost Tetris-like fashion all the while perfectly scored by a smooth, upbeat jazz soundtrack was absolutely mesmerizing!

En Passant is superbly acted. A must see!

1 person found this review helpful

Wonderful play, for a first time script.

by Gilly Wigley on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I thought En Passant was a captivating and unique story, that was very well written for a first time playwright. The music selection chosen to play between scenes fit the story perfectly, and I love the creative, interchangeable set they constructed. Only critic I have is that the background sound effects for the chess scenes were a little loud at times, which made it sometimes hard to hear the dialogue. However the scenes wouldn't be right without it, so possibly turning the volume down a smidge might help. I was in the lower half of the theater, so I imagine it would be even harder for the upper half to hear at times.

Overall I highly recommend seeing this show! Cast, Director, and playwright all did a phenomenal job on this production.

1 person found this review helpful

En Passant

by Connie Diercks on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I saw En Passant 8/6/17 it is an engaging drama, individuals are “moved forward” by brief casual encounters with strangers. One does not have to be a chess aficionada to appreciate this production. Story well told and performed well. 4 stars not 5 because one small scene lacked the emotional depth of an important revelation but overall it is an emotionally engaging work.

1 person found this review helpful

Great Show Bogged Down By Transitions

by Jeffrey Guion on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I greatly enjoyed this show. I thought the actors did a phenomenal job and the script was an interesting character study of our two main characters. The one issue I had was the scene transitions. They seemed needlessly complicated. I found my mind wandering every time a change was happening. I think it would have been better with a much simpler set. That being said, I still really enjoyed it and I recommend seeing it

1 person found this review helpful


by Adriane Swansen on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

The acting was incredible. A very moving and emotional performance. The performance will leave you in tears.

1 person found this review helpful

Chess as metaphor for life

by Suzann Willhite on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Good acting. Interwoven relationships.

1 person found this review helpful

Good exploration of relationships

by Kris Sieg on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I liked this production. Good acting. Powerful moments. Interesting premise around chess. The play is a little raw but overall a provocative production

1 person found this review helpful

Needs Further Development

by Alexander Gerchak on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

At its core, En Passant is a character study that aspires to delve into the familial conflict that challenges its two leads. As currently written its success is limited, the script leaving little room for proper character development. The cast does very well with the material given, taking care to provide the emotional weight necessary for the roles. Certain technical elements (such as long transitions) felt rough, yet the overall design was impressively ambitious for a fringe production. The dedication to the story is clear, given more time this show can grow into a strong drama.

1 person found this review helpful

An Honest Effort

by Roy McEnroe on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Everyone in this show made an honest effort but ultimately it fell a little flat. Still worth seeing for a great set, music, and all around ambience created.

En Passant

by Denise Cropp on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This play will make you "feel".
Well done.

1 person found this review helpful

About as slow as an actual chess match

by Gnarles Xavier on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

While not without some merit, this show lacked stakes throughout most of its runtime. There's also a few plot holes and unresolved arcs. Perhaps this was meant to be longer, but I can't imagine how that would have helped it much. I can't say I enjoyed this show...

1 person found this review helpful


by Chase Mergenthal on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

At the end of every show, there is always an announcement made to please leave a review on the fringe website, this is the first show that I have left a review for.
This is the best show I have seen at fringe in a few years, and is easily five stars.
This is a dramatic and powerful show, and the performance was fantastic.
There are a lot of options during this festival, but this should be on everyone's list!

3 people found this review helpful

captured, indeed, en passant

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

Surpassed the expectations of both of us who went for the purpose of following one of the performers. Apart from the Fringe experience, we are looking into seeing it a second time, while it’s still available to be seen. Whether or not Mr. McGowen expands on its particular premise, I will keep an eye out for his future work. Too, I became interested in following all four performers.

As lesser details; while it kept my puzzle-solving engaged, I felt I would have kept up were it the 10pm performance & if I were fatigued. The dialogue even made a clear explanation of the infrequent, en passant chess move. I do have an insider’s objection to one situation, but it IS part of the drama of the story. Even the set furniture is a game player’s joy.

2 people found this review helpful

Labors of Love

by Adam Boutz on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

A heartfelt play about interconnected lives and letting things go. The chess theme permeates the whole production in subtle ways from the actions of the characters down to the ambitious (for Fringe at least) set pieces. Thankfully knowledge of chess is not required; the game is just a framework by which we explore the characters lives.

When it came to the emotional climax, the story and the actors didn't pull any punches. If you can watch this without feeling at least *something* you might be a robot.

4 people found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Jamila Joiner


Jamila Joiner is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota. She has been seen in many shows around the Twin Cities including Teen Idol: A Bobby Vee Story (History Theater), Leading Ladies (Woodbury Community Theater) , and Airbags (Fringe Festival 2016). She would like to thank everyone involved in this production of En Passant and would like to send a special thank you to her friends and family who come to the show.

Kira Pontiff


Kira first caught the theater bug as a student as South High School and went on to major in Theater Arts at Hamline University. Her recent work includes "My Life Through History: An Autistic Man's Journey" with Freshwater Theater, "Sense and Sensibility" with Theater in the Round, "Who Has Eyes to See" with Uprising Theater Co., and "The Most Massive Woman Wins" with Theater Unbound.

Lynda Dahl


Lynda is thrilled perform in the debut production of En Passant. She most recently played 3 roles in Theatre Unbound’s production of Mere Trifles, an evening of 4 short plays, including Lynn Nottage’s Poof!. Previous credits include the debut of Trust at The Lab Theater, a production of Self-Reliant Actor where she took part in its development; Fahrenheit 451 at Theatre in the Round; and And She Would Stand Like This for 20% Theatre Company. Film credits include the upcoming feature Twin Cities. Lynda would like to thank Scott, the love of her life for his constant love and support.

Mike Novak


Mike Novak has practiced law for 25+ years and raised four incredibly gifted and hardworking children. He recently returned to theatre, film and writing now that his children have graduated from college. He has appeared in a number of shows at the Black Box in St. Cloud including: Galileo, Murder In The Cathedral, Miracle Worker, Christmas Carol, Trust and recently filmed Can’t Go Home and Nobody’s Home. He is grateful to have worked with everyone involved in En Passant.

Denzel Belin


Denzel Belin is an director, improviser, and actor currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has directed with Uprising Theater Company, Phoenix Theater, Freshwater Theater, Gadfly Theater, and The Easy Access Script Experience. He is currently performing in the Brave New Workshop's Guardians of the Fallacy: Executive Disorder. He is also directed "Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler" with Katherine Glover Presents which you can see this Fringe at Strike Theater.

Joe McGowan


As a first time playwright and producer Joe is excited to see his work come to life. Trained as an improviser and theater technician at HUGE Theater Joe loves exploring all aspects of storytelling. You can catch him performing Saturday nights at HUGE Theater a part of Ka-Baam!! The improvised comic book.

Sarah Maxwell

Stage Manager

Sarah Maxwell is proud to be involved in her first Minnesota Fringe production, and her second project with Denzel after stage managing Dirty Story last year. Since moving to the Twin Cities two years ago, Sarah has performed as part of Gadfly Theater's Fringe Festival; directed Charlotte's Web (Parnassus Preparatory School); and stage managed Willy Wonka (Ashland Productions). Most recently she was involved in The Neutrino Video Project at Huge Theatre. Sarah Maxwell graduated with a degree in Youth Theatre from Bowling Green State University.

Abbey Casino

Assistant Stage Manager

Abbey Casino is excited for her first time at fringe! She's a recent transplant from Bowling Green, OH, where she's worked on shows both on and backstage. When not doing theatre, she enjoys staying at home and hiding under blankets.

More information

An original work by first-time playwright and producer Joe McGowan, En Passant explores the parallels of chess and life. Using a Jazz Hop score to set the tone for a true-to-life drama, experienced director Denzel Belin has shaped En Passant into a realistic, yet experimental, piece. Utilizing chess metaphors and significant items to create an underlined importance, the audience can not help but be drawn in. The playwright also excels at creating a detailed world with hidden connections and meanings that slowly reveal themselves as each move is made.


***First 20 people at every performance gets a FREE poster!***


Keep up with the behind the scenes on Facebook! www.facebook.com/mcgoproductions


                                                  Teaser Trailer


                                            In Depth Interview

Have a Great Day!

Yours Truly,

                 McGo Productions


Humble Cup
Bryant Lake Bowl