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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Showtimes

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.

Reservations

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.

Rules

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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 Something different 

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F@*k the 90s

By FurTrader Productions
Created by Mame Pelletier

Playing at Ritz Theater Studio

Remember the 90s? Mame does. Besides sun-dried tomatoes and The Rachel, Mame faced the deaths of 3 loved ones in 3 years. In this interactive show, Mame will talk about death and life. Oh, and there’s singing!

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+

 

Fri, 8/4 @ 5:30pm
 

 

Sat, 8/5 @ 10:00pm
 

 

Wed, 8/9 @ 8:30pm
 

 

Sat, 8/12 @ 1:00pm
 

 

Sun, 8/13 @ 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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Read the reviews

Good but depressing!

by kathleen cronquist on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

I thought the music was good. But was kind of depressing and brought back memories because our family had a similar story. Also didn't like the part where she brought someone up from the audience that was a bit too much.


Charming

by Mark Webb on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

This show had some great live tunes from the 90s (Thanks Scot, Courney, and Nicole!) and a stellar performance from Mame. I really enjoyed her brand of storytelling. She's captivating and delightful. The audience participation part of the show didn't work for me; I felt it distracted from Mame's story and changed the energy that had previously been built up.


Beautiful Tribute to Loved Ones

by Dahlia Acman on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

I laughed, I sang along with the (amazing and super talented) band, I cried a little (a lot). I was a small child in the 90's, so I even learned a little about historical events and fashion.

I really liked the part where an audience member came up and talked about their own experience with loss and grief. This kind of an experience is definitely not for everyone, but it was definitely for me!


Death and loss

by Walter Furtney on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 35 shows

She had a great sense of humor and timing, but the juxtaposition of humor and pathos was jarring. I was delighted by the humor but not sufficiently moved by the pathos. Nevertheless I would rather have listened to her than the audience participation at the end, I did love the live music.


Powerful

by Dani C on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

This show is astoundingly deep and moving. Mame does a wonderful job of sharing person life experiences with humor and truth. Don't let the deep topic scare you off it's truely worth your time.


Closer I am to Fine

by Katie Starks on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I already knew I was going to love this show because I am a HUGE fan of Mame's, but I didn't know it would change me for the better. I am 90's junky, having come of age during the bulk of it. While there were a lot of 90's pop culture references, you did not need to live through them to enjoy this show, as we learned from the teens and twenty-somethings in the house. We went on a sweet little journey together, guided by Mame and her heart-warming band. I have suffered a great deal of personal loss over the past 4 years and I am so grateful to have seen this show. I now have a few more tools in my kit to help me heal my head and heart for the future. Here comes the sun, indeed. <3


Being present was the present

by Sean Wilcott on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Come for the nostalgia, stay for music*, be enthralled with the wit and the raw, honest, open performance Mame shares. She is superb - she needs her own local talk show, like yesterday. A must see.

*the band was amazing. Their Cranberries cover in the pre-show was outstanding.


Best show at the Fringe So Far

by Mark Goldberg on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

I love it when a show surprises me. I went into this expecting some comedy, some singing, something light. While there were laughs and the voices of the singers were beautiful, this was much more emotionally powerful than I expected. Hearing Mame talk about the loss of her family members in the 90s got me, to use a yiddish word, verklempt. I am in awe of Mame's ability to


An Important Show

by Christopher Allen on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

This is a show that is almost not a show at all. It has a storytelling style that is not a performance, but a dialogue, which makes it feel more like a communal conversation about grief. And that's great. It was a night well spent, and it's an important reminder that we are all fighting our own battles, while using 90's nostalgia to always bring the focus back to what we have in common. A show like this fosters connection in a real way. Don't miss out!


Well done and deeply moving

by Marcia Avner on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This production is a five star on all counts: well written show, a moving performance, talented star and director, and good music. In addition to a good script and fine performance/presentation, the timing and tone are well developed and all the components work to draw the audience into being "radically present." Many truths. Real engagement. Humor. See this!


Laughter and tears

by Ariel Lopez on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 18 shows

Be aware that this is not typical storytelling-one-person show; F@*k the 90s is a very conversational and intimate performance. Mame says that she aims for 'radical presence,' which creates a different vibe than most shows dealing with similar subject material - and while there are humorous moments, the subject matter overall is pretty heavy. As long as you're okay with the serious topic and informal 'radically present' style, I think this is a piece worth seeing, but I wouldn't recommend for everyone.

2 people found this review helpful


Radically Present

by Colleen Somerville on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Real. Hard. Funny. Lovely. A little more hard. Great music. Tears. Go.

1 person found this review helpful


Cast and crew

Mame Pelletier

Creator/Storyteller

Mame Pelletier is grateful to return to the Minnesota Fringe Festival after her successful 2015 run of a different solo storytelling show, Confessions of a Delinquent Cheerleader. Mame is an actor/improviser/storyteller/writer about town. She's a proud member of Freshwater Theatre Company and ComedySportz TC. This past year, she has performed a few times at Story Slams hosted by Word Sprout. She believes that stories are powerful and important tool. Laughter doesn't suck, either.

Mame would like to thank her patient husband, Eric, a nerdy scientist/weather geek, for his patience with their dwindled summer free time. And her son David, who is also in a show right now (Rumpus by Mike's Brass at The Southern), for inspiring her on a daily basis. Most of it in a good way. I love you guys.


Nicole Wilder

Director, Co-Creator, and Bad Ass Band Member

Nicole Wilder earned her MA in Directing and Gender Studies from Miami University (the one in Ohio) in 2008. She moved back to the Twin Cities and has been delighted to direct for companies like 20% Theatre Company, Freshwater Theater Company, Theatre Unbound, and many more. She returned to the stage as a performer with Wonderlust in The Adoption Play Project. Check out her other 2017 Fringe shows: Mayor Lear of Townsville and "________."


Scot Moore

Bad Ass Band Member

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 strumming badly in F@*k the 90s, Scot is flapping his gums in Ariel Leaf's A Mermaid Abroad at the Rarig Xperimental. Come get some!


Courtney Miner

Bad Ass Band Member

Courtney Miner is thrilled to have a cameo in a show conceived by someone she admires and adores so greatly. This is her second Fringe appearance, having been in 'Musical the Musical' back in 2008. In years past, you might have seen her around town playing little girls in musicals (Little Red, Sally Brown, Little Sally, Alice in Wonderland...there's a theme). Lately she's been focusing on her long-standing career in digital project management (like stage management, but for making websites instead of plays) at Clockwork - the best damn shop in town!


Colleen Somerville

Bad Ass Band Member for the final show

More information

In 1991 Mame Pelletier lost her father to cancer, and in 1994 she lost her brother to an undiagnosed heart defect. In her young twenties at the time, she was just beginning to get her feet under her when these deaths kept knocking her to the ground. 

During the show, Mame will sift through 90s pop culture with the audience and share her stories about life and death. Additionally, she'll interview an audience volunteer and hold a conversation about some or all of the above. 

We all have stories to share. Let's hear them. Empathy and connection will follow. Then we can party like it's 1999.

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