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 


Anarchy! (a handbook)

By Big Picture Group
Directed by Roger Bechtel

Playing at U of M Rarig Center Xperimental


Political content, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer


Warnings: Adult language.

Why rage when you can revolt? 10 easy lessons, in 10 radical scenes, on how to turn your personal life into political theater. First time tragedy, second time farce! (For aspiring anarchists of all ages.)

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Sat, 8/5 @ 4:00pm


Mon, 8/7 @ 5:30pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 10:00pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 7:00pm


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.

Read the reviews


by Janis Emily Peabody on August 16, 2017
This user has reviewed 48 shows

I am really glad I decided to make it a late night and catch this production. Performers were all great and the debate that came out of this show led to many discussions.

Smart, provocative lessons

by Noah Nieting on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

Staying true to their academic roots, the actors and writers show academic concern for truth and thorough investigation into the right course of action. That being said, when they find a point to run on, they embrace it with the passion of protest. Brecht would be proud of that.

Anarchy rules!

by Stacy Herron on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

This show knocked my socks off. The script was so well written and acting so great. I've seen 20 some shows over the two weeks and this is on my top 3. I just connected with the acting and the plot. Congrats on a great show!

A Bit Underwhelming

by Julie Elizabeth on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This show while great in concept was a bit choppy in performance. The performers interactions with each other prior to the show's beginning were awkward, and when technical difficulties occurred the performers were not quick to continue with the performance but rather remained inert and confused. Transitions were not fluid and the lighting/sound effects were not particularly effective.
Particularly strong performances in scene 5 with a very poignant conversation we all need to be considering.
Nathan Bern had comedy quirks akin to the style of Olan Rodgers.
Overall this show does do a good job of featuring talented actors sharing important messages, the execution was just a little sloppy.

Weak violence argument tho

by Sarah Parker on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

The show started out really strong, and also ended pretty strong. Cool and inventive storytelling, and I was very entertained the whole time, and I'd definitely recommend it. HOWEVER, in the scenes where the characters were debating the merits of peaceful protest vs. violent resistance, I strongly disagreed with their pro-violence side. I think there is a strong argument for self-defense against facists, and that argument wasn't made. Fighting back isn't a symbolic gesture of hope! I felt like they got something fundamentally wrong there, and it made anarchy look bad. Maybe I just wish this were better anarchist propaganda--I'm admittedly a little biased. :D


by Mariellen Jacobson on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 38 shows

Thought-provoking, smart debate and vignettes. When are anarchy and civil disobedience justified as reactions to what we see happening around us? How useful are activism, conversation, social media? Funny and skillful performances of this rapid-fire heavy script by these young actors! Much to think about.

Lessons Worth Learning

by Adam Boutz on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

A show about they joys of anarchist philosophy that was oddly well-organized. Made a compelling case by advocating for civil disobedience, then lost me by advocating for violence as a means to affect change.

Message and politics aside, it was a fun and compelling piece, unafraid to examine some of its own absurdities and contradictions. The mixed media elements felt somewhat unnecessary, but they were not intrusive and didn't detract from my enjoyment of the earnest enthusiasm of the cast.

A Necessary Discussion

by Teddy Larsen on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I trouroughly enjoyed the subject matter of the show. Very pertinent to our lives today. There was one scene in particular that had a profound impact on me (No spoilers). My only critique would be that the actors sometimes engaged so much with their emotions that it did not allow for audience to feel them. Overall, great ideas and conversations after the show.

2 people found this review helpful

Really Enjoyable

by Connie Roni on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

Cast is totally involved in this production - Fabulous performances! Very entertaining and thought provoking production. Well worth seeing!

A funny romp through left-wing culture

by Brian Stepanek on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

This performance, a series of acts about people and culture of the far left (fringe if you will) of the political spectrum was a great, light-hearted way to end the evening. While mostly in favor of left-leaning ideas, the play also pokes fun of ultra-liberals and, really, itself at many points while having you laughing the entire time. Still, it has a very serious message about the current political climate that it makes no secret of (especially at the end), and it will definitely get you thinking about the current political climate. Very well done!


by Jake Garhofer on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

This show has great points with lackluster delivery. Some of the vignettes were poignant while others missed the mark. At times it seemed the cast was just preaching to the audience through the vehicle of whining. Although the show did seem whiny, you could tell the show was well thought out and researched.

1 person found this review helpful

Smart and Super Funny

by Jon Montgomery on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Loved the pacing, loved the acting, laughed a ton and walked out energized! Bravo!!

I'd give it 4.5 if I could

by Alex Murphy on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Fringe, you are all or nothing. The cast is terrific, the story in your face in a good sort of way, and it makes me want to do civil disobedience.

I liked it!

by Jim Louis on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 30 shows

This show had a great balance to comedy and delving into difficult societal issues. The actors did a great job of showing that. Also great use of multimedia.

Strap In

by Obviously A Bear on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This show is abrasive and illuminating. The content and personal moments may haunt you in the best possible way.
The cast is well polished and yet they manage to maintain an element of vulnerable believability throughout. Definitely worth a watch.

Clever and Fun

by Erik Sorensen on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Tremendous performances from the entire cast. The show moves quickly and has you laughing until it hits you with the more serious notes. The writing and choreography are witty, measured, and insightful. A must see for this year's Fringe.

Focused, intense, cerebral,

by David Trudeau on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

Beautifully written, directed and executed material that macerates the chaff of "protest movements" - Just loved this. Riveting and engaging.

Smart, funny, and compelling

by Chris Lindberg on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Smart, funny, and compelling political piece! The pace was fast and tight. Mesmerizing choreography on a couple scenes. Nice use of music and video. Fantastic execution of dialectical drama. Looking forward to seeing what Big Picture Group does next.


by Terrell Daniels on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I really liked this fast paced satire/review of activism today and also yesterday, that was so thoughtful but leavened with humor. was Intellectual, funny dialogue and writing, tight blocking and quick, inventive video transitions between scenes. I was impressed and recharged by this bold play and the refreshing cast.

Who knew Anarchy could be SO hilarious?

by Hazen Markoe on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

When dealing with a serious subject such as the place Anarchy has in political discourse, who expected it to be discussed in such a gut bustingly hilarious way? Big Picture Group succeeds in great fashion with this thoughtful, intense, yet very funny take on how we need to take on serious problems in society, especially when peaceful protest can be ineffective at times. The five person ensemble handle their sketches with aplomb and conviction, yet never failing to spice things up with their high energy mix of comedic goofiness. Highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful

Emphasis on "Farce"

by Delano DuGarm on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I really wasn't expecting a show on anarchism to be so funny. The cast does a great job with a wordy script.

Great performances and strong material

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

I loved seeing this mostly-young cast present this strong, overtly political material. Their performances were strong and assured and the pacing was tight and skilled. Kudos to everyone, I hope to see more from this talented group.

Give peace a chance

by Amy Bonifas on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 11 shows

Strong writing and performances. Reasonable summary of arguments for and against violence as a legitimate means of resistance. Clever use of props. Good placement of humor to bring lighter moments to a heavy subject.

Visualize whirled peas

by Christine Malcom on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

This is a brave entry for Fringe, even in the Something Different category. It's well-scripted, and exceptionally well executed. The humor is a great seasoning sprinkled throughout. Not in the escapism category, for sure, and some of the lessons could have used trimming, but interesting.

Cast and crew

Roger Bechtel


Roger Bechtel has worked as an actor and director Off-Broadway in New York City and at a host of regional theaters, including the McCarter Theater at Princeton, the Yale Repertory Theater, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Attic Theater in Detroit. He is the founding Artistic Director of Big Picture Group, and is excited to revive the company here in the Twin Cities with this production. His day job is serving as professor and chair of the theater department at Carleton College.

Nathan Bern


Nathan Bern is a recent graduate of Carleton College, where he majored in Theater Arts and Mathematics. Nathan is originally from Oakland, California but will be moving to Boston come September. He has recently performed in shows such as After Miss Julie, Three Sisters, Tartuffe, Cock, Baal, and Our Country’s Good. He is eager and excited to be a part of the Minnesota Fringe.

Shannon Foy


Shannon Foy is thrilled to be devising and creating with Big Picture Group. Past credits include Theatre Pro Rata, Upright Egg, and more. You can also currently find her making things up at HUGE Improv Theatre in Uptown. Shannon would like to thank everyone who finds, in their own lives, a way to resist.

Emma Halper


Emma Halper is an English and Theater Arts major at Carleton College originally hailing from Northampton, Massachusetts. She has recently performed in Our Country's Good, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, and The Winter's Tale, and has directed Stop Kiss, Closer, and Crimes of the Heart. She is excited to participate in the Minnesota Fringe for the first time.

Bethany McHugh


Bethany McHugh is thrilled to be collaborating with this wonderful group of people and Big Picture Group. Since moving to the Twin Cities two years ago, she has worked with Frank Theatre, Classical Actors Ensemble, Theatre Forever, Full Circle Theatre Company, and others. Most recently, she performed as Juliet in Mission Theatre Company's Romeo and Juliet and will be in Sidekick Theatre's production of Be My Baby in the fall. Bethany is a proud alumna of Carleton College and the National Theater Institute program at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. www.bethanymchugh.com

More information

Big Picture Group

Big Picture Group is an experimental multimedia performance company founded in Chicago in 2005. Its inaugural performance, .duck, was named one of the 10 best productions of the year by the Chicago Tribune. True + False, devised by the company while artists in residence at the University of Chicago, was an invited performance at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, where it received the Critic’s Choice Award. Its production of Switch Triptych was named one of the 8 best of the year by the Portland Phoenix, and several of its productions, including The Good Person of Setzuan, were critic’s picks of the Chicago Reader.


Bertol Brecht has argued that to understand the complexities of the world, one must learn to see complexly. Yet today, in an age in whch our vision is increasingly arrested by commercial media, complex seeing has become vastly more difficult. In response, Big Picture Group uses theatre as a lens through which the often obscure dynamics of contemporary life might be brought into focus. Our mission: to see, differently.


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