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 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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 Comedy 

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The Pursuit of Awesome

By Northstarter Productions
Created by David M. Harris

Playing at Intermedia Arts

show_tag

Modern Dance, Physical theater/Clowning, Solo show, Storytelling/Spoken word, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, First-time producer

David Harris shares embarrassing stories, failures and advice in his pursuit of awesome. Featuring snow-shovel acrobatics, escapes, balances, stunts, upside-down juggling, dancing and other awesome antics.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 7-11 and up

 

Thu, 8/3 @ 7:00pm
 

 

Sat, 8/5 @ 5:30pm
 

 

Sun, 8/6 @ 4:00pm
 

 

Thu, 8/10 @ 7:00pm
 

 

Sat, 8/12 @ 10:00pm
 

* 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

A Barrel of Laughs! A Must See!

by Sharon Lee on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

A very entertaining show! David Harris is SO funny! He had us in stitches! He is very talented! We thoroughly enjoyed the show! He is AWESOME in his own quirky way, and in its own way --sends a message to all of us!
Don't Miss this show!


Pulled a muscle laughing

by Ariel Lopez on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 18 shows

Great stage presence, and takes his own advice to commit 117% The show felt very well constructed, segueing in entertaining ways, and each piece set up the next perfectly. Even though the show was primarily comedic, it had an inspirational yet honest aspect as well.


David Harris is AWESOME

by Austin Robinson-Coolidge on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 37 shows

Funny and engaging. David Harris has a rockin' soundtrack and is committed to this show. And he can juggle upside down!


This Show IS Awesome

by Sara Robinson-Coolidge on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 49 shows

Hilarious, fun, and yes, the soundtrack is as awesome as David Harris. Great fun!


Now For Something Completely Different

by Reid Gagle on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

I don't usually write reviews this late in the Fringe unless I have something different to say. But for this quirky wonder, I'll just chime in agree with everyone that this is a charming, funny, and unusual show. Not only does he do difficult oddball stunts, he is self-aware and funny about how obsessed you have be to get good at such stunts. (In one past show, he displayed his virtuosity with yo-yos and in another he demonstrated the bizarre things he can do with sheets of paper and with a hand truck.) This show is unique and...awesome.


Feel good show

by Michelle Morris on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Really fun show. Loved seeing someone embrace their awesome and encouraging others. If you find yourself with extra time go see it but not a must see this year.


A delight!

by Scott Eastman on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

I laughed so hard, and really enjoyed this performance. Mr harris is extremely talented, and is so relatable while also reminding us he knows he is odd... and it works! He and his show are charming and fun and I'd like to see it again


You can't buy awesome at K-Mart

by Nanette Stearns on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 25 shows

I really appreciated his sense of humor, juggling, touching stories of his wife pranking him, and wise words about what is (and isn't) awesome. David has a dry sense of humor and a self-deprecating style. I also loved the pictures of his child with all the tools of David's trade ( balloon animals, juggling balls, etc.). Perhaps his sense of humor isn't for everyone but I loved it and was very glad I saw it.


Get Me A Huffy Bike

by Matthew Garten on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

The bike story is worth 3 stars alone. Throw in all the other goofy shenanigans, and David puts together a solidly entertaining show. Now, if only I was taking notes on the rules.


I love this guy

by Janis Emily Peabody on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 48 shows

David Harris is so skilled and yet approaches his performances with such humility. He is a blast to watch. His use of media and sound overs took things out of the ball park for me.


Charming, Fun, and Awesome indeed!

by Molly Kiley on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

David Harris demonstrates his mastery of many skills in this show: how to charm an audience, how to set up a visual joke, how to make any trick feel awesome, and how to do a dive flip onto a shovel! A mixture of nostalgia, cool human tricks, jazz-hip-hop dance, juggling, story-telling, and oddly motivational advice! I left feeling happy (having just laughed for about and hour) and happier with myself (having heard stories of another human's struggles in human interactions and pursuing what one is passionate about- regardless of its use in society!).
You've heard this before, but a MUST SEE!


Kept me in stitches!

by Mariellen Jacobson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 38 shows

Oh my goodness, this was fun. With a “guy” mind-set, stories, tricks, tunes, balloons, projections, and danger, this show entertained the broadest demographic of any show I've seen so far at the Fringe. He kept us all in metaphorical (happily) stitches.


Fun to watch the Awesome happening

by Lynn Hickman on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Laughs plus an encouraging philosophy on developing your own Awesome !


Entertaining, but underwhelming...

by Christopher Allen on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

David himself is very likable, and it's easy to get on his side and laugh along with his stories. However, the show itself felt too disjointed to me. Perhaps the general theme of "awesome" is too wide and could have used some focus. I found myself in the middle of a couple anecdotes thinking "why is he telling this story right now?" The stunts themselves were fun, and sometimes very impressive, but they were often built up so much by his monologuing that once he finally did the stunt, it came off as a little bit of a letdown. I had fun, but I really wanted more.


A Balanced Fringe Show

by Doug Anderson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Trying to balance subtle humor, storytelling and sage advice can be a real juggling act. Easily executed by David Harris, this balloons into a delightful show!


Awesome Achieved

by Chet Taylor on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

So much fun, and so well executed.


It begins with a snow shovel.

by Chris Gennaula on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

More than great story telling. Fun to watch juggling and acrobatics. There was a sense of confession... a confession of AWESOME!


This is a super fun show!

by Michelle Blaeser on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 11 shows

Physical theater, juggling,and sim much more! I really loved this show--David is AWESOME!!


A Variety

by Gene Bard on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Messages about life couched in juggling, acrobatics, dance, deadpan or modest repartee. A fun show. Charming performer. Awesome but not some awesome. Juggled 5 balls. Stands on head a juggles. Not 6 or more and doesn' t play a drum while standing on head.


Awesome

by Stacy Thieszen on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

My nine-year-old son and I both really enjoyed this. We laughed a lot. I especially liked his stories of childhood striving and failure.


Weirdly inspiring

by Nadra Wass on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

I went into this show feeling a little down and stressed out due to an unfortunate barista interaction. He put me right back on track for developing my own personal vision of life success. See it! Feel good again!


Delightful

by Harvey Zuckman on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

David Harris is so self effacing and entertaining. It was a thoroughly enjoyable hour that anyone would love. His shtick is simply delightful. Wish I had taken in his shoes before this year. I'll keep my eyes out for him in the future, for sure.


Worth pursuing

by Paul Mattes on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

David is earnest, modest, and willing to share his well-practiced skills and stories with us. The show was a little long on words and a little short on physical stunts, but I was happy to spend an hour in his company.


My motivational hour

by Richelle Amundson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 39 shows

I did not realize walking in how much I would feel inspired by the end of the show to follow my own weird and quirky dreams. I am the mother to two boys and watching this show brought back the joy of watching my sons discover their place within the world through creativity and experimentation. It reminded me to never stop doing the same.


Pursuit of Laughter

by Dave Prentice on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I really enjoyed this show. It made me laugh pretty much right from the start. I found the show at the same time personal, goofy, well-constructed and polished. The weirdness it celebrates represents everything I am looking for in a fringe show! If my kids were young, I would enthusiastically take them to this show. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would.


Charming!

by Ellie Browne on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

Really captured my imagination! Thank you!


A Fun Journey!

by Brian Isles on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

If you're bringing children to the Festival, this is a must see through and through. It's a fun, brisk performance of a man that completely understands how to control a crowd. He had us laughing throughout the show, and I walked away thinking "that's one of the most charming productions I've seen at Fringe."

It doesn't have the most substance of a Fringe show, but it does have one of the most important themes: "let your freak flag fly." He encourages his audience to embrace the things that aren't practical, and he promotes the idea of doing things that we're passionate about. As an educator, I can't stress the importance of this message, and I'd happily recommend this show to any of my students!


Awesome indeed!

by Deb Ann on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This is a more than 5 star performance. This guy was so totally entertaining. Include his show in your performance list - do not let yourself miss it. I'm glad I went. I'm gong to try doing one of his balloon deals ;-)


David is Awesome!

by Bradley Johnson on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

Need a break from the 3 star shows you've been experiencing and want some awesomeness? Then this is the show to see! David is multitalented with a bit of quirkiness and will keep you engaged throughout the show. Entertaining and enjoyable for all ages!


Enjoyable

by Velma Wagner on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Entertaining and well-produced. David had great timing and humor.


The pursuit of awesome

by Lovea Story on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I was entertained and found myself laughing through this production. His physical comedy was great. Perfect for white if you're looking for light entertainment and I want to bring the kids

1 person found this review helpful


A Fun Show for Everyone

by Greg Sautter on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Great physical comedy and funny stories- especially for children of the 80s, but my kids loved it too.

2 people found this review helpful


Video
Cast and crew

David Harris

creator/performer

David Harris has amazed and amused audiences with his physical comedy shows. He was selected as an Audience Pick at the 2012 Minnesota Fringe Festival for his solo show Portrait of the Artist as a Yo-yo Man. David has performed his one-man shows and other collaborations at the John Hassler Theater, Walker Art Center, Red Eye Theatre, and many other theaters across the Midwest. His shows include The Pursuit of Awesome, Portrait of the Artist as a Yo-Yo Man, Everything Must Go, and Delivery Guy, and The Paper Mover!


Mike Hallenbeck

Sound Design

Mike Hallenbeck is a sound designer and composer active in film,
animation, commercial media, games, and performing arts. He runs a
recording studio called Junior Birdman Audio in northeast Minneapolis.
Web site: juniorbirdman.com


Dave Lee

Producer

Dave is a technology guy, writer of stuff, and activist based in Minneapolis. He has been involved with a number of locally produced short films, and hold a degree in screenwriting from Metropolitan State University.

More information

Startribue: Ten don't-miss shows at the Minnesota Fringe Festival


StarTribune : You might not be interested in “postmodern juggling,” but David Harris’ deadpan solo show, mixing acrobatic tricks with unusual stories, draws you in.


MINNPOST: A dozen must-see shows at the 2017 Fringe!


David Harris's Portatrait of the Artist as a Yo-yo Man was an Audience Pick Winner of the the 2012 Minnesota Fringe Festival!


In his new show, The Pursuit of Awesome, David Harris performs unusual stories, stunts, and physical comedy. Why? Because it will be awesome! David always wanted to be awesome. In 1983, he tried to ride his Huffy bicycle up a tree. Had he made it to the top it would have been awesome. In 1985, he took jazz dancing lessons at Colleen's School of Dance. Why? Because he thought he signed up for Break Dancing lessons and that would have been awesome! In 2014, he learned how to balance a knife on his tongue. Why? Because the path toward awesome is easily confused with the path toward being reckless and weird.


Through juggling stunts, snow-shovel acrobatics, and comic dancing, David shares his embarrassments, failures, and advice in the pursuit of awesome.



Reviews of Fringe 2012 Portait of The Artist as a Yo-yo Man.


From StarTribune
"Dynamically delightful David Harris . . . inhabits his entire physical form in other feats where he tumbles over and balances his full weight on folding chairs while moving his body in various directions." -- John Townsend


From Pioneer Press
"It's David Harris' funny and self-deprecating humor that sells this show. Go ahead and try this at home." -- Richard Chin


From Twin Cities Daily Planet
"This sweet show about strange hobbies and having dreams come true in spite of them will appeal to a wide audience." -- Kate Hoff


"The stunts are amazing, but what makes this show a must-see is the storytelling." -- Wendy Gennaula

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Wayward Theatre - The Weir