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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 Drama 

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Good Friday: Round One

By Fat Chance Productions
Directed by Patricia Enger, assisted by Lynn Seeling

Playing at Ritz Theater Mainstage

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GLBT content, Religious content, Historical content, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, Actors' Equity participants, First-time producer

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Warnings: Adult language.

What if Christ was one of us? What if he was a man who lived with doubt and passion, loved a woman and died with no guarantees? This is about the courage of those who were there. We need it now more than ever.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+

 

Fri, 8/4 @ 7:00pm
 

 

Sun, 8/6 @ 8:30pm
 

 

Tue, 8/8 @ 5:30pm
 

 

Fri, 8/11 @ 10:00pm
 

 

Sat, 8/12 @ 8:30pm
 

* 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.

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Read the reviews

I Could Have Gone Home

by Cetius d'Raven on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 50 shows

As the show I had hoped to see in the Ritz Studio was sold out, I stayed for this Mainstage show, purely out of desire to say I attended in every time slot. I can say that was a success, but I'm not sure I can say the same for this play.

The opening/closing musician was wonderful, and the first act gave me some hope, but the final act was a bit all over the place for me. The first act had purpose and said sometime about how we look at both scripture and the world. Some of the vignettes that compose the second act came close, but nothing hit as hard, and the Hari Hari sub-sequence to Mary Magdalene felt so disjointed and out of place to pull me out of the story completely.

Trimmed down to 25-30 minutes, this could be great.


Jesus uses the F word??

by Vicki Joan Keck on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

I know the author


Went nowhere fast

by Mark Webb on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

I didn't care for this one at all. The script was nonsensical and irrelevant, and something that is overdone. And although the cast definitely has some good credentials, they just didn't seem to make anything out of this. I did find the conversation between Jesus and the ass somewhat interesting.


Author Author!

by Larry Ripp on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Very fine script! A challenge mostly met by a cast that really worked at bringing the off beat to life. Fine lead in Jesus. Thoughtful and thought provoking all the way through. A rewarding experience.


didn't get it..

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

The first act was funny and engaging. But once the next act started they lost me for the rest of the show. I'm not sure about why they said lgbt was part of the show, the swearing didn't add to the show and was just excessive for the plot.
Could have been better, I'm my H.o.

Also Venus de Mars was not there,as advertised.


A bit too much for not enough effect.

by Adriana Attwater on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

First act was promising. However the language and content quickly became tiresome and gratuitous. I desperately wanted more content of substance. I was only able to see three shows the Fringe this year but felt strongly that the merit of the show was based in what could be done with it in the future rather than how it was presented at this venue.

1 person found this review helpful


great first act

by patrick keyes on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Let me start with the positive. The first act was great. Very clever and interesting dialogue between Jesus and his ass. I could have heard more of this. The second act... I thought what was the point? To shock us? I am a priest and I wasn't shocked, just bored, Mary the mother was just a characterture and the Magdalene... just played into all our old sexist views of the woman. The music was great!

1 person found this review helpful


Enjoyed this one

by Austen barranco on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I recommend this show. It was plain funny. Mixing old with new (mary and jesus selfie ha). It was fun.

1 person found this review helpful


Delightfully Surprising Comedic Story

by Ed Chares on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Seeing many Fringe plays, I didn't know what to expect from this show. Wow, what a pleasant surprise. Less drama & more sophisticated comedy dealing with understanding faith in a non traditional manner. If you are looking for a show to challenge your thoughts about a serious topic in a very humanistic way, this is a must see. Come with an open mind, receptive to approaching an old story in a new way and you'll walk away glad you made this show one to see at this years Fringe festival.

Compelling story, very well acted by the cast. There are a few places the story is a bit disjointed, but doesn't impact the overall experience.

Pay no attention to reviews of this show, see this show yourself and I am sure you'll be glad you did.


Not your typical passion play

by Robin Rayfield on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

It definitely had a more comedic twist than I expected. With dark humor, there's always the difficulty of classifying it under drama or comedy. For what it was, they did a fairly good job. The acting was definitely great. It had a semi-modern look at Jesus' crucifixion. I will say that the best part of the show, however, was the pre-show and post-show music done by Venus DeMars (and if you're going to the performance on the 11th, it looks like she won't be there). As a warning for people who are going to be doing some heavy Fringing and want to see this show, because you will want to stay for Venus DeMars' post-show music, plan to go to another show that's close by afterwards. Overall, definitely worthwhile.

1 person found this review helpful


Reserved more for a Sunday.

by Christopher DeVaan on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

Good Friday: Round One featured some inspired performances by Michael Hertenstein, Ellen Engelson, and good interaction between some of the characters.
The problem is the pacing, the static nature of basically no blocking, and the un-originality of a story that most everyone already knows.
I would have asked for more interaction of more than just two characters at a time. You had some good actors with good roles to play, but most were underutilized.

1 person found this review helpful


I'm still trying to piece it together.

by Miranda Mier on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I'm sorry to say that I just could not get invested in this show. The dialogue was really hard to keep track of, during both the comedic and dramatic moments. This seemed to be caused by some apparent confusion having to do with the setting - caught in-between the terms and mannerisms of the early CE and today in a way couldn't seem to work.
Part of me thinks that the main problem here is that the story of Christ has been told so many times in so many ways, that just presenting the idea "What if Jesus had modern-ish doubts?" is not new or distinct enough to hold water on its own.
I am giving this show the leeway of one star solely because the starting premise is already so completely not my scene.

2 people found this review helpful


Cast and crew

Harry Algyer

Simon

Harry has appeared in a number of films - including music videos, commercials and theatrical productions, including commercials for AT&T, Best Buy, and Central States Waterproofing.

He has appeared onstage in the past few months as Wilbur in "Hairspray," and as Maurice in "Beauty and the Beast."


Hardy Coleman

(Playwright/Producer)

(Maggie Ryan Sandford wrote the following which is included in her essay, "A Handyman for All Seasons," May 15, 2009)

"What distinguishes Hardy's anomalous sensibility is that he writes about working man stuff, but he thinks like an artist. He finds godliness in baseball, miracles in biking, ballet in the moving of furniture from van to house. Hardy grew up, for the most part, in small town Texas. He claims he started 'really writing' in high school, but he's always been a storyteller; as a youth, he used to weave 'wild, made-up stories' for his six brothers and sisters, just as he had heard similar tall tales from his father, a doctor. 'He used to take big old medical text books and play like he was reading from them,' Hardy remembers. 'Crazy stories.'

It's clear from Hardy's voice that his father's influence runs deep."

(This play is dedicated to the memory of Hardy's Father - Dr. Leonard Coleman.)


Timothy J. Como

Reporter/Hari Hari

This is Tim's third trip on the Fringe Festival roller coaster; he was in last year's Conundrum Collective's production of "A Study in Emerald."

Tim has been acting, on and off, for almost forty years, appearing on stages in the Upper Midwest and Southwestern United States.

Tim would like to thank his wonderful wife, Renee, for being so supportive over these many years.


Venus DeMars

Musician (August 4; August 6; August 8 and August 12)

The journey for the Director of this play included meeting and listening to the stunning voice of Venus DeMars.

A Duluth native, Venus - both with her band, "All the Pretty Horses," and as a solo artist - is a barrier-breaking, legendary musician who continues to attract fans of all ages.

"I am blessed to know her, and I am so grateful that she will be performing for our show." (Patricia Enger, Director)


Edith Elliott

Mom

Edith Elliott (Edy) graduated from the University of Delaware (MFA)

She has performed in a number of roles on the stages in the Twin Cities as well as throughout the United States. Edy is also a member of Actors' Equity.

Some of her past roles include: Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst / Mother Dirt in Mother Dirt / Queen Margaret in Richard III / Emilia in Comedy of Errors / Ursula in Much Ado About Nothing / Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest / Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream / Elmire in Tartuffe.


Ellen Engelson

Mary Magdalene

Ellen Engelson, a Minneapolis native, is thrilled to be portraying Mary (Mary Magdalene) in "Good Friday: Round One."

She has been acting in theater, films and commercials for the past decade. Ellen began her career as a voice-over artist and through the years shifted her focus to acting in film. She has recently returned to the stage; playing Mrs. Gottlieb in Sarah Ruhl's award-winning play, "Dead Man's Cellphone."

Other credits include, "Shooter," "The Role of Deliah," "Orpheus Descending," and "Who Will Win the Battle?"

She strives constantly to improve her skills.

When not acting, she can be found in the salon performing hair magic on her clients.

Ellen would like to thank her family and friends for their continued love and support.


Patricia Enger

(Director/Producer)

Patricia - also known as Petey - is a model, actor and storyteller, and considers herself blessed to have been allowed to direct this play.

She is a recent (2013) transplant to the Twin Cities from a small town six miles from the South Dakota border.

Having survived a car accident that killed two people and also having lived a lifetime "circling around" her Passions rather than embracing them, she has now jumped headlong into some of them. Film work became a Passion after she moved to Minneapolis , and Patricia often describes herself as, "The token senior citizen in hip-hop music videos."

Even though she lived in rural, small town Minnesota for most of her life, she was able to see much of the world. And by observing how much of the world operates, Patricia feels that she now knows where her place is in this field of life - far Left Field.

And gratefully, in that far Left Field, she finally finds herself comfortable in her own skin.


Michael Hertenstein

Jesus/Boss

Michael has appeared in numerous community theater productions, music videos and films as well as in print ads.

Among his credits are Guthrie Theater productions of, "To Kill a Mockingbird," and, "The Real Inspector Hound." Mike also appeared on the History Channel's, "Secrets of Einstein's Brain."

His film credits include, "Lake Runs Red," "Stay Then Go," and "Spirits of St. Paul."


J Keyser

Musician (Friday, August 11, 10 PM)

In his article in City Pages, "Keyser is King," Jim Meyer referred to J Keyser as "the singing scholar," and he also referred to him as, "The Godfather of the Gear Daddies."

One of the paragraphs of the article states, "Besides his specialty in political philosophy, he's spent a lot of time thinking about music's place in culture, and even wrote a senior thesis on the topic at St. John's. (St. John's College in Annapolis, MD.) After all his research, though, he came to pretty much the same conclusion any old bargoer would discover at last call: 'The good of music is pleasure.'"

J stated: "I have two great loves: philosophy and music, but the music goes back much further."


Tori Ruh

(Assistant to Stage Manager / Stage Hand)

Tori has been on tech crews since she was 14. She attended Minnesota State University, Mankato, to study Set Construction; at the University, she also found an affinity for Costuming and Prop Construction.

This is Tori's first time working on a play in the Fringe Festival, and she's excited to finally set foot into the Twin Cities theater scene.


Lynn Seeling

(Stage Manager / Props Designer and Construction)

After a 35 year hiatus, Lynn is returning to the theater world and her first love - stage management.

Lynn is a graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University where she also specialized in soft props and stage jewelry.

Many thanks to Patricia Enger for her trust in giving me this opportunity, and love to my husband, Ralph Jones, for his support on this endeavor.


Dan Stephans, II

Donkey, Vendor, Souvenir Guy

Dan is appearing in his 14th stage production (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and his first Fringe performance. He' thrilled.

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