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 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.


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.


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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Beyond Limits

By Toolbox Theatre
Created by Nikki Abramson, Sara Truesdale, Gizelle Erickson and Dennis Dienst

Playing at Ritz Theater Studio


Includes artists of color, Includes artists with disabilities

Join Nikki as she refuses to accept the predictions of her doctors. Told at age 5 she would die in her teens, Nikki Abramson pushed past her limits and defied barriers to live her life to the fullest.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 12-15 and up


Thu, 8/3 @ 8:30pm


Sat, 8/5 @ 4:00pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 5:30pm
ASL interpreted


Fri, 8/11 @ 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.

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Cast and crew

Nikki Abramson

Actor, Co-Author, and Producer

Nikki is thrilled to take this show from 'No Limits' to 'Beyond Limits.' After receiving 5 star ratings last year at the MN Fringe Festival, she and Toolbox Theatre can't wait to present 'Beyond Limits' an adaption of 'No Limits' a one person show of overcoming adversity. Most recently Nikki has played Jo, a tough loving social worker with Wonderlust's Production's In My Heart: Adoption Play Project held at Mixed Blood Theatre. She is thrilled to bring this story and character back to life. Nikki has enjoyed playing many roles especially with Artistry's The King and I. She has sung with various choral groups and participated in improv groups, and church skits. She is a teaching artist with Upstream Arts and other youth theatre companies in town, teaching acting, improv, and choreography. Nikki has directed, assistant directed, and choreographed youth theatre productions. She is also the author of I Choose Hope and Hope for Today as well as a contributor for several anthologies. Despite challenges, Nikki continues to press into theatre, her true love and passion in life. Nikki gives thanks for her family and friends for their support in this endeavor. She wants to especially acknowledge Colleen Everitt who first spotted her talent, to this amazing production staff, especially Sara Truesdale for being with her every step of this production journey, Dennis Dienst who has helped make this 2017 production possible, and to her doctors and care team who have helped her get to this place. This play is her gift to you. More information visit nikkiabramson.com

Charles Fraser


Dennis Dienst

Stage Manager, Set Designer, Props Master, and Producer

Dennis has put together a set that is easy to use and travels well, which is what a Fringe Show needs. Dennis has worked with a few different theatre groups in town, including 16 shows for Morris Park Players. This is his first work with this group of people and it has been a time of learning for him. Nikki's story and her great attitude have been an inspiration to him. He hopes you enjoy the show. A great big thanks to Joy, Taz and Snickers for giving up time with Dennis so he could dive into this project. Build a set: learn a bunch about perception and bias. What a life …

Sara Truesdale

Acting Coach, Co-Author, and Producer

As a performer, Sara has worked with The Children’s Theatre Company, The Jungle Theatre, Red Eye Theatre, Bedlam Theatre, Teatro del Pueblo, St. Croix Festival Theatre, Theatre in the Round, Lakeshore Players, and Bloomington Civic, among others. Over the years, she’s directed and taught lots of kids. She likes to mentor, thrives on being part of positive collaboration, and enjoys being around the creativity of imaginative individuals. She has a BA in Communication-Theater from St. Olaf College.

Emma Dalen


Emma Dalen is excited to be performing in the MN Fringe for the fourth time. She has acted with multiple theaters in the past, including the University of Minnesota, The Public Theater of MN, Youth Performance Company, and Stages Theatre Company. Look for her in Asa Butterfield and Nick Offerman's movie "House of Tomorrow". Emma is currently a junior at the University of Minnesota pursuing a Theater BA in Performance Creation.

Louisa Darr


Young Nikki, Narrator, Singer

Louisa is thrilled to make her Minnesota Fringe Festival debut with Beyond Limits. Louisa’s passion for performing arts started when she was still very young. As an actor, she has performed at the Children’s Theater, Guthrie Theater, Stages Theater, Lundstrum Performing Arts Center and Valley View Thespians. Currently, she is performing at the Stages Theater and will be seen at the Artistry for Music Man in the Fall. As a dancer, she danced with Ashley Ballet Arts Academy, Hyde Park School of Dance and Joffrey in Chicago and is currently a dance student at Zenon Dance. She has trained at Second City in Chicago for improv. Louisa is also a voiceover actor and has done some commercials. She will be in 8th grade and is delighted to be chosen to the Guthrie School for Future Artists for the school year 2017­2018. When she is not rehearsing and on stage, she enjoys hanging out with her friends.

Sue Gerver


SUE GERVER (Narrator, Ms. Emanuelson, Nikki’s Mom, Ensemble) is thrilled to be performing in Beyond Limits. She performed the role of Erickson in the 2016 Fringe encore-winning production, Airbags. Sue recently has performed the role of Jennie Bartlet in DalekoArts’ Snowed Inn; Eurydice in Theatre Coup d’Etat’s, Antigone; and a choir member in Walking Shadow’s popular production of, The Christians. Her other Twin Cities theater credits include Opal in, Opal’s Husband, (Daytrippers Dinner Theater); Aunt Cat, in the musical, Seriously Bugged (2015 Fringe Festival); Kitty in Six Degrees of Separation (Theatre in the Round-TRP), Queen Elizabeth in Princess Diana the Musical (Actors Theater of Minnesota), Mrs. Mortar in Children's Hour (Minneapolis JCC), Mrs. Bassett in Summer and Smoke (TRP) and The Prioress in Edith Stein (Open Window). She is a member of Raye Birk’s, “Actors Workout”, at the Guthrie and her vocal coach is Michael Gruber. In 2014, Sue had the privilege of being the Guest Artist at her Alma Mater, Simpson College, in Indianola, Iowa, performing the role of Vi in The Memory of Water. She holds a B.A. in Acting from Simpson and a B.S. in Nursing from UW-Madison. Sue also has experience in film and commercials. For more information, visit her website www.suegerver.com.

Gretchen Grunzke


Gretchen Grunzke is thrilled that Beyond Limits is the 6th show she's performed with at the MN Fringe. When not Fringing, Gretchen improvises with ComedySportz, Jesters, and at Huge. When not improvising, Gretchen teaches at Steppingstone Theater, BCT Artisty, Stages Theater Company, and the Brave New Workshop. When not Fringing, improvising, or teaching, Gretchen is probably sleeping. She is honored to help tell Nikki's incredible story.

Linda Hayen


After a 30 year hiatus, Linda returned to theater 15 years ago. She has worked with several theater companies in the twin cities both onstage and off in various capacities. These include Eden Prairie Players, Youth Performance Company, Theater Terra Firma, Prior Lake Players, PlaceBase Productions, Chameleon Theatre, Duck Soup Players, Top Hat Theater, Chain Reaction Theater Company and TigerLion Arts, among others. This is her fifth Fringe show and her favorite one. Nikki is an inspiration and a delight. She loves everything about theater and is grateful to be part of this amazing show.

Gizelle Erickson


After studying the art of Pantomime with Marcel Marceau, Gizelle toured all over the world performing and directing pantomime for 15 years. In 2003 she began to explore more vocal pursuits of the stage through musicals and theater while homeschooling 3 kids and building a career in health and wellness.

Teresa Foushee


In Teresa's own life she scaled a mountain of math anxiety to earn degrees in computer science and accounting, and built a career in the IT industry. With her awesome spouse, Bill, she joined a health and wellness community. There she learned to manage her scoliosis through exercise and learned to do squats while balancing on a ball like a circus bear. She worked through water anxiety with buddies who made space for grace and she now competes in triathlons. When Teresa is not training, singing, playing piano, composing, she’s learning life lessons from her rescue dog, Butch. She is also writing and illustrating her first book for kids, titled “Into the Air” about a fish named Fran who decides to fly. You can learn more about the book and hear Teresa’s songs on www.PosiVibes.com.

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Beyond Limits


Teaching Artist and Author Nikki Abramson has teamed up with local playwrights Sara Truesdale and Gizelle Erickson, along with Dennis Dienst, to bring her story to the stage. A diagnosis of a rare genetic disorder, 1 of 10 cases known in a world of 7 Billion, gives Nikki a perspective on life that is unique.  Along with that come the challenges of disabilities that are often not seen outwardly, the identity of being an adoptee, and a woman of color. Overcoming assumptions and ignorance, including her own, with humor and wisdom, she gives the audience members a toolbox of strategies for maintaining hope, even in difficult times.


No Limits was originally produced last year in the MN Fringe Festival 2016. It got 5 star reviews and was well received by many. This year, the message and the cast size are expanding. Beyond Limits is the next extension of this story of difficulty and triumph. A six member ensemble portrays a cast of characters from Nikki’s world, leading the audience through the ups and downs- challenges and contemplation.


Toobox Theatre is searching for additional opportunities after Fringe 2017 to present in other venues, wanting this empowering and thought-provoking piece to reach a variety of locations and different types of audiences. 


Wayward Theatre - The Weir