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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The Zoo Story (New Version)

By Mortimer Productions
Written by Edward Albee

Playing at HUGE Theater


GLBT content, Religious content, Political content, Historical content, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, First-time producer


Warnings: Violence.

"That's the best f*cking one-act play I've ever seen"...Norman Mailer. Pulitzer-winning playwright Edward Albee's blistering classic featuring Sam Ahern and Brad Erickson; Pat O'Brien directs.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Fri, 8/4 @ 7:00pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 8:30pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 7:00pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 4:00pm


Sun, 8/13 @ 5:30pm

* 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.

Read the reviews


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

A delightful production of a good play.

Classic Albee, expertly acted

by Florence Brammer on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 41 shows

This still-chilling Albee one-act is beautifully acted and directed in this production that brings out both the personal and the metaphorical elements of the work. Wonderful.


by Justin DeLong on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 20 shows

Perhaps it's just me, but I found this play to be utterly predictable. I've never read the script, but from the opening lines, I knew what the outcome would be. I'm no great fan of Albee, but I was still let down. I'd heard very strong things, and although the acting was superb, the plot and characters are grating.
See it for yourself, get a few laughs, and view what Albee thought was the absurdity of the human condition.


by James Gerlich on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

I think my expectations were too high. I have heard about this one-act for years, but never had a chance to see it until now. I can now appreciate why Edward Albee wouldn't let it be performed as a one-act, and why he wanted to rewrite it. It's basically a one-character monologue, the other character being basically just a sounding board. One star off for the script. I took off a second star because, while I felt the actors did a good job, both overplayed their parts a bit too much for my taste.

Absorbing and Chilling

by Rosalie Langenkamp on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I had not heard of or seen an adaptation of Zoo Story. I was captivated by it from the first scene. It kept you wondering what was going to happen next. The two actors did a fantastic job. As a matter of fact, after seeing it I watched a couple of different versions of it on the Internet. This production, I felt, outdid them. I think the directing was spot on. Is a must see.


by Chris M. on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I enjoyed the characters a lot. I was a little confused by some parts, but it did not stop me from having a good time!


by Eric Cohen on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 19 shows

Sam and Brad kicked the crap out of that show! For anyone who's ever had an awkward conversation with a stranger, you will definitely get what's going on. Well timed, well delivered, and well adapted.

1 person found this review helpful


by Tony Laundrie on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I really enjoyed the quality of the acting in this show. A great adaptation in spite of the cuts needed to fit an hour. The fight was a little awkward but they probably figured out the glitches by now. Great directing!

An American Parable

by Joe Allen on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

The character limit will prevent me from really diving into what is deserving of a dissertation.

This is essentially a free master class, and if you're looking to grow as a performer during this festival, you simply must, must, must see this show. Zoo Story is one of the best plays written in the past century, and it is -masterfully- performed.

If you catch me on the street during Fringe and need to be sold on this play, or need to lean against a wall gasping while you still put it together in your own core, don't hesitate to reach out.

1 person found this review helpful


by Kelly Regan on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 10 shows

This show drew me in from the first silent moments and didn't let me go until the last. Absolutely flawless acting and direction. See this one.


by Laura Doty on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I was immediately drawn into the characters in this amazing production. Both actors did an excellent with a difficult and dark script. I have recommending this show to fellow Fringers for days. Don't miss this incredible production!

Compelling from the beginning.

by Bailey Hess on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 29 shows

I've never seen or read this play before, so I didn't know what to expect. I left feeling that I learned something but wasn't sure what it was, and that's how you know you saw something good. I felt like I had to go home and write a paper about it for school. Fantastic acting from the beginning to the end. Jerry's countless monologues were superb and Peter stayed engaged throughout, fabulous, fabulous acting.


by Larry Bieza on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

Well executed on all fronts.

Happy Impromptu Show

by Milli Manchester on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

This was a last minute decision for an open time slot.
We were glad to have made it to this one! The script was layered in meaning, the acting was deep, and it held my attention the whole time!
Great work gentlemen!

Great Work with a classic play

by James Chase on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Captivating. Actors balance the tension so their relationship stays true to the end.


by Dan Patton on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This is legitimately the best show I have seen this Fringe.
Superb acting.
This is a must see!

Amazing all around

by Stephanie Alexander on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Amazing acting, direction and of course script. This should be on your must watch list!

An acting exam, aced

by Max Hailperin on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

This script puts actors to a test. Here, that test was passed with flying colors.

Wonderful Cast and Story

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

This is the best I've seen thus far. The cast was right on. Excellent. Whether you will like the story I cannot know. It is thought provoking. Some funny parts and some serious. I will be thinking about it for a time to come.

Best of the Fringe so far...

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

Superbly acted--Albee at his best. This one act play is not often performed but should be seen by everyone. Please, GO!

A Treat!

by Ross L. on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

I was very excited to see a show try to tackle Albee in one hour and they nailed it. The acting and staging were top notch. A definite must see!

Excellent production!

by Austin Robinson-Coolidge on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 37 shows

These two actors did an amazing job with this show. Carrying a show with only two people is demanding and difficult, and they do it with aplomb. Samuel Ahern's Jerry, in particular, was fantastic.

1 person found this review helpful

Captivating Drama

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

One of the things I love about Fringe is the wide variety of shows. From a quirky inexperienced first-timer to seasoned performers in a well done solid dramatic show. This show is definitely the latter. I was drawn in from the start and it kept my full attention throughout. Production, acting and direction all get an A+ from me!

1 person found this review helpful

A five star conundrum

by Corrie Fiedler on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 43 shows

Back-and-forth, back-and-forth. A 4 or a 5 star review? The acting and production values were over the top (in a good way). Though I should have thought harder about if I was really up for an Albee play in the middle of my Friday fringe schedule! At the end, the professionalism required a '5'. An extra bonus (take a look at Wikipedia): this one-act is not very often produced because of some limitations Albee put on the production before his death.

Intense and Focused

by Larry Ripp on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Zoo Story is not an easy script. An actor can be tripped up anyplace along the way with the complicated concepts and ideas that spill out a mile a minute throughout. That this show stays keenly focused and concentrated during it's entire running time is both breathtaking and exciting for a theatergoer. The direction of this piece is perfect. The acting, the same. Loved it. Go see it!


by Vicki Joan Keck on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

Very very tight show! Expertly acted and directed. I have never been a huge fan of Albee - he's too dark for my tastes - but this kept me riveted throughout. My only complaint is the actors deprived us of a curtain call! The audience was ready to give a standing ovation but alas, the stage remained bare.
Make reservations - this will sell out!

1 person found this review helpful

Extremely well done

by Forest Godfrey on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This is the 3rd time I've seen this show done live and by far the best. Albee is not easy to do well, and these guys did it *really* well. Don't miss this! (And I have a feeling it will start selling out so go early!)

1 person found this review helpful


by Kari Kjeldseth on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

This was masterfully done. A well deserved standing ovation for Sam and Brad. They both deliver the genius of Albee in riveting, compelling performances. I was drawn in, emotionally and physically, to Sam's performance-he commands the stage. The intensity at the end had me shaking; the chemistry was so palpable between Jerry and Peter it was electric. A must- see if you enjoy classic drama done well.

1 person found this review helpful

Zoo Story

by Robert Hybben on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Excellently staged. Well worth checking out.

Powerhouse Performances!

by Bradley Machov on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This play was stunning! The script is a classic, and both actors are captivating throughout, making the most of already great material. I'm glad I saw it, and you will be too!

Cast and crew

Pat O'Brien


Pat O’Brien (the guy who brought you the Fringe hits “Underneath the Lintel” and “The Fever”) returned to Minneapolis ten years ago after 22 years in L.A. where he appeared in dozens of films, including; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Pleasantville, Stuart Little, Catch Me If You Can. He guest starred in a load of TV shows and had recurring roles on: Night Court, Married with Children, Sabrina, and (if you’re under 40) was Mr. Dewey on Saved By The Bell. His stage credits include the New York, New Jersey, and Los Angeles Shakespeare Festivals; The Pasadena, Cleveland, and La Jolla Playhouses; The Arizona Theatre Company, The Old Globe in San Diego, The Arena Stage in D.C., and locally at the Guthrie, Mixed Blood, Chan, The Old Log, and Yellow Tree. He received the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from his Alma Mater, The University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire.

Brad Erickson


Brad has been a fortunate member of the Twin Cities' theater community working with remarkable companies like Ferrari McSpeedy, Daleko Arts, The Chameleon Theater Circle, Mainly Me Productions, and Dana's Boys. Past MN Fringe shows include Hamluke, Hour Town, and last year's The Life of Charles Schulz. Brad welcomes the opportunity to work with Pat O'Brien and Sam Ahern in this challenging classic from Edward Albee.

Samuel Ahern


Sam Ahern is thrilled to be working with Pat O'Brien and Brad Erickson again, after a few stints with both of them in The Saved By The Bell Show. And he is just as thrilled to be a part of the late genius Edward Albee's Zoo Story, which he has been somewhat obsessed with for years now. Past Fringe performances include Oatsie Carewe in Brazen Theater's Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, along with performances in shows from Nimbus Theatre and Partizan Productions.

More information

"That's the best f*cking one-act play I've ever seen"...Norman Mailer. Pulitzer-winning playwright Edward Albee's blistering classic featuring Sam Ahern and Brad Erickson; Pat O′Brien directs.