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!

Close this


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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this




Debacle: Stories of Life's Ultimate Fiascos!

By La Vie Theatre
Created by Jason Schommer & Allison Broeren

Playing at Ritz Theater Mainstage


Warnings: Adult language.

Acclaimed storytellers Allison and Jason reveal how their seemingly innocent choices lead them astray into some of life's craziest blunders from evil cat sitting, dirty ice cream, drug dens and so much more!

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Thu, 8/3 @ 8:30pm


Sat, 8/5 @ 4:00pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 10:00pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 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.

Read the reviews

Nice, but a bit uneven

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

This was a nice combination of humor and music. Katy Vernon's sections were wonderful. She has a hauntingly beautiful voice and was a pleasure to listen to, and who doesn't enjoy a good ukulele songstress? The monologues were nice, but each one seemed a little too long. I believe cutting those pieces down would have moved this along nicely.

Compelling stories plus music = win!

by Laurie Swenson on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This is am amazing show with such compelling and honest stories from the storytellers. I could have listened to so much more from Allison and Jason! And I would have been happy with a whole concert from Katy and her ukulele. She has a super-great voice, and I love ukulele music. The stories and music interspersed to make a lovely package.

Music To My Ears!

by Bradley Johnson on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

I was expecting storytelling, but what I got was storytelling and music! I was pleasantly surprised! Allison and Jason were good, but if you couldn't tell, I loved the music! Great addition to a storytelling show.


by Brooke Magid Hart on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

A mix of humor and music and touching. Much like The Moth, which they have been a part of. I'd recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a good storyteller.

Hits and Misses

by Samuel Cole on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

The performers charm is undeniable. Some funny stuff. Alison's trip to Ireland is divine, and Jason's "feeder" story is a gut-busting. The guitarist/vocalist shines, each little song prefacing the stories to come. Nice touch. The only disappointment is some parts of the stories seemed forced, exaggerated, and not funny. Blame it on over-rehearsal, or under-rehearsal, but some of it just didn't land in bounds.

If you have cats, GO SEE THIS SHOW

by Danna Sheridan on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

The ukulele music was fun and charming. Jason's stories had me rolling with laughter - the hardest I've laughed at the Fringe so far. Allison's first two stories weren't necessarily my jam, but she told them in a very earnest and endearing way. I want to see them perform again!

Poor Earl!

by Jessica Wojachoski on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I laughed and smiled through this entire show! All three performers are so engageing onstage. With two storytellers and one musician, the show has plenty of variety and is rather fast paced. Allison's stories are very heartfelt and sentimental while Jason's are very absurb and funny and Katy, the musician in the show, has the most unique voice I've heard in a long time! Even with themed sections the stories are so different. My friends and I had a wonderful time at this show. My friends and I have been calling each other Earl and Shirley. Too funny! Go see it!


by Lynn Hickman on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Liked the singer. Allison had interesting and unique stories, but for me Jason's stories fell flat.

Great music. Great story telling.

by Anna Dielschneider on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

If you want to here some amazing music and hear some hilarious stories, this is the show. It's a good breathing moment between more serious works.

Apparently Jason has cat sat for me.

by Nanette Stearns on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 25 shows

This show was highly entertaining. Each of the six stories were unique and entertaining. Because each story revolved around a theme (pets, lady bits, heartbreak/love) we got to see stories that were related but different enough that they never blended together. I especially enjoyed Jason's story about cat sitting for a friend. Apparently there is more than one demon cat with multiple personalities in the area (the other being mine). The music added another element that made this show engaging and a lot of fun.

talent triple threat

by John Jansen on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Jason Schommer, Allison Broeren and Katy Vernon share their talents to create a fun show. Vernon's songs set the stage (sometimes loosely) for the next topic Schommer and Broeren tackle. Her songs are a highlight, a bouncy upbeat contrast to the funny stories about fiascos. Truth be told, what happened to them weren't serious debacles (and most weren't their fault) but with their sharp writing, smooth delivery and honest self-deprication we do get something to think about a some laughs out of their "why me?" tales. I'd recommend it and it's always good to see a show at the Ritz.


by J. Bach on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 26 shows

Good stories


by Erin McGregor on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I loved the ukulele song introductions - shoutout to the amazing musician performing those! The stories were hilarious and well-told. Some were a little too close to home ... which made them even more entertaining.

Funny and relateable.

by Darshan Maiya on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This show started off with the funniest cat sitting story I have ever herd. The stories keep getting funnier and fiascoes keep getting better ( or worse? ) . Having the musician in the show was a great mix to things. Loved it! Please keep translating your experiences into great and funny storytelling pieces.

Solid Humor

by Roni Petersen on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This was a spectacularly honest show. Their personal life stories were humorous and humble. A standout performance of monologue.


by Connie Petersen on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Very entertaining. Very well told humorous stories!


by Reid Gagle on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

This show consists of three pairs of thematically linked stories, each introduced by a relevant song by Katy Vernon. For me, both the draw and the high point were the stories of one-time Rockstar Storyteller Alison Broeren. But Jason Schommer's stories were also amusing, and the pretty songs were a lively way to introduce each of the three themes.

5 Stars = Must See!
4 Stars = Worth Seeing.
3 Stars = Worth Considering.
2 Stars = Maybe, if you're in the venue and have time to kill.
1 Star = No, unless your kid is in the show.
0 Star = Avoid even if your kid is in the show.

1 person found this review helpful

Funny and sweet

by Jodie Maruska on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Great way to kick off my fringe festival! Endearing and funny stories paired with charming ukelele playing vocalist. Recommended!

1 person found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Allison Broeren

Storyteller / Writer / Co-Producer

“Bombastic…totally kinetic.” – City Pages

“A verbal tornado.” – Womb With A View.

Allison Broeren is a storyteller and show producer. Allison is the Co-Owner of Strike Theater, brains behind ComCon and the Director of Word Sprout running the oldest and feistiest Poetry and Story Slams in the Twin Cities. She has performed on the Moth Mainstage, NPR, KFAI radio, the MN Book Awards, Tour de Fat, and coffee tables through the midwest, and has co-lead an MPR storytelling trip through Greece with Kevin Kling. Previous Fringe Shows include All the Things I Never Told My Mother, I’ll Marry You For Health Insurance and Pants on Fire.

Jason Schommer

Storyteller / Writer / Co-Producer

“You’ll love Jason. Jason is funny, clever, smart, and on his way to the big time!”. – Louie Anderson, Emmy Award Winning Entertainer.

“Fans of Kathy Griffin will find much to enjoy here, as the pair share the ability to make the audience feel as if they're sitting in on catty gossip over cocktails. “
-- Ross Raihala, Pioneer Press

Jason is a standup comedian and storyteller who spent two years as the opening act for comedy legend Louie Anderson in Las Vegas and continues to tour with Louie regularly. Jason ventured into the world of stand up comedy while working on The Rosie O’Donnell Show in New York City. The show’s writers thought he was funny, so they signed him up to perform at the New York Comedy Club. Since then he has performed all over the USA and beyond at clubs and theaters in New York City, Hollywood, Las Vegas, Chicago, New Orleans, Canada as well as Japan where he performed for the troops stationed in Okinawa! A natural storyteller, Jason has performed at The Moth, The Moth Grand Slam, StorySlam, and numerous other storytelling shows. Jason, named “What’s Hot For 2013” by Campus Activities Magazine, was a popular feature on K102 Country Music Morning Show with “From the Trailer” and KFAN radio as the gossip and entertainment reporter. He has also appeared numerous times on Cities97, KDWB, KQ92 and Mix94.9. Previous Fringe Festival productions include STARF*CKER, Wonderland, Beer Goggles: The Musical and Shameless. Jason also produced the long running comedy series “The Big Gay Comedy Show”, “Last Laugh” and “The LOL OMG Show!”. Jason recently appeared at Ignite Minneapolis with his love letter to Madonna and released his first live comedy album “Confessions of a Local Celebrity”.

Katy Vernon


"One of the Twin Cities’ most beloved folky singer/songwriters.” Star Tribune. Chris Riemenschneider.

Ukulele songbird Katy Vernon, singer of sad songs on a happy instrument, was born and raised in London, UK, but in the past dozen or so years has established herself as one of the busiest musicians in town. Whether it's appearing with Garrison Keillor, the James Sewell Ballet, or her annual Uke Fest benefit, Katy has used her love of singing and playing ukulele, to make musical connections far and wide. This summer she will be appearing with her full band at the State Fair as well as several other big shows. She recently returned from a six week tour of the UK.


Wendy Maybury

Promo Image Photographer

Wendy Maybury’s report cards always said, “Wendy shares too much with her neighbors and disrupts the class." What they should have said was, “Wendy would be an awesome comedian!" Wendy loves to make people laugh by entertaining them with stories about her crazy Southern family and more recently, new motherhood. She placed in the Funniest Person with a Day Job contest in 2011. She was voted by her peers as "Favorite New Comic & Favorite Female Comic". Wendy has quickly become one of the most requested performers in the Midwest. Whether she's in a dive bar, or opening for Louie Anderson for several thousand people at the Minneapolis convention center, Wendy Maybury is a comedic force to be reckoned with. Wendy is a comedy superstar in the making, so catch her while she's still humble and gives hugs after the show.

NOTE: Wendy is also an incredibly talented photographer and shot our promo image. Check her out online…she’s hilarious as well (even though she’s not in this show). - Jason

More information

Powerhouse performers Jason Schommer (STARF*CKER, Wonderland and Beer Goggles: The Musical) and Allison Broeren (All the Things I Never Told My Mother, I’ll Marry You For Health Insurance and Pants on Fire) have joined forces for what is sure to be a unique and unforgettable do-not-miss show. Digging deep into their lifetime of unexpectedly crazy moments, they’re hitting the stage in a show that is alternately hilarious and poignant.  Joining them onstage is musician and rising star Katy Vernon.  

City Pages says Allison is “Bombastic…totally kinetic”. 

Comedy Icon Louie Anderson raves “Jason is funny, clever, smart, and on his way to the big time!”. 

Star Tribune praises Katy as "One of the Twin Cities’ most beloved folky singer/songwriters.”.

Westside VW