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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Bear Eats Bear

By The Last Grizzly
Written by Lydia Blaisdell

Playing at Kenwood Community Center

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Political content, Storytelling/Spoken word, Sci-fi/Mystery/Horror, Literary adaptation, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, National/international company, Includes artists of color, Site-specific

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Warnings: Adult language.

A retro-future audio adventure on a vintage cassette. Hike to discover and join the Rebels in a feral, apocalyptic American wilderness. When society burns, what narrative remnants remain?

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+

 

Thu, 8/3 @ 7:00pm
 

 

Fri, 8/4 @ 7:00pm
 

 

Sat, 8/5 @ 4:00pm
 

 

Sat, 8/5 @ 7:00pm
 

 

Tue, 8/8 @ 7:00pm
 

 

Thu, 8/10 @ 7:00pm
 

 

Fri, 8/11 @ 7:00pm
 

 

Sat, 8/12 @ 2:30pm
 

 

Sat, 8/12 @ 7:00pm
 

 

Sun, 8/13 @ 4:00pm
 

* 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

i guess i didn't get it

by sam gisselman on August 14, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I loved the feel of the walkman and the static sound of the recording. Had a great hour to myself walking the park and lake of the isles! But as far as something thought-provoking or moving, it didn't do much for me. Could have played up the post-apocalyptic feel? Given us directions throughout the tape to go to specific places or do specific things? Maybe had different versions that resulted in audience members meeting up with each other? I appreciate the bold new format, it was definitely different. And thanks for traveling all the way up from Texas to bring your art to us.


This is Fringe

by Penny Sterling on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This is a piece of art that will work for you only as much as you let it. It requires your imagination. The more you can imagine what the writer of the piece wants you to, the deeper you are immersed into it. There's no actors, no 'performance.' Only you, and the echoes of people who were doing their best to survive and make feeble attempts to hold on to bits of society in a post-apocolyptic world. I can't say that I 'liked' it, but I don't think that we are supposed to 'like' it. It will haunt you, and perhaps make you appreciate the world a little bit more, and maybe move you to awareness of how fragile it is. And isn't that what art should do?
Also: bring bug repellant, or you'll have more than emotional reminders of the event.


Engrossing and Unique

by Rachel Teagle on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

You're issued a cassette player and sent out into the park to find your own space to experience a post apocalyptic world. It's easy to lose yourself in the sounds and I enjoyed both recognizing familiar cultural artifacts and the glimpses of the decaying world of the play. It's absolutely worth the drive, and at a brisk 40 minutes, you have plenty of time to make it to your next show. As other reviewers have noted, if you come a little early, you can start your experience early too. Absolutely worth it; a little scary, a little funny, a little heartbreaking, and very very human.


Fresh air and fresh feelings

by Kelly Glader on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

This show as a part of the larger festival really gives it some power. Get out of those warm, stiff theatre seats and go walk (or in my case, lay) around the park for awhile. Think about stuff. Feel the breeze. It's a good use of your hour and you won't regret it.


Magical

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

I live near Kenwood Park and have been there many times, but never in as magical of a way as this. I admit, I resisted for the first ten minutes, or, so (it seemed kind of silly, at first), but when I decided, "ok, I'll play along" and relaxed, exhaled, and let the tape take over, I slowed down in a way I hadn't in days. The idea is so imaginative --- directors and other Fringe performers take note --- it could, if some others decide to experiment with this idea, or something equally interactive, make the Fringe an even more interesting event next year. One caveat: the more familiar you are with fairy tales and classic literature, the more enjoyable this is.


lot to chew on...hopefully not by bears

by Jeremy Motz on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 11 shows

this show was not what i was expecting when i walked up, not what i was expecting when i received "instructions", not what i was expecting in the first 10 minutes, not where i thought it was going in the next 20 minutes, ended somewhere i wasn't ready for, and has been chewing at me for the week since i've seen it. i was hot, sweaty, and cranky when i arrived, because i severely underestimated the walking distance to the venue, and crankier when i realized i'd have to walk some more for the show. but the day was so beautiful, the lake was so gorgeous, and the intentional lack of narrative brought me someplace i wasn't prepared for. how alone can you feel surrounded by people enjoying summer? me? VERY. i'd do it again if i had the time. wow!


Raise the bar a little.

by Crosby Reisch on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

There was good, there was bad, and the end result ends up feeling tepid and lukewarm.


Bears yeah BEARS OH MY!!!

by Cara Phipps on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This is a truly unique piece that will change the world around you as you experience it. You get to walk around the park or lay in the grass and contemplate contemporary culture as you take in this post-apocalyptic story about gender roles, survival, and longevity. The dynamic of the cassette tape on your hip or in your hand makes the world of the play tangible in a brilliant way. As I handed mine back at the end of it all, the sky seemed to have shifted in a wonderful way. If you're looking for something different and compelling this is the show for you!!


Well, At Least I Got Some Fresh Air

by Adam Boutz on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

I love performance art. I love all the weirdness that Fringe brings to the table in all it crazy forms. I did not love this. Did I wander away and miss something? I enjoyed my relaxing stroll through the park but I would have rather been listening to podcasts, music, or just peace and quiet. I could have done without the 40 minutes of cassette tape static punctuated by occasional non sequitur observations about pop culture and vague references to the apocalypse.
There's a decent chance that we, the audience, were the real pieces of performance art for the random other people enjoying a nice evening outdoors as we wandered around Kenwood Park like a horde of bored and confused zombies listening to our Walkmans.


See it! Experience it!

by Pawel Wroblewski on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

If you are looking for something different, I recommend seeing Bear Eats Bear. Like the other reviews, Bear Eats Bear is experienced alone, which is a nice change from all of the other fringe performances. The narrative guides your imagination and the environment creates a unique experience, but you are in control. I found the experience to work best when I found a secluded location in the park and laid down. See it! Experience it!

1 person found this review helpful


Unique. Eerie. Inspiring. Bleak.

by Seth Stattmiller on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

No matter how many people show up for Bear Eats Bear, you experience it alone. Combine this with a post-apocalyptic theme and you have a tone that envelopes you. Definitely recommend. Show up early and you can start early (oddly enough).

2 people found this review helpful


🐻

by Paris Kelvakis on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 19 shows

I've never experienced anything like this. Such an incredible journey.

1 person found this review helpful


A rare and fascinating experience

by Deborah Yarchun on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This is an experience of a play that (in the best of ways) demands your imagination. But if you’re game, Kenwood Park transforms into a post-apocalyptic world. And you can get lost in Lydia Blaisdell's unsettling audio-play and sent down a road of introspection. The location for this show is well chosen. I recommend meandering into the thickets.

3 people found this review helpful


All Alone

by Andre Johnson Jr. on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This was a very interesting experience and took me on a journey. I leaned into the being alone aspects hard which made the words from the walkman impact me even more.


Alone and Inspired.

by Nichole Hamilton on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

The concept and writing are clearly unique and special. What a treat to spend time alone in a beautiful space and contemplate the "what if" or eve "what will be" through reinvented storytelling. If you you open your imagination and senses to yourself and the space, very interesting happenings will happen. Do this.


Bear on a walk

by Jim Chase on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Creative. Loved the audience participation. A few laughs.


Walk in the park

by Eric Siegel on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

If you've ever been to an art museum you may have been offered a pre-recorded tape that will help explain the galleries as you wander about the halls, from one exhbit to the next.

This show is similar to that, except there are no exhibits and the only person in the room is you.

It is perhaps a disservice to simply state this production is a "unique experience" (which it is) but there's a real sense of isolation and meditative introspection that becomes naturally born from the form this show has chosen to take.

So if you're up for something that offers a bit of quiet from the noisy rows of an audience, this show is for you and is something wholly unlike anything else at the Fringe.

2 people found this review helpful


Compelling experience

by Hillary Olson on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 15 shows

This has to be the most unique show at Fringe this year. It was a refreshing change of pace and a 2017 must see!

1 person found this review helpful


Walking around in someone's headspace

by Angelo Kelvakis on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This was an entertaining experience where you can travel around a park and enjoy your last moments of civilization.

1 person found this review helpful


Alone in the Woods

by Matthew Vaky on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I can't describe this show: You really need to go and experience it. If you let yourself get into it as you walk all alone through a beautiful park, you will be scared, amused and it will send you deep inside yourself. Thats what happened to me anyway. I can't describe it, I experienced it.

4 people found this review helpful


Cast and crew

Lydia Blaisdell

Playwright


Katie Van Winkle

Director and Sound Designer


Elizabeth Richardson

Producer


Bart Pitchford

Sound Designer


Bruno-Pierre Houle

Visual artist


Adrienne Dawes

A voice


Alexis Scott

A voice


Barbara Chisholm Faires

A voice


Briana Rae Bower

A voice


Chris Humphrey

A voice


Christi Moore

A voice


Emily Socolov

A voice


Gabby Randle

A voice


Kaci Beeler

A voice


Katie Bender

A voice


Katie Dahm

A voice


Katie Van Winkle

A voice


Lana Dieterich

A voice


Martinique Duchene-Phillips

A voice


Rachel Gilbert

A voice


Rama Tchuente

A voice


Sarah Richardson

A voice


Taylor Flanagan

A voice


Tina Van Winkle

A voice

More information

Venture with us on an imaginative mapping of a decimated America where totalitarian mega-states rule (think getting lost in the woods of Atwood & Orwell). Audience members experience this meditation on the resilience of bodies & narrative while hiking alone, accompanied by voices recorded on the salvaged tech of the past. 


Bear Eats Bear takes place on a self-guided walk. The Last Grizzly recommends that you bring a bottle of water and wear good walking shoes. Audience members may choose to experience Bear Eats Bear from a stationary position.


Bear Eats Bear has toured to Brooklyn, Charlotte, and Toronto. This new experiment from our Austin-based collective makes up one third of Lydia Blaisdell’s fierce & feral Bear Trilogy. This trilogy, composed of The Last Great American Bear Hunt, Apocalypse Radio, and Bear Eats Bear, explores and dramatizes the continued acceptance of corporate and government surveillance in our lives. A crucial catalyst for these theatrical explorations is the fear that we’ve passed the point of being able to reverse the ecological damage we have wrought. As a writer, Lydia is attracted and inspired by the work of contemporary novelists in speculative fiction like Margaret Atwood’s MaddAdam trilogy and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. She is also fed by films like Brazil and Bladerunner.


In Bear Eats Bear, participants spend 45 minutes with an artifact from a past/future time as they walk alone through a natural world. What does it mean to experience theater alone? What does a park mean to us now? What will it mean to us in a few decades?


This piece is a hike, a collage, a satire, a desperate plea, and a memorial for the world’s transient and feral beauty.


 


The Last Grizzly creative team, Katie Van Winkle (director) and Lydia Blaisdell (playwright), have collaborated on daring theatrical projects since 2014 in Austin, TX. Our work together includes Old Broads, which delighted sold-out audiences at the Off Shoot; and the immersive radio piece Apocalypse Radio, a terrifying hit of the Cohen New Works Festival. See past production stills from these and other plays on Lydia’s website, here.


 

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