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.

Yep. That's right. Each year we select our lineup by placing numbered ping-pong balls into a bingo cage and pulling 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 and provides the support to make producing a show as easy as possible.

Anyone (yes, anyone) can apply to have a show in the festival. If you'd like to have a show in the 2017 festival, applications will go live in November here on our website.

Minnesota Fringe is one of many fringe festivals across the nation and around the world. Check the rest of 'em out here.

The mission of the Minnesota Fringe is to promote freedom and diversity of artistic expression by linking adventurous artists with adventurous audiences.



Shows start and end on time at the Fringe. With 880 performances of 169 shows in just 11 days, we're on a tight schedule. Shows 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 the weekends there are additional shows at 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm.

Late seating: There is NO LATE SEATING at Minnesota Fringe. Here's why. Beyond keeping the festival running on schedule, our primary reason for no late seating is safety.

Safety for people on stage: 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 our patrons: Entering a darkened theater (and possibly the first time a patron has been in a particular space) and trying to find open seats is not only dangerous for the late patron but also for our volunteers and any seated patrons as well.

Fringe Central

Fringe Central, sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by Republic, 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 (or two) and talk. Talk about what you loved. Talk about what you didn’t. Meet the artists behind the shows and find out what you should see tomorrow. You never know what will happen at the Fringe, but dropping by Central gives you a serious head start.


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.


Choosing a Show

With 169 shows to choose from, it's scandalous to see just one. But how to choose your perfect lineup?

Search by genre: You can filter for genres when you're trying to decide what to see.

Talk to people: It only sounds scary. Just look for the folks in lanyards. Pro tip: Lanyards indicate Fringe artists - they'll be glad 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.

Get Involved

Fringe isn't just a festival - it's a community, and it couldn't exist without people like you.

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!

Be social: Join us any night of the festival at our official hangout, Fringe Central sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by Republic, for a beer, a burger and maybe even some late-night shenanigans.

Create your own show: Applications for the 2017 festival will go live mid-November on this website. The 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.

Box Office Info

Reservations are optional and may be bought in advance through the Fringe website. Advance sales stop at 1 pm on weekdays and 10 am on weekends. A reservation guarantees you a seat for the show. You must also be wearing a day pass wristband to get in. Day pass wristbands can be purchased at any Fringe venue 30 minutes prior to show time, as well as online with a reservation.

Purchases made in advance allow you to bypass the venue box office completely. Check in with a Fringe volunteer at the house door to pick up your reservation starting 30 minutes before show time. Once reservations are purchased, they are guaranteed and will NOT be resold.

Payment methods: Fringe accepts cash, all major credit cards and checks made out to "Minnesota Fringe Festival."

Kids at Fringe: There is a recommended minimum age for each (see individual show pages on our website). It is up to the parent/guardian to make the final decision; Fringe makes no guarantees about content.

Day pass wristbands: ALL patrons must have a wristband to see a show. Your wristband serves as your pass to any show in the festival on a given day. Wristbands are $16 on weekdays; $22 on weekends.

Wristbands for kids 12 and under will be available in the venues during the festival for $5 every day.

Late seating: Nope.

Refunds: Nuh uh.




Trump's America (It's Hell)

By F.E.A.R. Productions
Created by Elliot Stevenson
Playing at Mixed Blood Theatre


GLBT content, Sci-fi/Mystery/Horror, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, Includes artists of color


Just so you know, this show contains Violence, Loud noises/gunshots.

250 years after a complete global collapse, the unlikely combination of a tender young caregiver and his warrior companion go on a search through hell to find the man he loves before it's too late.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Fri, 8/5 @ 10:00pm


Sat, 8/6 @ 4:00pm


Mon, 8/8 @ 5:30pm


Thu, 8/11 @ 8:30pm


Sun, 8/14 @ 2:30pm

Ticket Options

Your wristband serves as your pass to any show in the festival on a given day. Wristbands are $16 on weekdays; $22 on weekends. Optional reservations to guarantee a seat for any performance are available by clicking the "reserve" button above. Wristbands can be purchased in advance with reservations or at any venue box office during the festival.

Wristbands for kids 12 and under will be available in the venues during the festival for $5 every day.

You don't have to buy a 2016 Fringe button, but you might just want to. It identifies you as a part of our incredible Fringe community and gets you great deals at these local bars and restaurants. Get yours at any Fringe preview event or Fringe venue during the festival.

Read the reviews

Entertains, but little wit or substance.

by Thorin Tatge on August 14, 2016
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I feel like post-apocalyptic stories are an especially ripe kind of story for delivering a message about culture and/or humanity. They're an inherently charged subgenre. This show disappointed in that regard, as in a few others. It was utterly obvious from the get-go that our heroes were the good guys and the people they were fighting were the bad guys, with no attempt made to justify the badness of the new order. Using Trump's name to explain it all is kind of the only joke in this thriller, since the play has nothing to do with him, really. I wasn't fond of some of the actors, especially the role of Maya. But somehow, ultimately, I was entertained, and that counts for a fair bit. I didn't quite consider this show a waste of time.

It's (truly) hell

by Colleen Scallen on August 12, 2016
This user has reviewed 2 shows

With such a title, one should expect a riveting story. However, the show was more comprable to Trump's actual politics (aka confusing, shocking, and just pitiful). I hope these actors can be seen in other works so this theatrical taboo doesn't characterize their careers.

I actually liked it

by Justin Betancourt on August 12, 2016
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Now I've seen a lot of reviews for this show and they're not great. I will agree that the script is clunky but it's fixable in my opinion. I will agree however the political undertone of this play isn't a good fit. Now on to the good. I thought the acting was really solid and some of the characters were really fun to watch. I also felt the design was really good the ominous lighting and dark scene change music were really cool and served the show really well. Overall this show isn't great yet but it's better than the reviews it's received and with some work and edits it could be really solid.

Good Debut Show. Potential for More...

by Blake Wanger on August 9, 2016
This user has reviewed 12 shows

I enjoyed this show. I liked the minimalist scenic design, and thought the cast acted their parts very well. The action sequences were fun. I would let the fact that this is Trump's America be a surprise twist though. I wish there been more time to give to character development. It's hard for the audience to engage with and care about the characters if they don't have backstories. In particular, I wanted to know more about the two main antagonists. The compelling story and interesting characters sometimes got obscured by the political commentary. With more focus on the exploring the characters and their stories in depth, and the commentary present but more as an underpinning, I think this show could have potential for future runs.

B+ for Bravely Trying

by Christian Korab on August 9, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

This is not great theater, but it is excellent case study for anyone critically interested in the daunting challenges of minimalism. The failures suffer something like "I'm sorry I did not have the time to write you a short letter". The visually, sculpturally sparse stage design works consonantly with the Everyman morality allegory. I applaud the guts that this first time writer/director puts on vulnerable display in aspiring to minimalism and plain spoken honesty. I appreciate the attempt at giving blunt, accusing voice to progressive ideals. Stating the obvious about what's wrong with our world is something us progressives don't do enough of, so good for trying, even if clumsy.

1 person found this review helpful


by Bea Fraser on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

The characters were totally unbelievable. The actors did the best with what they could, but I can't figure out how they got anything at all with the script. The plot went in a million directions, and the dialogue was abhorrent. The character development was nonexistent, and led to characters that made no sense at all. Clearly some better research needed to be done during the writing process. Cool minimal sets.

1 person found this review helpful

Terrible script, good acting

by Oliver Flume on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 3 shows

The acting in this show was the saving grace for a script so bad it seemed like a joke at times. It was an unoriginal idea and a tired premise (how many shows in fringe this year center around Trump...?). The bright spot was star Denzel Belin who did what he could with bad writing.

Fun, with room to grow

by Brent Suski on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

A strong concept that didn't quite come together. At times we could see that the show wanted to be full of drama, intrigue, and horror, but the concept of a Trump-induced dystopian-future was ripe for comedy. The moments of comic relief that could be found in the show were rich and resulted in a fun experience. The performances were solid, the fight scenes were unexpected but wonderful, and the backdrops were beautifully designed. As a non-actor myself, I applaud the actors and everyone who worked on this show to put together something that sticks with you and leaves you thinking. While there is room for growth, this show was a fun experience if you don't take yourself too seriously. Cheers.

1 person found this review helpful

Sad for the actors

by Joanna Groebel on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I could tell that the actors were skilled but they had very little to work with in this incoherent show. Cool backdrops but didn't always understand why they were being changed (except for the splattered one lol)

1 person found this review helpful

Strong Performances Save a Clunky Script

by Mike Dunkirk on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Admittedly the show was flawed, but there were some bright spots in the performances and some of the humor was much needed. A little heavy-handed at times, but overall the acting was enjoyable and worked really well when it was clear the cast was having fun.

1 person found this review helpful

A little too on the nose

by Kippler Donovan on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 17 shows

Sure, this show wasn't the best, but at least it was thoroughly rehearsed, executed, and acted. Some of the acting was quite good too! It's not without its bright spots.

That being said, yes, it could be way better. Worth considering when revising this show would be to not call it "Trump's America"; that just seems too on the nose. Maybe have it as a reveal later as a plot point? Also, the dialogue could have been rewritten to not illicit eye rolls. Lastly, don't play it SO SERIOUS. This show is absurd in premise, play it that way.

You have better shows ahead of you, but live and bask in this one now to the fullest.

2 people found this review helpful

Nice Try

by Jeff Cawhorn on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 7 shows

I wanted to like this show but unfortunately can't recommend it. They had some good ideas but they are not able to carry them out. The acting is just not there and the dialog leaves a lot to be desired. I hope they keep at it and learn from their mistaked.

Don't waste your time.

by Greg Sautter on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 6 shows

The acting was wooden and the script provided nothing to work with. I wanted to escape after only five minutes. Unfortunately I stayed. It never got any better.

5 people found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Denzel Belin


Denzel Belin is excited to play the part of Daniel in this play. When Denzel is not working on memorizing his lines, he is probably working on another production or performance. After graduating from St. Olaf College with a dual degree in Theater and American Studies with a focus in Media Studies and earning distinction in Theater, he moved to Minneapolis and has loved every moment since. He has performed with Gadfly Theater and finished the run of The Working Dead at The Brave New Workshop as the understudy to Kory LaQuess Pullam. He has performed with HUGE Theater as a part of its Throwback series and subsequent Throwgram program and is a member of Bowl of Chili and Lavender Panic! Currently he is performing on Wednesdays in June and July with The Sultans of Silly at HUGE Theater and on Fridays in July and August with the Throwgram program (also at HUGE).

Gabby VandenAvond


Gabby VandenAvond is an actor and improviser in the Twin Cities. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2016 with a double degree in Theatre Arts and English, and a minor in Spanish after studying and living in Glasgow, Scotland for her final semester. She currently works at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre and for the Brave New Workshop's Creative Outreach division, and she models through Ignite Models in Minneapolis, but most enjoys writing and performing sketch comedy and performing improv. In her spare time, she likes to read, explore, write sketches, cross stitch, and watch The Office, and hopes to one day be a comedy show writer.

Katherine Hon


This production marks Katherine’s second Fringe Festival appearance, having performed last year in Tony ‘N Cleo’s Wedding. A native of South Carolina, she graduated from Winthrop University where she participated in several student productions, community plays, and films. Most recently, she appeared as Elaine in Theatre 301’s production of Arsenic and Old Lace, and also performs improv around Minneapolis. When not on stage, she enjoys photography, boiled peanuts, and spending time with her friends and her cat Dolce.

Steven Fay


Steven graduated from the U of M with a major in Cinema Studies and has been actively involved in improv comedy and sketch comedy for most of his life. He co-founded the MinnProv improv comedy troupe while at the U of M and also did improv with the Titanic Comedy Players and ComedySportz. He is also active in the Minneapolis stand-up comedy scene.

Nathan Rouse


Nathan Kelly Rouse is an improviser/actor/sketch writer/badger wrangler. A South Carolina native, he moved to Minnesota to follow his passion of the arts. When he's not writing or performing, Nathan loves reading, movies, and consuming dangerous levels of coffee. This is his second year of Fringe and he couldn't be more excited to be working with such a great cast in such a great show.

Dylan Olmsted


Dylan Olmsted is very pleased to be making his Fringe Festival debut as the Commissioner in "Trump’s America.” He moved to the cities after earning a BA in Theatre from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2013. Since then, credits include Arthur the Sasquatch in "Sasquatched the Musical," Max Bialystock in "The Producers," QachIt in "A Klingon Christmas Carol," Eddie and Dr. Scott in "The Rocky Horror Show," as well as some ongoing work with "The Dinner Detective" and "ProCrisis." When not acting, he works as a loader at UPS.

Adam Levonian

Stage Manager

Adam Levonian is proud to work with this incredible bunch of actors. He only blames them slightly for how nervous fight call makes him feel. In terms of stage management, recently he's worked as ASM with New Epic Theater (Coriolanus, The Normal Heart). He has interned with The Playwrights' Center and Penumbra Theatre and also works as a dramaturg: with Theatre in the Round (A Thousand Clowns), for Random Walk Theatre Co. (Ferguson, USA, a part of Minnesota Fringe 2015), and at St. Olaf College (The Skin of Our Teeth). Adam graduated from St. Olaf College in 2014 with a B.A. in Theater.

MJ Marsh

Fight Choreographer

MJ Marsh is an actor and improviser in the Twin Cities. He performs regularly with Bearded Men Improv at HUGE Theater. He hopes you enjoy the cultivated chaos!

Elliot Stevenson


Elliot Stevenson has been writing, performing and producing comedy since he left behind his illustrious career as an intern architect and is very thankful that designing set pieces doesn’t require a code review. Elliot has trained at the Second City Training Center in Chicago as well as at the Brave New Workshop Student Union in Minneapolis. He can be found most weekend nights at Huge Theater either performing improv or watching the other amazing improvisers in the city continually improve the quality of the art form. When not there you can find Elliot at home catching up on Netflix and deciding which combination of red shoes and plaid shirt looks best.

Two Bettys
Peace Coffee