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.





By SunsetGun Productions
Written by Candy Simmons & Chris Van Strander
Playing at Intermedia Arts


Just so you know, this show contains Adult language.

A midwife who would kill for a family. A homemaker in search of her true nature. A successful executive hanging by a thread. What do these three women have in common? Nothing...and everything.

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


Sat, 8/6 @ 5:30pm


Sun, 8/7 @ 7:00pm


Wed, 8/10 @ 5:30pm


Fri, 8/12 @ 4:00pm


Sat, 8/13 @ 7:00pm
Sold Out

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

If I could have given 6 stars...

by Bailey Hess on August 14, 2016
This user has reviewed 22 shows

This piece was absolutely fabulous. Dramatic monologues are my absolute favorite, and Candy was amazing at all of them. Three distinct characters with many layers each.
It was truly wonderful. If I could have walked right back in and seen it again, I would have.

1 person found this review helpful

Complex, troubling stories well done

by Suzanne Sharrock on August 14, 2016
This user has reviewed 56 shows

This is a great actress whose stories hold you in rapt attention. Complex and cultural and dark. All three stories were well done and the each character was so believable. I felt the title really only pertained to the first story, which I liked the best.

1 person found this review helpful

Great actress. I missed the transition

by Michael Gauer on August 14, 2016
This user has reviewed 8 shows

The first part about her many men was engaging but when it transitioned into the second part I think I was daydreaming and missed the transition to what the "afterlife" was... Where were we? Was this now before, after or during?

Well done!

by Ben Thietje on August 13, 2016
This user has reviewed 9 shows

An interesting show done by a very good performer.

I want more!

by Abby Carsten on August 13, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

This one woman performance was absolutely outstanding! The story lines were very engaging, especially the first one. This show was complex, but still emotional, and the cultural themes were created flawlessly. The only criticism I have is that I want more, I would love to see this as a full-length show as I felt the characters couldn't be done justice in only an hour.

A real piece of art

by Florence Brammer on August 13, 2016
This user has reviewed 42 shows

Incredible writing, knock-out performance, and careful attention to every detail in the production. Just gorgeous and moving and riveting. A do-not-miss.


by Rach Towner on August 12, 2016
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Candy holds the stage and the audience attention throughout this tale of three women. Her performance is entertaining and the script is so well crafted that the hour flies by. I could have watched an entire hour of each of the first two characters. Not only does it entertain, it also left me a little confused and curious - in a good way. There are several twists - the first hits hard and comes quite early in the show: a lightbulb moment that was unexpected and reveals an inevitably that I wanted to be able to stop - which left a sucker punch in my voyeuristic seat. Each of the characters provoked different emotions - which is rare for a fringe show - we tend to gravitate towards the comedy when there is so much more on offer.


by Linda Johnson on August 10, 2016
This user has reviewed 8 shows

Absolutely amazing talent. She puts on different persona like I would change shoes

1 person found this review helpful

These Lives

by August Berkshire on August 9, 2016
This user has reviewed 42 shows

Performance 5, first story 5, second story 4.5, third story 4. An acting and storytelling gem. Three stories with a tangential connection to an afterlife. In fact, it's really just three diverse and interesting tales told by an actress so good that she could probably hold your attention reading a telephone book.

1 person found this review helpful

Stop what you're doing and see this show

by Lillian Wenker on August 9, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

This show is the essence of why Fringe exists. It is a new, innovative piece of work that is definitely worth it's while. The show smoothly transitions between each of its parts, and it keeps the audience leaning forward. Another commendable trait of this show is its approach gender related issues. Instead of addressing them in a preachy, in your face manor, it takes a historical and fact based look at some of these issues, but subtly enough that the plot is still the star. Candy's performance is haunting and beautiful as she seamlessly transitions between characters. This show will linger in the audience's mind for days after the show.

1 person found this review helpful

Best Script

by Autumn Sisson on August 9, 2016
This user has reviewed 8 shows

Very well written, transitions between the 3 were flawless, and I was captured - I was there with her whether it was in the middle of the scene or described. Made me question the connections and the arc.

1 person found this review helpful

Quality acting, Memorable characters

by Susan Knutson on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I was impressed with Candy's ability to give voice to three such distinct characters. I felt sympathy with each one, even while recognizing their flaws. Staging was minimal but effective. The video backdrop provided some social context to help me draw my own conclusions about the pressures, desires, and decisions of each character. My heart and head were both engaged in this high-quality performance.

1 person found this review helpful

Three Vignettes

by Ben Harvey on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 32 shows

Three women from vastly different time periods who are struggling to fit into the rigid roles society has placed them in. Told in a mix of first person storytelling and scenes with other imagined characters. One vignette definitely stands out for its black humor, but the other two were still engaging. And the acting was a one woman tour-de-force.

1 person found this review helpful

powerhouse acting

by Nicole Wilder on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 15 shows

I loved these three very clear portraits painted by a phenomenal actor. I was totally invested in the lives of each of the three women portrayed. I was impressed at the speed with which the performer was able to orient me into each characters life. This is a credit to both the performance and the writing.

1 person found this review helpful

not my cup of tea

by Eric Cohen on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 8 shows

Undoubtedly a talented performer, both physically and verbally, but only one of the three stories really fascinated me.


by Will Weisert on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 12 shows

Three vignettes, three eras, three characters totally inhabiting the writer/performer. Don't look for any blips or hiccups - this one is as good a solo show as you'll find.

1 person found this review helpful

Sweet, Dark, Funny

by Rachel Flynn on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Candy does a wonderful job of creating three distinct characters with stories and perspectives that played with my expectations of who these women might be and where their stories were going. Great pacing and clean delivery, and nice use of photos during the transitions to place us in the world of the characters.

1 person found this review helpful

Clever piece, knock out performance!

by Elizabeth Powers on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 7 shows

I was completely blown away by this show! Extremely well written and executed with a knock out performance from the lead actress. It was clever, funny, tragic and had some really interesting and important things to say about being a woman and what happens when you are unable to fit into the rolls that have been laid out for you. I can not recommend this piece highly enough, hands down the best fringe show I've seen this year so far!

1 person found this review helpful


by Brooke Magid Hart on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 13 shows

I realized right before the show started that I had seen it before, and loved it, and I loved it all over again! Candy Simmons is fantastic! She "becomes" three characters in this one-woman performance, and the audience loses ourselves in each of them. Ms. Simmons uses her voice and her body language, her hands and her eyes to convey 3 personalities, in 3 different times, and we see the differences, and the thread that ties them all to each other. Wonderful script, so well acted. Go see it!

1 person found this review helpful


by Matt Pitts on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 24 shows

The stories in this show were hilarious and the character acting was super on point. I just wish there had been a real story for each woman. I feel like two of them didn't follow as much of a plot. Definitely worth seeing and the hour flew by.

1 person found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Candy Simmons

Performer / Co-Writer

"Candy Simmons is simply a great actor. Watching her work solo for 70 minutes is an acting class in a box."

Candy Simmons is a professional Twin Cities-based theater artist with a 18-year performance career. In addition to being an accomplished actress, she also holds a 8-year history of performing, producing and touring original works across North America. As lead performer and Artistic Director of Minneapolis-based theater company SunsetGun Productions she has toured and performed in her original works across North America to much praise from audience and critics alike. Her most recent solo work BLUEPRINT, premiered to Minneapolis audiences November 2015. Lauded for her emotionally evocative performances and strong character work, Candy seeks to create theatrical works that are highly tour-able, enabling work to move with ease into a variety of community settings. She believes people are funny, ridiculous and fascinating, and that everyone has a story to tell if given the opportunity. Outside of her work with SunsetGun Candy is an accomplished actress and has worked with a number of Minneapolis and New York City theater companies such as: The 92nd Street Y (NYC), Emerging Artists Theatre (NYC), Abingdon Theater Co. (NYC), Carolinian Shakes. Festival (NC), Red Eye Theater (MN), Alan Berks & Co. (MN), Gremlin Theatre (MN). Candy received her BA in Theatre from Florida State University.

Chris Van Strander


Chris Van Strander is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and performer, whose work’s been produced and developed internationally at over two dozen theaters and festivals. His honors include a Filmmakers International Screenwriting Award (for his screenplay 25), and a Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance Grant. This year, he is Artist in Residence at Wildacres Retreat (NC). Finalist/Semifinalist for The O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference, Page 73 Productions’ Playwriting Fellowship, The Playwrights’ Center’s PlayLabs, Ensemble Studio Theatre One Act Marathon, and an EST/Sloan Project Commission, among others. He’s published by Indie Theater Now. Recent: RETROSPECTIVE (workshop; SunsetGun Productions in Minneapolis), EDISON’S ELEPHANT (co-written with David Koteles; Metropolitan Playhouse), THE NATIONAL (Ensemble Free Theater Norway’s Belarusian Dream Theater Project); TRUE NAILS (Washington DC’s Source Festival). In addition, Chris’s work’s been produced and developed with: Circle East (formerly the Circle Repertory Lab), the NY International Fringe Festival, Bloomington Playwrights Project, Live Girls! Theater (Seattle), Theater Catalyst (Philadelphia), Asylum Theatre (Las Vegas), and the Canadian fringe circuit. Chris graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and studied with Maria Irene Fornes, Mac Wellman, and Jeffrey M. Jones in the Flea Theater’s ‘Pataphysics Workshops. He lives in New York City. www.chrisvanstrander.com

Virginia Scott


Virginia was named by clown master Christopher Bayes (Head of Physical Acting at Yale School of Drama) as the first faculty member of his Funny School of Good Acting and is certified to teach his clown technique. She has served as Bayes' assistant for eight years and is working on a book with him, which will detail his approach to clown. Along the way, she assisted Bayes in the creation and direction of Clowns presented at the Public Theater and Ruzzante at the NYU Graduate Acting Program. Virginia has taught Clown in New York at the Actor's Center, Marymount Manhattan College, the Michael Howard Studios, CAP 21, the Glass Contraption Clown Theatre Company, the Leviathan Lab and Christopher Bayes' Funny School of Good Acting. She also directed the NYC Clown Lab; the first training environment in New York designed to bring together clowns of different backgrounds for exchange, experimentation, material development and training. As a director and deviser, Virginia is known for her fast-paced, comic and visually exciting style. Her work has been seen in New York at UCB, The Irish Repertory Theatre, Ars Nova, 59E59, The Barrow Group Theatre, Chasama's Palace of Variety, The New York Fringe Festival, The PIT and the International Clown Festival; regionally at The US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, The Comedy Central Theatre in Los Angeles, and UCB LA in Los Angeles; and internationally at The Guilded Balloon in Edinburgh, The Centaur Theatre in Montreal, the Grahamstown International Festival in South Africa and festivals throughout Canada.

D.J. Mendel

Additional Direction

D.J. Mendel is an actor, director, and writer. He has worked extensively with Richard Foreman and Hal Hartley. He directed Cynthia Hopkins work, Accidental Nostalgia, Must Don't Whip Um, The Success of Failure, The Truth: A Tragedy and This Clement World. His work has been presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, St. Ann's Warehouse, Walker Art Center and throughout Europe. He also directs music videos for singer Rosanne Cash and designed projections for her last four concert tours, the most recent of which, The River and The Thread, was presented at Carnegie Hall in February. www.djmendel.net

Craig VanDerSchaegen

Stage Manager

In addition to moonlighting as a stage manager, Craig is a headshot photographer in Minneapolis. cvheadshots.com

More information


"If you want to see acting a high level, this performance by Candy Simmons is one to check out...Engaging storylines and a top notch performance."

"Funny, poignant, well-written, beautifully brought to life in a compelling performance."

"This solo show is macabre fun...Candy Simmons delights

A midwife who would kill for a family.
A homemaker in search of her true nature.
A successful executive hanging by a thread.
What do these three women have in common?
Nothing...and everything.

AfterLife is a mesmerizing one-woman play that explores women’s changing roles throughout the 20th century, told through a karmic lens. As the United States inches that much closer to our first female president, drop in on a significant day in the life of three different women in three very different eras of time. How far and how far haven't we come?  Ruth, a 1928 Appalachian midwife, would kill for a family.  Marion, a 1950’s homemaker, wants to discover her true yogic nature.  And Karma, a slowly unraveling film producer, would settle for a bit of sanity.  What do these three seemingly disconnected women have in common?  Nothing…and everything.

Acclaimed solo performer Candy Simmons was last seen at the Minnesota Fringe in 2013 in EXPIRATION DATE.  This year she returns to the play that introduced her to MN audiences. AfterLife was first presented at MN Fringe in 2009, and has been widely praised for its strong women’s themes, witty writing and dazzling performance by Candy. She has presented 5 original works since 2009 to Twin Cities audiences as Artistic Director of SunsetGun Productions. Seven years, several awards, and many critical raves later AfterLife returns with an updated script & projection design, offering audiences a chance to revisit or discover for the first time what City Pages called "chilling, a bit heartbreaking, a rarely less than fascinating".

Reviews & Awards for AfterLife:

"Simmons' performance is chilling, a bit heartbreaking, and rarely less than fascinating”

“Superbly performed...An absolute must-see show.”

"A darkly funny, gripping yarn tracing the evolution of women through the past century."

"One remains in awe of this finely cut, polished gem of a production"

"Clever, charming, sassy and smart"

"Superb solo performance"

** Ranked #1 Must See Show at Montreal Fringe – MONTREAL GAZETTE **


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