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.


 Something different 


The Not-So-Silent Planet: A Speculative Storytelling Show

By Word Sprout
Directed by phillip andrew bennett low
Playing at U of M Rarig Center Arena


Just so you know, this show contains Violence, Adult language, Sexual Content.

Ever imagined a world whose laws of physics differ from our own? Come listen to three regulars from the ONLY recurring open-mic dedicated to spec-fic tell you about places of which you've never dreamt.

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


Sat, 8/6 @ 2:30pm


Sun, 8/7 @ 7:00pm


Tue, 8/9 @ 5:30pm


Sat, 8/13 @ 7:00pm


Sun, 8/14 @ 1:00pm

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

Only Found One Story Interesting

by August Berkshire on August 14, 2016
This user has reviewed 42 shows

I like speculative fiction, but to the extent that it deviates from the plausible I like it less. I also like a good story. Using these measures, I would rate the three stories as 3, 2, 5.

Riveting tales and dangerous destination

by Captain Heck on August 12, 2016
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Three vastly different storytellers of three contrasting yet complimentary tales. Going to avoid spoilers here because I think these are all best going in fresh, to allow each performer to take you through their narrative one careful step at a time. The three of them are among the top storytellers at the regular monthly version of this always excellent show. Their Fringe edition is structured as to allow the each of them to tell their story or stories in three different pieces, each taking their turn on the stage with the help of some truly gifted and unique musical accompaniment which is not part of the regular monthly show. I also thought they took good advantage of the kind of rare stage setup, a bit of a Theater in the Round vibe.

Possible realities

by Judy O on August 12, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

I loved this show and how it helps you to see that there are many possibilities in this vast universe of ours.

I'm a fan!

by Eve Adam on August 10, 2016
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This was a interesting format to present three separate stories by three different authors.

The first was entertaining and definitely not how it is usually portrayed by standard literature. Good job for the switch up.

The second, a slow billed through three segments but gave a lot to think about even after the final spoken word.

The third kept me engaged in that I was wanting more information as to how it would resolve. ?????

I recommend this show.

Some Greatness...Some needs work

by Jim Louis on August 10, 2016
This user has reviewed 18 shows

I had trouble getting into a couple of the stories Tuesday night. There was one story that was stand out and I loved the ending. One I had difficulty following the connection between the three chapters. Inside each of these chapters the story was confusing for me to understand. I do not know if it was the delivery or the word choice that caused this difficulty. The other was rambling and seem to jump all over the place.

Great Stories

by Mary Johnston on August 10, 2016
This user has reviewed 23 shows

I love story time. Especially when the stories are well written and well performed. These 3 talented story tellers made me eager to hear more.

4.5 stars rounded up

by Windy Bowlsby on August 9, 2016
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I love audio books. I love science fiction and fantasy stories. I love really good storytellers. I love language.
I loved this show.
3 storytellers telling 3 different stories - staged in 3 different ways - in an ABC, ABC, ABC format which meant some fun cliffhanger moments as you waited for the same storyteller to re-emerge to continue the tale.
I loved Pat Harrigan's and Tim Wick's stories unstintingly. Fully realized characters, great language and writing. The third story about a rogue wander, well...wandered. And left me mostly confused. But the storyteller himself was very engaging to listen to.

Recommended for story-lovers

by Anne E Wallick-Bauhof on August 9, 2016
This user has reviewed 2 shows

If you, like me, enjoy sitting down and being told weirdly wonderful tales by story-tellers, I think you'll like this show. Interesting pieces from all performers, the music added some nice touches, and I particularly liked the way the each performer moved through the space (one in seemingly wild circles, one only turning counter-clockwise in place, and one in seemingly nothing but straight lines). Definitely enjoyed.

Great concept, disappointing execution

by Florence Brammer on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 42 shows

I was really looking forward to this and loved Tim Wick's piece. I
wished it were the whole show,
but it was only 1/3. Gary Simmie Hoover provided a strong performance of his piece, but I simply had no idea what Pat Harrigan's piece was about, although I was very attentive throughout its inengaging reading (and I have no problem with music stands). Wonderful sound and music that really enhanced the stories.

Speculative Storytelling

by Tom S. Tea on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This show features three local storytellers presenting speculative fiction stories. I found the performers engaging and their stories intriguing, though I had trouble hearing Gary's story at points. It's worth checking out if you're a fan of sci-fi and fantasy.

Disjointed, uneven

by Rick Treece on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 14 shows

What you get are three stories told serially and interspersed. Gary Simmie Hoover's rambling tale (the God from Dogma meets Hitchhiker's Guide) and Pat Harrigan's more satisfying fusion of themes from Death Becomes Her and Dracula would probably be better to read that to hear performed. Tim Wick's title piece by itself would rate 5 stars: straight-up science fiction enhanced by its performance.

1 person found this review helpful

You're Not Alone

by David Rust on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 8 shows

I'm biased. Speculative fiction has been my life since I first learned to read. This trio of tales by local writers was definitely in the grand tradition of short-story writing in the genre. You get a surreal example of "weird fiction", some great fantasy across the centuries, and a science fiction piece covering the long, long voyage to another star that gave me chills.

If you like story-telling events, don't miss this one.


Just ... don't.

I want to say more but, honestly, that would be spoilery.

Let's say that the tales involve God(s), the homeless, immortality, and perhaps the most important message the human race could ever receive.

1 person found this review helpful

Creative Writing

by Carrie Rainey on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This show features three dramatic stories performed by their writers. The stories are told in three segments, each segment ending on a different chapter of the story, with the final chapter as its conclusion. Each stories narrative creates a world for the characters to explore the realities of their fictional worlds. This is a thoughtful show with excellent writing. Each piece works to the strength of its performer, accompanied by subtle music to set the mood. I really enjoyed this show.

1 person found this review helpful

Fine Fringe

by Larry Ripp on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 13 shows

While I will admit the 3 stories presented were somewhat beyond me, this show creates a mood, atmosphere and never dumb's down even if there might be a dummy (me) in attendance. And the tellers were all first rate! The fellow who read his piece was flawless in his presentation. Reading material usually bothers me but not here. Not at all. And the musician was very, very fine with entirely appropriate sound and tonality throughout. So much thought and hard work was obviously put into this work and it's material! To say I was left behind here and there is NOT to fault the show. It's me. YOU should go...

Stories to Tell

by Emily Anderson on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 2 shows

I've seen this troupe before and the format was a little different, so I confess to being caught a little off guard. I didn't understand right away that the stories were being presented segmentally and not all at once.
The first and third performers had their pieces memorized and moved about the stage area in a way that fit with the story and encouraged engagement. The middle gentleman read from a podium (music stand). I'll give him credit for turning frequently to face all sides. I didn't understand his story at all until the last chapter.
I enjoyed Tim Wick's presentation the most, particularly as he interacted with a disembodied voice from offstage.

2 people found this review helpful

Wasn't for me

by Mike Sanders on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 2 shows

There are 3 different stories being told by 3 different storytellers. They each took turns presenting a section of their story, in 3 chapters. The 3rd performer had an interesting story, and engaging delivery, which kept my attention. The 2nd performer put me to sleep. I'm sure it's more my taste than his material, but still.

1 person found this review helpful

Imaginative content; needs shock of life

by Suzi Love on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 4 shows

The variety of possible realities featured in the three storytelling segments is stimulating, yet needs equal stimulation in performance. The tone and tempo hit a plateau through most of the monologuing. Though working in an alley setting is understandably difficult to play to, I would love to see more engaging use of space to connect with the audience. I enjoyed the first storyteller's commitment to his character!

1 person found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Allison Broeren


_DSC6421 Allison Broeren is the founder and head word grower at Word Sprout. She began her performance career in the realm of speech/forensics competing all the way through college, and then coaching at Benilde-St. Margaret's and Edina High school. In 2006 she took over Poetry SlamMN! and is a founding member of the Rockstar Storytellers. She is the founder of Word Ninjas Open Mic, Speak Easy Twin Cities, the co-founder of Encyclopedia Show Minneapolis, the founder of the Gauntlet and other series. Allison has performed for audiences big and small ranging from being on KFAI Radio, Minnesota Public Radio, The MN Book Awards, MN Fringe Festival, The Moth Tour de Fat Mainstage, NARAL fundraisers, political fundraisers, local block parties, and coffee tables all through the land.

Jonah the Destroyer


28709_423273864922_383904944922_5495211_7085581_n Jonah comes from the planet Testiclor on a mission to find the formula for simultaneously offending and entertaining the general populace.

Angela Fox


headshot-angela Angela Fox worked as a singer/actor/dancer/choreographer with such theater companies as The Jungle, Bloomington Civic Theater, and Theatre L'Homme Dieu and is a core member of Fearless Comedy Productions. She is a published composer and has composed music for various theater companies, including Hardcover Theater. For more information about Angela check out her website: angelafoxmusic.com

In the 2016 Minnesota Fringe, she is also appearing in (Dis)connect by Eclectic Otter productions.

Pat Harrigan


harrigan-square Pat Harrigan edits large academic anthologies about games and new media (Zones of Control, First Person, Second Person, Third Person) and occasionally writes fiction (Lost Clusters, Thin Times and Thin Places). He performs monthly at the Encyclopedia Show Minneapolis and also co-hosts the podcast Get Off My World, in which he expresses cranky opinions about Doctor Who.

In the 2016 Minnesota Fringe, he is also appearing in It Is So Ordered: The Supreme Court's Greatest Hits by The American Civic Forum.

Gary Simmie Hoover


gary-square Gary Simmie Hoover has been telling stories to himself and others since he was a child. Gary even has memories of telling stories before he was a child. Gary tells stories to as a way to soothe extreme suffering, to celebrate and create joy, and to simply say what he sees. What Gary sees involves a complete re-write of the Bible and all other myths, including physics. Gary finds that when he looks, listens, and loves deeply, absolutely nothing is what we think it is.

phillip andrew bennett low


_DSC6119 phillip andrew bennett low is a Chinese-American playwright and poet, storyteller and mime, theatre critic and libertarian activist. His solo performances have won acclaim from Minneapolis to Chicago, DC to LA -- even as far as Melbourne, Australia. He was the co-founder of the Rockstar Storytellers (a supergroup of bestselling Twin Cities spoken-word artists), founder and producer of the touring theatre troupe Maximum Verbosity, and currently hosts what he believes to be the country's only open-mic dedicated to speculative fiction, The Not-So-Silent Planet. He has published a book of political humor, Indecision Now! A Libertarian Rage.

In the 2016 Minnesota Fringe, he is also appearing in It Is So Ordered: The Supreme Court's Greatest Hits by The American Civic Forum, and Dis(connect) by Eclectic Otter Productions.

Tim Wick


_DSC6135 Tim is a writer, producer, comedian, musician, podcaster, and he also directs. At the Minnesota Fringe, he has written Top Gun: The Musical, The Sound of Footloose, Schrodinger's Apocalypse, and he co-wrote The Complete Works of William Shatner: Abridged. Outside of the Minnesota Fringe, Tim is the Artistic Director of Fearless Comedy Productions. You can find out more about what he does and what he thinks at petsnakereggie.com.

This year, he is appearing in (Dis)connect. He also wrote And To Think That I Saw It At 221B Baker's Street.

More information

“Stories of the sort I am describing…they cool us…hence the uneasiness which they arouse in those who, for whatever reason, wish to keep us wholly imprisoned in the immediate conflict. That perhaps is why people are so ready with the charge of ‘escape’. I never wholly understood it until my friend Professor Tolkien asked me the very simple question, “What class of Men would you expect to be most preoccupied with, and most hostile to, the idea of escape?’ and gave the obvious answer: jailers.”
-C.S. Lewis, On Stories

Praise for The Not-So-Silent Planet

"It shouldn’t be a surprise to you that ultra-hip MPLS + STPL has an open mic night dedicated to...sci-fi, fantasy, tales of the supernatural and such. It also shouldn’t be a surprise that the quality of the material is higher than an H.G. Wells zeppelin."
-Hitara, Secrets of the City

About the Show

Have you ever imagined a world whose laws of physics differ from our own? Come listen to three regulars from the country's ONLY recurring open-mic dedicated to speculative fiction tell you about places of which you've never dreamt. Featuring Fearless Comedy founder Tim Wick, local sci-fi author Pat Harrigan, and introducing Gary Simmie Hoover!

Eide Bailly