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 


Full Heart Living LIVE! The Boot Camp Experience

By Cosmos Theater
Created by Tom Glaser and Nicole Marie Wilder
Playing at Bryant-Lake Bowl


Storytelling/Spoken word, Literary adaptation, Includes artists of color

Everything you need to know about happiness. Through movement and spoken word, this entertaining, unpredictable, moving, and instructive romp explores the virtues and pitfalls of living with your whole heart.

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


Sat, 8/6 @ 5:30pm
Sold Out


Sun, 8/7 @ 8:30pm


Tue, 8/9 @ 10:00pm


Fri, 8/12 @ 5:30pm


Sat, 8/13 @ 8:30pm

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

Infomercial feel

by Paul W. on August 21, 2016
This user has reviewed 22 shows

No new info. or any experiences shared that stuck with me or moved me.

Insightful after the sales pitch

by James Zappa on August 12, 2016
This user has reviewed 8 shows

The opening moments of the show were spent explaining the book on which the play is based. As background info it was great. Having an actress carry a copy of the book through the intro made it feel like this show was going to be a commercial.

Once the show got underway, the heart of the play came out. The cast did wonderful job imposing the lessons. The creative and personal touches were insightful. And having the actors share personal stories of what it meant for them to be happy made the whole experience very intimate. The show ended talking about the book again, but this time felt less like a pitch; instead an expansion of what you saw.

Go in ready to do some thinking about yourself. Go in with an open mind.

Full Heart Living Live

by Minda Rosen on August 11, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

I thought this a sweet, carefree, fun loving show! It is a show that you can be so engaged in, that the hour fly's by and leaves you wanting to actually read the book. With so much negatively in the world and news at times, its very refreshing to focus on being positive, happy, and to remember what we are grateful for in life.

Evangelical infomercial

by Rach Towner on August 9, 2016
This user has reviewed 14 shows

An ad for a book. On stage. I'd have been less disappointed if there had been a nugget of something we didn't already know and if it hadn't been presented like a Sunday School sermon. This made me extremely uncomfortable. By all means mention the book. At the end. But spending ten minutes at the start mentioning the book, repeatedly? No. And there wasn't anything in the show that you haven't already seen on a thousand facebook memes. This show did not make me happy. I left needing anger therapy for a wasted hour.

1 person found this review helpful

Happy Show

by John Lombardi on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 9 shows

I enjoyed listening to idea to live a happier life. Enjoyed the audience participation and interactions. Well Done!!

How to be Happier

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

The show consisted mostly of tips on how to become a happier person. The advice remained rather broad and they are not likely to be anything you've never heard before, but they are heartfelt and delivered by an high-energy cast that is often in motion and always unafraid of speaking directly to the audience in earnest. Includes voluntary audience participation. The introduction to the show and the closing remarks were delivered by the author of the book the show was based on, who spent a large chunk of time talking about the book and referred to a typed sheet of paper when talking, which I thought was the weakest aspect of the show.

Enjoyable and engaging

by Mat Wilder on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not exactly a "happy person" (or even someone who believes that hapiness is achievable for most humans), but I was engaged by this piece nonetheless.

A highly talented and charismatic cast, under exceptional movement direction, are the stand-out elements for this Fringe show.

Come on, get happy!

by Catherine Oskow on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

This performance put me in a happy mood. "Full Heart Living Live!" wasn't exactly a play; more of a motivational experience which included storytelling and movement, with some low-key voluntary audience participation. Some excellent life tips. Now I want to read the book!

Unique Experience

by Claire Avitabile on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 14 shows

This was definitely a unique experience, and unlike any Fringe show I've ever seen. I wouldn't even call it a "show", really, but that's not a bad thing. This experience combined storytelling, motivational speaking, engaging movement, and voluntary audience participation, all with the goal of sharing some simple but powerful ways to accept and practice happy living. Even though I sometimes reject the "woo", I was surprised by how much I appreciated the meditation part of the show - thank you for that! If you're expecting a play or typical Fringe "performance", let that go. If you're into trying something new, check out Full Heart Living Live, and reserve ahead, because the first performance sold out in advance!


by Justin Vudy on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

It worked: I walked out happier then when I entered. The individual stories where the most powerful part of the show for me, much less-so theworkshopy

1 person found this review helpful

Loved it!

by Nathan Horek on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

I walked away feeling happier than when I walked in and the cast and producer made health and happiness relatable and practical with humor and humanity. It was definitely an experience. And one that will stick with me. I want to go again.

2 people found this review helpful

Definitely a happiness boot camp

by Michael Mellas on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 12 shows

If you're expecting a show with characters you're drawn to and a plot to follow, you'll probably leave disappointed. The performance works through tendencies of happy people based on research by a psychologist and life coach. Throughout, the audience is encouraged to think and write about their own life and experiences (which works with BLB's tables...I wonder how this would've played at other fringe venues). If you come open to listening and willing to reflect, you'll leave with with small tips to actively pursue happiness.

2 people found this review helpful

Engaging performance/happiness workshop

by Stacy Thieszen on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 13 shows

What does it mean to live with a full heart? Is there a secret to happiness that you can learn? Through movement and stories and instructions and even some (non-threatening and voluntary) audience participation, this performance teaches practices we can adopt to live life more fully engaged. I enjoyed the energy and enthusiasm of the performers and left motivated to practice some of what I'd learned.

2 people found this review helpful

Full of happiness

by Cathy Venette on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 2 shows

A talented cast entertains and teaches in an innovative theatrical production based on a book written by Tom Glaser. Well worth your time, this show will brighten your spirits and leave you with a lot of food for thought about what happiness means and how we achieve it. I'm going to be making some different choices in my life after seeing this show.

2 people found this review helpful

See this to open your eyes to happiness

by Sherry Cooper on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

Loved the experiential part of this show. I got to practice mindfulness, meditation and thinking about what makes me happy. Now I will take the challenge to live MY meaningful happy life home with me. Thanks much for opening my eyes.

3 people found this review helpful

This show is a fantastic experience!!

by J.T Toot on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

I laughed, I learned, and the time flew by! Don't miss this one... I just started the book and love it too.

3 people found this review helpful

See this show, you'll leave happy

by Harvey Zuckman on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 3 shows

In less than an hour, you'll get lots of tips on living a happy life and be thoroughly entertained in the process!
A strong cast guides you through the basic principles of living a happy life in an engaging performance that is sure to lift your spirits.

3 people found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Lynn Maiers Paulson


Lynn Maiers Paulson is a singer, actor, choral director/voice educator, and as is said, "With age comes experience"! As a teacher, she recalls that getting 20 kindergartners into a circle is an exercise in futility. She enjoys the outdoors, gardening, swimming, Zumba--anything to keep mind and body in motion.

Mykel Pennington


Mykel Pennington believes in creating Happiness. She loves acting, running, yoga, and building intentional communities. Surrounding herself with unconditional love is her favorite thing.

Patricia Reeves


Patricia Reeves, a Minnesota native, began her acting career in the Apple Valley theatre program. Since then, she appeared in multiple performances, both in school and after. This is her second Fringe show. When she’s not on stage, Patricia prefers to spend her time laughing, singing, and writing both short stories and music.

Erica Szaflarski


Erica Szaflarski has been performing for eight years in theater and show choir. She loves long walks through the forest and snuggling with cats. She teaches preschool during the day. Because she is short and a picky eater, she fits right in.

G Zachariah “Zach” White


G Zachariah “Zach” White, MFA, PsyD, LP is a well-educated fool. Owner of Sex from the Center, Zach provides psychological and sexual health services to people across the sexual orientation and gender identity spectra. As an actor, Zach focuses energy on productions that address social issues and problematic privilege.

Caitlin Miller

Stage Manager

Caitlin Miller has worked at many theatres around the Twin Cities area and in London. Some of them include: Rosemary Branch Theatre (UK), The Ordway Center for Performing Arts and Children’s Theatre Company. She has just returned to Minnesota after the Broadway Stage Management Symposium in NYC. Caitlin will be a junior at the College of St. Benedict this fall. She is so excited to be returning to the Fringe!

Dustin West


Victoria Tanley

Video Editor

Victoria Tanely is a senior in the Filmmaking program at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She has been exploring editing for about 10 years. She enjoys film, music, sketching, and playing softball; experiencing different things is always a new way to understand things from a different point of view.

Mame Pelletier

Improv Maven

Mame Pelletier is an actor/writer/improviser/facilitator who educated and entertained the cast with her Improvisational Skillz. You should hire her for any and/or all of the above.

Cat Hammond


Cat Hammond is a Minneapolis-based writer, performer, and musician whose work has been featured most recently in The Naked I: Self Defined. They attended many of our initial workshops, helping craft the ideas and experiences that became our script.

Jo Lum


Jo Lum is a native New Yorker dedicated to theatre for social change. They serve as Vice Chair of the board for 20% Theatre Company. For fun, Jo co-hosts Queering Little Women, a podcast about Jo March, a transman trying to make it as a writer in Concord, Massachusetts in the 1860s. They live in Minneapolis with a well-traveled adventure cat, Hatten, and beloved dog side-kick, Mitty.

Carrie Stratton


Carrie Hart Stratton is a playwright, writer and producer. This is her first stint producing at the Minnesota Fringe and she's absolutely delighted to be a part of the Festival. Carrie is based in South Florida and New York City. Her play Push Down Gently and Turn is currently in development and scheduled for Off-Broadway production in NYC this Fall.

Daniel Mauleon

Social Media Maverick and Prince of Print

Lin Mathison

Costume Queen, Properties Princess, and Set Seductress

Lin has designed costumes, props, and sets for theatre across the Twin Cities for many years. She is happy to be involved with another Fringe Festival performance and can't get theatre of of her blood!

Nicole Wilder

Director and Show Creator

Nicole Wilder graduated with an M.A. in Directing and a certificate in Women's Studies from Miami University in 2008. Since then, she's been making all kinds of art in Minneapolis, MN with both theatre companies (20% Theatre Company, Theater Unbound, and Freshwater, to name a few) and bands (Spencer McGillicutty, Fred Savage and the Unbeatables, and Daisy & Hubert). In addition to directing and performing, Nicole has developed and facilitated various self-exploration workshops aimed at reconnecting people with their most creative self. Also, she laughs a lot. And quite loudly.

Tom Glaser

Author and Show Creator

Tom Glaser is a psychologist, educator, actor, and author. The show is based upon his book, Full Heart Living: Conversations with the Happiest People I Know, (www fullheartliving.com). Soon after starting the book, Tom realized that it would make an amazing live theater performance. With that insight, the inspiration for "Full Heart Living LIVE!" was born. He could not have imagined how creating this show would generate such a sense of community with the cast, crew, donors, and you--our beloved audience.

More information

Do you want to be happier? Devised by the ensemble, this movement and spoken-word experience explores the essence of Tom Glaser's brand-new book, "Full Heart Living: Conversations with the Happiest People I Know." Discover how to live with your whole heart through this moving, exciting, entertaining, and instructive romp that takes you through the virtues and pitfalls of connecting with yourself and others, mindfulness, resilience, and much more. How do we fit all this in under 50 minutes? Boot Camp style, of course! You'll laugh. You'll learn. You won't break a sweat. 

Spirit Forward