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.




It Came From UUFO

By OAFtrax
Created by Jeffery Goodson, Barry Shay, Patsy Puckett
Playing at U of M Rarig Center Xperimental

25 yrs ago, aliens abducted 5 West Winsomites. Will this year's UFO festival bring back the aliens and the missing townspeople? 4 actors play 20+ characters, populating the town and all its strange visitors.


Thu, 8/4 @ 10:00pm


Sun, 8/7 @ 1:00pm


Tue, 8/9 @ 7:00pm


Fri, 8/12 @ 8:30pm


Sat, 8/13 @ 4:00pm

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

Wild and silly romp!

by Karen Smudski on August 14, 2016
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I really liked the way these four actors were able, convincingly, to portray a wide variety of very different characters, in order to create the feeling of a crowd gathered for a re-enactment of a long-ago alien abduction. The story was a bit confusing at first, as things felt hectic at times, but I caught on gradually and enjoyed the full story. A good show that needed more than an hour to flesh out.

worst Fringe show we ever saw

by Austin Ladwig on August 13, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

we couldnt make it through the qhole show. we left slightly less than halway through and thay was way too long. not funny, just stupid. yuck.

A pretty good time.

by G Zachariah White on August 13, 2016
This user has reviewed 11 shows

A good helping of goofiness. Pretty tasty.

Lost In Space

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

This show had a great premise but I feel it was squandered for the sake of some silly chuckles. Yes, it had some funny moments, but for the most part it was too campy and incoherent for my taste.


by Liza Lawrence on August 13, 2016
This user has reviewed 1 show

Great energy, script writing, acting - funny, zany - highly recommend

Tried a little too hard - uneven

by Suzanne Sharrock on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 56 shows

For the first half or so of the show, I laughed a LOT - especially at the character playing the dog, etc., etc., etc. The multiple-characters-per-person worked very well. By the second half, though, it seemed to drag. Lines were mostly delivered at the same volume by all - also seemed like they were working too hard to a) get a laugh, and b) fill the second half-hour.


by Jim Johnson on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This show was fun. It's worth a look.

Fun Show

by Renate Behrendt on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Want a light fast-paced comedy? This show is for you.

Great Energy, Silly Fun

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

The performers have great energy (especially at a 10p show on opening night) and it is to their credit that I did, at one point, have to remind myself that there are only four actors on stage because they are each playing multiple roles with rapid and constant changes. There is a lot jammed into 60 minutes, much of which works, but some of which felt extraneous and made the plot a bit harder to follow -- but to be fair to the writers, that may have had to do with the fact that it was 10p and my brain was reaching capacity for the day.

How Many Characters?

by Denzel Belin on August 5, 2016
This user has reviewed 14 shows

To the cast of this show, bravo! This was a tour de force of characters and you can only be impressed by these four individuals for their ability to quickly morph from one to another. The variety of characters and the amount of time we got with each made them all memorable to discuss later, which is A HARD THING TO DO! The only thing that made this show not out of this world (see what I did there?) outstanding is there could have been more playfulness in the overall staging of the show. While the intimacy was wonderful, it left little physical space to play.

To end this...if you were thinking about seeing this show, go see it.

Out of this World Fun

by Blake Wanger on August 5, 2016
This user has reviewed 12 shows

It Came From UUFO is a wonderfully fun show. Each of the excellent cast members plays four or five different zany characters often rapidly switching between them. The pace is fast, there a lot of big laughs, a complex but engaging story, and there's even a couple of wonderful surprises at the end. Definitely worth seeing, especially if you go for zany humor and kooky characters.

Cast and crew

Erin Denman

Jamie Lynn Tufft, Balene Tunewright, Scooter Crasher, Bertold the Hermit, et al.

Erin Denman is the Artistic Director of Little Lifeboats and has been working as an actor in the Twin Cities theatre scene for the last ten years. You may have seen her with nimbus, Theatre Unbound, Theatre Coup d'etat, Gadfly, Freshwater, The Flowershop Project, Tedious Brief, Theatre in the Round and others. Erin has a BA in Theatre and English from the University of Minnesota-Morris. You can see her tackling the Bard this fall in the Little Lifeboats' event Trippingly on the Tongue and in Maggie's Farm Theatre's The Comedy of Errors.

Jeffery Goodson

Frank Lee Crasher, Trail Scout Bobbie, Agent D, Mayor Mattie Gate-Crasher, Cosmos, et al.

This show makes Jeff an eight time MN Fringe veteran, having appeared in "Shakespeare Ate My Brain". "Everywhere You Look", "Perhaps They're French", "The Actor's Nightmare", "Assassins". "Sad and High Kickin'" and "The Rambler Family Ramblers" over the years. He has also spent time on stage at the Brave New Workshop, the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, worked with Nimbus Theatre, Open Window, Joking Apart, Eye of the Storm, Table Salt and Lake Pepin Players here in MN as well as the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. Jeff has just released a new album of original music, "Of the Same Name" (check ITunes or Amazon) and has appeared in feature films "Haunt This", Vampires Horror" and the soon to be released "Shakespeare Ate My Brain" (based on the 2012 Fringe favorite). Steven, Patsy, Barry, Heidi, Jenna, Joe, Cynthia, Erin and Maggie, you make this show so much better than the simple idea we wrote down on that blank piece of paper... thank you!

Joe Hendren

Narlton Tunewright, Vince Mackerel, Saxon Andt, Hume Ador, Sunny Dey, et al.

Joe most recently appeared in Sense and Sensibility at Theatre in the Round and has worked in various capacities - including actor, director, playwright, and designer - for companies such as Minneapolis Musical Theatre, Open Window Theatre, Minnesota Opera, Girl Friday Productions, Walking Shadow, Hardcover Theatre, Lyric Arts, Lakeshore Players, and The Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company. His last MN Fringe Festival appearance was This is Where Your Free Time Goes to Die in 2011.

Cynthia Schreiner Smith

Nita Rae Barstoole, Destiny Carpenter, Agent A, Manny Manifesti, Raine Soke, et al.

Cynthia is thrilled to return to the scripted stage with this show after a 17 year hiatus to raise a family. Since 1998, Cynthia has performed historical character tours for the Wabasha Street Caves, most notably the St. Paul Gangster Tour as Barker Gang member Edna Murray the Kissing Bandit. She and her husband, Bick Smith are co-owners of CyBick Creative, a video production company best known for the historical film “Gangsterland.” Cynthia has recently appeared in several short films including Baking Bad, Snow Girl, Help Desk and several 48 hour films for Red23. Her biggest film role as an imaginary friend in Drop Dead Fred was awesome but landed on the cutting room floor. Cynthia and Bick also owned and operated the Grand Theatre in Stillwater where she performed, directed and wrote plays for four years. Cynthia’s previous stage experience includes shows in venues such as Theater in the Round, Lakeshore Players, Pillsbury House and a teeny tiny speaking part at the Guthrie theater. She also spent four years as drama director for New Richmond High School. Cynthia loves that this show draws on her strong improv background which includes, Mystery Cafe, ComedySportz, The HaHa Club Improv Troupe, and her own sketch comedy group known as Wild Rice.

Jenna Goodson

Stage Manager

Jenna is excited to be a part of FRINGE as stage manager of UUFO. She has been the stage manager for Steel Magnolias and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at South City Theatre. She has also been stage manager for Arsenic and Old Lace, Fools, and And Then There Were None, as well as the assistant stage manager for Music Man at Helena High School.

Patsy Puckett


Barry Shay


Maggie Scanlan

Character Consultant

Heidi Shay

She made our beautiful banner

Jean Jones

She helped make our lovely banner

More information

The creators of the 2012 MN Fringe favorite "Shakespeare Ate My Brain" return with a fast-paced and wacky sci-fi comedy companion piece. But instead of zombies, this time they target alien abduction incidents and small town UFO festivals.

The annual "West Winsom UUFO Xpo" is tomorrow, marking the 25th anniversary of when 5 local residents were taken aboard a spaceship for dinner and a probing (only 3 got back off). And everyone is preparing for the day in their own way, from the town officials, alien abduction survivors and festival beauty queen to the local UUFO TV news anchor, a third-string high school quarterback and a couple of very young Trail Scouts. For good measure, throw in some government agents, a cult leader, the hermit of the woods, 2 distressed high school teachers, an inter-destnational causeway artist, some student filmmakers. and a dog... all of them wondering: Is this the year the aliens come back with their two missing residents?

4 very talented and very busy local actors play 20+ characters to bring West Winsom and it's vistors to life. The show is being stage managed by the always organized and confident Jenna Goodson with creative character input from Maggie Scanlan.

So join us for the fun, the frenzy and the frivolity of this year's UUFO festival in "It Came From UUFO"

Here are a couple of promo videos for the show located on Youtube (copy and paste the url to check them out...



Seward Co-op
Seward Co-op