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.




The Life of Charles Schulz

By History Comes To Life
Created by Brad Erickson
Playing at Phoenix Theater

Brad Erickson portrays Charles Schulz sharing his life's stories, friends, and a special dog that inspired the characters of Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and Snoopy. Patrick Thomas O'Brien hosts and narrates.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 7-11 and up


Sat, 8/6 @ 4:00pm


Sun, 8/7 @ 1:00pm


Tue, 8/9 @ 5:30pm


Sat, 8/13 @ 2:30pm


Sun, 8/14 @ 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

The Football Gets Kicked!

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

I have seen 49 Fringe shows this year and this is the only one that I wish had been longer. This is definitely among my top five, and the fact that I can't offhand remember the other four tells you that it was also the most memorable. A brief biography of Charles Shultz, including where he drew his inspirations from. A most engaging performance.

So sweet!

by Ben Thietje on August 10, 2016
This user has reviewed 9 shows

This show is so interesting. And Brad can really draw! I loved it.

Nice story

by Mark Webb on August 10, 2016
This user has reviewed 55 shows

Pacing was a bit slow, but I did really enjoy it. It's a great topic of local interest, with lots of interesting facts.

delightful, informative and entertaining

by Lisa Lamb on August 9, 2016
This user has reviewed 9 shows

So well done!!! We loved it!! Captivating, uplifting, interesting!

That Extra "Something."

by Larry Ripp on August 9, 2016
This user has reviewed 13 shows

Sometimes you hit upon JUST the right combination of Actor and Material and magic happens. Sitting in the audience today I knew I was witnessing something very special. Something that was hitting me again and again right in the heart. HERE is that kind of show. It can only BE magic when you don't have to know anything about Charles Schultz or care that much about The Peanuts Comic Strip but still be drawn in ( and I DO mean drawn...) by what's happening on that stage. Seamless performance from Brad Erickson, a Fully Committed actor, brings heartfelt entertainment to the next level. And Patrick O'Brien adds just the right touch of clarity and precision to the role of "Narrator." Do Not Miss.

A Wonderful Show!

by Rebecca Bright on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 6 shows

Learn about the life of Charles Schultz while being completely entertained. Brad Erickson knocked it out of the park and was ridiculously charming! A must see!

One-Man Show

by Peter Bartholome on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 2 shows

I really enjoyed Brad's portrayal of Charles Schulz. I think he captured Schulz's shyness and charm, his dry wit and his passion. But I think this would be much better as a one-man show. No narrator, no audience participation. I found both those elements to be distracting, and they took focus away from Brad's humorous and touching portrayal of Schulz. Four stars as is. Five stars as one-man show. See it regardless.

I wanted more than an hour

by Taryn Verley on August 8, 2016
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Erickson was lovely as Charles Shulz. From his on-point St Paul/German accent to his eerily similar likeness to his talented drawings, Erickson's acting stole the show away from his (writing and directing) self. I understand the narrator was a vehicle to move the story along, but seriously. I could have listened to Erickson and watched him draw for hours without interruption.

you're a good man, Charlie Brown

by Lyle Larue on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 10 shows

I am a big Charlie Brown fan so I am thankful I found out about this show. I was beaming throughout most of it. I am already well-read about Mr. Schulz, so I will have to admit I learned some new things but not much. I have seen impersonations of other historical figures and this one is well-done much like the others are as he covered what was relevant about the man and the comic strip. It also helped that he could draw the characters really well! The bio for Mr. Erickson states that he brings other historical figures to life, and as a history major I sure would like to see more of his impersonations.

Take that Hal Holbrook

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

Our native cartooning son hailing a few hundred miles upriver from Mr Holbrook's inspiration receives an equally satisfying tribute. Thoroughly researched, you have the same sense of experiencing the person. Well done, sir.

Absolutely delightful!

by Rachel Petrie on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I'm pretty sure that I had a big dumb grin on my face for the entire duration of this show. It was just...so lovely. I really enjoyed learning about Charles Schultz and, specifically, his creation and discovery of the Peanuts. Being a creative person, myself, I found Schultz's story inspirational and was reminded of what a gift adversity can be and what wonderful opportunities rejection can lead to. Bradley is an amazing artist and I'm not just talking about his acting. See this show. You will be glad that you did.

2 people found this review helpful

Good grief....sparky

by Teresa Nelson on August 7, 2016
This user has reviewed 7 shows

I enjoyed this play, i also like history, the funnies, and good o'le Charlie brown. Education plus kids would like.


by Nathan Bergstedt on August 6, 2016
This user has reviewed 5 shows

A great story about an iconic person...or at least about a person behind an iconic comic.
At times touching, and even humorous, Erickson does a great job of bringing Schultz to life on the stage.

Cast and crew

Brad Erickson

Charles Schulz

Brad Erickson is a writer, director, and performer originally from Brooten, MN who majored in Theater and Art at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Relocating to Los Angeles, CA, Brad began working as a performer, artist, educator, and a tour guide for the world famous Universal Studios Hollywood. Since moving back to Minnesota, Brad has been involved with Trollwood Performing Arts in Fargo, ND, Theatre L'Homme Dieu outside Alexandria, MN, and numerous companies in the Twin Cities including the Minnesota Historical Society, Guthrie Theater, Saint Paul Saints, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Daleko Arts, Ferrari McSpeedy, Dana's Boys, and Mainly Me Productions. Brad currently manages History Comes To Life - a company dedicated to bringing historical role models like Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, and Laura Ingalls Wilder to life for young students in the metro area schools. Past credits for the MN Fringe Festival include Twisted, Hamluke, and Hour Town.

Patrick O'Brien


More information

Brad Erickson portrays Charles Schulz, the legendary creator of Peanuts, sharing his stories of family, friends, and a special dog that inspired his memorable characters. Great show for all ages that includes volunteers from the audience to help render the likes of Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and Snoopy. Patrick O'Brien appears as the host/interviewer.

History Comes To Life is a company dedicated to promoting character education through inspiring portrayals of men and women as role models from history for students from kindergarten through eighth grade.  Teachers and students have been delighted with the experience of meeting these famous people from history when they visited their schools and churches to share their remarkable stories and the events that shaped their lives.

"Our fifth grade students could not stop talking about how much they enjoyed the presentation. What wonderful memories you helped create!"                            -Fifth grade teacher, St. Ambrose, Woodbury, MN

"Very engaging and well presented.  Kids were interested and entertained.  Great question and answer session at the end."                                                      -First grade teacher, Sioux Trail Elementary, Burnsville, MN

"You brought in a ringer this year!"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       -Specialist teacher, Gleason Lake Elementary, Plymouth, MN


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