Something different

The Genealogy of Happenstance

By The Peanut Butter Factory
Created by Allegra J Lingo
U of M Rarig Center Arena

When two mommies want to have a child, things can feel a little unfair. One mommy will pass on her eyes, her hairline, and a whole genealogy of traits. The other mommy? She'll be connected only by happenstance.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16 and up.

 Friday, 8/1 @ 5:30 p.m.
 Sunday, 8/3 @ 8:30 p.m.
 Tuesday, 8/5 @ 7:00 p.m.
ASL interpreted
 Saturday, 8/9 @ 5:30 p.m.
 Sunday, 8/10 @ 2:30 p.m.
 Sunday, 8/10 @ 8:30 p.m.
Read the reviews

Solid Sincere Storytelling!

by Edwin Strout on August 11, 2014
This user has reviewed 23 shows

I have meant to see Allegra's Fringe shows for years now. And now I know what I have been missing.

Superb writing skills, as well as, performing skills. She engaged the audience from the first word (Okay, after she had a small mishap at the beginning of the show, which I later learned she threw out her back, YET she gave a superb performance!)

Kudos to her! This is a great show! Personal experience told in such a way that we can all relate to it.


by Brooke Hart on August 10, 2014
This user has reviewed 13 shows

I just saw the encore show, so probably no one is reading the reviews anymore, but I do want Allegra Lingo to know how touching her storytelling was. Humorous and sad, and so very human. Enjoy parenthood. It may be happenstance, but a child's happenstance is every bit as important as a child's genes. Sounds like your child will be in fair good hands.

Just Good

by J. Bach on August 10, 2014
This user has reviewed 8 shows

This was a very personal story and that was good, but it was not a particularly interesting story to me. My partner and I are queer women who had a child through artificial insemination, ourselves, so I thought I'd like this show more. Maybe I've just heard a lot of personal stories about this topic from my friends over the years, but this story didn't seem particularly novel to me.


by Scott Gilbert on August 10, 2014
This user has reviewed 48 shows

Solid show by a solid performer. While I have seen Allegra around during the past 5 years I have been seeing Fringe shows, I never experienced one of her performances. I am sorry now that I have missed others. This is a beautiful story told by a beautiful soul about everyday struggles. I would love to see this and "From Here to Maternity" double billed sometime.

Expert Storyteller

by David Rust on August 9, 2014
This user has reviewed 26 shows

Another first for me, I've finally seen a show by Allegra Lingo. I was told about this monologue presentation by several friends and re-worked my Fringe schedule to see it.

Boy, I'm glad I did!

This is an amazing dialogue following the sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, always fascinating path to raising a family that Allegra and her wife have been going through for the past year. Single-person dialogue shows can be very hit-or-miss since, if not prepared perfectly, can have every little flaw seem magnified by the lack of anyone else on stage. There were no such flaws in this production. None.

Plus, the story-telling was riveting. I'm a nail-chewer when I get engrossed and this production cost me several nails. Great show!

A very engaging hour

by Bruce Yoder on August 8, 2014
This user has reviewed 4 shows

A very good fringe. Sometimes heart-wrenching but lovely at the end.


by Mickey Foley on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 23 shows

Ms. Lingo is an experienced writer and performer, but I left the show mostly unaffected by the otherwise moving subject matter. Her performance was marked by an undercurrent of jitters that occasionally surfaced in fumbled lines. She's clearly a talented storyteller, but the show left me with little more than an appreciation for her ability.

3 people found this review helpful

We laughed. We cried. Dammit Allegra! <3

by Fringivitis Vulgaris on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 20 shows

True stories are the best stories. Epic everyday stories are Allegra Lingo's forte' and she has crafted her best show ever. Sure, it's about getting knocked up (or not) and about flying (or not) and about trying to be two moms together in a world that doesn't get it (or not). Just go see this show.

Allegra is a talented storyteller

by Jeanne Bartlett on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

Loved the content as well as the delivery!! Well done!

I Usually Hate One Person Shows

by Casey Muller on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I almost never enjoy just straight-up storytelling, but I thought Allegra Lingo did a fantastic job. Her performance was engaging, open, honest, and heart-felt. I left the show a little teary-eyed. Hat off to this show!

First Impression: Fantastic!

by Kaitlen Osburn on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

This was my first Allegra storytelling show, and let me tell you, she totally lives up to all the hype. This show is captivating, engaging, emotional and hilarious, and it lingers with you in the best way possible. If I only see one show this Fringe, I'm glad it was this one.

Really real

by Julia Carlis on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I respect anyone who can get up on stage and bare their own most precious stories for the world to see, and Allegra does just that, examining what it means to be the mother of a child she won't carry as she and her wife try to have a baby. This story is told with humor, honesty and illuminates how this journey is connected to some of life's more mundane journeys.

It made me cry, and I am a usually pretty darn blase. Highly recommended.

Dang It, Lingo!

by Patrick Pfundstein on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Sure the technical stuff is there. Great writing and structure with interludes metaphorical layered within the main thread; nice pacing; full use of the Arena's circular space. Beyond the fine craft, though, the words and delivery come from the heart in a tale so basic to life, yet so unique, and therefore so completely human I'm getting misty just writing this stupid review 3 hours later. I've had a fairly fabulous Fringe so far in 2014, but Genealogy is easily my favorite show to date!

A Truly Human Story

by Kevin T. Houle on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 6 shows

The honesty, humor, and humanity of Allegra Lingo's story touched me so much that I was in tears at the end. Anybody who can deliver such a personal story with so much wit and openness deserves my instant respect. I left the theater feeling grateful for having experienced her performance and regretful for not having known about or seeing her tell her stories before now.

Great storyteller; predictable story

by Corrinne Fiedler on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 32 shows

Allegra is the master of her stage: movement, appropriate lighting and music. One of the best ! Her stories tend toward the predictable - emotional, yes, but miss the engagement factor.

Its real

by David Trudeau on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 37 shows

Allegra has never ceased to amaze - some shows better than others. This is so well crafted and so personal and so touching. And she let us hug her after the show - we needed to. The story lives on - and of course it needs to be told and listened to.

Writing the unwritten

by Windy Bowlsby on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Allegra wrote the story because there weren't any other stories out there about this experience. And while her experience is different than mine - it is ultimately the same. Hope and frustration and sadness and joy and yes, babies. But also identity and possibility.

It's a beautiful piece, and I think it might just be Allegra's best yet.

Yet another five star review

by Dave Stagner on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Dammit, Allegra, you made me cry. Again.

wow. heart wrenching storytelling

by frayed edge on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 33 shows

there are a number of masterful storytellers at the fringe, and allegra is certainly one of them.

delving into an awkward, personal, intimate topic, she leads the listener from painful emotional hits to quirky yet charming tidbits that cleanse and whet the palate for the next coursing of the roller coaster around a gut wrenching bend.

she can bring gentle tears of joy and sorrow, and seems to bare her innermost self in order to so adeptly pull you inside of her hopes, dreams and fears.

5-amazing theater-see it. now.
4-must see fringe-make time
3-average fringe-worth seeing
2-mediocre fringe-don't bother
1-bad fringe- no.
0-no. warn others

A lovely show

by Fred Cheng on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This is my first time seeing Allegra, and I can see why she is a Fringe mainstay. Her show is warm, intelligent, and very, very emotionally open. The show was filled with laughter and then ended with -- don't want to spoil anything... I'll just say a deeply satisfying, heartfelt, and bittersweet conclusion. Well done!

Writing Meets Real

by The Mercer-Taylors on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Great writing, storytelling, with a bit of dramatic flair to keep our attention. There was just the right amount of polish, for Allegra as an actor, to make the show really fun to watch, but still with a sense this show is part of her development as an artist and performer, which made it feel like a privilege to be in the audience. Overall, we loved the mix of self-deprecating wit, inventive words and phrases and a story that is authentic and not heard much or at all. We think this show should definitely go on the road.


by Claire Avitabile on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 19 shows

Really enjoyed this show, story, and her performance. Loved the weaving of airplane/flight stories too :)

So Good!

by Julie Blaha on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 7 shows

I felt like I was sitting on her couch in her living room having a beer and listening to a fascinating story. So glad I reserved a seat!

In My Top 5 of Fringe Shows EVER

by Cassandra Snow on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 8 shows

I really don't have a lot to say about this show. I expected to like it, as a queer woman who wants to start a family one day, and I knew it would be hilarious because I'm familiar with Allegra and her work. Even so, the roller coaster of laughter and tears took me by surprise, and I wish I could see it again. And again. And Again.

A Wonderful Happenstance

by Lark Spark on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This show wrtten and performed by Allegra Lingo is a rare find at Fringe. It's a story told so well and with such intmacy that I felt Allegra was speaking only to me and the rest of the audience had disappeared. Masterfully written with honest passion and a very polished performce like no other storyteller. I was laughing, in suspence, anxious, excited,very happy and deeply moved all in the space of one fleetig hour. This is the best story I never knew I wanted to hear. GO to Allegra's stellar show and you'll be rewarded. This is the best show of the Fringe.

1 person found this review helpful

Reached Me Sitting in My Seat

by Guy Bock on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

Anyone in a relationship will identify with this show. Anyone who was required to guide the square peg of their personal life through the halls of bureaucracy where every step is designed to wear off inconvenient or unusual edges will identify with this show.

Allegra makes perfect use of a minimalistic set. Her voice and story populate the stage and fill in the gaps. I'm not a big fan of one person shows, but Allegra isn't a one person person. She has all those stories inside with her and it's fascinating being gathered in by her skill in bringing one of them out and showing it around. Skip your shrink appointment this week and go see hers instead. It's cheaper and you'll get more laughs.

1 person found this review helpful

Sprung to my feet immediately!

by Marie Cooney on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 24 shows

It takes a lot to bring me to my feet, but the second the lights came down and up again, I was up without a second's hesitation. Allegra is an amazing storyteller, who weaves a tale in and out of the hysterically funny, totally absurd, heart wrenchingly sad, personally inspirational, totally devastating and every aspect of the human condition. Although this is a story about two Moms wanting to start a family, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don't see this show because you are not a member of the GLBT community. Come see the wonderful tapestry Allegra so successfully weaves in one short hour! And best wishes to her on her book, from which much of the evening's tales are told.

1 person found this review helpful

Her best yet!

by Nanette Stearns on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 30 shows

I've always enjoyed Allegra's stories/performances and found this to be the most engaging and moving yet. Also the most personal, painful, humorous, enjoyable, etc. Highly recommended. You'll laugh! You'll cry! I know that's a cliche, but in this case it's true - and both are heartfelt.

1 person found this review helpful

A gifted storyteller at her best

by Florence Brammer on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 42 shows

Allegra shares a beautifully written and presented story that is intimate and autobiographical, yet also a universal tale about love, commitment, family, perseverance, disappointment and hope. Really special text and performance. Highly recommended!!

1 person found this review helpful

Optimal Allegra (In More Ways Than One)

by August Berkshire on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 52 shows

This is Allegra in prime form. Yes, the personal demons are still there, but they get unleashed not only towards herself but at the foibles of society - and that is always a delicious thing to see. Opening night was about 85% full and as word spreads I expect this to sell out.

2 people found this review helpful

Don't miss it!

by Jenn Jensen on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 9 shows

This is a deeply personal story told with a lot of humor, about a topic that is really not talked about in depth very often. While there were a few minor stumbles in delivery, both my husband and I were engaged throughout and laughed a great deal, and I shed a few tears as well. Highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful

Storytelling at its best!

by Judy Lingo on August 1, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

Ultimately the destination will be important but for now, Allegra describes her/their journey. Funny, touching, extremely well written.

Raw Allegra

by Mark Long on August 1, 2014
This user has reviewed 34 shows

I've seen most Allegra's shows over the last several MN Fringes. All have have been honest and personal, but in this one, she bares her soul and emotions more than ever. It's a lovely telling of her half of the experience of becoming pregnant as a couple. If you want to know more about one of the most public faces of the MN Fringe Festival, or if you just would like to hear a human being expose her frailties, insecurities, hopes and dreams, please see it.

2 people found this review helpful

Clever - Poignant - Touching

by Alan Farnham on August 1, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

Personal storytelling that made me laugh and made my eyes wet. This is what I love to see when I Fringe... Quality!

See this!

by Caroline Toll on August 1, 2014
This user has reviewed 15 shows

This is the best she's ever done, and that's a very high bar. Go see this.

2 people found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Allegra J Lingo


Allegra J Lingo has been performing her own work for stage since 2001, including five full-length solo shows, two two-person shows, and many short-form works, primarily seen at the Minnesota Fringe and at Bryant-Lake Bowl as part of the Rockstar Storytellers: a performance space for writers who exist in the crosshairs of storytelling performance and literary craft which she co-founded in 2007. She has also been featured numerous times on Minnesota Public Radio and KFAI.

A recent graduate of Hamline Universitiy's MFA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing, Lingo was a featured speaker at the Faith, Reason, and World Affairs Symposium at Concordia College, won Literary Death Match Twin Cities, produced a commissioned short play for Thirst Theater in conjunction with Minnesotans United, and has published an essay in Revolver, a play in West Trade Review, an essay in The Blotter, a commentary with Minnesota Public Radio, and an essay and short story in Rock, Paper, Scissors. She also works as the Audience and Volunteer Services Director for the Minnesota Fringe, an Assistant Creative Nonfiction Editor for Water~Stone Literary Review, and is the principal saxophonist for the Minnetonka Concert Band.

But most of the time she just hangs out with her dog.

"Lingo takes huge raw talent and turns it into gold in her writing and performance alike, never letting up on craft for a minute, never getting sloppy, never resting on her considerable experience just because she can, and she takes the audience on a marvelous and unexpected trip we never could have imagined taking on our own." –Marya Hornbacher

"...the lovechild of Shel Silverstein and Mein Kampf." –Ed Bok Lee

"The John Steinbeck of Minneapolis." –John Townsend, KFAI

"...precise wit and polished, radio-style delivery." -City Pages

Christopher Kehoe

Production Manager

Christopher Kehoe is a performer and playwright from Minneapolis, MN. He has performed with The Jungle Theater, Frank Theatre, Sandbox Theatre, The Strange Capers, Theatre in the Round, Theatre Pro Rata, and many more, and has produced numerous original solo performances as part of the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Kehoe is the Producing Director of The Peanut Butter Factory, a member of American MENSA, and is completing his MFA in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre from Dell'Arte International in Blue Lake, CA.

Christopher is also performing in another show in the Arena: Kitty Kitty Kitty with Loudmouth Collective, directed by Natalie Novacek. He'd love to see you there!

More information
“Fringe pro” making her twelfth festival appearance

Allegra J Lingo will return to the Minnesota Fringe Festival this summer with The Genealogy of Happenstance, an original storytelling solo performance presented by The Peanut Butter Factory. The Genealogy of Happenstance marks Lingo’s return to one-woman storytelling, the same performance format as past Fringe hits Crescendo (2009), I Hate Kenny G (2007), and Tipping the Bucket (2008).

The Genealogy of Happenstance tells the real-life story of gay couple Allegra J Lingo and Amy Duncan, and their six-month ordeal to conceive a child. In the wake of 2013’s same-sex marriage legalization in the State of Minnesota, Lingo and Duncan begin to plan to have a baby of their own. In vitro fertilization, however, presents a critical decision for the couple: which of them will carry the fetus to term? As Lingo wrestles with the ramifications of having no genetic link to her own child, she provides a humorous and intimate look at the absurdities of artificial conception, the still-new social confusions of same-sex marriage, the bonds of family, and the pain of an unexpected miscarriage.

The Genealogy of Happenstance is being created and performed by Allegra J Lingo. There will be a total of five performances within the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival:

  • Friday, August 1 at 5:30pm
  • Sunday, August 3 at 8:30pm
  • Tuesday, August 5 at 7:00pm
  • Saturday, August 9 at 5:30pm
  • Sunday, August 10 at 2:30pm

All performances will be at Rarig Center on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank Campus, 330 21st Avenue South in Minneapolis. Box office and house management are handled by Minnesota Fringe Festival. For more information about the festival, please visit www.fringefestival.org.

Allegra J Lingo (creator/performer) has written or performed in eleven of the last thirteen Minnesota Fringe festivals, including I Hate Kenny G (2007 Encore Winner), Buckets and Tap Shoes (2007 Encore Winner), Tipping the Bucket (2008 Encore Winner), 2009’s Crescendo, and 2011's The Last Ditch with Rob Callahan (Best Spoken Word show, FringeFamous.com). Lingo completed an original works residency at Minnesota Public Radio, and is the co-founder the collective Rockstar Storytellers, with which she regularly performs. She recently finished her MFA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing at Hamline University, where The Genealogy of Happenstance served as her final thesis. The 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival marks Lingo’s last year as Audience and Volunteer Services Director, a title she’s held since 2007. In her spare time, Lingo is the principal saxophonist for the Minnetonka Concert Band. Allegra and her wife Amy live in Minneapolis with their dog James and two cats Carly and Louisa.

The Peanut Butter Factory is a Twin Cities-based theatre producing company, dedicated to supporting the work of Minnesota's unaffiliated theatre artists and raising new awarenesses to Minnesota audiences. Artists are able to collaborate with an end-to-end administrative platform, which streamlines procedures in marketing, publicity, house management, audience development, and intellectual property. Since 2010, The Peanut Butter Factory has produced seven original works of theatre from three local artists, seen by over 2,000 patrons.
Minnesota Fringe
Minnesota Fringe