The Midwest’s largest performing arts festival opens July 31
MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Fringe Festival, the Midwest’s largest performing arts festival, opens July 31 in 19 venues around Minneapolis. The festival will play host to 169 shows of live performance, with each show performing at least five times. The result is 878 performances, running concurrently throughout the 11-day festival.
Size is not the festival’s only unique quality, however. Every show in the festival’s lineup is chosen by random lottery.
“That’s right,” said Fringe Executive Director Jeff Larson. “We open applications for the festival every fall. All you need to apply is $25 and an idea — anyone can do it. Every application gets a number. Each number goes on a Ping-Pong ball, and then in February we draw all the balls out of a Bingo cage to decide who’s in the festival and who’s on the waiting list. This year we received 476 applications for 169 slots, so the waiting list got pretty long.”
Larson added, “The lottery process is not only fun and fair, but it also means we get artists from all walks of life and shows of all genres.” This year the festival is home to everything from a Bollywood-style dance show to Top Gun: The Musical to a Tennessee Williams adaptation.
Minnesota Fringe is one of the oldest and largest fringe festivals in the country. In 2013, the annual festival issued 50,007 tickets for 176 shows and featured the work of over 1,100 artists. The festival returns at least 65 percent of ticket sales to the participating producers; in 2013, it paid over $245,000 to artists.
Here are just a few of the 169 shows worth checking out:
Tapestries 0.5 features a rich variety of dance works showcasing the diverse perspectives and talents of Threads Dance Project’s Artistic Director Karen L. Charles and company members Rae Charles, Karen Gullikson, Aneka McMullen, and Julie Marie Muskat. The show features a myriad of sounds, textures and designs ranging from Robin S, E.J. Yungblood, Radiohead, Laura Nvula, Nina Simone, and traditional Negro spirituals. Learn more about Threads Dance project at www.threadsdance.org.
What happens when life suddenly changes? When faced with “what’s next?” What do you trust…your heart or your head? Life takes us on many journeys. Sometimes the path is clear, many times it winds in many directions making us feel we can hardly see what is right before us.
Two reacquainted friends travel across the country to start new chapters in their lives, meeting people along the way. Journey with them as they rediscover their friendship and figure out what’s next in life.
After being released from prison, inmate 9461 is whisked into an alternate world, where folktales mirror life. Each tale is a path toward her redemption. Will Dawn see her light, or be lost in darkness forever?
Pecan Brown and the Seven …’s
Hijinks ensue when a successful Black screenwriter reflects on the state of race in Hollywood as she produces a new version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
As biracial actresses and directors, writer Kloie Rush-Spratt and director BriAnna C. McCurry always felt limited by the lack of racial diversity in film as well as the biases they portray. The Fringe Festival provides them an opportunity to showcase a diverse cast, and to tell a unique, fun story about representation in film.
Frustrated with his girlfriend, Leo dreams of a perfect woman in purple. Then she comes to life, threatening to uproot his relationship and livelihood.
The three 20-year-olds behind Theatre Corrobora (http://theatrecorrobora.tumblr.com/) spend much of their time serving cocktails downtown, running from class to class at the U of M and looking fearfully toward their mid-20s when they’re expected to have their lives figured out. Through Fig, they are exploring this scary next stage in life. Using a series of workshops with other “emerging” adults, the Corrobora cast’s piece looks at how one’s dreams can inspire and haunt, how one’s love can grow and decay and how one’s plan can be useless during this crucial and clueless age.
The Minnesota Fringe Festival runs July 31 — August 10 at 19 venues in Minneapolis.
Tickets: Adults $12 plus $4 festival admission button; Children $5, button not required; Multi-show passes available.
For more information about shows, venue locations and showtimes, go to http://fringefestival.org.
This information was provided by the Minnesota Fringe Festival.