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Fringe File #2: How to Plan Your Fringe; Publisher’s Picks

Ilana Kapra Productions’s Evil Twin.

One of the interesting new features of this year’s Minnesota Fringe Festival website is the scheduling grid, which makes it a sinch to block out your schedule. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Go to
  2. Heart MenuCreate a free account (or login if you have one) by selecting the heart icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and following the instructions.
  3. Click on the Fringe navigation button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.Navigation
  4. Click on 2016 Fringe Festival.
  5. Click on Schedule.
  6. iconsThe scheduling grid that you see displays all shows for the selected day, sorted by time and venue. If you’re interested in learning about or marking a show on your calendar, click on the show name. Then, either click the information icon (for more info) or the calendar icon to mark this showtime on your schedule. If you’re interested in the show but don’t know when you’ll see it, select the heart icon.

Although there is a 30-minute break between performances, keep in mind that this time can easily be consumed by driving to and parking at another venue. We recommend selecting performances in the same general proximity to each other, especially those to which you can easily walk in-between. Some of these include:

  • Mixed Blood, Theatre in the Round, & the Southern Theater (Cedar & Washington)
  • The Ritz Theater Proscenium & Ritz Theater Studio (NE Minneapolis)
  • Barker Center for Dance, Rarig Center Arena, Rarig Center Thrust, & Rarig Center Xperimental (University of Minnesota-West Bank)
  • Bryant-Lake Bowl, HUGE Improv Theater, Intermedia Arts, & Phoenix Theater (Uptown–Minneapolis)

The Playwrights Center is also close enough and has reasonable parking to drive in from the Cedar & Washington venues. The reverse is not true.

Publisher’s Picks; or, How Leif Rissanen Plans His Day

I’m a single parent, so if I’m making it out to the theatre I really want it to be worth my while. I don’t just go to see a show – if I’m hiring a babysitter, it’s going to be for a whole evening or afternoon. I’m not going to be paying for parking several times over – I don’t want to be hunting for parking several times over. My list starts with a show that I want to see, continues with where I want to eat, and finishes with whatever else I want to do in the area.

I’ve decided that I’m going to see the opening day of the Fringe Festival, which is Thursday, August 4th. I work in Anoka, which means that I’m driving in and probably won’t be able to see a 5:30 show, so I’m not even going to stress it. (Fringe has no late seating, dontcha know.) I personally don’t want to deal with Downtown or Uptown traffic on a Thursday, so I’m heading to Northeast. Free parking on 13th Ave, here I come!

Once I’m parked, my first stop is Anchor Fish & Chips to pick up my Meat Pasty & Chips takeaway that I’ve ordered. Then it’s off to Dangerous Man Brewing Company for a Peanut Butter Porter or Chocolate Milk Stout …just the thing to perk up after a long day at work! There are other dining options closer to the Ritz; I’ll hit those as the evening progresses.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 8.45.03 AM
The new scheduling grid feature on the Fringe Festival website.

The Ritz Theater is my entertainment destination for today, being less than 5 minutes’ walk from where I’m enjoying a cold one. My first pick is Game of Thrones: The Musical at 7 PM, because I think it’ll be one of the hardest shows to get tickets for as the festival goes on. (Disclosure: The playwright is our performing arts editor, Basil Considine. I’ve read the script and love it!) I also really dislike standing in lines (a 2-year-old will do that to you), so I’m going to reserve my spot and order my all-you-can-eat Fringe wristband for the day online, which comes to $19.75. Not bad for one show, and the deal just keeps getting better as you see more!

Why I Don't Want to Be a Cat Woman: Reflections on Human Rites of Passage, by Human Doings Productions. Pictured: Sarah Truesdale.
Why I Don’t Want to Be a Cat Woman: Reflections on Human Rites of Passage, by Human Doings Productions. Pictured: Sarah Truesdale.

The rest of my evening will basically bounce back and forth between the different Ritz venues and refreshments. When Game of Thrones is done, I’ll find some people who are sticking around to see Evil Twin nextdoor at 8:30 in the Ritz Studio, then talk about what we’ve seen and are planning to see as we get our tickets. At 9:30, I’ll duck out to stretch my legs and wet my whistle at Northeast Social, and if things are still going on strong I’ll stay for Why I Don’t Want to Be a Cat Woman at 10. Then it’s back home to relieve the babysitter and tease our editor-in-chief the next day about her foiled plans to be a crazy cat woman.

Evening Budget:

  • Fringe weekday day pass: $16
  • Show reservation: $3.75
  • 2 beers, a meat pastie, and fries: $30
  • Parking: Free
  • Babysitter: Priceless

At less than $50 for tickets to three shows, drinks, and dinner, that’s what I call a night on the town.


Twin Cities Arts Reader