Good Friday with Dillinger
Photo courtesy of Lookback Productions
The Minnesota Fringe always stubbornly defies easy classification—this year’s slate of 170 productions pretty much typifies the annual gamut of comedy, dance, short plays, cabaret, and outright weirdness. It will be a different experience around the edges in 2016, though, primarily because of a major change in the level of access show tickets will afford.
For starters, the mandatory Fringe button is a thing of the past, and there are no longer single-show tickets available. Instead, there are day passes ($16 weekdays, $22 weekends) that enable theatergoers to see as many shows as they like for the day, at any venue, meaning that seeing multiple shows in one day represents a steep discount from years past.
“I don’t think anyone’s really that adventurous when they’re paying a la carte,” says executive director Jeff Larson, pointing out that the festival has received plenty of feedback asking for a system that encourages audience risk taking.
This new system represents a big financial risk, Larson admits, but the payoff for audiences could be great—after covering the Fringe for many years, some of my favorite moments have come from unexpected great shows (as well as unpredictably tragic ones) that I only saw because of spur-of-the-moment access.
Larson also touts new functionality on the Fringe’s website, which is made to both be optimal for mobile devices as well as facilitating printable individual schedules. With three different Trump-themed shows this year, you’ll need all the help you can get keeping things straight.
Minnesota Fringe Festival
Flying Solo, a Chronicle from the Absolute at Large and Saving Our Superman
Photo courtesy of Cloud Leigh Productions
Damned if You Do
Photo Courtesy of Schroedinger’s Dog