The ‘accessible’ Minnesota Fringe Festival

The 24th annual Minnesota Fringe Festival will feature 11 days (August 3-13) full of 850 performances of storytelling, comedy, drama, music, opera, dance, improv, and other theatrical entertainment by 167 companies at 17 accessible Minneapolis venues. Performing groups come from Minnesota as well as from across the country. New Executive Director, Dawn Bentley says, “The festival creates a gateway for audiences to explore theater, experiment with new genres, and expand notions of what local stages have to offer. Accessibility services ensure Fringe’s gateway is inviting and available to all patrons, regardless of ability.”

Fringe Festivals are found around the world – 21 states have Fringes, as well as festivals in Australia, Canada and Britain. Minnesota Fringe is one of the oldest and largest, with more than 1,000 artists and nearly 50,000 attendees each year. The festival returns 70% of ticket sales to participating producers. In 2016, Fringe paid out nearly a quarter million dollars to artists. Fringe Central is at Grumpy’s Bar & Grill – Downtown, 1111 Washington Ave S.

AD or ASL: At least 42 shows throughout the festival will include accessibility services such as audio description and ASL interpreting. Additionally, three wild-card spaces are available for top-selling shows to be added toward the end of the festival.

Website visitors can see a complete list of audio described and sign language interpreted shows at ( You can sort shows by genre, venue, company or cast names and build a schedule specific to your own interests. Go to the index in the upper left hand corner and then click on the Accessibility tab, which takes you to 32 AD shows and 11 ASL interpreted shows.

Tix: As part of the mission to connect adventurous artists with adventurous audiences, Fringe day passes allow admission to any performance at any venue on a given day for one price: $16 on weekdays (up to 4 shows) and $22 on weekends (up to 7 shows). Shows last 60 minutes or less, and a new show starts every 90 minutes. Fringe box offices accept cash, checks and credit cards and open 30 minutes before each show time. Advance reservations guarantee your seat at a given performance. This reservation fee is waived for people using access services (code FringeAccess).
INFO: For a daily recording of shows presented with AD or ASL, call VSA Minnesota at 612-332-3888. For other Fringe information, call 612-872-1212 or email

Audio description schedule
• The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
by Ghoulish Delights
Wednesday, August 9 at 5:30 p.m. at U of M Rarig Center Thrust
• Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
by Comedy Suitcase
Wednesday, August 9 at 7:00 p.m. at U of M Rarig Center Thrust
• America, The Rewrite
by The Fighting Mongooses
Wednesday, August 9 at 8:30 p.m. at U of M Rarig Center Xperimental
• Katie Versus The Devils
by Scared Hare Productions
Wednesday, August 9 at 10:00 p.m. at U of M Rarig Center Arena
• A Resister’s Handbook (for holding onto optimism in shitty times)
by minnerican productions
Thursday, August 10 at 5:30 p.m. at Ritz Theater Studio
• The Well
by Coattail Productions
Thursday, August 10 at 7:00 p.m. at Ritz Theater Studio
• The Buttslasher
by New Endeavors
Thursday, August 10 at 8:30 p.m. at Ritz Theater Studio
• Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
by Ferrari McSpeedy Theatrical Productions
Thursday, August 10 at 10:00 p.m. at Ritz Theater Studio
• Serpentine
by Maximum Verbosity
Saturday, August 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Strike Theater
• Antonio and the Juice Man
by Prime Time Players
Saturday, August 12 at 7:00 p.m. at Strike Theater

ASL interpretation schedule
• Beyond Limits
by Toolbox Theatre
Tue., Aug. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Ritz Theater Studio
• Good Kids
Tue., Aug. 8 at 8:30 p.m. at U of M Rarig Center Thrust
• A Mermaid Abroad & A Fish Out of Water
by Mermaid Productions
Tue., Aug. 8 at 10:00 p.m. at U of M Rarig Center Xperimental
• F@*k the 90s
by FurTrader Productions
Sat., Aug. 12 at 1:00 p.m. at Ritz Theater Studio
• Mayor Lear of Townsville
by Play-Dot
Sat., Aug. 12 at 2:30 p.m. at Intermedia Arts
• Spy in the House of Men: A One-Woman Show With Balls
by Penny: For Your Thoughts
Sat., Aug. 12 at 4:00 p.m. at Bryant-Lake Bowl
• Wellstone: A Minnesotan Musical
by Albino Squirrel
Sat., Aug. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at U of M Rarig Center Thrust
• Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
by Ferrari McSpeedy Theatrical Productions
Sat., Aug. 12 at 8:30 p.m. at Ritz Theater Studio
• Rumpus
by Mike’s Brass
Sun., Aug. 13 at 1:00 p.m. at Southern Theater
• Themselves They Made Immaculate: Clara Barton at Andersonville
by American Civic Forum
Sun., Aug. 13 at 4:00 p.m. at Bryant-Lake Bowl
• Much Ado About Nothing (as told by Dogberry and Verges)
by Rough Magic Performance Company
Sun., Aug. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Jungle Theater

Artists with Disabilities schedule:
Patriot/Traitor, by Kara Garbe Balcerzak, who has a traumatic brain injury.
First Year Queer, created by Lisa Sparrow, features performers who are open about experiencing struggles with mental health including ADHD, anxiety, PTSD, and depression.
The Migraine Room (Photophobia), about migraines and bipolar disorder.
Wait…didn?t Patrick?s Cabaret close?
Beyond Limits, by Nikki Abramson (rare genetic disorder);
Antonio & the Juice Man (Prime Time Players, taking place at the prison in Stillwater), at Strike Theater.
Other artists with disabilities are in shows such as Waiting for Gygax (Godot), Stranger, Never Wonder Land, FAITH: From Anger Into Trust and Hope (surviving childhood sexual abuse), Mayor Lear of Townsville, Your Motivational Power Hour!, It Can’t Happen Here (by Sinclair Lewis Productions), Dancing Bare Feet (RGK Modern Indian Dance Academy)

Comments (0) • Posted in Announcements, News by Jon Skaalen on August 3, 2017.

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