U.S. Fringe producers’ meeting

Okay, so we’ve been a little terrible about updating our staff blog since the festival ended in August. And by “we,” I mean “I.” Apologies, people, learn to accept them.

So! Jeff Larson (our Production and Sponsorship Director), Robin Gillette (our Executive Director) and I (our Communications Director) went to Washington, D.C., last weekend for a meeting open to United States Fringe producers/staff. Hosted by the Capital Fringe, also present were Orlando, Kansas City, New York City, Woodstock (N.Y.), New Orleans and NYC’s Frigid Festival. There are actually loads more U.S. Fringes out there, but not everyone could come (sad!).

Three days of brainstorming and comparing and contrasting the inner workings of our worlds were kind of a lot of fun. The meeting was at Capital Fringe’s HQ, a gigantor building that was a restaurant for years and years and years (and had the rat problems to prove it… Jeff’s counterpart in D.C., Scott, was also in charge of the rats… their removal, not as their political leader or anything).

Mostly, the discussion would have bored anyone who isn’t employed as a higher-level Fringe staff member somewhere in the U.S., so I’ll skip details. But the three of us representing Minnesota walked away with many interesting ideas to steal adopt from our festival-organizing brethren. Fringolution: watch for it! Continue reading


Final slide shows and props from NoDak

The slide shows from Day 11 and the closing-night rager at First Ave are up. W00t.

And the Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune has an exceedingly lovely story about the Fringe show “My War.”

Other numbery goodness and Fringe in the news

So! Many of us on the Fringe staff love numbers, and we’ve been crunching them the last few days. Here are some to mull over. (The first number, the percentage, is the total percentage of capacity including the Encore. The second number—avg house—is the average number of tickets issued in that venue per performance.)

Overall – 31.9% cap, avg house 50.6
Bryant-Lake Bowl – 67.5% cap, avg house 55.4
Interact – 42.6% cap, avg house 23.0
Intermedia – 28.3% cap, avg house 32.5
Lab – 23.7 % cap, avg house 47.9
Theatre Garage – 36.4% cap, avg house 41.9
Mixed Blood – 18.1% cap, avg house 36.1
Playwrights’ Center – 34.5% cap, avg house 25.9
Ritz – 28.3% cap, avg house 63.6
Southern – 18.4% cap, avg house 36.8
Jeune Lune – 28.1% cap, avg house 62.6
Rarig Arena – 29.3% cap, avg house 58.3
Rarig Proscenium – 18.0% cap, avg house 75.8
Rarig Thrust – 25.5% cap, avg house 117.5
Rarig Xperimental – 49.2% cap, avg house 34.5

And here it is by some other measures Robin found interesting:

Rarig overall – 30.5% capacity
Fringe Encores – 33% capacity
Out-of-towners – 28.1% capacity
BYOVs – 44.3% capacity

And here are some Fringe in the news links:

The Daily Fringe #Last

Minnesota Fringe

10 Header

First thing's first: We like to know who comes to Fringe. So if you weren't able to fill in one of those cute little paper surveys we had at the venues, please fill it out online. It's just 13 questions that shouldn't take you more than 5 minutes. And it helps us out a lot. Like, a ridiculous lot. Thanks!

Now then! 2008 was a good year for the Fringe. In all, we issued nearly 41,000 tickets for 806 performances to more than 15,000 people. Exactly 1,080 artists participated in the Fringe this year. And everyone earned just over $300,000.

Numbers are fun!

We've already started planning the 2009 festival—so stay tuned for all sorts of fun new things from the Fringe. In the meantime, the regular Fringe email newsletter (the one that you'll get with all the spiffy discounts you can get with your '08 button) resumes next week.

Thanks again for a great year. Email or call us any time if you have feedback, ideas or just want to chat. Our door is always open.

Your pals,
Robin, Mark, Matt, Jeff, Craig, Allegra
and everyone else at Minnesota Fringe


Roma Di Luna, Romantica, The Minnesota Opera, Haley Bonar, Davina and the Vagabonds, Mystery Palace, Little Man, M.anifest, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, The Melismatics, Chris Koza, Spaghetti Western String Co., The Schubert Club, Dan Israel and the Cultivators, Vicious Vicious, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Dosh and others.

3 Days FREE Music, Rain or Shine
Food and beer by Great Waters Brewing Co.
Mears Park Saint Paul, MN | concreteandgrass.com

Drawing winners

The final coffee winners were: Kayla Hertel, Susan Campion, Eric Wuntling, Chelsea Gartner, Dennis Davidson and Klee Burke.

The winner of the Rush Prize—a delightful Equal Exchange gift basket filled with all sorts of fairly traded goodies—goes to Betsy Rosen. Congrats, Betsy!

And the winner for the Ultra Prize—two Ultra Passes to the 2009 Minnesota Fringe and two season tickets to the Guthrie—is Jim Brennan. Jim, you're all set for theater for a whole year!

More Fringe at the brand spankin' new Gremlin

Gremlin Theatre is hosting four favorite Fringe shows at their new locale (2400 University Av., St. Paul), Aug. 14-23.

Thursday, August 14,
Friday, August 15
and Saturday, August 16

Meet the Macbeths @ 7 p.m.

by Joshua & Lauren Iley
Mac and Betty are a charming "Better Homes and Garden" couple who plot murder plans over pot roast. Shakespeare visits a 1950s suburban utopia to unfold how far an ambitious duo will go for the American Dream.

Boys Don't Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses @ 8:30 p.m.

by Curt Lund & Laura Bidgood
Embrace your inner dork as Laura and Curt (the geeks behind "Take a Left at the Giant Cow") fog up your glasses with torrid tales of nerd romance. Did we say torrid? We meant awkward, embarrassing and unrequited.

Thur., Aug. 21, Fri., Aug. 22 & Sat., Aug. 23
Second weekend shows will be announced shortly—stay tuned!

All seats are $12. For tickets and reservations, please call Gremlin at 651-228-7008.

P.S. Here's your Easter egg for the day. You have to watch the videos to get the full effect.

Numbers! Numbers! Delicious, delicious numbers!

We just finished the press release for Teh The Bestest Festival. Get the pretty PDF here or:


Fringe announces preliminary figures
40,814 tickets issued for 11-day festival, top attended shows announced

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Fringe announced preliminary attendance figures for its 2008 festival. In all, 40,814 tickets were issued during the 11-day performing arts festival, an 8 percent increase over last year. Revenue increased over $36,000.

  • Tickets issued: 40,814
    Buttons issued: 15,178 (Notes: Admission buttons are used to count the number of unique audience members attending the festival. Of the 15,178 issued this year, 14,262 were sold and 916 were issued gratis to volunteers and artists.)
    Revenue: $300,405
    Performances: 806
    Shows: 156
    Participating artists: 1,080
    Volunteers: 393
    Audience-submitted reviews on the Web site (as of 10 a.m. Monday): 2,153

“We are absolutely delighted with the numbers,” said Robin C. Gillette, Fringe’s executive director. “The figures show that Fringe is solid both as an event and as an organization, and the buzz in the Fringe community was positively kinetic.”

The total number of performances was down from last year (806 versus 874 in 2007) due to fewer Bring Your Own Venue performances. The attendance and revenue figures erase the dip the numbers took in 2007. Last year’s festival opened the day after the I-35W bridge collapse.

Top ten shows by tickets issued

  1. Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead / Walking Shadow / U of M Rarig Center Thrust: 1284
  2. An Inconvenient Squirrel / Joseph Scrimshaw Productions / U of M Rarig Center Thrust: 1189
  3. The Cody Rivers Show Presents: Stick to Glue / The Cody Rivers Show / U of M Rarig Center Thrust: 1033
  4. Musical the Musical!/ Urban Samurai Productions/ U of M Rarig Center Proscenium: 986
  5. Mortem Capiendum Four Humors Theater U of M Rarig Center Thrust 837
  6. The Underpants Show Lili’s Burlesque Ritz Theater 803
  7. Robin Hood The Musical! Top Hat Theatre U of M Rarig Center Proscenium 707
  8. Deviants Live Action Set The Soap Factory 683 (nine performances)
  9. The Pumpkin Pie Show Horse Trade Theater Group U of M Rarig Center Thrust 665
  10. You’re No Fun Bedlam Theatre U of M Rarig Center Thrust 609

Top ten shows by capacity

  1. FOOL FOR A CLIENT Mark Whitney Bryant-Lake Bowl 102.4%
  2. Reefer Madness: The Musical Young Artists Council Bryant-Lake Bowl 98.8%
  3. The Mistress Cycle Maddak Productions Bryant-Lake Bowl 98.8%
  4. The Nosdrahcir Sisters Sara and Kimberly Richardson U of M Rarig Center Xperimental 96.9%
  5. A Wake for Change! Tune In, Turn On, Folk Out A-Stage Kieran’s Irish Pub – Titanic Room 95.8%
  6. An Intimate Evening with Fotis: Part Two Mike Fotis Minneapolis Theatre Garage 87.7%
  7. Advice-a-Versa Intertwine Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts 80.7%
  8. My Hovercraft is Full of Eels! Henry Epp Intermedia Arts 79.8%
  9. elephant shoes, & olive juice; (mis) communication in a modern world 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities Bryant-Lake Bowl 78.0%
  10. Stupid Face Courtney Roche U of M Rarig Center Xperimental 71.4%

The fifteenth annual Minnesota Fringe Festival took place Thurs., July 31 through Sun., Aug. 10 in Minneapolis. More information about the festival can be found at fringefestival.org.

Daily Fringe #9

Minnesota Fringe

Got five minutes to answer 13 questions about yourself?
Take our '08 audience survey!

Header #8

Mornin'! Here's the Fringe Encore lineup! Get you tickets now.

Congrats to all the Fringe Encore folks. Each venue's top-selling show is awarded a sixth performance in the last slot in the festival—8:30 for most venues, 8 o'clock for Bryant-Lake Bowl. Note: Sara Scrimshaw's "Dance of the Whisky Faerie" was the top-selling show at the Southern; she opted out of the Encore program.

Thanks to everyone for a ridiculously great Fringe. We'll send out "The Daily Fringe #10" with final attendance numbers and other wrap-up delights later this week. And join Fringe staff, volunteers and artists at First Ave. tonight to close out the festival with extreme style.

See you today at the shows, tonight at the party and in 2009 for Minnesota's 16th annual Fringe.

Your pals,
Bill and Matt

P.S. Don't forget the drawing! Check out the Fringe staff blog for the final coffee winners and tonight's winners of the Rush Prize (an Equal Exchange gift basket) and the Ultra Prize (two '09 Ultra Passes and two season tickets to the Guthrie). Stop by Fringe Central at Bedlam to throw your name in.

Party Closing

P.S. We repeated an Easter egg yesterday. So here are one Easter egg and two Easter eggs for the day.

Fringe Encores!


Congrats to all the Fringe Encore folks. Each venue’s top-selling show is awarded a sixth performance in the last slot in the festival—8:30 for most venues, 8 o’clock for Bryant-Lake Bowl. Here they are:

Note: Sara Scrimshaw’s “Dance of the Whisky Faerie” was the top-selling show at the Southern; she opted out of the Encore program.