Fringe Festival sets lineup at lottery

The first major step for the 2011 Minnesota Fringe Festival took place last night at the Bryant-Lake Bowl as the annual lottery to select participants was held. In all, there were more than 350 applications for 160-some available slots.

This year productions were split into small, medium, and large venues to add to the already existing bring-your-own venue shows. This seems to benefit the larger companies, as there doesn't appear to be a waiting list at all in their category. In contrast, the medium-sized venue waiting list is 117 companies long.


Several longtime Fringe favorites will return in 2011, including both Scrimshaw brothers: Joseph's Joking Envelope will present Brain Man vs. Jerk Island, while Joshua's Comedy Suitcase will unleash The Smothers Brothers Grimm, Death and Fairy Tales, but Mostly Death. Other familiar names include Joking Apart, Ferrari McSpeedy, Mike Fotis, Upright Egg, Nautilus Music-Theater, Tim Uren, Mu Performing Arts, and Maximum Verbosity with a return of Camelot is Crumbling, which was selected in January to participate in a four-festival Fringe tour.

If you are looking for hot-button shows, there is real potential in TheGonzoGroupTheatre's the assassination of sarah palin, while 55BC has the pre-censored I Love You (We're F*ucked).

The waiting list includes familiar names as well, such as the Rockstar Storytellers (though many members do have individual shows), Urban Samurai, Savage Umbrella, and Vilification Tennis.

While the lottery is over, there are still plenty of chances for shows on the waiting list to make it to the festival's final roster. Every year, a number of producers cancel their slots months, or even weeks, before the event starts. The longshot award goes to Amber Davis, who sits at 117 on the waiting list for medium-size venues. Good luck Amber!

The 2011 Fringe runs August 4 to 14.