Gusties Light Up Minnesota Fringe Festival Posted on July 27th, 2015 by

PrintFor most Minnesotans, summer means family vacation, time at the lake or in the Boundary Waters, a slower pace, and some time to themselves. For others, as July rolls into August, it means Minnesota’s Fringe Festival and their lives go from wild to crazy. Playwrights, directors, actors and theatre enthusiasts from around the country will come to Minnesota for the festival which runs at 24 venues across the Metro between July 30 and August 9. With more than 170 shows in multiple performances scheduled for the Festival, anyone participating in or attending one of the many Fringe performances would sum up the Festival with, “So much to see and so little time.” And, as always with the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Gustavus alumni and current students are on the schedule again this summer.

Under Current by Brady Mueller '15, Laura Johnson '16 & Thomas Buan '16.

Under Current by Brady Mueller ’15, Laura Johnson ’16 & Thomas Buan ’16.

Hundreds of shows are submitted each year for consideration by the festival committee. Inclusion in the Minnesota Fringe Festival, like many such festivals across the country each year, is determined by a bingo-styled lottery in which numbered ping pong balls are randomly selected and the performances schedule set. (FYI, this format would be a wonderful idea for a Fringe Festival performance.) With a tradition that may be seen as a stage for anyone who has a story to tell or a point to make, the performances are generally in the performing arts, original and uncensored. The performances are usually under one hour in length. And while the actors and directors run the spectrum from amateur to professional, the shows are always professionally staged and presented.

The 2015 Minnesota Fringe Festival schedule includes the following performances with Gustavus connections:

  • Mendacity
  • Under Current -or- The Helium Play
  • Seven Dance: Seven Stories
  • School of Rhythm
  • Oracle
  • Couple Fight
  • Arrest Me: A Musical Drama
  • Shelley Bachburg Presents: Orange is the New POTUS: The Musical
  • Total Eclipse of the Heart
MENDACITY, Rob Ward '14 & Comfort Dolo '14

MENDACITY, Rob Ward ’14 & Comfort Dolo ’14

MENDACITY is a theatre honor’s project written by Rob Ward ’14 and Comfort Dolo ’14. In it the audience joins two strangers who are trapped in a warehouse — the unstable Gene and the mysterious Mindy. As the actors look for a way to escape, they realize the danger is not outside the warehouse but what’s been waiting for them inside.

All performances are at Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Avenue S., Minneapolis, July 30 at 10:00 p.m., August 1 at 8:30 p.m., August 3 at 5:30 p.m., August 8 at 1:00 p.m., and August 9 at 5:30 p.m.

This show is not suitable for children. Tickets  for Mendacity are available for $14 at

UNDER CURRENT -or- THE HELIUM PLAY tells the story of two siblings drowning inside their own minds with secrets to hoard and stories to tell. Eva is a young single mother who invites her brother, Bell, to stay with her. Soon, Bell is tasked with selling the last canister of helium in the world by two strangers while Eva gets lost inside her own mind. The first professionally produced script by newcomer Brady Mueller ’15, Under Current speaks to the insecure child in each of us. Joining Brady Mueller are Laura Johnson ’16 and Thomas Buan ’16.

Performances of Under Current, presented at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Avenue South in Minneapolis, are set for July 31 at 10:00 p.m., August 2 at 4:00 p.m., 5 at 4:00 p.m., 8 at 10:00 p.m., and 9 at 7:00 p.m.

This show is suitable for everyone over 16. Tickets for Under Current are available at

Seven Dance

Seven Dance

SEVEN DANCE: SEVEN STORIES invites the audience to join the seven dancers in a new dance company as it journeys to understand the human experience that connects us all through modern-based movement inspired by the way we perceive the world. These seven dancers graduated from Gustavus in 2014 and have worked throughout the past year to support each other in their transition. SEVEN DANCE: SEVEN STORIES is an artistic introduction to each dancer in, as stated in the company’s introduction, is artistry through “athleticism and visceral movement.” Dancing are Johnny Bates ’14, Kelsey Charlotte ’14, Allie Kalkman ’14, Marlee Lindberg ’14, Rebecca Stewart ’14, Mallory Waytashek ’14 and Emileah ZumBerge ’14.

Performances of SEVEN DANCE will be at the Nimbus Theater, 1517 Central Ave NE in Minneapolis. Shows are schedule for July 31 at 8:30 p.m., August 2 at 1:00 p.m., 4 at 10:00 p.m., 7 at 7:00 p.m., and 8 at 1:00 p.m.

Tickets for Seven Dance are available at:

SCHOOL OF RHYTHM is a rhythm-driven exploration of the worst and best part of your life: High School. You’ll witness over-enthusiastic gym teachers, under-enthusiastic lectures and maybe even find out why girls go to the bathroom in groups. This Minnesota Fringe Festival production is choreographed by Rush Benson ’13 and produced by Benjamin Kolis ’13. Dancers include Patrick Jeffery ’10 and Erin Simon ’12.

Performances will be presented at the University of Minnesota’s Rarig Center Proscenium, 330 21st Avenue South, Main Floor, Minneapolis, on Jul;y 30 at 10:00 p.m., August 1 at 2:30 p.m., 3 at 8:30 p.m., 7 at 10:00 p.m., and 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets for School of Rhythm are available at:

ORACLE: Come and see what happens when the technology of today collides with a preliterate nonindustrial agrarian society of the future in this post-apocalyptic-comedic-love-story written by Minnesota Fringe Festival veterans Lynn Pierson Bowen ’82 and Kevin Bowen ’83.

Performances of Oracle will be presented at the Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis on August 1 at 4:00 p.m., 2 at 10:00 p.m., 5 at 5:30 p.m., 7 at 10:00 p.m. and 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Oracle is suitable for everyone 12 years of age and older. Tickets for the performances are available at:

In COUPLE FIGHT, six favorite Fringe couples reenact the stupidest, real fights they’ve ever had. These hilarious vignettes about bad birthday presents, game night rage and insensitive farting prove – hindsight is funny/funny. Gustie graduates John Zeiler ’06 and Maggie Sotos ’09 get in on the fun.

Performances of Couple Fight will be presented at the Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis on August 1 at 1:00 p.m., 3 at 10:00 p.m., 5 at 7:00 p.m., 8 at 10:00 p.m. and 9 at 7:00 p.m.

Couple Fight is suitable for ages 12 and up. Tickets are available at:

ARREST ME: A MUSICAL DRAMA — Slam poetry. Biting comedy. Penetrating monologues. Captivating music. Created as an artistic expression of #BlackLivesMatter. Powerful and unifying, there’s a place for everyone in this forum of perspectives. The cast for Arrest Me includes Connie Brevell (Connie Boatwright ’14).

Performances of Arrest Me: A Musical Drama are scheduled in the Minneapolis Theatre Garage, 711 W. Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, on July 30 at 7:00 p.m., August 1 at 2:30 p.m., 3 at 7:00 p.m., 6 at 8:30 p.m., and 8 at 4:00 p.m.

Arrest Me: A Musical Drama is suitable for audiences aged 16 and up. Tickets are available at:

SHELLEY BACHBURG PRESENTS: ORANGE IS THE NEW POTUS: THE MUSICAL has Minnesota’s wackiest politician running for president again, this time from prison! Can she convince her suspicious cellmates that she’s the right woman for the job? A sequel to 2013’s smash hit musical! Adjunct professor of Music Paul Hill can be heard from the orchestra pit.

Orange is the New POTUS can be seen at the University of Minnesota’s Rarig Center Thrust, 330 21st Avenue South, Main Floor, Minneapolis, on August 1 at 2:30 p.m., 2 at 5:30 p.m., 5 at 10:00 p.m., 6 at 8:30 p.m., and 9 at 2:30 p.m.

These performances are suitable for audiences 16 and up. Tickets are available at:

TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART — Forever’s gonna start tonight with this original ensemble comedy inspired by Bonnie Tyler’s 1983 ballad “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Turn around, Bright Eyes, because every now and then we all fall apart. This show includes Ron Giroux ’09.

Total Eclipse of the Heart will be presented on the 8th floor of Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis. Performance times are July 30 at 7:00 p.m., August 1 at 7:00 p.m., 2 at 4:00 p.m., 4 at 8:30 p.m., and 8 at 10:00 p.m.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16 and up. Tickets are available at:

The 2015 Minnesota Fringe Festival opens on Thursday, July 30 and runs through August 9 with more than 170 shows scheduled in 24 venues across the Metro. Additional information regarding all of the 2015 Minnesota Fringe Festival performances is available at the Festival website:





  1. Kevin Bowen says:

    In this year’s Fringe Festival “The Oracle” was also written by two Gustie alumni – Kevin Bowen (83) and Lynn (Pierson) Bowen (82). – K

    • Al Behrends says:

      Hi Kevin, Can you supply me with additional information on other cast in Oracle? I’ll amend the post as I want to be sure to include any Gustavus connections. Thanks. Al Behrends