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The Minnesota Fringe Festival starts Thursday July 31st at stages around the Twin Cities, and there’s a plethora of great queer acts to check out. There are shows about marriage equality, dance performances that challenge gender norms, plays about queer parenting, and lots of drag queens.

#RELATIONSHIPSTATUS

by Someday, Wine Productions and written by Ryan Ashby Thorsen will be presented at Mixed Blood Theater.

Synopsis:
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″] Love is officially Law in Minnesota…so, now what? #RelationshipStatus peeks into the lives and complicated relationships of real Minnesotans after the ink dried on the Marriage Equality bill.

Meet Geoffrey and Damien. They’ve been together for five years (thirty-five in gay years). When marriage equality suddenly becomes legal in Minnesota, they’re faced with a sobering reality… They might have to get married! Whoops… didn’t think about that one. Their story is one of many. Follow them and others connected to the Minnesota LGBT community as they navigate their new found freedom.

Inspired by a real first gay date involving beer, cats, and drunken strangers, #RelationshipStatus weaves together humor, history, and a handful of homos. [/sws_yellow_box]

Extras:
[sws_red_box box_size=”100″] Interview with Fresh Fruit’s 14th Annual Queer Fringe Binge with Dixie Treichel and John Townsend
Matt Briggs: “It’s a comedy but the characters aren’t caricatures… for all of this this was such an extremely important moment in our countries history and especially our state’s history. We all had so much pride and we also had a lot of expectations and this play is kind of a comedic take on what happens when those expectations meet reality.” [/sws_red_box]

Show times:
[sws_green_box box_size=”100″] Friday, 8/1 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, 8/3 @ 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 8/6 @ 8:30 p.m.
Friday, 8/8 @ 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8/9 @ 8:30 p.m. [/sws_green_box]

BOOM

by Day In, Day Out Productions and written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb will be presented by The Playwrights’ Center

Synopsis:
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″] A gay grad student discovers a comet is about to destroy the planet. In an attempt to save the human race, he puts out a slightly deceptive ad on Craigslist for “Sex to Change the Course of the World.” This attracts an undergraduate journalism student who believes she has only come to his lab for the night, until disaster strikes. We are guided through the story of “the boom” by a passionate museum docent billions of years in the future. This play explores fate versus chance, life and death, and the habits of fish.
Just so you know, this show has Adult language, Loud noises/gunshots, Sexual Content. [/sws_yellow_box]

Show times:
[sws_green_box box_size=”100″] Thursday, 7/31 @ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8/2 @ 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 8/6 @ 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, 8/9 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, 8/10 @ 1:00 p.m. [/sws_green_box]

THE BOY BOY FRIEND: A GAY ROMP

by Swearingen & Orf Productions and written by Joel Swearingen & Kyle Orf will be presented at Theatre in the Round

Synopsis:
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″] A gay romp of a musical telling that age old tale of a white, privileged, upper-class English boy and his quest to find a boy friend, so long as he is white, privileged and upper-class too.

Minnesota-based theatre duo Joel Swearingen and Kyle Orf introduce “The ‘Boy’ Boy Friend: A Gay Romp!” a fabulously gay interpretation of the musical that marked Julie Andrews’ American stage debut. This partially gender-swapped musical parody brings to light what a musical may have looked like in the 1950s had being gay been more of a cultural norm that it is today. The work includes new musical numbers, lyrics, and book.

The story is that of a group of young gay men sent to “Madame Dubonnet’s School for Wayward Boys” where their misguided parents believe they are learning to resist their gay urges. Little do they know, they have sent their sons to a school lead by a savvy and all-knowing transsexual who encourages the boys to become the gay men they are meant to be. Comedy ensues as the boys flit around the plage in the South of France. Old loves are rekindled and new lusts are born.[/sws_yellow_box]

Show times:
[sws_green_box box_size=”100″] Friday, 8/1 @ 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8/3 @ 1:00 p.m.
Monday, 8/4 @ 10:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 8/6 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, 8/10 @ 5:30 p.m. [/sws_green_box]

BRAZEN THEATRE’S THE MISS LONGVIEW TEXAS DRAG PAGEANT

by The Producer’s Association and written by Mark Hooker will be presented Theatre in the Round

Synopsis:
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″] A gay Thanksgiving celebration at the Longview East Texas Victorian home of former drag performer Dinky and his partner Renny replete with pinecone turkeys and apple martinis, anticipates an evening Drag Contest at the local high school to be judged by none other than hometown boy and film star, Matthew McConaughey.

The gathering is complicated by the unwelcome arrival of a saucy high school teacher and her sexually ambiguous former husband (the town sheriff) who expose secrets and deceptions of invited guests.

Further mayhem ensues when an escaped convict takes the group hostage, and a mysterious light from the sky conjures thoughts of unwelcome alien guests, forcing everyone to ask the question, “are we alone in the universe”?

THE MISS TEXAS LONGVIEW DRAG PAGEANT was workshopped in the winter of 2013 in New York City and continues to be a work-in-progress. We welcome your comments about the production, and if you would like to make more detailed comments, please visit and respond via our website www.brazentheatre.com.

Mark Hooker’s wild new comedy promises outrageous fun and an amusing homage to vintage television.[/sws_yellow_box]

Extras:

[sws_red_box box_size=”100″] Interview with TheColu.mn’s Keith Pederson:

Show clip:

Song:

[/sws_red_box]

Show times:
[sws_green_box box_size=”100″] Thursday, 7/31 @ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8/2 @ 10:00 p.m.
Monday, 8/4 @ 7:00 p.m.
Friday, 8/8 @ 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, 8/9 @ 8:30 p.m. [/sws_green_box]

EQUANIMITY

by Broken Silence Theatre and created by the ensemble presented at The Playwrights’ Center

Synopsis:
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″] A man and a woman walk into a bar. Or maybe it was a man and a man. Or a woman and a woman and there may have been some others. Also the bar may not have been a bar, it may have been a dainty coffee shop or outer space or some theatre somewhere in the midst of the world where the only thing you’re really sure about is that you’re not wholly sure of much. [/sws_yellow_box]

Show times:
[sws_green_box box_size=”100″] Thursday, 7/31 @ 10:00 p.m.
Friday, 8/1 @ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8/2 @ 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8/3 @ 4:00 p.m.
Monday, 8/4 @ 7:00 p.m. [/sws_green_box]

THE GENEALOGY OF HAPPENSTANCE

by The Peanut Butter Factory and created by Allegra J Lingo, presented at U of M Rarig Center Arena

Synopsis:
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″] When two mommies want to have a child, things can feel a little unfair. One mommy will pass on her eyes, her hairline, and a whole genealogy of traits. The other mommy? She’ll be connected only by happenstance.

The Genealogy of Happenstance is the latest original solo performance from Allegra J Lingo–co-founder of Rockstar Storytellers and creator of past Fringe hits Crescendo and I Hate Kenny G–about motherhood, family, faith, and the long, complicated road to conception. [/sws_yellow_box]

Extras:
[sws_red_box box_size=”100″]Interview on Fresh Fruit’s 14th Annual Queer Fringe Binge with Dixie Treichel and John Townsend

Allegra J Lingo: “It’s about my wife and I having a baby,” said Lingo adding that it looks at the stresses of having a child. “It’s not just for gay couples, I mean straight couples have this too when they are trying to plan a baby. It becomes this private stress that nobody wants to talk about. I can’t be the only person out there that wants to talk about it, so I might as well write it so I did.” [/sws_red_box]

Show times:
[sws_green_box box_size=”100″]Friday, 8/1 @ 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8/3 @ 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, 8/5 @ 7:00 p.m.
ASL interpreted
Saturday, 8/9 @ 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8/10 @ 2:30 p.m. [/sws_green_box]

INVISIBLE PEOPLE

by Christy Marie Kent, directed by Christy Marie Kent, and presented at Minneapolis Theatre Garage

Synopsis:
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″] Invisibility tops the superpower list…but what is lost when we’re not seen? From a writer fearing his own erasure to a lonely tween saved by an online alter-ego, it’s four true stories in one can’t-see show!
The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 12 and up.
Invisibility tops the superpower list . . . but what is lost when we’re not seen? From a writer fearing his own erasure to a young man attempting to hide his transgender self in a monastery, it’s two true stories by two Minnesota-based writers in one can’t-see show.

Their stories—which are quite different, on the surface—are intertwined in one unified performance.

Michael Merriam fears that his loss of sight will make him invisible to those around him. “It all started with the fliers,” he says, describing the people passing out fliers advertising shows, political candidates, or grass-roots causes that begin to scurry past him when they see his cane.

Christy Marie Kent tries to become invisible by entering a monastery, thinking that hiding from women will cure her from wanting to become a woman. When this fails, she gives in and transitions to womanhood. “My physical transformation begins with this, hormone pills created from the estrogen-rich urine of pregnant mares. On the bright side, the sweet candy coating almost disguises the taste of horse pee.”

Explore with them the depths of the human spirit. Discover the ability to make the best possible lives for themselves—for ourselves.

Isn’t this what we all want? [/sws_yellow_box]

Extras:
[sws_red_box box_size=”100″]Interview on Fresh Fruit’s 14th Annual Queer Fringe Binge with Dixie Treichel and John Townsend
Patrick Perry: “The story of her being in college and going to a monastery with a mentor an thinking about going there to get away from her trans feelings… She was trying to become invisible. Michael feels like he’s invisible because he’s going blind.” [/sws_red_box]

Show times:
[sws_green_box box_size=”100″] Thursday, 7/31 @ 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, 8/2 @ 10:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 8/6 @ 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, 8/9 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, 8/10 @ 1:00 p.m. [/sws_green_box]

KYLE AND SEAN ARE LOVERS

by T or D or S, created by The Group From Phoenix, AZ, and presented at U of M Rarig Center Arena

Synopsis:
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″]Kyle and Sean are two straight identified men in their late twenties who are taking this opportunity of performing at Fringe to confess, deal with, and normalize the homosexual experiences of their youth. [/sws_yellow_box]

Show times:
[sws_green_box box_size=”100″] Thursday, 7/31 @ 10:00 p.m.
Friday, 8/1 @ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8/2 @ 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8/3 @ 1:00 p.m.
Monday, 8/4 @ 7:00 p.m. [/sws_green_box]

MERGING DUALITIES

by Mona Lise Productions, choreographed by Lisa Vogel, and presented at Southern Theater

Synopsis:
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″] Highlighting partnership dance with elements of artistic commentary, original sound compositions, and same gender partnerships to display beautiful exhibits of contemporary and traditional ballroom dance. [/sws_yellow_box]

Extras:

[sws_red_box box_size=”100″] Interview on Fresh Fruit’s 14th Annual Queer Fringe Binge with Dixie Treichel and John Townsend
Lisa Vogel: The performance will have “a lot of featured female partnerships” in a “dance form that has traditionally been defined by gender.” [/sws_red_box]

Show times:
Thursday, 7/31 @ 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8/2 @ 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, 8/3 @ 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, 8/6 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, 8/10 @ 2:30 p.m.

ONE ARM

by Perestroika Theater Project and written by Tennessee Williams, presented at Southern Theater

Synopsis:
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″] Moises Kaufman’s fast, fierce, brutally beautiful stage adaptation of an unproduced screenplay by Tennessee Williams. Ollie, a military boxer, loses his arm in a car crash and turns to hustling to survive. [/sws_yellow_box]

Extras:
[sws_red_box box_size=”100″] Interview on Fresh Fruit’s 14th Annual Queer Fringe Binge with Dixie Treichel and John Townsend
Joseph Stodola: The play portrays “the gay underworld of New Orleans, the hustlers and the drug word, the world that Tennessee Williams new intimately but that he couldn’t write about in the plays that were produced on Broadway in his lifetime.” [/sws_red_box]

Show times:
[sws_green_box box_size=”100″] Thursday, 7/31 @ 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, 8/2 @ 8:30 p.m.
Monday, 8/4 @ 5:30 p.m. (ASL interpreted)
Wednesday, 8/6 @ 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8/10 @ 1:00 p.m. [/sws_green_box]

SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY

by Ponders Productions, created by Anders Norheim Mattson, and presented at Minneapolis Theatre Garage

Synopsis:
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″]An Original Mythological Musical

Broke, alone, and on the verge of homelessness, Minneapolis musician Anders Ponders stops writing a cycle of songs about Greek mythology, picks up and leaves for California. Joined by a high school re-acquaintance, an idealistic adventurer named Dreas, their bickering causes them to run over an old man on a desert highway, although the poor thing resuscitates and continues undeterred. As day breaks, a sequence of Greek mythological characters present themselves to the wayfarers. Why in this order? What does it mean? While Anders curiously ventures further into the desert to find out, Dreas insists on returning to the wrecked car, leaving him with a bottle of water. As Anders wonders how he can stay in this lost storyworld forever, Dreas wonders if he’ll ever see Anders again… alive.

The story is true, and yet the story is false. The question is whether your story is working for you. Is avoiding something obvious causing it’s magnification? Isn’t it right that all you have to do to realize your dreams is to change “your story?” This musical revue of 12 Greek myths, all aligned with the stars, asks these questions in a riotous musical meditation on how to gain self-awareness and find meaning. [/sws_yellow_box]

Extras:

Show times:
[sws_green_box box_size=”100″] Friday, 8/1 @ 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, 8/3 @ 8:30 p.m.
Friday, 8/8 @ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8/9 @ 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, 8/10 @ 5:30 p.m. [/sws_green_box]

THE TUCKING OF MY SHREW

by Homo Hotdish, written by Chase Burns, and presented at Minneapolis Theatre Garage

Synopsis:
[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″] Two drag queens from Lake City, Minnesota, reenact “The Taming of the Shrew” in a glitzy-glam vision of beyond. This new Shakespearean classic has legs for days, songs for the lonely, and a penis that talks.

“Tucking” is two small town drag queens, Mona S’more and Chastity Burns, doing their damndest to put on their two-Kate version of The Taming of the Shrew after neither one was able to play Kate in their high school’s production. Chastity and Mona use Mr. Shakespeare’s text and add their own layers of vogueing, song, and strutting to create a new Shakespearean classic that will transcend to new levels of sequinshine.

HOMOHOTDISH is a queer performance group dedicated to creating eccentric queer theater that is based in Minnesota. Jump in our pot! We’re hot and steamy. [/sws_yellow_box]

Extras:

[sws_red_box box_size=”100″] Interview on Fresh Fruit’s 14th Annual Queer Fringe Binge with Dixie Treichel and John Townsend
Ryan Patrick: “There’s too much glitter… the heels are too hard to wear… a giant penis comes on stage and interrupts everything!”
[/sws_red_box] Show times:
[sws_green_box box_size=”100″] Friday, 8/1 @ 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8/3 @ 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, 8/7 @ 7:00 p.m.
Friday, 8/8 @ 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, 8/9 @ 10:00 p.m. [/sws_green_box]

TWELFTH NIGHT

by Rough Magic Performance Company, written by William Shakespeare (sort of), and presented at the U of M Rarig Center Thrust

[sws_yellow_box box_size=”100″] Follow storm-tossed Viola through Shakespeare’s beloved classic, honed down to its essence in this comedic adventure of love lost, love thwarted, and love found in the most unexpected places. [/sws_yellow_box]

Extras:
[sws_red_box box_size=”100″] Interview on Fresh Fruit’s 14th Annual Queer Fringe Binge with Dixie Treichel and John Townsend
Catherine Johnson Justice: “You can fall in love with a person not knowing their true gender… love is actually bigger than gender.” [/sws_red_box]

Show times:
[sws_green_box box_size=”100″] Friday, 8/1 @ 10:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 8/6 @ 5:30 p.m.
Friday, 8/8 @ 8:30 p.m. (Audio described)
Saturday, 8/9 @ 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, 8/10 @ 7:00 p.m. [/sws_green_box]

Honorable mentions:
WTF IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN
Happy-go-lucky Adam comes of age in BFF God’s Eden: he dates, deals with dinosaurs, and grapples for the Garden. A sexy, silly, epic adventure that’s totes true! The Genesis you didn’t learn in Sunday School.

URGENT CARE -OR THE DOCTOR WILL EAT YOU NOW!
There’s a problem at Urgent Care. Is it the homicidal Cat? The crone and her potent potions? Or is it just the Zombie Apocalypse? Catch this zany send up of 50’s flicks In black and white,and FRIGHT-VISION!

A CALI HOME COMPANION
An homage to the famed public radio program through the lens of an ironic pair of Ray Ban knockoffs. Blending music, improv, sketch & storytelling, it simultaneously satirizes and celebrates the Golden State.

DREAMBOYS
Five men sing songs made famous by Broadway’s leading ladies. Alternately heartfelt and hilarious, earnest and irreverent, DreamBoys puts a new spin on some of the greatest hits of the Great White Way!

THE FIVE THOUSAND
A small all-male theatre troupe struggles to stay afloat amidst a series of unfortunate events. Through sarcasm, satire, and numerous 4th wall breaks, this comedy will have you saying “What the #$&! was that?”

GRAY DUCK
nspired by Ibsen’s Wild Duck, when dead animals start appearing, four millennials, a baby boomer, and an internet guru are forced to examine the lies we live by. Is truth becoming a notion of the past?

HOUR TOWN
A comedic, condensed spin on Thornton Wilder’s classic play written specifically for the Minnesota Fringe filled with puppets, surprises, and celebrity impressions- all told in one hour!

STAIRWAY TO KEVIN
This fringe veteran is turning 40 and questioning everything. Join him for a hilarious round-the-world journey on the search for the meaning of life. A hybrid of standup, storytelling and original music.

ESPOSTO!
The Carmone’s are your typical Italian family – loud, argumentative, and absolutely, positively, in no way associated with the mob. So with a family this tight, one little exposed secret couldn’t hurt – right?

SUPERNOVA!: A ONE MAN PLAY BY REX DOUGLAS!: A TWO MAN PLAY BY TURNER BARROWMAN & COLLIN KLUG
We all know and love famous celebrity Rex Douglas (CSI: Gary, IN), but will he show up to perform his one man show, “Supernova!”? Or will his two understudies compete for the lead role? Probably the second one.

WHAT YOU WILL
Experience Twelfth Night as never before, through the perspectives, shenanigans and heartbreak of Malvolio and Sir Toby’s gang. This is the ‘other’ story, which sheds new light on Shakespeare’s beloved players.

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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