Fifteen returning champions


by Phillip Andrew Bennett Low • July 30, 2008 • No less than five can be found at the Rarig Center: Chopping Block and Charlie Bethel (the team that brought you last year’s “Tom Thumb”) is teaming to produce Beowulf or Gilgamesh? You Decide! at which audiences will be able to pick which of Charlie’s hit one-man epics they get to see that evening. He also did some of the initial script work on Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, by No Refunds Theatre Company. Fringe favorite Joe Scrimshaw presents a children’s show called An Inconvenient Squirrel. Four Humors (of “Bards”, “Deviled Eggs” and “Inspector Rex”) brings a traveling medicine show called Mortem Capiendum. And Walking Shadow is putting on Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead, in which the Globe Theatre finds itself under attack by a zombie plague.

Womb With a View is the blog of Phillip Andrew Bennett Low, one of five bloggers covering the Minnesota Fringe Festival for the Daily Planet.

Two great movement shows can be found right her in the Minneapolis Theatre Garage: Jon Ferguson has been collaborating with Chain Coffee Productions to create BULL “An American Story of Bullheadedness”, a twisted adaptation of Ionesco. Noah Bremer of Live Action Set has also contributed to Fools for Love by The Hastings High School Drama Club. Live Action Set itself is putting on Deviants, an adaptation of a remarkable show they did earlier this year, at the Soap Factory.

There’s at least two brilliant 90-minute productions taking place at the Bryant-Lake Bowl: out-of-towner Mark Whitney is doing his one-man show FOOL FOR A CLIENT, which easily made my top ten last year, and Vanderpan Enterprises (whose show “Three Days in Hell” made my top five) is doing Paul Bunyan Runs for President.

If it’s movement you’re interested in, there’s an embarrassment of riches scattered throughout the Festival: Sara Stevenson Scrimshaw (whose comic dancing I’ve the pleasure of witnessing in the past) is doing Dance of the Whisky Faerie, while physical theatre ensemble 3 Sticks is just bringing The Gypsy and the General back from Kansas City. Marceau-trained mime Dean Hatton – one of the best-kept secrets in the Twin Cities – is performing a tribute to his (now unfortunately late) teacher, titled Silent Poetry.

Rounding out the list, I’ll throw on two more solo performers: Tim Mooney will be presenting his third one-man show in Minneapolis, this one called Karaoke Knights. And hit stand-up comic Ben Sandell is taking a crack at storytelling in Strawberry Fields Temporarily.

But that’s not all!

Phillip Andrew Bennett Low ( is a playwright and poet, storyteller and mime, theatre critic and libertarian activist, who lurks ominously in the desert wilds of St. Louis Park, feasting upon the hygienically-prepared flesh of the once-living. His main claim to fame is probably as co-founder of the Rockstar Storytellers, and as founder/producer of Maximum Verbosity, a garage-band-like theatre troupe that is in a state of constantly re-defining itself.