Fringe 2009: It’s for the children


by Matthew A. Everett | February 27, 2009 • I guess the economy is hitting the Fringe hard, too. This is the first year I can remember that the applicants for the kids Fringe slots didn’t need to be drawn. Normally there have been more artists wanting in with shows by and for kids that there were slots, so they had to try their luck in the spinning chickenwire cage like everyone else.

single white fringe geek is the blog of matthew a. everett. in addition to being one of five bloggers covering the minnesota fringe festival for the daily planet, he blogs throughout the year about theater and culture.

This year, however, more slots set aside than artists.

Upside, they all got in.

Other upside, there’s another slot or two to toss into the general pot, more chance for artists of all stripes to get on the Fringe schedule.

And I guess an additional upside is, all these shows will get a little extra attention and won’t have to fight quite as hard for an audience. These nine are currently the only game in town for parents to go Fringing with their youngsters (outside of sampling some of the more adult fare out there that might also be family-friendly). They’re all local companies, and they are…


Purple Horse Productions

(the proverbial horse of a different color)

“The Greener Garden” – A gardener discovers he has a greener thumb after falling asleep, allowing the magical fruit blossoms to go to work.


Black Storytellers Alliance

Anansi, Brer Rabbit, and Other Wily Characters” – Storytelling: folk tales, fairy tales, and other stories of trickery and wit.


Hometown Theatre

“Goodnight, Eric!” – A young boy is asked to put himself to bed for the first time, because his parents have company. He ends up playing games with his stuffed animals because we find out, he still wants to be tucked in.

(Well, don’t we all?)


Harmony Theatre Company & School

“The Sleuth Sisters” – An original detective story for children, performed as an off-the-air radio show.

(So… a radio show with an audience that’s not on the air is essentially… theater. Works out fine.)


Upstage! Musical Theatre Workshop

(So, are they commanding the kids to get upstage, or to upstage their fellow performers, or since Upstage! has the exclamation point, is that the place on stage where all the music happens? I know. I’m overthinking this.)

“The Real Story of Little Red Riding Hood” – This musical tells the classic story of Little Red Riding Hood, but with a twist. When the wolf takes over the show, everyone will hear his side of the story… like it or not.

(Setting a wolf loose on a room full of kids. Excellent!)


Gustavus Adolphus College

“Poppy’s Real Mother” – A show for young children about adoption.


Joshua English Scrimshaw & Levi Weinhagen

The Hardy Boys in, The Tower Treasure” – Young detectives solve a mystery and meet quirky folk along the way. A comic adaptation.

(I have to admit, I was addicted to these books, and the TV show, when I was a kid. And since it’s a kids show rather than adult Scrimshaw fare, it won’t be The Hardy Boys In Rehab – though that, too, would be fun)


Top Hat Theatre


(They’ve done the Fringe before and had success. I imagine that trend will continue.)


Magic Lantern Puppet Theatre

“I Won’t Grow Up!”

(ok, ok, no need to shout)

Exploration of an adult’s memories and fantasies of childhood.

(promising name of the company, in terms of what the production might hold)

Matthew A. Everett is a local playwright and three-time recipient of grant support from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Information on Matthew and his plays can be found at