The Fringe is still a free-for-all where participants are chosen by lottery. But now there is a juried portion of the festival, one that expands its offerings to a whole new demographic.
The new Minnesota Family Fringe, at Celtic Junction in St. Paul, has six shows pitched to youngsters. There are Haitian folk tales from Afoutayi Haitian Dance, Music and Arts; traditional dance from CAAM Chinese Dance Theater; “Egg Is …,” an immersive piece for youngsters; shadow puppetry by Hit the Lights! Theater Co. of New York; a dance- and music-infused version of “Medusa”; and “Fruit Flies Like a Banana,” a mix of dance and music by the Fourth Wall, a physical theater company from Boston.
Tickets to any of these shows include admission to Can Can Wonderland, a playing space and game arcade near Celtic Junction. Can Can Wonderland will serve as the hang-out space for Family Fringe, and will have ongoing children-friendly events such as a petting zoo, dance parties, mini-golf and karaoke for all ages.
“We’ve introduced a few new programs this year, and they’re all curated in some form or another,” said executive director Dawn Bentley. “We will honor the founding principles of the Minnesota Fringe, but as we grow, in order to help artists move across the artistic spectrum, we need to create programs that advance artists and entice new audiences.”