I realized last night, if you attend all the Fringe-For-Alls and the Out-of-Towner showcase, you'll see snippets from some 80 shows. Likely you'll see something you like. I attended and I saw plenty that interested me, and while this would be great for newbie fringers like my fellow Minnesota Playlist blogger Lisa Hu or someone who's having difficulty scheduling, it does not serve someone well when they are attempting to create a schedule that goes venue-by-venue. Knowing too much leads to a lot of mental hand-wringing, and my own extra-curricular activities in the theatre community certainly don't help matters.
Let's get this out of the way--I not only see a lot of shows, but I talk to a lot of the performers and have been doing Minnesota Fringe-centric content over at Twin Cities Theater Connection podcast. Check it out if you're having problems deciding what shows to see! An outgrowth of running that podcast is that I can give you decent advice on what you should see if you want to have a good time as a fringe go-er. Following the talent is a decent option, particularly if you've seen those performers before and you trust them to put on a good show.
But following the talent and knowing too much about any show has proved somewhat problematic scheduling venue-by-venue. I'll start by considering a venue like Illusion (which has a ton of shows I want to see) and then I'll try to fit all of those shows into an Illusion Day. But I can't do that unless I move my New Century Day. Then my New Century Day displaces my Red Eye Day. A spiral. A terrible spiral which results in me weighing one show against another and being forced to make a decision.
So I've had to kill some dreams here. I'm not going to see everything I want to see and I don't have a perfect schedule. But could I have created such a thing anyway? What what does a "perfect schedule" even contain? A show I'll enjoy in every slot? This boy don't fringe that way. I want to see stuff outside my comfort zone*.
"Enough with this dancing around, Joshua Humphrey," you say, glaring at me. "How's the schedule stand now?" Behold!
Current Venue Schedule
Red Eye Theater
Theatre in the Round
New Century Theater
Woman's Club of Minneapolis
Music Box Theatre
I'm not sure about my final day, and I'm pretty sure this will probably morph as the festival moves along--as fringe schedules do. The Illusion and Theatre-in-the-Round have amazing lineups of shows that I want to see, and I find myself looking forward to my day at the Southern--dance, dance, the storytelling stylings of Katherine Glover, dance, dance.
Not "perfect." But I'm ready to begin.