Posted in Content

Minnesota Fringe 2019—Unpleasant Follow-Up

So. This happened.

First, let me say, we were not at this show. We’re pro-puppets, but the ad card for the show is off-putting in a way that turns out to be prophetic.

Despite the fact that we weren’t at the show, though, this was something that EVERYONE was talking about. Fringe audiences chat. They chat in line. They chat before the show starts. They ask each other, “Hey, what have you seen? What do I absolutely have to see?” And then you have Fringe Stalwarts like Tim Wick (a definite favorite of our group) who wrote about this performance. So this incident and this show really cast a pall over things.

It was on Tuesday, when we were attending our last performance, that we realized that the show was completely gone from the website, and the performer for that show, at the end of his piece, included a pitch for the show that would replace this, saying only, “He just got in the Fringe through some really terrible circumstances.”

After that, I kept looking for . . . something from Fringe itself. I assume that simply erasing the show from the website was largely technical ineptitude (a kind of shut down all the trash compactors on the detention level/no shut them all down), but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how uncomfortable and shitty that felt. Now, if the City Pages article is correct, it feels even more uncomfortable that it wasn’t Fringe taking action, but the performer, and super duper uncomfortable that Fringe has said nothing beyond Dawn Bentley’s REALLY BAD take—What does the show being added late have to do with Fringe making no apparent response to this? And, really—REALLY?—Fringe has no ethical guidelines of its own, but simply rests on “federal, state, and local laws and ordinances” when it comes to this? That is not just shockingly tone deaf, it’s demoralizing, and it’s wrong, as Hannah Wydeven of Fair Play Minnesota notes in the article.

Badly done to say the least, Fringe.

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