The Minnesota Fringe Festival has become a hotbed for women artists to tell their stories and showcase their talents. In today's American theatre scene, where less than 18 percent of plays produced are written or directed by women, opportunities like the Fringe are golden.
Here are some highlights:
All Night Check: Beautiful Young Ladies to Perform for You Chicago's The Wandering Uterus Project created their show around an historic brothel coin. Skewing both sex culture tropes (think porn storylines and Halloween clothing) and political tropes (elections and debates), these three ladies invite audience members up on stage to participate in their satirical romp through a "Brothel of the Future."
Where: Univ. of Minn. Rarig Center Xperimental, 330 21st Ave. S., Mpls.
When: Fri., 8/5/2016 7 p.m.; Tues., 8/9, 5:30 p.m.; Wed., 8/10, 5:30 p.m.; Fri., 8/12, 10 p.m.; Sat., 8/13, 8:30 p.m.
Afterlife SunsetGun Productions offers a popular remount from the 2009 Fringe. This solo show traces the evolution of womankind through three very different women: a 1928 Appalachian midwife, a 1950s homemaker, and a contemporary film producer, on one very significant day.
Where: Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls.
When: Sat., 8/6/2016, 5:30 p.m.; Sun., 8/7, 7 p.m.; Wed., 8/10, 5:30 p.m.; Fri., 8/12, 4 p.m.; Sat., 8/13, 7 p.m.
Bird of Seven Colors This Erin Sheppard Presents Horror Festival remount is based on a Puerto Rican folktale. A girl is cast off from her home and sent in search of the treacherous Bird of Seven Colors. The all-female ensemble of dancers and choreographers work in tandem with a storyteller in a fun, accessible and spooky performance.
Where: Univ. of Minn. Barbara Barker Center for Dance, 580 Rarig Center, 330 21st Ave. S., Mpls.
When: Fri., 8/5/2016, 5:30 p.m.; Sun., 8/7, 1 p.m.; Tues., 8/9, 7 p.m.; Fri., 8/12, 8:30 p.m.; Sat., 8/13, 4 p.m.
Rune Vox Medusa tells their stories through a stimulating combination of contemporary dance, live vocals, electronic music, and video scene-scapes. "Rune" was conceived by lead artist Kristin Freya, after a trip to Norway to retrace her ancestral roots as a Sami (the indigenous people of Lapland). This year's offering follows a Sami shaman on her journey into the Otherworld to save her tribe from a soul-threatening virus.
Where: Intermedia Arts
When: Thurs., 8/4/2016, 5:30 p.m.; Sat., 8/6, 2:30 p.m.; Sun., 8/7, 5:30 p.m.; Tues., 8/9, 8:30 p.m.; Sat., 8/13, 4 p.m.
Sometimes There's Wine Funny ladies Shanan Custer and Carolyn Pool team up again after their long-running vignette comedy, 2 Sugars, Room for Cream - a show inspired by coffee. Guess what inspired this one?
Where: Theater in the Round, 245 Cedar Ave., Mpls.
When: Thurs., 8/4/2016, 10 p.m.; Sat., 8/6, 7 p.m.; Sun., 8/7, 8:30 p.m.; Thurs., 8/11, 8:30 p.m.; Sat., 8/13, 10 p.m.
Shaken - and Stirred Utilizing inspiring musical sources from around the globe, master Near Eastern dancer Cassandra Shore and 20 dancers from Jawaahir Dance Company delight the senses with folkloric heritage of the Middle East, as well as some surprises.
Where: Intermedia Arts
When: Fri., 8/5/2016, 5:30 p.m.; Sat., 8/6, 10 p.m.; Wed., 8/10, 7 p.m.; Sat., 8/13, 1 p.m.; Sun., 8/14, 7 p.m.
The Abortion Chronicles The Red Letter Society presents bold storytelling about abortion - which is more terrifying, funny, sad, complicated and necessary than you might expect. Based on true stories. All proceeds to benefit Planned Parenthood and Whole Woman's Health.
Where: Theatre in the Round
When: Fri., 8/5/2016, 7 p.m.; Sat., 8/6, 10 p.m.; Tues., 8/9, 10 p.m.; Fri., 8/12, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., 8/14, 1 p.m.
For Worse Theatre Unbound brings a new play from company founder Anne Bertram. On the verge of divorce, a couple juggles flight delays, air sickness, vocabulary words from Lord of the Flies, and an appearance by the great god Dionysus. Performed by wife and husband Stacey Poirier and Edward Linder, the play is a humorously disquieting pair of monologues about marriage, morality and the stuff we can't keep down.
Where: Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St., Mpls.
When: Thurs., 8/4/2016, 5:30 p.m.; Sat., 8/6, 7 p.m.; Tues., 8/9, 7 p.m.; Thurs., 8/11, 10 p.m.; Sat., 8/13, 5:30 p.m.
Compiled by Stacey Poirier, artistic director of Theatre Unbound, Minnesota's current, longest-running women's theater company.