The Free Press, Mankato, MN


July 25, 2013

Area theatre talents preview Fringe Festival productions locally

Area theatre talents preview Fringe Festival productions locally


"Vanquished" also marks a first-time Fringe appearance for Barna, who publishes under the name tdbarna. Though the Fringe selects its productions strictly by lottery — it is now the largest nonjuried theatre festival in the United States — Barna was well-prepared when he received notice his work had been selected.

"We had already cast our actor and selected our director," Barna said, explaining that tight timelines, production expenses and repeated commutes to the Twin Cities for Fringe performances will sometimes discourages outstate productions. "So, there was no panic."

Leslie Dupree-Cady is directing while Taylor Anderson is Barna's lone actor. Anderson, who has worked recently with Merely Players Community Theatre, has earned praise for his diligence and commitment to the challenging role.

"He's amazing," Barna said. "When people see him perform, they'll say: 'We've got to get this guy.'"

Abbott's "DiRections" is divided into three vignettes, each of which illustrate an over-reliance and over-abundance of technology. From lead-footed teens with a black market iPhone to prom propositions via Facebook, Abbott calls his comedy a "cautionary tale" that veers into occasionally dark territory.

"Some things do happen when the iPhone gets upset," he said.

Molly Smith is directing with Allen joining Esther Hoffmann, John Zehnder and Jason Toupence in the cast.

If You Go What Mankato Fringe Festival Showcase, featuring "DiRections" and "Vanquished" When 7 p.m. Friday (both shows are 45 minutes) Where Mankato Brewery, 1119 Center St. in North Mankato Tickets $10, available at the door Fringe performances For a full list of Fringe Festival performances, visit

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