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Golden Lanyard Awards

2022 will be the Third Golden Lanyard Awards! Awardees will be announced Sunday, August 14th at the Closing Night Party, held at Fringe Central, hosted by The Red Sea. 

Audience-driven Awards 

Spirit of the Fringe (1 recipient): Vote for the "Fringiest" production you saw in this year's Festival Season! Who made the boldest choices, took the most risks? Which piece took audiences on an adventure? VOTE HERE

Audience Picks (3 recipients): Vote for your favorite production of the Festival Season! VOTE HERE

Venue Picks (11 recipients): The top selling production at each Fringe-managed venue (based on the first 4 performances).

Fringe with Benefits Member Pick (1 recipient): A special award for our year-round champions, Fringe with Benefits members, to select their favorite production. VOTE HERE

Artist-driven Awards* 

Artist Picks (3 recipients): Vote for one favorite company/production showcasing artistic achievement -- a prestigious, peer-given award! (ARTISTS: Paper ballots were delivered at your technical rehearsal)

Underdog Award (1 recipient): Vote for the company -- producing here at Minnesota Fringe in the Festival for the first time -- which has taken the boldest risks, been the most ambitious newbie, and wowed you with their first show!

  • To view a list of eligible shows, use the Features column on the 2022 Shows page to search for First-time Producers and First-time MN Fringe Festival Producers.

*Artists vote with physical ballots turned in at Fringe Central, hosted by The Red Sea August 13th at 11:59p. Artists are ineligble to vote for their own show. (ARTISTS: Paper ballots were delivered at your technical rehearsal)

Staff-driven Awards 

Members of the year-round Fringe team recognize a production based on their organizational role... and/or their own fringe-tastic, creative prerogatives!

Special Awards 

The Beverlee Award honors the legacy of Beverlee Everett, mother of theater reviewer and playwright Matthew Everett. Each summer, Beverlee made the trip from Pennsylvania to Minnesota to tenaciously "Fringe-binge" with Matthew. Beverlee was a warm and wonderful presence to all who knew her. Our Fringe flame burns darker in her absence.

The Red Locks Award is for a Fringe artist, entrepreneur, do-gooder, rabble rouser, or other like-minded iconoclast who was willing to give it a shot!


The 2019 Golden Lanyard Award Winners were:

Audience-driven Awards 

Spirit of the Fringe

  • Chisago: The Musical - Haute Dish Productions
  • Fool Muun Komming! [BeBgWunderful/YEsyes/4sure.Hi5. TruLuv;Spank Spank:SOfun_Grate_Times] - Sam Kruger

Audience Picks

  • The Scranton Strangler: An Office Musical - Literally Entertainment
  • Chisago: The Musical - Haute Dish Productions
  • STOOPIDITY - Ian McCarthy, Michael McKitt & Domino D’Lorion

Venue Picks

  • Minneapolis Human Rhythm Project - Keane Sense of Rhythm at Barker Center
  • Decision Artist: A Comedy Mind Reading Show about Decision Making - Kristoffer Olson, Funny Magician at Strike Theater
  • Booth’s Ghost - Andrew Erskine Wheeler at Ritz Mainstage
  • Which Middle Name of Philip Seymour Hoffman Are You? - An Alleged Theatre Company at Ritz Studio
  • You are Cordially Invited to the Life and Death of Edward Lear - The Winding Sheet Outfit at The Crane Theater
  • Quiet Riot - Broken Box Mime Theater at Augsburg Mainstage
  • Chocolate Covered Chicken Wings - Paradox Productions at Augsburg Studio
  • Operation: Immigration - Wandering Jew Productions at Mixed Blood Theatre Company
  • Xena and Gabrielle Smash the Patriarchy by Mermaid Productions at Theatre in the Round
  • A Cult Classic - Sheep Theater at The Southern Theater
  • Edith Gets High - Devious Mechanics at Rarig Arena
  • STOOPIDITY - Ian McCarthy, Michael McKitt & Domino D’Lorion at Rarig Xperimental
  • The Scranton Strangler: An Office Musical - Literally Entertainment at Rarig Thrust

Fringe with Benefits Member Pick

  • You are Cordially Invited to the Life and Death of Edward Lear - The Winding Sheet Outfit

Artist-driven Awards

Artist Picks:

  • Fool Muun Komming! [BeBgWunderful/YEsyes/4sure.Hi5. TruLuv;Spank Spank:SOfun_Grate_Times] - Sam Kruger
  • Booth’s Ghost - Andrew Erskine Wheeler
  • A Confederate Widow in Hell - Breaker/Fixer Productions

Underdog Award

  • Unproblematic Faves: Best of Ladybrain - Ladybrain

Staff-driven Awards

  • Magic Girl - Emily Michaels King, presented by Jay Gilman, Artistic Director
  • RELIC - Jesse Factor, presented by Amber Bjork, Artist Liaison / Office Manager
  • Adventuring While Black in Great Britain - The Adventures of Les Kurkendaal, presented by Liz Neerland, Festival Technical Director
  • Beowulf - John Heimbuch, presented by Kaitlen Osburn, Director of Audience & Volunteer Services

Beverlee Award was jointly given to Candice & Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff.


The 2018 Golden Lanyard Award Winners were:

Audience-driven Awards

Audience Picks:

  • Not Fair, My Lady! - Colleen Somerville Presents
  • My 4 Bodies - Nightfox Stage Productions
  • DREAMING - Gabriel Mata/Movements
  • Next: The Musical (A Sidekick Story) - Foxlin 

(Note: due to a tie in voting, 4 Audience Picks were awarded instead of 3.)

Spirit of the Fringe: 

  • Hamlet, but Hamlet's a Chicken - Grand Island Theatre

Venue Picks:

  • Next: The Musical (A Sidekick Story) - Foxlin  at Augsburg Studio 
  • Inescapable - Concrete Dropsat Augsburg Main
  • WHALES - Hit the Lights! Theater Co.  at Ritz Main
  • Estate of Affairs - So Shall I  at Ritz Studio 
  • Slapdash Panic: Comedy Suitcase ended up in the Fringe Festival with 3 weeks notice and no show! - Comedy Suitcase  at Strike Theater
  • Not Fair, My Lady! - Colleen Somerville Presents  at Mixed Blood Theatre
  • Hamlet, but Hamlet's a Chicken - Grand Island Theatre  at Minnsky Theatre
  • Summers in Prague - Sidecar Theatre  at Rarig Arena 
  • Couple Fight: The Musical! - Weggel-Reed Productions  at Rarig Thrust
  • Forsythian Dweller's Club - Bittersweet Arts Co.  at Rarig Xperimental
  • Blood Nocturne - The Winding Sheet Outfit  at Southern Theatre
  • A Justice League of their Own - Mainly Me Productions  at Theatre in the Round

Fringe With Benefits Members' Pick

  • Blood Nocturne - The Winding Sheet Outfit

Artist-driven Awards

Artist Picks:

  • Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign - The Bearded Company Minneapolis
  • WHALES - Hit the Lights! Theater Co.
  • Blood Nocturne - The Winding Sheet Outfit 

Underdog Award: (awarded to a first-time-at-Minnesota-Fringe-first-time producer/company)

  • Not Fair, My Lady! - Colleen Somerville Presents

Staff Picks

  • Still, Or I've Been Choreographed - Kevin Williamson + Company (Awarded by Jay  Gilman, Artistic Director)
  • Stark Dance: Politics, Religion, Sex - Fearnot Dance (Awarded by Liz Neerland, Technical Director)
  • (a) Normal Theatre Play - Goof Goof (Awarded by Amber Bjork, Artist Liaison/Office Manager)
  • Abeyance - Tyler West (Awarded by Kaitlen Osburn, Director of Audience & Volunteer Services)
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