This year’s Minnesota Fringe Festival ended on a note of controversy surrounding one of its acts.
Last week, during a ventriloquist-style puppet show titled “Bad Thoughts with Wolfie B. Bad,” the main character’s antics went too far, sparking an uproar against the artist – and his eventual exit from the festival.
According to the city pages, an audience member who was called on stage to take part in the show was groped by the puppet, who continued despite negative audience reactions.
Daniel Mohr, the puppeteer behind Wolfie B., apologized on his Facebook page, calling it a “very big” mistake and stating that “I never intend to hurt anyone on stage”:
He also announced that he would cancel the rest of his performances at the Fringe Festival.
Entrance to the show on the Fringe Festival site has since been withdrawn.
So what happens next? As the aforementioned City Pages article notes, Fair Play Minnesota – which advocates for gender equality in the local theatrical scene – calls on the Minnesota Fringe Festival to “make a public statement” and strengthen its policies against such conduct. .
This isn’t the first time an act has sparked controversy for performing arts extravagance. In 2016, a program on the topic of pedophilia was removed from the programming, which led to a trial of its author / performer, as noted by the Star Tribune.
The festival, which hosts a wide variety of experimental shows every summer in the Twin Cities, ended Sunday after an 11-day race.