About Minnesota Fringe

There is one big thing that makes Fringe different from any other event in town: All the shows you'll see at Fringe were selected randomly by lottery.

Yep. That's right. Each year the lineup is crafted by placing numbered ping-pong balls into a bingo cage and drawing them out, one by one. From stage veterans to people who are brand new to theater, Minnesota Fringe is a forum for anyone with a story to tell. We also provide the necessary support to make producing a show as easy as possible, regardless of where you land on the artistic spectrum.

Anyone (yes, anyone) can apply to have a show in the festival. If you'd like to have a show in our next festival, applications will go live in November here on our website. Sign up for our newsletter to receive a reminder as well as information about other theater events happening around town.

The mission of the Minnesota Fringe is to promote creative freedom and diversity of artistic expression by linking adventurous artists with adventurous audiences. Thank you for joining in this adventure!

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Shows start and end on time at Fringe. With hundreds of performances and dozens of shows in just 11 days, we have to run a tight schedule to avoid descending into chaos. Performances are no more than 60 minutes long with a half hour between each show.

On weekdays shows begin at 5:30pm, 7pm, 8:30pm and 10pm. On weekends there are additional shows at 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm.

Late seating: There is NO LATE SEATING at Minnesota Fringe. In addition to keeping our schedule, late seating is a safety issue for artists and audiences.

Safety for artists: Some of our theaters require that patrons walk across parts of the stage to reach the seating area, and many of our production companies’ stage work encompasses entrances and exits from the house.

Safety for audiences: Entering a darkened theater, possibly for the first time, and trying to find open seats puts patrons and volunteers at unnecessary risk.

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Fringe Central

Fringe Central, sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by a local establishment, serves as the late-night watering hole for artists, staff, volunteers and audience members alike. Come in after a day full of shows to grab a beer and some bar food. Talk about what you loved and what you didn’t. Meet the artists behind the scenes and actors on the stage. Find out what you should see tomorrow or dream up your own idea for next year. You never know what will happen during Fringe, but dropping by Fringe Central gives you a serious head start.

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What to Wear

Shorts and a t-shirt. Seriously. Also, a pair of comfy shoes will serve you well in case you have to wait in line. Most Fringe shows take place indoors in air-conditioned venues, so having a layer to throw on in case you get chilly is also advisable.

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Choosing a Show

With hundreds of performances and dozens of shows, it's scandalous to see just one. But how to choose the perfect lineup?

Search by genre: You can filter for genres when trying to decide what to see.

Talk to people: It only sounds scary. Just look for the folks in lanyards. Lanyards are worn by Fringe artists and there are at least a thousand of them dying to tell you about their show.

Read and write reviews: See what audiences are raving about on our audience review page, then return the favor and let others know what you thought.

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Get Involved

Fringe isn't just a festival - it's a community, and it couldn't exist without people like you.

Create: Applications for the 2018 festival will are live on this website. Fringe is open to everyone, shows are selected by lottery, and you don't even need to have a show ready when you apply.

Volunteer: Our volunteers are near and dear to our hearts and make our festival go, so we shower them with lots of love and complimentary seats! Sign up for a shift now!

Socialize: Join us any night of the festival at our official hangout, Fringe Central sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by a local establishment, for a beer, a burger and maybe even some late-night shenanigans.

Support: Help us create Minnesota's Summer Theater Crawl by donating to or sponsoring our annual festival. Gifts of any size make a large contribution to our ability to meet our mission.

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Box Office Info

Pass, Reservations, and Tickets, Oh My!

In 2018, Fringe will still offer passes but is also re-introducing single tickets options to see shows. We are re-tooling our Box Office policies to reflect our changes. Please check back for more information in the spring.

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 Something different 


Finding Mohamed

By Ifrah Mansour
Created by Ifrah mansour

Playing at U of M Rarig Center Xperimental


Political content, Kids show (12 and under), Solo show, Storytelling/Spoken word, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, Includes artists of color, First-time producer

Finding Mohamed is a multimedia show that follows the life of a refugee women as she journeys to find her lost son at sea. This show touches on the plight the refugees' journey to safety.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 7-11 and up


Fri, 8/4 @ 7:00pm


Sat, 8/5 @ 1:00pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 7:00pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 4:00pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 2:30pm

* Reservations not required, but a Day Pass is. Find out more below.

Ticket Options

Day Passes are $16 on weekdays; $22 on weekends. Day Passes serve as entry to any show in the festival on a given day. Optional reservations to guarantee a seat for a particular performance are available by clicking the "reserve" button above. Day Passes can be purchased in advance with a reservation or at any venue box office during the festival.

Weekdays 1pm-3pm and Weekends 11am-1pm we'll also open an Alternative Box Office at Fringe Central so you can grab a Day Pass and skip the lines at the venue before the show.

Day Passes for kids 12 and under are available at any box office during the festival just $5 every day.

A 2017 Fringe button isn't required for entry, but it does get you access! Wearing it not only identifies you as a part of a fabulous Fringe community, it also entitles you to special deals at local bars and restaurants and access to reduced ticket prices at various theaters throughout the year. Get your 2017 Fringe button for only $4 at any Fringe preview event or Fringe venue during the festival.

Read the reviews

Beautiful, Powerful, Important

by Mirah Ammal on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

This haunting, evocative work will stick with me for some time. Tip for Fringe audiences: do not go into this expecting a literal story, don't try to "figure it out" or worry about what each sound/image is or represents in the moment. Just let it wash over you, experience the flow, sit with the uncomfortable feelings and images it may conjur, tap into the intense emotional load the character conveys through her simple movement and expression. As the work approaches it's culmination, both a depth of the broad message and intimate humanization of individual experience becomes more clear. It's a short show, and Ms Mansour invites discussion and questions from the audience at the end. Just don't expect her to lay it all out for you. ;)


by Thomas R. on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Very under covered subject matter. Important perspective. Some technical issues.

Too conceptual for me

by Katherine DuGarm on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

I followed the first several minutes when the woman wakes up and has morning prayer. After that there was much repetition of dripping water, knocking at the door, and swimming underwater. there were also videos of turtles crawling to the sea or swimming in the ocean, crabs walking on sand, and container ships at sea. In the last five minutes there were audio of children's voices and of Trump.

Other than the first 10 and last 5 minutes, this was too conceptual for me, and I was confused. There wasn't resolution to the dripping water or knocking on the door, and I didn't know why sometimes she went swimming. At one point, several things were happening at the same time, demanding her attention. It seemed like she would have a breakdown


by Mariellen Jacobson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 38 shows

An African woman wakes up, prays, begins morning rituals, then becomes frightened and confused by noises and knocks at the door. She appears trapped, terrorized. Video of sea creatures and ships is projected on a fabric draped behind her and on the concrete block wall. Unfortunately, the images could barely be seen, and about 20 minutes into the show the video timed out. But the audio continued, and it shifted from undersea sounds to her children’s voices urging her to wake up and help them flee, then to Trump talking about his immigration ban and to news reports about refugees fleeing. Aha! That’s what this show is about. I felt confused and trapped and wanting to be somewhere else during most of the show. I absorbed her terror. Wow.

Intriguing, Yet Confusing

by Martin Sheeks on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Despite being uncertain what exactly happened in this piece, I was entranced through the entire performance. Possible some technical difficulties added to the confusion, but frankly I don't know how much that detracted from the show. Engaging and wonderfully captivating performance left me thinking about it a whole day later.


by Michael Sheeks on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

I agree with everything that Betsy (prior review) said. I was totally intrigued by what was happening and the skill with which Ifrah manipulated tone. To my way of thinking, this is why Fringe exists. The show is a little raw and bewildering, but definitely worth the time.

Gave me much to think about

by Betsy Loikow on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

A meditative immersive experience, it felt almost installation-like. I wanted to enter the space and interact with it. The pacing was challenging at times, but I really appreciated the textures the artist was playing with in the performance. I left with a lot to ponder and am still thinking about it hours later.

1 person found this review helpful

Cast and crew

ifrah mansour


Ifrah Mansour is an internationally recognized Somali multidisciplinary artist and an educator. She interweaves text, movement, and digital media to create a multi-sensory artwork that illuminates invisible stories of immigrants. Her artwork takes on the form of plays, poetry, installations, puppetry, and community collaborative artworks. As a female Muslim refugee Minnesotan, she uses her art to connect and bridge different cultures and generations and has become known for her uniquely humorous approach to exploring trauma through the eyes of children. Her self-produced original show "How to Have Fun in A Civil War" premiered at Minnesota State Fair in 2016 and the 2017 remount played to full houses at Children's Theatre Company.

More information

 Star Tribune  says Finding Mohamed is Beautifully textured Portrait  

Finding Mohamed is a silent surreal comedy, audience-participatory, multimedia play following the life of refugee women in search of her lost son at sea. The only trouble is; she has to stay awake, find the source of mysterious knocking sound while finding her son before her family loses their chance to come to America. This show makes an awareness about the plight of the Muslim travel ban, the global refugee migration, and those refugees who are still lost at sea but never forgotten. Lanterns, burlap, and sound illuminate the humor and the courage of Fatima to Finding Mohamed. 

Creator of "How to have fun in a civil war" brings you this surreal journey of "Finding Mohamed"




Joia Spirit