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 850 performances of 167 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 Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown, 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. Pro tip: 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 850 performances of 167 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 go live mid-November on this website. Fringe is open to everyone, all shows are selected by lottery, and you don't even need to have a show ready when you apply.

Attend: Thanks to the new day pass system, attending Fringe is easier and cheaper than ever.

Volunteer: Our 400+ 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 Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown, 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 + Token = Your Admission

Everyone needs a valid pass to see a show. In addition to your pass, you will receive a token at the venue which guarantees you a seat. Turn in your token to the usher when you enter the theater.

More information about passes and policies here.


Optional reservations guarantee a seat for a particular performance and can be purchased online in advance. You must also have a valid to get in. Day passes can be bought online with a reservation to save time, and can be picked up at the venue box office 30 minutes before the performance.

More information about reservations here.


For everyone's safety, Fringe does not allow late seating or re-admission. Photos and video are prohibited without written permission from the production staff. Fringe cannot provide refunds or exchanges.

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 Something different 


First Year Queer

By Sparrow Productions
Created by Lyssa Sparrow

Playing at Intermedia Arts


GLBT content, Solo show, Puppetry, Storytelling/Spoken word, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, First-time producer


Just so you know, this show contains Adult language, Sexual Content.

After a New Year's breakdown in a bathtub, Lyssa started 2016 by coming out as bisexual, non-monogamous, and by diving into kink. Now she and the queers she met along the way bravely share their true stories.

Grown-ups only (18+)


Fri, 8/4 @ 5:30pm


Sat, 8/5 @ 10:00pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 7:00pm


Thu, 8/10 @ 8:30pm


Sun, 8/13 @ 1:00pm

* 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.

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No reviews yet.

Cast and crew

Lyssa Sparrow



Lyssa Sparrow is a Minneapolis-based queer performing artist, educator, advocate, and storyteller. She graduated from Viterbo University in 2012 with a B.F.A. in Theater Performance. Lyssa spent a semester abroad in London studying applied theater, which is theater in non-traditional spaces for social justice and change. The companies Lyssa has worked with most in the past five years have been nimbus, The National Theater for Children, Gadfly Theatre Productions, Patrick’s Cabaret, and Raw Sugar. Lyssa recently finished a program with The DIAL Foundation as one of the five Creative Change Maker Apprentices. Over the last year and a half Lyssa has focused on writing and performing her true stories of coming out as queer, poly, and kinky, as well as someone who has lived through sexual assault, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. She recently earned one of the four competitive slots when the Risk! Live show toured to Minneapolis, and was featured on the popular Risk! Podcast on the episode "Identity Crisis."

First Year Queer, premiering at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, will be the first show launching her new company, Lyssa Sparrow Productions.

Anthony Art

Guest Artist

Anthony Art
Anthony is an artist, hooper, parent and involved participant in the LGBTQ+ and Polyamorous communities. He believe in love without boundaries and hope and work for a safer future for all marginalized people.

His most recent art can be seen on Instagram

Bri Lopez Donovan

Guest Artist

Bri Lopez Donovan is a queer as fuck twenty something, living life in the Twin Cities. Bri uses they/them and she/her pronouns, and identifies as genderqueer. They write for Twin Cities Geek and enjoy creating poetry. Much of their work focuses on sexuality, consent, racism, healing from trauma, and how these things frequently intersect. You can find her work at twincitiesgeek.com and shortstackbri.wordpress.com

Scott Gilbert


Scott is happy to be directing his fourth and fifth shows for the Minnesota Fringe this summer. His other show, The Simple Mind of Dillon Magee is also playing at Intermedia Arts. Previous Minnesota directing credits include: The Antichrist Cometh and We Gather Together for The Chameleon Theatre Circle, and Stay Carl Stay,Perchance to Dream, and Steel Kiss for the MN Fringe festival. He founded Segue Productions in 2012 with the belief that theatre should lead to conversations about current events and experiences we as individuals are facing in our lives.

Ari Newman


Ari Newman wears many hats, but her favorite is the Scottish Tam. She works as co festival-director for the Ae Film Festival, videographer/photographer for Patrick's Cabaret and barista at Peace Coffee. In her spare time, she enjoys cuddling with her tabby cat, going to the Trylon to get nutritional yeast on her popcorn, and overthinking every decision she makes.
You can see more of her work at FlowerTalk: the works of ari newman

Corinna Troth

Production/Puppet Maker

This is Corinna’s first time as a Fringe producer or artist, though she has been an enthusiastic attendee for the past five years. Never one to under-commit, she is also producing The Simple Mind of Dillon Magee for Segue Productions in this year’s festival, also playing at Intermedia Arts.

Corinna holds a B.A. in Theatre and Latin from St. Olaf College. She has worked on numerous Twin Cities productions in a range of capacities, most recently as co-scenic designer for TRP’s 110 in the Shade and prop designer for Theatre Pro Rata’s Goodbye Cruel World. Corinna also serves on the board of 20% Theatre Company.

She lives in St. Paul with her two partners, three of their four collective children and several pets, including Skippy, The Wonderdog.

Sadie Ward

Stage Manager

Sadie and Lyssa met at college orientation weekend at Viterbo University. During an ice breaker game they were paired up as ketchup and mustard, and quickly learned they were both theater majors. In college, Sadie explored both technical theater and administrative work, and graduated with a BA in Theater Studies and a BFA in Arts Administration.

Since college, Sadie has continued to do freelance set and prop design work. You may have seen her work at the following theaters in the last five years: Theater in the Round, Theater Unbound, Park Square, Theater Pro Rata, Chameleon Theater Circle, Lyric Arts, Minnesota Opera, and The Phipps. You can view her portfolio at: sadieward.weebly.com/set-design. Sadie also works as the Human Resources Generalist at the Guthrie, and was previously the Human Resources & Volunteer Coordinator at the Ordway. In her free time, Sadie dotes upon her two wiener dogs Phoebe and Raven.

More information


Heyo, Lyssa Sparrow here, I'm a Minneapolis-based queer storyteller, actor, writer, and advocate. Before 2016 I was extremely depressed and constantly auditioning for roles I didn't want and in relationships where I couldn't be myself. I had a breakdown on New Years Eve of 2015 and decided that 2016 was the year I had to change my life before I lost it to suicidal ideation and self sabotage. So, after suppressing my sexuality for my entire life I came out as bisexual, kinky, and non-monogamous, and entered those communities full force. I switched therapists and got on some anti- depressants and the combination of getting help and finally living my life the way I wanted, saved it. Now, I've found making art around sexuality and mental health is what I want to do. I want to help end the stigma and shame one story and performance at a time.I can't wait to see you at the Fringe, but until then:

Help us make the show happen and learn more about my journey and the evolution of this project - there are some very fun pictures too, so be sure to check out our Kickstarter!

Like First Year Queer on Facebook for updates as we get ready for Fringe and beyond.

Listen to a sexy story from when I was on the Risk! podcast!

Read an article about me, storytelling and First Year Queer in The Column:
Spotlight on the Arts: Lyssa Sparrow!

Looking forward to seeing you soon!



Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Metro Transit