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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Songs of MN Summer

By Shrieking Harpies
Created by Shrieking Harpies

Playing at Bryant-Lake Bowl


Improv, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, Includes artists of color, First-time producer


Warnings: Adult language.

An improvised musical of fun and friendship. Join them for a magical musical journey through the lives of lovable characters who get into all sorts of mischief. Created on the spot every time!

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 12-15 and up


Sat, 8/5 @ 1:00pm


Mon, 8/7 @ 8:30pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 7:00pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 4:00pm


Sun, 8/13 @ 5:30pm

* 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

Gotta love talent

by Pj Doyle on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

Loved how the artists recognized that audience was family oriented and based routine on suggestion of a child. They rocked the baseball vs theater geek theme. Talent not only in quick thinking artistry, but use of voice, self and space made for fun start to a Friday night!

See it!

by Beth Hilliard on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Funny, charming, and entirely entertaining. You will not be disappointed by these talented women and their equally talented pianist.

So much fun

by Ariel Lopez on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 18 shows

I mean, it's an improvised musical, what's not to love? All three members of the Shrieking Harpies are stalwarts of the MN improv scene, and they're experience shows. I do wish they would ditch the handheld mics, which were distracting visually, and didn't work well for the spoken portions of the show. If for some bizarre reason the idea of an improvised musical doesn't fill you with joy, I suppose you can pass, but otherwise highly recommend Songs of MN Summer.


by Christopher Allen on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

It took them a couple songs to hit their stride, but once they did, it became a funny and cute story with intertwining narratives. I was very impressed that they were able to do this on the spot, and even work in a heartfelt reprise. Recommended!

Singing the Long Form

by Robert Hubbard on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

The Shrieking Harpies are excellent practitioners of long form improv. After a slow start, these wonderful musical theatre improvisers hit their stride about 15 minutes in and delivered an inventive and magical show. No reason to tell you about the show because it will never be the same. Still, these three wonderful actor/singers and their uber-talented piano player will surely share the joy with you in future shows.

Great cast

by Mark Webb on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

These three (and their stellar accompanist) pulled off a great musical improve routine with lots of laughs. Nice concept that could easily fail, the cast was quick to move each section along with finesse. This was a real nice time!


by Colin Hughes on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I'd sum it up as 4 immensely talented performers, attempting an incredibly difficult thing, and doing it exceptionally well!

Fantastic Imagination

by Sarah Black on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

Super fun, performers were truly enjoying themselves.


by Grant Ruckheim on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I really enjoyed this one. The whole show is improv but it had a great plot and story. I was so impressed by how they put it together with great music all on the spot. They made up songs that carried the story and added some really great emotion.

They also did a great job of establishing comedic distinct characters.

Very impressive!!!! Seeing this makes me want to go see their improv at HUGE theatre!

1 person found this review helpful

A million stars

by Sally Foster on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

I wish I could give this show one million stars. I can't believe this was Improvised - three part harmonies for a musical show scored by a pianist? Made up on the spot? THIS is what Fringe was created for.

Not to mention, they peppered their show with empowering bits of advice and winks to femme power. If you're a feminist, you can't miss this show. If you like musicals, you can't miss this show. If you want to be blown away by vocal and musical talent, you can't miss this show. If you breathe air, you can't miss this show.

1 person found this review helpful

Motivated to eat cleaner!!

by Jane Fox on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Shrieking Harpies did not disappoint with their spot on musical improv! Their harmonious comedic voices brought laughter at ever twist and turn of their story. Luzzie, Taj and Hannah bring it all to the stage!Loved the Bryant Lake Bowl venue too!

Serious singing talent and improv chops

by Margaret Williams on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This was a terrific start to the Fringe. I saw this because I've seen these people improvise at HUGE before and I knew it would be terrific. I was only vaguely aware that it was a musical, and was super impressed with the vocal talent on display. The skill and playfulness of the improv wasn't a surprise to me given the cast, but an hour long set delivered consistent big laughs and told a cohesive and well-developed story. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who might feel a twinge of skepticism toward improv or musical comedy. Simply great.

wonderful improvised songs & story

by Derek Reise on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Creative, entertaining, enthralling.

All very talented performers. We found ourselves laughing throughout. These performers are clearly very comfortable with each other. With one suggestion, they weave together an engaging story willed with drama, silliness--and of course, songs!
Highly recommend.


by Joanna Groebel on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Such talented performers! Totally playful and yet touched deeper themes as well. Do yourself a favor and check them out!

Talented improv artists!

by Kendra Plant on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

After a suggestion from the audience, the Shrieking Harpies treated the audience to a touching (and giggle-inducing!) improvised musical. I loved the wierd twists and turns of the story line and the quick wit of these very talented performers. Highly recommended!

1 person found this review helpful

A great way to start Fringe!

by Brian Isles on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

The performers came ready to play and improvise with each other. They fed off the audience and seemed to enjoy every second of their time. They started with a suggestion at the top (as is common with long-form improv), and they incorporated the small suggestion in hilarious and clever ways. I was particularly impressed with the callbacks throughout the performance.

I will absolutely come back to see what these brilliant women (and a supremely talented pianist) can create. It's ephemeral and a highlight of the festival!

1 person found this review helpful

So much fun!

by Alicia Tatley on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Sining improv is so weird and random and the Shrieking Harpies are awesome at it! Great job!

1 person found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Lizzie Gardner


Lizzie Gardner is an actor and improvisor and has been performing in the Twin Cities since 2008. She can be found either performing in shows at HUGE Theater, (catch her in Creature Feature coming this fall), appearing in productions at Daleko Arts, or performing in her monthly comedy show Minnesota Tonight, currently at the Brave New Workshop! (every 4th Wednesday of the month) When not singing with the Harpies, you can catch her walking her gentle polar bear of a pit bull named Charlie or singing loudly in her car at traffic stops.

Justin Nellis


Taj Ruler


Taj Ruler is an actor, improviser, and voice over artist in the Twin Cities. You can find her performing at Show X every Monday night at HUGE Theatre. She is also in Guardians of the Fallacy: Executive Disorder at The Brave New Workshop, which runs through October. When she's not performing, Taj is most likely cooking, naming inanimate objects, and spending way too much time thinking about what houses people are most likely sorted into via Pottermore. (Hufflepuff for life!)

Hannah Wydeven


Hannah Wydeven has been performing comedy in the Twin Cities since 2005 and can be found weekly at HUGE Theater in Show X . When she is not singing with the Harpies she is the full-time overworked owner of Solcana Fitness and full-time underpaid mom to a small shih tzu named Petey.

Humble Cup
Sunrise Banks