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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A Pocketful of Jewels: Dance Gems from North Africa & the Near East

By Jawaahir Dance Company
Directed by Cassandra Shore

Playing at Ritz Theater Mainstage

A Pocketful of Jewels explores a world of dance in North Africa & the Near East. With glorious colorful costumes, charming dances, useful info about the costumes, dance & music, AND a chance for participation!

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


Fri, 8/4 @ 8:30pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 4:00pm


Mon, 8/7 @ 7:00pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 10:00pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 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

Outstanding and Educational

by Heidi Cunningham on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

As an educator/ lifelong learner, I appreciated the opportunity to not only watch wonderful dancers in native costumes, but to also learn from the MC about the history, regions, music and instruments of middle eastern dance. The show was outstanding and the other couple who attended with us were equally impressed.

1 person found this review helpful


by Andy Rakerd on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 16 shows

I wandered into this one and random. Dance isn't usually my thing, but I felt like this was a different kind of cultural experience. What makes it is the MC; she is extremely knowledgable and charming. She also seems to be a Jill-of-all-trades when it comes to instrumentalism. The dances were mostly great, though not quite to professional-grade. Go for the history lesson if nothing else!

1 person found this review helpful

A beautiful show

by Barb Fulton on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This was a lovely show that was beautifully put together. For each piece, Cassandra discussed the history, costuming, geography, and gave some background on the music, complete with some drumming demonstrations. I have seen Jawaahir perform many, many, MANY times, and this was a great show!

1 person found this review helpful

The gold standard

by Nicole Gibas on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

As usual, so I hear delivered a resplendent performance that was beautifully pants and gorgeous the costumes.

1 person found this review helpful

If you have notheing else going on

by Holly Brimhall on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I went to this show because I love dance. I had enjoyed leaning African dances in college and so I thought this might be of particular interest to me. On the contrary, I felt like I was at a dance recital for adults. By no means are these professional dancers, which would be fine if they looked like they were at least enjoying it. They're faces were all stiff and frozen in that smile of terror that means you are concentrating a bit too hard. It was a lot of folk dance. Not one I would repeat.

1 person found this review helpful

Beautifully Done

by Rebekah Peterson on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

I ended up seeing this show due to another being sold out, but boy was I not disappointed and am so glad I was able to see this! I loved how exquisitely performed this show was paired with insightful cultural information that made each portion even more intriguing! Props to all the performers!

1 person found this review helpful

Very entertaining

by Trisha Raylen on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

This was a blast to watch and had educational value as well. if you are looking for entertainment rather than story this will be a perfect fit. One of the more enjoyable productions in this style with a strong costumes and excellent execution of the dance style and history.

1 person found this review helpful

Beautiful and educational

by Fourth Wall on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

I loved hearing the history and geography behind the dances and instruments. Beautiful costumes and dancing. Good one for kids and adults alike.

1 person found this review helpful

Such gorgeous variety—who knew?!

by Sarah Larson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Sometimes you hear "Middle Eastern Dance" and you don't know what you're going to get. But with Jawaahir Dance Company, what you're going to get is the group's beauty, intricate movements, and delightfully expressive personality, all presented with respect and love for the dances' countries of origin. Usually their art stands on its own with little (or no) explanation. But I LIKE to know more about the origins and traditions, and how each piece came to be on a stage. I'm a geek that way! So I was very happy to gain more cultural understanding of the art—and more appreciation for the rhythms—in Cassandra Shore's excellent presentation. These women are true dance pros. Their passion and skill are obvious. I can't wait for their November show!

1 person found this review helpful

Lovely journey!

by Patricia Cavanaugh on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This performance was a delight. Learning from Cassandra Shore's depth of knowledge and lovely presence made it really special. The variety of dance was a rare treat from parts of the world we Westerners know much too little about. Beautiful, joyous dancing all around. A worthwhile and wonderful way to spend your time.

1 person found this review helpful


by Matt Pitts on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

This show was very educational. My favorite part was learning about the region, history of the dance, and the actual instruments used. Some of the dances lacked energy, but we're mostly enjoyable.

1 person found this review helpful

A Gift of Happiness

by Terrence Joyce on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This show presents dance as a celebration of life, and joy, and happiness. So often I only enjoy the movements, without understanding the context, the "why." Having the artistic director come out and give a brief introduction gave each dance context; the place and culture it came from, the instruments and rhythms it is set to, and what some of the movements mean. This heightened my enjoyment of watching graceful and beautiful dancers perform the colorful, wonderful, and amazing dances from different times and places, leaving me to wonder "How did they do that"? A hit.

1 person found this review helpful

Fun AND educational!

by Eileen Goren on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This wonderful show opens doors on a world, or many worlds, most Americans have never even imagined. The dancing was spectacular and joyous! The introductions to each number helped the audience hear the music better, and know what to look for in the dance moves. Definitely a show to see at least once!

1 person found this review helpful


by Karley Anna on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

The dancing was some of the most wonderful work I have seen in a while, I loved the variety and detail down the music and costumes. I, however, dreaded the moments between where the director came to talk, their speeches dragged on and gave info I did not need to enjoy the work. I did like the educational elements but I think it was too much and detracted from the show as a whole.

2 people found this review helpful

Worth the Whole Day Pass

by Jennifer Harrington on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This show was worth the whole day pass. Amazing dancers with some killer moves. Makes you want to join the troupe. Oh, and I learned a bunch too!

1 person found this review helpful

Informational and beautiful dress

by Tara Kieffer on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I appreciated the background given before each performance. Dancing was fun to watch.

1 person found this review helpful

Pleasant Surprise

by Brian Gorecki on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Didn't know what to expect. Beautiful show that told a story about places in the world we rarely see or here. Might be the surprise hit of this years Fringe.

1 person found this review helpful

Educational and Entertaining

by Robin Rayfield on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

The dancing was definitely superb, but it was also great seeing Cassandra Shore speak about each dance beforehand, as well as the costumes and some of the music. Something that most dance shows typically seem to do is put information about the dance in the programs. I like this way better. I definitely thought the final dance was my favorite. Overall, I highly recommend this show to people who are interested in learning about different types of dances from around the world.

1 person found this review helpful

I Could Watch Them Dance for Hours!!

by Theresa Kopecky on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

What beautiful and delightful dancing!! Energizing - and inspiring for dance! Educational too - a musical-dance tour of the Mid-East & northern Africa. A whole fun variety of dance, in lovely, colorful costumes! Veils floating through the air are a BEAUTIFUL thing...Gotta love the far-away folk dancing with pots on the heads, waving leaf fronds, "bird hands", instrument demonstrations, and Ghawazee dancing with the finger cymbals!! Thanks!!

1 person found this review helpful

So much fun!

by Lisa Bauch on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Loved the colorful/sparkly costumes, upbeat dances, and most of all, the music! So many different styles, moods, and rhythms! The background information on each dance was helpful in setting the scene. Definitely a show for all ages - safe to bring the kids and grandparents. :-)

1 person found this review helpful

Educational and Enlightening

by Peter Ellison on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

A fast paced uplifting show that educated and definitely entertained. Fun for the whole family.

1 person found this review helpful

Dance gems indeed!

by Peg Deppe on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

The dances were richly diverse, and the cultural explanations before each piece put the costumes and performances into context. Edutainment at its best!

2 people found this review helpful

Cast and crew

No cast information provided.

More information

A Pocketful of Jewels reveals a world of hidden dance in North Africa and the Near East. Engaging entertainment wraps earthy dances in gloriously colorful costumes. Artistic Director Cassandra Shore is your tour guide, delivering informative cultural contexts to the dances and fascinating info about the costumes, dance, and music! Learn about when, where, why, and how you would be able to see these dances (or not!) when visiting the region. A family friendly and most enjoyable hour!

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