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!

Close this


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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this


 Something different 


A Resister's Handbook (for holding onto optimism in shitty times)

By minnerican productions
Written by Javier Morillo

Playing at Ritz Theater Studio

As an union leader, Javier Morillo has always held that organizing is a vocation of optimists. Facing attacks against immigrants and workers, he asks how do we hold onto optimism in today's really crappy world?

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Sat, 8/5 @ 8:30pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 10:00pm
High sell-out risk


Tue, 8/8 @ 7:00pm
High sell-out risk


Thu, 8/10 @ 5:30pm
High sell-out risk
Audio described


Sat, 8/12 @ 4:00pm
Limited sales at door

* 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

Excellent and compelling

by Austin Robinson-Coolidge on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 37 shows

This is less of a handbook and more of a memoir, but either way, it's excellent.

Up the energy!

by Corrie Fiedler on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 43 shows

Javier is a great story teller and the topic is serious and compelling. Could use a bit more polishing in the transitions, overall message or theme, and energy. Time well spent and looking forward to Javier's performance next year.

Breathe in pain, breathe out light...

by Bradley Johnson on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

I hadn't planned on writing a review since I saw the final performance, but Javier was inspiring! Thoroughly loved his show last year and again this year! The janitors union is very fortunate to have a servant leader represent them.

Perfect for Our Current Moment

by Sara Robinson-Coolidge on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 49 shows

This show is funny and moving and sad and inspiring... and important.

Survival advice

by Catherine Brennan on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Morillo commits to the truth of his experience. An academic prompted to become a labor leader, he illustrates the pressing responsibilities and heart breaking set-backs of social justice work, with grace, and surprisingly, humor. He weaves in his experience as a gay man, to surprising effect. His monologue is compelling and well structured, and yes, there is actual advice. He generously pours out his soul, along with his self-doubts. He comes to a very modern(and ancient?) insight about self-care, and, most significantly, the realization that we do not strive alone.

Inspiring, emotional, hilarious

by Lindsey Port on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Javier Morillo releases a raw, vulnerable version of himself as he shares stories that touched me, made me laugh, and made me want to sign up for a protest! I was moved by his openness and beautiful prose while being entertained every step of the way. Even my husband, who doesn't love theater, thought the show was fantastic. Don't miss this one!

Show for This Moment

by Emma Greenman on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

A enthralling, vulnerable and didactic journey of organizing, resisting, failing and the lessons learned from standing up and fighting like hell for justice and people. Laugh, cry, breath, and repeat.

Gripping Ride

by Carla Kjellberg on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I knew all of these stories. Yet I was taken on a enthralling, compelling and inspiring ride. It is poetry, meditation and song.

Passionate, moving

by Cristine Almeida on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Go see this show. The personal experience of resisting, organizing, winning, losing, getting up to try again and push on - it's all here. You will laugh, feel sad, be moved, and hear what it's like to put yourself out there on behalf of a cause, come hell or high water. Really enjoyed it!

Scowl, Smolder, Suck it in.

by Amy Salloway on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

If you frequent the various places Javier performs (the Moth story slam, for example), you'll have heard parts of these stories before, or maybe their rougher, embryonic versions; however, it's absolutely worth it to come see all of these pieces together as a whole. Javier lets himself be more introspective, vulnerable and flawed than I've ever seen him be (this is a guy who tries to look hot while protesting, so "flawed" is a big deal), and that choice of truth and emotion over poise or punchlines gives the show real immediacy. I honestly left wanting to do more for this world than I'm doing; wanting to speak up and out more than I do. "Handbook" gets us to that place without shaming, hackneyed rhetoric or rage - just with honest stories.

Great Performance

by Dean Frost on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Many of us know Javier Morillo as a union leader, a writer, as social critic on MPR and TPT, or even as former educator. All of those roles are reflected in his one person show but what makes the show shine and makes it a moving experience is Javier's ability as a performer. He draws the audience in from the very start and keeps us involved throughout his performance. Go see him and learn and think, but also enjoy!

A glimpse into immigrant struggles

by Richelle Amundson on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 39 shows

Through the eyes of a storyteller who experienced privilege and safety not experienced by those he has chosen to be an advocate for, he shares his sense of fear and agony when what he can accomplish on their behalf is not all he would hope for. However, his willingness to keep fighting despite the pain, or perhaps as a result of allowing himself to feel it, inspires.

The Social Poetics of Doing Justice

by Julie Tilsen on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Javier's performance invited me into an intimate and complex place of mission, passion & purpose. His embodied performance--raw, relentless, and righteous--reminded me that the other side of despair is hope, lingering absent but implicit during the darkest of times. Go to this performance to feel all the things and do what needs to be done in the world.

Honest and Intimate

by Wendy Underwood on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Javier Morillo revives his dry humor and great storytelling for this year's solo performance, but he also brings us into struggles, failures, and fears like he hasn't before. There is a rawness to his story that locks in the audience to the very end. Trying to make a difference in this world is hard, but Javier reminds us that, in the end, we are the ones who can do it.

Totally absorbing and inspiring

by Don Feeney on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

A monologue about political activism would normally leave me totally cold, but Mr. Morillo is such a gifted, committed and inspired storyteller that this production drew me in from beginning to end. "A Resister's Handbook" is extremely well-written--he chooses his words with care and injects just enough humor to keep the subject from becoming oppressive. You will leave inspired!

I feel Optimistic!

by Mary Weinhagen on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Javier shares personal stories with such passion, wit and intensity while exploring the question of how to hold onto optimism in a really shitty world that it absolutely leaves me full of nothing but optimism. You really must come listen to this brilliant storyteller and open yourself up to breathing in the dark... and breathing out the light.

A compelling narrative, provocative

by Marcia Avner on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Javier shares insights and experiences that are moving, powerful, and profound. This well developed one-person show underscores the power of story. The narrative, the humor, the passion have given me much to think about as I join the many who are still trying to understand what constitutes resistance...this "handbook" offers the inspiration to acknowledge that we must be our most courageous selves. Bravo!

Cast and crew

Javier Morillo


Javier Morillo is a labor union leader and activist, writer, storyteller, podcaster and political commentator. As president of SEIU Local 26, he leads bargaining and is the public face of a union of janitors, security officers, and other service workers that has grown dramatically in the past ten years. He is a well-known political strategist in the state, where he has earned a reputation as a dogged fighter who loves to argue and hates to lose. He created and co-hosts "Wrong About Everything," a weekly podcast that brings together two conservatives and two progressives to dissect the week's news. He appears regularly on local television and radio programs as a polítical commentator, usually sparring with conservative guests. A few years ago, he ventured into the Twin Cities storytelling scene and quickly left his mark. He is one of the regular hosts of The Moth Story Slam and performed in one of their main stage storytelling shows. He has also been featured on the "Risk!" podcast. This is Javier's fourth year in the fringe and his second solo show. His 2016 show, "Broken English, Mother Tongue" received praise from audiences and critics alike and was awarded an encore performance. You can find him on twitter @javimorillo

Levi Weinhagen


Levi Weinhagen is a writer, producer, performer, podcaster and educator. He co-founded the all-ages theater company Comedy Suitcase and has created multiple original shows that were in the top 10 of ticket sales at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. In 2012 Levi was named an Artist of the Year by City Pages. He created and hosted the award winning Pratfalls of Parenting podcast. He was the first ever Artist in Residence for the Walker Art Center’s Education and Family programs department in 2014-2015. Levi presents comedy workshops and interactive experiences with his Knight Arts grant award winning project the Mobile Comedy Suitcase. He’s also a teaching artist on the COMPAS roster. In late fall of 2016 Levi launched a new podcast called ‘Not About You’ that is a serious yet entertaining look at social justice issues in America. He’s also a communications and media specialist at the Minnesota Council on Foundations.
Twitter = @ThatLevi

More information

Organizing is a vocation of optimists.  If you can't paint a picture of a brighter future, one you believe in, why would anyone follow your lead? But what to do when the reality around you becomes too much? In A Resister's Handbook, Javier Morillo chartsthe path he followed from being a restless academic who moved to Minnesota to teach at Carleton College to becoming the leader of a union of janitors and other service workers. Along the way, he finds new ways to answer the challenge: can we hold onto optimism in a really shitty world?

Javier Morillo is a labor union leader and activist, writer, storyteller, podcaster and political commentator. He is one of the regular hosts of The Moth Story Slam and has been featured in one of their mainstage storytellig shows and two grand slam competitions. This is his fourth yera in the fringe and his second solo show. Javier's 2016 show, Broken English, Mother Tongue, received praise from audiences and critics alike and was awarded an encore performance. 

Bryant Lake Bowl
OneNeck IT Solutions