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 


Skirmish of Wit: Your Imaginary Forces

By The Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company
Created by The Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company

Playing at Jungle Theater


Opera/New Music, Physical theater/Clowning, Improv, Literary adaptation, Greater Minnesota company (outside the metro area), National/international company

Playing with the forces that cause inexplicable, contradictory, motivations and self-destructive actions of characters on and off stage, the minstrels celebrate the "messiness" of spontaneous interaction.

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


Fri, 8/4 @ 7:00pm


Sat, 8/5 @ 5:30pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 8:30pm


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

Energetic performance!

by Kathie Cerra on August 14, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Skirmish of Wit provides all that a Fringe participant could hope for: high energy performers, outstanding musicianship, skillful scene changes, and convincing characterizations.

I found the actors' use of their musical instruments as extensions of themselves particularly engaging. The music created and enhanced the action, and the instruments as props became part of each character 's physical self.

A sophisticated, seamless performance, eliciting high audience engagement!

A Sweetheart of a Show

by Justin DeLong on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 20 shows

What a great way to adapt Much Ado! Great music, cute staging, but i felt that some of the dialogue was improvised and was difficult to hear and understand.

Everything I hope for from the Fringe

by Wendy Auldrich on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This is the first show that has moved me to actually write a review and not just think about it. Young, talented performers, a witty script, great music, reworking a familiar story. Hope this show gets the audiences it deserves. My partner and I both agreed it our favorite show of the evening. If you are looking for heavy drama and polished performances this may not be the right show for you, but if you are looking for a fun, quirky performance with great music, don't miss this one.

heart & charm & talent to spare

by Jeremy Motz on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 11 shows

much has already been said of the remarkable talent of this group of youngsters, and they STILL found ways to impress my cynical soul and get me tapping my dang feet. to be honest, i can't remember much of the actual show, (that's on me, it was a long day of fringing!) other than it served as a framework for the songs and jokes and general feelgoodness. there was one scene toward the end that stands out that i would LOVE to talk about, but don't want to spoil. just go see it! i'll be keeping an eye (and ear!) on these guys for YEARS to come.

1 person found this review helpful

Hawaiian Shirts and Upright Bass

by Sarah Black on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

Inventive and musical retelling of Much Ado by multi-talented young company

1 person found this review helpful

A Breezy Musical Delight

by Robert Hubbard on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

One of two delightful adaptions of Much Ado playing playing at the Jungle, Skirmish of Wit uses Shakespeare's text as a leaping off point into some surprising lovely jazz renditions inspired by the two love stories within the play.. The strongest impression of this young cast is just how cute and joyful they are. It's hard not to smile even when the devised segments seem a little unpolished. And the music is often great including guitar, mandolin, banjo, clarinet, and even an accordion. The young woman who played Beatrice (credits are not listed on the website) stands out for her Billy Holiday voice and impressive bass playing. Please support the inventive and creative work of this out-of-town ensemble,

2 people found this review helpful

Chaos, harmony, terrific musical talent

by Anna Amyx on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

I am completely done with Shakespeare, yet this chaotic and delightful musical revamp of Much Ado won me over in spite of that. Terrific creativity combined with fun songs, choreography/blocking that is at times hilarious and at times evocative, and more musical instruments than actors make for a charming and engaging show. Special mention for "Beatrice" who has a truly impressive voice.

1 person found this review helpful

Fun, Original Musical Shakespeare

by Matt Ledder on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Witty and charming show with catchy songs, clowning, and several poingant moments. The cast was completely comfortable blending Shakespearean dialogue and themes seamlessly with the modern. This ensemble knows how to have fun, and invites the audience along for the ride!

A Story We Want, A Story We Need

by Lauren Tebben on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This show reminded me why stories are such a vital part of being human. Skirmish of Wit demonstrates the fear, the wonder, the anger, and even the joy that we are afraid to let ourselves experience. I was pulled into their world of clarinets, imagination, and true love- and I did not want to leave.

A fun show

by Jim Louis on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 30 shows

Need a fix of fun, amazing instrumental performances and awkward teens giving their all? This is a show for you! I laugh so much and even cried a few times. If you need a laugh, come see this show.

Sweet and fresh

by Lynn Hickman on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

These young musician-actors are so appealing, fresh and charming! I loved their tale on "Much Ado..."

Skirmishes of Wit:

by Geraldine Gulbranson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This theatre group from Rochester is made up of teens. They deconstruct Shakespeare, (Much Ado…), write additional dialogue, music and lyrics. They are remarkable!---witty, fast-paced, but when it takes a turn into the dark emotional area , they-re there. All the company members play instruments (some play several !!!).This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to see a group made up of amazingly talented and excellent theatre folk. If I could give them 10 stars, I would. If you miss it, you will have missed a top-notch theatre experience and your life will be less for it.

1 person found this review helpful

Too Wise to Woo Peaceably

by Abby Evelyn on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

SkyVault Theatre Company is "too wise to woo peaceably," as Benedick says to Beatrice in this adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." They entreat the audience to engage and be changed, and boldly put their art in the open and allow it to stand on its own. They hold nothing back; every single performer fully their character. I've seen both of this talented troupe's Fringe shows and each time have been in awe of the way they put the emphasis of their work on the experience, the process, and the story. The point of their show isn't polished perfection, but trusting the messy realness of story telling. The original music is dazzling and memorable, and their witty humor contains a depth of which the Bard, himself, would be proud.

1 person found this review helpful

This Needs More Polish

by Todd Walden on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

The most important thing to point out here is that this show is a young cast, who, though they need more practice to build their stage presence, are very talented individuals and deserve a lot of credit for having the confidence to bring this performance to life.

The show has a fun vibe and some enjoyable parts. However, performances were lackluster from much of the cast, and the show didn't have a "finished" feel.

The Much Ado feel came through strongly, and definitely held the plot together. I think with a bit more direction and a bit more confidence in the cast (plus a little practice on delivery) this could be very strong indeed!


by Katie O'Neil on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

One thing I love about SkyVault is how they connect with their audience. They make you feel like you're a part of the show. They give you energy and love when you give it back! Amazing job!

Much Ado About Something!

by Chee Ren on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I saw SkyVault at Fringe last year:AWESOME! This show is different but equally endearing. It is an original musical adaptation (I sang 3 of the songs in the shower this morning) of Shakespeare's "Much Ado" exploring the "dramedy" of young people in love (and at war) with each other. I experienced the "giddiness" of love, how easily it is deceived, and yet how true love waits for those who trust and accept it in all its simplicity. The show's character is rough and unpolished at times but this only served to highlight the improvizational nature of the jazzy-folk musical score and the very nature of life and love. This type of creativity can only grow from a director and cast willing to let go and simply "be." I was speechless by the end.

Originality like this why I love fringe!

by Michael Gauer on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

The show is very original, cute, funny, engaging, and raw and unpolished, but I grew to like it that way. It made it more endearing to me, because it made the characters more real. I kept thinking "this is awesome originality, nice lyrics and song writing, for sure!"

1 person found this review helpful

Worth Seeing

by Corwin Amyx on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Seven excellent musicians with at least nine instruments perform for an hour. There were a couple rough edges, bits that didn't quite go smoothly, times when it was hard to hear the dialogue. Overall, worth seeing

Nice original music

by Brenna Horn on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I don't know the Shakespeare play that this is based on well. I may have gotten more out of it if I had. I didn't love the story line. There were a few strong performers and vocalists in the group. Oftentimes it felt unpolished, the instruments or voices out of tune, off rhythm, and the performers nervous/quiet/out of character. Young crew! Nice original music. Humorous at times.

Harmony in Anarchy

by Dave Romm on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

A screwball comedy, a musical, an adaptation of “Much Ado About Nothing”. No one is in love, yet, so the meddling begins. The plot is tangled, but works nicely to drive the characters in all directions. The musicians are wonderful, and trade instruments as fast as they trade quips. The slapstick is a little rough around the edges, but I give it four and a half stars rounded up for a strong ending.


by Emilia Allen on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Ok, lemme get the rough stuff out of the way first: they talk too fast, they're too quiet, sometimes enunciation is a challenge, and some of them aren't equal to some of the more demanding acting required. I wish they'd had a really strong director.

Now: they are SO cute, and there is so much talent on that stage. The music is awesome, the ideas are so original and clever, there are some truly beautiful moments, and they are fully committed to this sweet, earnest, funny, dear show. I would love to see more of what they do!

1 person found this review helpful

Cast and crew

No cast information provided.

More information

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The Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company is performing their all-original show, Skirmish of Wit, at the 2017 Minnesota Fringe Festival. SkyVault is a regionally and nationally awarded theatre company from Rochester, Minnesota. They have toured all over the midwest including at the 2016 Minnesota Fringe Fest, four years at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, the 2017 Kansas City Fringe Fest and the state, regional, and national levels of the 2017 Festival of the American Association of Community Theaters.


“The cast created a delightful, immersive experience by using the entire theater.” Said Michael Merrimack, an attendee of the 2016 Minnesota Fringe Fest. Expect anyone from a ukulele player humming a love song to a minstrel asking you for advice to hop into the seat next to you. SkyVault blurs the lines between stage and seating, actor and audience. The result is what Mike Ricci from the American Association of Community Theaters called, “In a word, overwhelming.”


Skirmish of Wit explores and plays with imaginary forces that cause inexplicable character motivations. What really controls the story? The music? The monologues? Imagination? The players explore this mysterious force through Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. “How am I going to tell people what I saw tonight?” Said John Viars of the Des Moines Playhouse, “Because they won’t understand how big it was, how important it was, how incredible it was.”


The show includes all - original music falling somewhere between jazz and folk. A Fringe attendee, Caroline Kirchner, commented that, “Their multi-instrumentalists on the cast keeps a steady musical flow that pushes the show along.” Another commented, “The music ability was insane!”


SkyVault won Best New Act at the 2014 MN Renaissance Festival, Best of Fest at the state and regional levels of the 2017 American Association of Community Theaters Festival, as well as awards in music, ensemble acting, and directing at the Region V 2017 AACT Fest. They continue to develop and tour original shows as well as teach workshops on creativity, improvisation, and collaboration. SkyVault is one of the youngest casts performing at the MN Fringe Festival, but they already have years of experience in acting, directing, composition, improvisation, and music.



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