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 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.

Close this

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.

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. 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.

Close this

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.

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 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.

Close this

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.

Close this


 Something different 


A Mermaid Abroad & A Fish Out of Water

By Mermaid Productions
Created by Ariel Leaf, Scot Moore and Ben Layne

Playing at U of M Rarig Center Xperimental


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

From communism to circumcision, from getting high in Winnipeg to getting laid in Nepal, Scot Moore and Ariel Leaf invite you aboard for their adventures abroad. But use the bathroom first.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Sat, 8/5 @ 7:00pm


Mon, 8/7 @ 7:00pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 10:00pm
ASL interpreted


Thu, 8/10 @ 5:30pm


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

No reviews yet.

Cast and crew

Ariel Leaf

Co - Creator/ Storyteller

Ariel Leaf is a storyteller, actress, lighting designer, director and general ne'er-do-well.
This is her 3rd storytelling show at Fringe (2013's Died in a Trailer Park/Woke Up a Mermaid and 2015's A Mermaid in Narnia (on LSD) )
She is Co-Artistic Director of Fortunes Fool and Company member of Wonderlust Productions and Freshwater Theatre

Scot Moore

Co - Creator/ Storyteller

Scot Moore has been working as a writer, actor, sound designer, and director in the Twin Cities for over 15 years. Previous Fringe exploits include the Freshwater smash hits Table 12 and Going Down on the Queen of Minneapolis, Devious Mechanics' Shakespeare Apocalypse, and his own shows, Men Will Be Boys and Break Your Heart. On top of his theatre endeavors, Scot's writing includes novels Gaymerica and Incendiary, and an ongoing blog: A Man's Guide for Appropriate Behavior in the 21st Century. In addition to his performance in Mermaid Abroad, Scot is appearing in Mame Pelletier's F@*k the 90s at the Ritz Studio. Don't miss it!

Ben Layne

Co - Creator/ Director

Ben Layne is proud to again be working with Mermaid Productions in the Minnesota Fringe. Ben has worked with both Ariel and Scot on their previous solo shows, having directed both Died in a Trailer Park/Woke Up a Mermaid and A Mermaid in Narnia (On LSD) in 2013 and 2015 respectively for Ariel under the Mermaid Productions banner, and has worked with Scot Moore on both Men Will Be Boys and Break Your Heart in 2015/2016. It has been a lot of fun bringing these talents together for this production. Ben is Co-Artistic Director of Freshwater Theatre with his lovely and talented wife Ruth Virkus, and is also a busy freelance director in his own right, at the helm of productions for Freshwater Theatre, Northern Srtarz Children's Theatre, Chameleon Theatre Circle, Fortune's Fool Theatre, Devious Mechanics, Swandive Theatre, and Box Wine Theatre, among others.

More information

Life is no more serene for storytellers Ariel Leaf and Scot Moore abroad than it is at home. While others might regale you with tales of ziplining through forest and cocktails with little umbrellas by the beach, these two bring you heartbreak in Abu Dabi and homecomings in the former yugoslavia. Where for most letters home are tales of adventure, here they are discoveries of failed trysts and humiliation. From communism to circumsicion, from Canada to Veranasi, Scot and Ariel will make you see that there's a whole different way to travel, perhaps that you've narrowly escaped, or wished you could join.

So grab a seat. The flight is cheap, and the ride is short, but it'll be a trip to remember. Just make sure you pee before the show starts.


Peace Coffee