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 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.

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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.

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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. 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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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Code: L-O-V-E

By Highlander Kitty
Written by Jenna Papke

Playing at Crane Theater


Just so you know, this show contains Violence, Adult language.

It's 1943. Meet Cynthia Debrett, she's brilliant at espionage, but terrible at relationships. Fighting fascism is easy. Coping with a breaking heart, much more difficult. Inspired by Cyrano de Bergerac.

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


Sat, 8/5 @ 8:30pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 2:30pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 10:00pm


Thu, 8/10 @ 5:30pm


Sun, 8/13 @ 7:00pm

* 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.

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Cast and crew

Jenna Papke

Playwright & Director

This is the first play Jenna has written since High School, but the 20th she's directed.

Andrea Nicholson

Stage Manager

Meredith Kind

Cynthia Debrett

Megan Rene Guidry

Christine Neuville

Megan enjoys balancing both being a person and an actor. In her free time, she enjoys standing outside staring into the sun. For this show, Megan is excited to retell an old story in an awesome way!

Ethan Bjelland

Robin Bell

So thrilled to be reunited with this cast and script since we workshopped this a year and a half ago! Ethan wears many hats in the Twin Cities theatre community and local Nordic cultural communities. As an actor, he's worked with companies such as nimbus Theatre, Theatre Pro Rata, Classical Actors Ensemble, Shadow Horse Theatre, Theatre 20%, and most recently, as Helena in Phoenix Theatre's Burning Ember Production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' This Fringe, Ethan is also performing as YouTube sensation, TMI Kai in 'Be Your Selfie,' a story of unrequited self-love; and as Special Agent Kit Truman in the '80s action flick retelling of 'Watership Down,' called 'Full Metal Rabbit.'

Katie Starks

Dolores Compton

Katie Starks has a passion for historical fiction and kick ass female leads, so this show has her heart. Katie is a proud company member of Freshwater Theatre and has been participating in the Fringe for 14 years.

Robb Krueger

Lawrence Compton

Robb Krueger is devilishly excited to return to the Minnesota Fringe Festival. He wrote the music and lyrics for 2011's "Robot Lincoln: The Revengeance" and 2013's children's musical "Shine." In 2014 he created the role of Jim McDonough in Andy Gullikson's "The Confederate" and acted in Ryan Thorsen's "#relationshipstatus." In 2015 he appeared in "The Consolation" and narrated the children's show "Baby Carrot." He graduated from MSU Mankato in 2013 with a Master of Fine Arts in Acting and has worked throughout the Twin Cities as an actor, composer, arranger, and lyricist. Robb makes killer cheesecake and has invented several questionable but highly intoxicating cocktails. In his spare time he collapses.

Mickaylee Shaughnessy

Agent Valenti

Mickaylee Shaughnessy has been acting professionally in the Twin Cities for over a decade. . After Fringe she will be in the "Velvet Swing" with Savage Umbrella and Green T Production's "Frankenstein".

More information

It's 1943 and the War wages across the sea as a small band of extraordinary female espionage agents work out of Washington DC to save the World. 

The Agency's brightest star is Cynthia Debrett, a fearless agent, devoted friend, and hopeless lover. It's an open secret in the office that Cynthia is in love with her childhood friend and the Agency's premier code-breaker, Robin Bell, who is the only one who can't see it. Cynthia is content with the status quo, but into the picture comes a new female agent. She captures Robin's attention and gets Cynthia to help her flirt with him. 

But while all's fair in love and war, war tends to take priority. Office romances are great, but what happens when the office becomes the front? 

Based on Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmund Rostand, this is a Fringe-length version of Love is Never a Lie, originally produced at Phoenix in February 2016. 


Two Bettys
Joia Spirit