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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The Best of All Possible Worlds

By David Mann
Written by David Mann

Playing at Phoenix Theater


Just so you know, this show contains Adult language.

Buy a house. Have some kids. Make a living. Lose your mind. This is the hilariously tragic story of David's venture into the exotic land of business speaking, where he failed to achieve work-life balance.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Fri, 8/4 @ 10:00pm


Sat, 8/5 @ 5:30pm
Audio described


Sun, 8/6 @ 8:30pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 7:00pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 10:00pm

* 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

David Mann


Actor, director, and playwright David Mann has been a theatre artist in Minneapolis for over 25 years. He has done 13 Fringe shows since 1999, and he received a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship for Performance Art/Storytelling in 2006. As an actor, David has worked the Guthrie Theater, the Great River Shakespeare Festival, and several Minneapolis-St. Paul theaters. As a director, David directed the U.S. regional theater premiere of Disney’s "Mulan, Jr." for the Children’s Theatre Company, and he is Associate Artistic Director of Torch Theater where has directed many of the theater’s shows including a staged version of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." He has adapted and directed "Romeo & Juliet" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" for Park Square Theater in St. Paul, as well as directing several other shows there. As a playwright, David’s plays "Corleone: The Shakespearean Godfather" and "Queens of Burlesque" have been performed locally and nationally. David is also a speaker and storytelling specialist for legal and professional services.

Sarah Gioia


Sarah Gioia is really happy to be working with David Mann again. She has directed and dramaturged over 80 productions/readings/workshops at theaters such as the The Guthrie Theater, The Children’s Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse, The History Theater, Gremlin Theatre, The Fitzgerald, Pillsbury House Theater’s Chicago Avenue Project, the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent and The Playwrights’ Center, where she was also the casting assistant for many years. Her work has been seen in New York, Seattle and Jacksonville as well Sarah has also done freelance casting, radio and video production, and took notes for Tony Kushner in previews. She has been mostly a stay at home mom for the past (nearly) 7 years.

More information

In David Mann's first original one-man show in 14 years, he exposes the truth about chasing the American Dream. Or at least...he shows what happened to him while pursing it. It's a crazy, funny, weird trip into the jungle of the suburbs, the bizarre world of corporate speaking, and the first years of parenting. 

Mann says, "At age 38 - when we had kids - I immediately started aiming for what so many people of my generation were brought up to want: a stable middle-class life. So I started speaking and consulting in the business world as a way to make a living. But what ended up happening was an exhausting chase for something I could barely even define."

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