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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Your Motivational Power Hour!

By Change! Your! Life! Productions
Created by Ed Burke

Playing at Phoenix Theater


Storytelling/Spoken word, Includes artists with disabilities, First-time producer

Does your boss keep moving your cheese? Did HR tell your coworkers to throw fish at you? Does your sad life serve to inspire others? This amazing seminar will motivate you to take your life back!

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


Thu, 8/3 @ 8:30pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 7:00pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 5:30pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 10:00pm


Sun, 8/13 @ 4:00pm

* 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.

Read the reviews

Take it for what it is

by Dahlia Acman on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

It was really cool to see a family do an original Fringe show! The parts were selected for each actor very well, and I liked seeing someone so young pull off that Shakespeare monologue.

I would have liked to see more scenes and fewer monologues. Show, don't tell.

A family show with smart satire

by Nat Case on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

When I say this is a family show... all but one of the cast members are members of the same family. It is a little stilted, as other reviewers have noted, but once you get used to the idea that this is just how the players are, well, it's a lot of fun. Standouts: Naomi's story is (unsurprisingly) an inventive twist on a (ahem) classic. Haddayr's is spot in terms of both tone and content.

Just get to work!

by Mariellen Jacobson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 38 shows

This show delivers some well-deserved satire of the “motivation” industry. Many of the observations about its use in corporations were square-on (and you could tell that audience members had experienced such torture!). Haddyr Copley-Jones was terrific, but other cast members’ delivery was stilted and irritating at times. The overall message of getting to work for what you are passionate about, rather than waiting to be motivated, was nicely illustrated.

Not quite there...

by Christopher Allen on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

The piece provides some laughs for anyone who's ever been in an office environment, and I honestly wished it would've stuck with that. But when it broadened out to the theme of motivation in general, it started to become disjointed and fall flat. It also feels very under-rehearsed, with the exception of Haddayr Copley-Jones (though her segment goes on far too long). The others are clearly having a good time and the message they're trying to get across is an admirable one, but they (and this piece) were just not ready. With some work, it could be something fun, but I was bored and often felt awkward watching it.

See for Haddyr Copley-Jones

by Don Feeney on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Reasons to see:
1) If you've ever been trapped in a room while being assaulted with cliche after cliche by a "motivational speaker", much of this show will resonate.
2) Haddayr Copley-Jones (who has a disability) does a hilarious and insightful send-up of the "handicapped person as an inspiration" motivational trope. The show is worth seeing for this alone.
3) Including the "Band of brothers" speech from Henry V as an example of what motivation should be is inspired.
Reasons not to go:
1) It felt under-rehearsed. This will likely improve.
2) The rest of the cast isn't up to Copley-Jones, though there's good writing throughout.
3) The Henry V speech needs a more experienced actor to bring it off.

What are you being motivated for?

by David Schwartz on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Hilarious satirical twists on the motivational industry, corporate or otherwise. Five vignettes scrape away at the metaphors of cheese and rocks and ask: "Who is it that wants me to be motivated, and what for?" Smart, funny, bizarre, occasionally deranged. Good stuff.

1 person found this review helpful

different motivations

by Dave Stagner on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Twisted takes on the idea of motivational speaking. It's well targeted - taking standards like Who Moved My Cheese and Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and explaining them in wonderfully twisted ways. It also targets the creepiness of the motivational speaking industry itself, and some historic motivational speech.

But at times, it felt flat or dragged. I don't know what could fight that... tighter direction, or some more connection. Individual pieces seemed fine and it's coherent, but something... hmm.

Still, it's a fine way to spend an hour getting cynically uplifted!

Where does the cheese com from?

by Katherine DuGarm on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

I enjoyed skewed versions of motivational books I have read. I also have wondered things like why is throwing fish fun, and couldn't they get the job done faster with less throwing. These motivational speakers gave me more things to think about, for instance, how patronizing am I towards people with disabilities. And "you took me away from my real work for this?"

I saw the first show and I think it needed a little more polish.

2 people found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Ed Burke

Emcee, speaker

Ed is a public speaker with a problem - he HATES motivational speaking. But he sure is planning to make the best of it for this super-motivational seminar! He also hosts the podcast An Extra Glance, which looks behind the scenes of stories from the news and from history. Eagan Theater Company: Check, Please! Lexham Community Theater: Our Rotten Town. Ed is excited to be making his first appearance in the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

Haddayr Copley-Woods

Speaker Nicole Jamie

Haddayr Copley-Woods has pieces and performances in places such as Minnesota Public Radio, Bitterempire.com, The Women's Press, Story Club Minneapolis, and Got Milk? Her radio commentaries, essays, and spoken-word performances cover disability issues, community, queerness, and politics. She also publishes sf/f and horror.

Naomi Kritzer

Speaker Katie Apodemus

Naomi Kritzer is a science fiction and fantasy author who won the Hugo Award for best short story in 2016 for "Cat Pictures Please." She has five novels available from Bantam Books and a new short story collection from Fairwood Press titled Cat Pictures Please and Other Stories. She speaks at libraries, schools, and science fiction conventions. She started blogging about local political races when she realized there was no information available about the candidates for Hennepin County soil and water commissioner, district 2. This is her first appearance in the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

Kiera Burke

Special guest youth speaker Henrietta Lune

Kiera Burke is a student at Nova Classical Academy in St. Paul, where she has appeared in numerous productions including Twelfth Night, Pippi Longstocking, and WASP. At Concordia University: Stone Hearts. Previously at the Minnesota Fringe: Story of You and Me and Babylon Revisited.

Molly Burke

Audience volunteer

Molly is a student at Nova Classical Academy, where she participates in mock trial and robotics. She is looking forward to sparing the real audience members the embarrassment of being called up on stage.

Joia Spirit
Eide Bailly