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 


KnoW WesT

By Gaylord Family Construction Company
Created by Gaylord Family Construction Company

Playing at U of M Rarig Center Arena

A runaway acapella stage coach ride down the collapsing mine tunnel of history and into a dream. By the creator of the unexpected, hallucinatory 2015 Fringe hit, Brother Ulysses.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Sat, 8/5 @ 7:00pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 2:30pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 5:30pm


Thu, 8/10 @ 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

Fun ride!

by Sarah Miller on August 14, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

We weren't always sure what was going on, but we're thoroughly engaged with the show. Loved the odd references to Heisenberg and other historical characters. Also loved the shoot out and the "cleaned up" version. Sometimes couldn't hear the lines spoken by the young woman, but that didn't affect our overall enjoyment of the show.

Slow and uneven

by Mark Webb on August 14, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

I didn't care for this one at all and really was hoping for much more. I found nothing compelling or interesting to hang onto

A for effort, ? For what the heck?

by Phil Carlson on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Kudos for bringing a varied theatrical experience to the stage. But this was so odd and self-indulgent. Didn't get the point at all. Oh well.

great show

by J L Torkelson on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Great show! Witty and fascinating stories from past and present. Wonderful music. Very well done by a talented group. Fascinated by the talent and composure of the younger member of the group.


by Fourth Wall on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

I'm not smart enough to understand this show. I enjoyed most of it nonetheless.

Fascinating, But Raw Edges Peak Through

by Adam Boutz on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

A mind-bending expression of our concepts of the old west. There's no story here, only conceptual threads begging to be pulled. Better projection and annunciation from one of the cast members was needed though. Possibly too abstract for a casual theater goer.


by Ruth Powell Gaylord on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

This is a creative and provocative performance by talented actors and singers. I thoroughly enjoyed the allusions to the past both personal and theatrical. This Fringe show is definitely worth seeing.

Worth a gander

by Harry Uxley on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

More intellectual & literary than most fringe shows we have seen. Historical allusions woven into personal histories make this a most inventive story. Singing was absolutely wonderful. Adrienne Gaylor's ballads invoke the lonesomeness of the prairies & plains, though acrobatics confused us during the duet.

Wild West, not much different than today

by Angela Nicholson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

History has a way of repeating itself. Great modern story blending history, original songs with 3 part harmony and engaging theater in the round. Highly recommend it.

1 person found this review helpful

Extremely fun and creative journey

by Aaron VanDanacker on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

We had an absolute blast taking the journey through the personal and the historical. It is an extremely inventive show that is brilliantly executed. The story drew me in and the actors kept me on the edge of my seat. So wonderful and beautiful!

1 person found this review helpful

Some fun moments, but huh?

by Mariellen Jacobson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 38 shows

Some really fun moments and movement and humor and terrific singing, but I couldn’t understand some of the text and I didn’t really “get” this show. Entertaining, but not enlightening for me.

I am the west

by Che Zachary on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

What a great way to showcase the local talent in Minneapolis. This show is perfect for the Fringe lover. Thanks for the cool songs. I am going to tell my friends to make this show a must see!

1 person found this review helpful

Great and creative title

by Robert Gaylord on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Creative story, funny, wonderful music and singing, caught me off guard

Enjoyable romp!

by Angela Broeker on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Loved every minute of this show! A funny and poignant romp through the crazy Wild West and the equally crazy here and now.

Was hoping for more

by Connie Petersen on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Talented family of performers. From the description I was expecting something a little different but it was enjoyable with a couple witty moments.

Cast and crew

Adrienne Gaylord


Christian Gaylord


Christian Gaylord has been the Crew Chief and Rigging Supervisor of the Walker Art Center since 2011. He’s created and performed experimental theatre with the The Family Construction Company, The Rhombus Theatre, Flaneur Productions and others. His written work includes On THE Rut, Island, Free Beer, Philosopher Kings, Out of Mind, and Brother Ulysses, created with his brother Andrew Gaylord.

Karen Howard


Karen usually lives in the music performance world as a professor in the music department at the University of St. Thomas. She is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences on ethnomusicology and music education. Karen has multiple publications on music education, global traditions in music, and diversification of curricula. This curious adventure through time and sound is stretching the boundaries for Karen. She presumes things will snap back to reality at some point, but is enjoying the ride West until that time.

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