In general

Q. What is Fringe?
A. Minnesota Fringe is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect adventurous artists with adventurous audiences. The biggest way we do this is by organizing the Minnesota Fringe Festival, an annual eleven-day performing arts extravaganza. In 2013, we issued 50,007 tickets to 895 performances over 11 days. Fringe shows are 60 minutes or less and there's a 30-minute break between each show.

Q. When is Fringe?
A. Thursday, July 31 through Sunday, August 10, 2014. Give or take, Fringe is always the first two weekends (and the sandwiched weekdays) of August each year.

Q. Where is Fringe?
A. We're based in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Many of our venues are in Minneapolis' Uptown, West Bank and downtown neighborhoods. Our venues are in clusters to make traveling to multiple shows easy.

Q. How long has Minnesota Fringe been around?
A. Since 1993. We're celebrating our 21st anniversary in 2014.

Q. How were previous years' festivals?
A. Awesome! Check out our tax documents and annual reports on our donation page to find out more.

The artists

Q. How are Fringe shows selected?
A. By random luck of the draw! Fringe is unique in the local performing arts scene because our lineup is unjuried: there is no selection panel that decides who deserves to perform, so anyone can do it. Applicants are selected by lottery. If an application wins the lottery, they have a guaranteed spot in the festival. If they don't win the lottery, they're placed on a waiting list. If someone drops out of the festival, we offer the slot to the first applicant on the waiting list.

Applications will be available on our website in mid-November, the application deadline will be in late January, and we'll do the lottery in February.

Q. Why a lottery?
A. Until 2003, Minnesota Fringe was first-come-first-served: whoever turned their application in first was given a spot in the festival. But on the first day we accepted applications in 2004, we received more applications than we had performance slots. Hence the lottery - it's fair, fun and transparent.

Q. How much does it cost artists to be in the Fringe?
A. There's a $25 nonrefundable application fee and, if an application is drawn to be in the festival, the producing fee ranges from $250 to $450, depending on the size of the theater. Producers are responsible for all artistic costs of their show - actor stipends, director fees, costume and set materials, royalties, etc.

Q. What do artists get in exchange?
A. The production fee covers venue rent for five performances, technical and box office staff, a listing in the printed program, a customizable show page on our website, lots of producing training and at least 65 percent of the box office receipts.

The festival

Q. How are venues assigned?
A. Each participant is asked about the sort of space they need (stage size, seating configuration, etc.) and we do our best to get each producer into a venue that will suit their show. We can't accommodate everything and everyone, but that doesn't stop us from trying.

Q. How are shows scheduled?
A. Participating artists are expected to be available to perform throughout the entire 11-day festival. We look at attendance data from previous years to see which performance times are historically the most and least attended. The schedule is then divided into five tiers from best to worst and each show is assigned one time slot in each tier.

Q. How much are tickets?
A. Single tickets are $14. Each attendee must also purchase an admission button, good for admission to the festival plus loads of discounts around town.

Q. How do I volunteer to help with the Fringe?
A. In May, we'll have information about how you can be one of our 400+ dedicated volunteers at the '14 festival. Watch our volunteer page for more information

Q. How do I find out more about Fringe?
A. If your question has not been answered here, please send us an email and we will answer your question to the best of our ability. Or give us a call at (612) 872-1212.

Minnesota Fringe