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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Dawn Bentley, MNM, MBA

Executive Director

dawnDawn joined Fringe in April 2017 with a leadership expertise focused on navigating strategic vision to achieve greatest potential. In her previous position as the first Executive Director of Art Shanty Projects, she was charged with creating infrastructure and establishing improved outcomes in all key functional areas. Dawn is an arts aficionado and has played violin for over 25 years in various ensembles from rock bands to professional orchestras with a dozen recordings in her repertoire. She holds Masters degrees in Nonprofit Management and Business Administration from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. Email Dawn

Jay Gilman

Associate Director

dawnJay moved to the Twin Cities to join the Fringe, and is thrilled to be part of this team as we celebrate our 25th anniversary. A Kansas City native, Jay has lived and worked in Philly, DC and Baltimore, previously serving as an arts manager, producer, and director including for festivals and fringe-style collectives. He holds a M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership from Penn, where he studied in the School of Social Policy & Practice, Wharton School, and Fels Institute; and serves as Vice President of the Alumnae/i Association of Goucher College, where he earned his B.A. Email Jay

Amber Bjork

Office Manager / Artist Liaison

amberAmber has spent several years acting, directing, writing, and producing as a Fringe artist before joining the staff as Office Manager and Artist Liaison in 2014. In her time outside of the office, she is a freelance artist and serves as the founding member of The Winding Sheet Outfit. She holds a B.A. in English Lit from University of Minnesota-Duluth and is a recipient of a 2014 St. Paul Arts Challenge grant from the Knight Foundation.
Email Amber

Kaitlen Osburn

Audience and Volunteer Services Director

kaitlenKaitlen has been fringing since 2010, first with the Chicago Fringe, then joining the front-of-house staff in Minnesota in 2013. She holds a BFA from Western Kentucky University and an MFA from Dell'Arte International in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre. Kaitlen is a 2011 alumnus of Director's Lab Chicago, a 2014 Princess Grace Award Winner, and a 2016 grant recipient of the Puffin Foundation. When she isn't coordinating Fringe front-of-house, she devises original work, teaches future theatre makers, and she is a freelance grant writer.
Email Kaitlen

Liz Neerland

Technical Director

lizLiz joined the Fringe family in 2000. In her first year, she served as Assistant Box Office Manager, and was a venue technician from 2001-2013. In 2014, she stepped up to the Technical Director post, and also recently served as Interim Associate Director. Liz is also the co-Artistic Director and Managing Director of nimbus, and Venue Manager for The Crane Theater, their new performance space in Northeast Minneapolis. Liz is a native of Minneapolis and a graduate of Grinnell College with a degree in Anthropology.
Email Liz

Board of Directors

Fringe trustees are guardians of the mission who ensure compliance with legal and financial requirements while also enforcing ethical guidelines. The purpose of the Board is to govern the organization in a manner that fosters positive relationships in the community.

Member applications are accepted on a rolling basis. If you are interested in becoming a board member, please fill out our interest form and a member of the Governance Committee will contact you.

David Frank, President
City of Minneapolis

Annie Scott Riley, Vice President

Kyle Orwick, Treasurer
Eide Bailly

Jennifer Bush, Secretary
Keller Williams

David Brookins
BMO Harris

Connie Cameron
Independent School District 287, Plymouth, MN (Retired)

Katherine Dugarm
Ramsey County

Don Eitel

John Gebretatose
HUGE Improv Theater

John Joachim
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services

Kathy Kim
UnitedHealth Group

Divya Maiya
Bollywood Dance Scene & Best Buy

Danna Mirviss
PACER Center

Karim Muasher
Guthrie Theater

Rachel Postle
Twin Cities PBS

Randall Shimpach
Groshek Law

Note: Organizations are listed for identification purposes only.

Jobs & Internships

Volunteer Management Intern

Please sign up for our Newsletter to be kept up to date on the latest posts.

2017 Festival Staff

Accessibility Coordinator: Laurie Pape Hadley

Audio Describers: Elana Centor, Connie Fullmer, Rick Jacobson, Laurie Pape Hadley, Laura Wiebers

ASL Interpreters: Krista Anderson, Heidi Archambault, Breanna Colaianni, Katie Dinkel, David Evans, Amberlyn Kern, Jeremy Miller

Front of House Core Team: Robert Eisen, Z Makila, Drew Pannebecker, Vonnie Ranta, Tate Sheppard, Jeremiah Zortman

Front of House Interns: Brooke Knoll, Elizabeth Schuetzle

House Managers: Zach Aaker, Maya Alaridi, Christopher Bauleke, Brett Bowman, Maureen Bourgeois, Monica Brewster, Katie Burger, Julia Carlis, Jess Chanliau, Ben Eng, Julia Dahl, Christa Potter, Jenna Davis, Maria Ghassemlou, Janice Geis, Brian Hirt, Jenn Jensen, Caitlyn Jones, Nick Kourajian, Ben Larson, Caitlin Miller, Andrew Northrop, Feilim O'hAolain, Emily Padden, Emily 'Remi' Remmey, Colter Schoenfish, Kenji Shoemaker, Kassy Skoretz, Katonya Strickland, Wendy Thoren

Social Media Manager: Cecelia Kyoko

Technicians: Sarah Bauer, Ursula Bowden, Jesse Cogswell, Jake Davis, Katie Deutsch, Jeremiah Ellarby, Mitchell Frazier, Bryon Gunsch, Ben Harvey, Anthony Karna, Andrew Kedl, Jon Kirchhofer, Kiki Klun, Emmet Knowler, David Levitt, Aaron Newman, Karin Olson, Brittany Pooladian, Sarah Salisbury, Courtney Schmitz, Mary Shabatura, Josh Stallings, Ray Steveson, Tony Stoeri, Alyssa Thompson, Phillip Uttech, Susan Walsh, Megan Winter

Photographers: Rajib Bahar, Jill Emmer, Sara Erdman, Max Haynes, Mat Lindquist, Keith N'Dong, Dave Suggs, Debbie Tallen, Alex Wohlhueter