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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Showtimes

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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2018 Minnesota Fringe

Applications to the 2018 Minnesota Fringe Festival and Minnesota Family Fringe have closed. Join us for the lotteries on February 26, 2018, at Bryant-Lake Bowl.

The festival schedule will be live July, 2018.

So you want to do a Fringe show...

Yay! We're here to help make that happen whether this is your first time producing or if you've been doing it for years. We believe Fringe is for everyone which is why we continue to take steps to remove barriers to participation. Get in touch if you need special accommodations, disability services, language interpreters or anything else. We're here to make Fringe work for you.

Please take a moment to read through the instructions before you apply. There are several new options available this year, including three venue tiers in the 2018 Minnesota Fringe Festival lottery, a Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) option, and a new Minnesota Family Fringe.

New in 2018

Multi-tier Applications! There are three venue tiers—based on capacity—to which you can apply. One application will be accepted per show per tier. A producer/company may apply to multiple tiers--including Bring-Your-Own-Venue--but can only produce one show in the festival. If your show is randomly selected in multiple tiers during the lottery, you will be asked to select ONE. Duplicate applications for the same project within the same tier will be rejected without refund. A fee of $30 for applications is due at submission.

Touring Artist Initiative! Now more than ever, it's time to connect with minds on a global scale. We're throwing down the welcome mat for those who bring fresh perspectives and talent into our vibrant metro home by reserving the first 10% of 2018 Minnesota Fringe Festival slots selected specifically for national, international, and Minnesotan artists coming from outside the 11-county metro area (see map below).

Minnesota Family Fringe! Minnesota Family Fringe will offer family audiences interested in new and adventurous work to see shows presented by companies creating multi-generational productions. Family Fringe is a separate, juried festival taking place over the weekends of August 2 - 5 and 9 - 12. There is no fee to apply to Family Fringe. The same company can apply for, and be produced in, the Fringe Festival and Family Fringe, but a company must apply with a separate show for each festival.

Select your application type to learn more about the process, provisions, and structures.

2018 Minnesota Fringe Festival - Lottery Application

2018 Minnesota Fringe Festival - Bring Your Own Venue

2018 Minnesota Family Fringe

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