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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2018 Minnesota Family Fringe Application

The Minnesota Family Fringe provides opportunities for artists and companies interested in presenting work geared for multigenerational audiences and young people primarily under the age of 13. Companies may choose to apply to both the Minnesota Fringe Festival and the Family Fringe, and are eligible to participate in both if selected in the lottery and by the Family Fringe jury.

Family Fringe offers a chance for family audiences interested in new and adventurous work that is hard to find and/or underrepresented in traditional venues.

All tickets for Family Fringe are single ticket purchases; there is no Day Pass option. Adult tickets are $10; children (12 and under) are $5.

Family Fringe performances will take place at Celtic Junction in Saint Paul’s Creative Enterprise Zone. Audiences are encouraged to participate in free activities at 2018 Family Fringe Central, Can Can Wonderland and visit all Fringe hubs during the festival.

Family Fringe Selection

The application deadline is Friday, February 16, 2018, 5pm CST. Applying to Family Fringe is free of charge.

Family Fringe is a juried Festival made up of artists, producers, board and staff. Six productions will be chosen; each with 5 performance slots. Selected producers will receive a call the week of February 19th to confirm participation and publicly announced on the evening of the Festival lottery, February 26th at Bryant-Lake Bowl.

Family Fringe Jury Members Include:

  • David Brookins - Board of Directors, Minnesota Fringe
  • Peter Brosius - Artistic Director, Children’s Theatre Company
  • Jay Gilman - Associate Director, Minnesota Fringe
  • Allegra Lingo* - Writer, storyteller, and musician
  • Michelle De Joya* - Actor, movement artist and acrobat
  • Isabel Nelson* - Artistic Director, Transatlantic Love Affair
  • Shayla Roland - Associate Producer, Penumbra Theatre Company
* indicates previous Minnesota Fringe artist and/or producer
Jury Rubric

Using a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest, jurors will score proposals based on the following elements:

  • Artistic Vision
    Does the applicant clearly articulate their vision for their production? Is there demonstrated evidence in their materials to carry out the production/concept?
  • Production Feasibility
    Is this production realistically feasible within Fringe's technical paradigm? Would it be a successful fit for the theatrical space? Remember: all productions must load in and load out of the venue in 10 minutes, and each production has only one 3-hour technical rehearsal.
  • Style & Aesthetic
    Does this production tell a story in a novel or innovative way? Does it push-to-the-Fringe of performance? Would this production add spice and excitement to the festival line-up?
  • Inclusion
    Does this production champion underrepresented voices or themes when compared to our current local, national and international performing arts community? Could this production help to cultivate new and first-time theater-going audiences?
  • Wildcard
    Up to 2 additional points here for elements not accommodated in the questions above.
Time and money

The 2018 Family Fringe will take place over two weekends:

  • Thursday, August 2 through Sunday, August 5
  • Thursday, August 9 through Sunday, August 12

All shows must be between 40 and 50 minutes long, and will run within a time slot grid.

A production fee of $350 is due March 1, 2018, if your show is selected.

What you get
  • Five scheduled performances
  • Guaranteed 70% of your box office receipts. Receipts include 70% of all single-ticket sales to your show. Unlike the Minnesota Fringe Festival, there are no day pass or festival passes to Family Fringe, only single-ticket sales. Adult tickets (13 and older) are $10; kid tickets are $5.
  • A professional-grade, well-equipped, multi-functional venue
  • Professional technicians to run the board for your show, including one lighting designer to set cues
  • Ticket sales (advance and walk-up), box office staff and front-of-house services
  • Fringe Producers' Handbook—your comprehensive guide
  • Use of the Fringe's festival rate contract with Actors' Equity
  • Access to workshops and one-on-one help sessions
  • Drawings and photos of your venue
  • Customizable page for your show on our website
  • Publicity distribution to major press outlets and regional producers/presenters
  • Artist passes for you and your cast to see Fringe shows for free
Your responsibility
  • Find or create a script; acquire any necessary rights or permissions for existing scripts/music
  • Arrange/contract actors and director
  • Costumes, props, sound cues and set pieces
  • Marketing your show
  • Arranging necessary visas and work permits if coming from outside the United States
  • Abiding by the Fringe rules and deadlines

Please remember that Fringe is a different producing environment than "normal" production. The Fringe pace is faster, the timeline more compressed, and there is less control over venue choice, tech, ticketing and schedule. Requests that might be reasonable in a single-show venue can prove much more challenging at Fringe. Guidelines and rules are in place to keep the big picture running smoothly - which is also what makes it so much fun!

Is Family Fringe right for your production?

We believe there's a place for everyone in Fringe and we welcome participation from anyone who wants to play. But Family Fringe has a specific feel and purpose, and isn't right for every kind of production. Dream big, but know there are some real limitations you'll have to take into account to fit within Family Fringe's intentions and production framework:

  • Keep it family friendly: Audiences will primarily be made up of young children, their parents, grandparents, and other caregivers. Your show should be both interesting to and appropriate for multigenerational audiences.
  • Keep it short: All shows must be between 40 and 50 minutes long including any curtain calls or audience discussions.
  • Keep it simple: You must be able to load in and set up your show in ten minutes. Likewise, you get ten minutes to load out after your show is finished. Storage is never guaranteed, so you may need to haul your set and costumes in and out for every performance. Venue will be shared by 5 other companies, so lighting configurations will be general to serve many different shows.
    • If you plan on having projection in your show, you must be prepared to:
      • Bring your own equipment (if not in a venue outfitted for projection)
      • Setup and break down with your allotted time frame
      • Provide personnel to run the projection.
  • Keep it inside: Merchandise sales are permitted in the designated area at the venue during your allotted show time and during the half hour immediately following load out.
The Application

If you've got questions, contact us at info@fringefestival.org. Good luck!

2018 Family Fringe Application

Note: This CANNOT change, so think carefully.

Note: You will be able to change this later.

Use the 2-letter state abbreviation

Note: Coming from outside the United States? You'll be responsible for arranging all necessary visas and work permits. Contact amber@fringefestival.org if you have questions about this.

This CANNOT change and must be the primary contact throughout the festival.

Production fees:  Family Fringe producer fee is $350; venue audience capacity ~100)

For more information, please check out the Minnesota Fringe Festival Application Guidelines.

Please include up to 3 optional work sample attachments (images, videos, or other elements) which speak to your ability to execute the performance you have described above. This may include previous performance(s) of this or other work by your company and/or collaborators.

Almost Done...

If you ("Company") are selected to participate in the 2018 Minnesota Family Fringe ("Fringe"), this application will be considered a signed performance agreement between the Company and Fringe. By submitting this application the Company acknowledges and agrees to abide by the rules and regulations contained herein, as well as the rules and regulations of Fringe. The Company may withdraw from the festival with a full refund of producing fees until 5pm on March 23, 2018. Withdrawals are accepted only from the Primary Contact specified in this agreement and only in writing. Should the Company withdraw after the date specified, the Company will forfeit its producer fee. The Company agrees to adhere to the laws of Minnesota, the ordinances of the City in which its performances are presented, and the policies and procedures of the Fringe. The Company accepts all responsibility for adhering to all applicable union, copyright, and immigration regulations, and agrees to acquire any necessary city or state permits. Fringe reserves the right to remove the Company from festival participation if it is in violation of any terms of this agreement, resulting in the cancellation of any and all of the Company's performances at the festival and the Company's forfeiture of all fees and box office payout.

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