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 850 performances of 167 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 Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown, 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. Pro tip: 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 850 performances of 167 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 go live mid-November on this website. Fringe is open to everyone, all shows are selected by lottery, and you don't even need to have a show ready when you apply.

Attend: Thanks to the new day pass system, attending Fringe is easier and cheaper than ever.

Volunteer: Our 400+ 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 Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown, 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 + Token = Your Admission

Everyone needs a valid pass to see a show. In addition to your pass, you will receive a token at the venue which guarantees you a seat. Turn in your token to the usher when you enter the theater.

More information about passes and policies here.


Optional reservations guarantee a seat for a particular performance and can be purchased online in advance. You must also have a valid to get in. Day passes can be bought online with a reservation to save time, and can be picked up at the venue box office 30 minutes before the performance.

More information about reservations here.


For everyone's safety, Fringe does not allow late seating or re-admission. Photos and video are prohibited without written permission from the production staff. Fringe cannot provide refunds or exchanges.

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Submit a button discount

Welcome to Fringe File! As a service to our audience and our community of performing arts producers, Minnesota Fringe publishes a listing of Twin Cities shows that offer ticket discounts with a Fringe button.

Fringe File is most useful to the audience when the information is quickly scannable—the listings are meant to be browsed like a menu. To make the listings as consistent and usable as we can, we've adopted this form to present each show's information in a uniform way.

Please note: The Fringe File is put on hold during July and August each year. The final newsletter of the season is sent out in late June and will resume in early September.

To submit an image (and we strongly encourage you to do so!), email Amber Bjork. You can read the complete set of image specifications and Fringe File's guidelines to get a better idea of the best practices for a successful Fringe File listing. And, as always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

Fields marked with * are required.

Example: This and "credit name" (below) will appear as "Written by John Doe"

You have characters left.

$2 off each ticket with a Fringe button.
$10 each with a Fringe button.
2-for-1s on Thursdays with a Fringe button.

If you wish to offer an online promo code, it must contain the word "Fringe" and be in addition to—not in place of—a button discount.

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Fringe File guidelines and image specifications

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1. Fringe File listings are limited to ticketed performing arts events that offer Fringe button discounts. Each event listing, regardless of run dates, may be published in no more than two editions of Fringe File. Listings do not have to be consecutive. We place this limitation on Fringe File listings to provide a focus for the end users; this way, our readers can associate Fringe File with current theater discounts. Fringe File is a call-to-action for people looking for something to do.

2. A "performing arts event" is defined as an individual show (e.g., "Adventures in Mating" at Bryant-Lake Bowl) or a multiple event festival (e.g., Twin Cities Horror Festival). Shows that are part of a multiple-show festival will not be listed individually. Standing discounts and season discounts will not be published. Because Fringe File comes out every two weeks, we want to keep the content fresh and engaging. Fringe File should be seen by readers as a go-to resource for events that are happening now.

3. Each producer is limited to a total of eight individual listings per editorial year (September 1 through August 31).

4. To qualify for inclusion in Fringe File, producers must promote the Fringe button discount in the ticketing section of their website and on any promotional material that mentions discounts.

5. Listings include a show description that is limited to 300 characters. Fringe may edit listings for punctuation but not for spelling or grammatical idiosyncrasies. Fringe will have to reject any listings that come through this form with characters that cause coding problems; to eliminate this possibility, please follow these guidelines:

A. No all-capital phrases or sentences.

B. Show titles within the body of the listing must appear in "quotes," not with _underscores_ or CAPITALS.

C. No HTML accepted within the description.

D. No line breaks, links or URLs within the description.

E. No bold or italics within the description.

F. No ticket prices within the show description.

To make Fringe File as useful as possible for our readers—and the producers who offer Fringe button discounts—we are keeping listings short and punchy. This is an advertisement for you, the producer, so keep it short, simple and straightforward: this is a place to whet your potential audience's appetite, not provide them with a whole meal's worth of details about your show.

Because this is targeted to a Fringe audience, we also don't allow listings for discounts or ticket prices not directly tied to a Fringe button. Again, to increase the effectiveness of not just your listing but Fringe File as a whole, it's important to maintain focus on what our readers want—and what they expect to receive from Minnesota Fringe.

6. Although not required, we strongly encourage producers to also submit an image for their listing. Listings that include an image look more professional, are more eye-catching and generally rock a lot harder than text-only listings. While we will do everything we can to maintain the integrity of the image, please be aware some elements may be cropped out.

A. We accept JPEG format (for photos) and GIF or PNG (for illustrations). Photos are recommended over illustrations.

B. Document weight (file size) should be no greater than 20k.

C. Color is preferred; black-and-white is accepted.

D. Please do not submit a postcard design. Any writing, logos, etc., on the image may be too small to be readable, become distorted or get cropped.

E. Submit your files to Amber Bjork at amber@fringefestival.org

Fringe File is published every two weeks. Note: Fringe File is not published in July or August.

To be included in Fringe File, show listings must be received no later than 9 a.m. the day of publication.

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