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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Mary Weinhagen's reviews

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Now mY faCe hUrts!!

You know that feeling of smiling so hard it turns into a laugh... and feels really good at first but then you can'tstopanditstartstoscareyouintothinkingyouwillgrinwildly FOREVER?!?!!? Yeah. These guys. So. Worth. It. Bring the whole family. We should all laugh together more!

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
How did they ALL win?!?

This show is hilarious, which is probably no surprise given the talent onboard... but really, this group of people is so full of talent that the time flew by as laughter ensued over their willingness to so brilliantly reenact their hilarious (though probably not at the time) wedding fight! It's frequently said, when couples fight, "There are no winners here" but in this case... There are no losers here! It's a WIN! See this show is you're looking to laugh at life!

A Resister's Handbook (for holding onto optimism in shitty times)
I feel Optimistic!

Javier shares personal stories with such passion, wit and intensity while exploring the question of how to hold onto optimism in a really shitty world that it absolutely leaves me full of nothing but optimism. You really must come listen to this brilliant storyteller and open yourself up to breathing in the dark... and breathing out the light.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR

It's not enough that these 3 have loads of musical talent... but an astonishing amount of creativity is demonstrated with every song! A simply Brilliant show that you simply shouldn't miss!

PHD (Po H# on Dope) to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life
Pain, Passion, Hope, and Love

Dr. E's one woman show is so rich... and important... that I can easily recommend it to everyone. Her beautiful and powerful voice draws you in and doesn't let you go. She's masterful. You really must experience it yourself in order to understand. Wow!