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 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.

Reservations

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.

Rules

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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David Trudeau's reviews

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Nailed it

Old time radio scripts can be pretty amateurishly done - not here, however. Brilliant - and better than originally done. Ensemble enables added twists of creepy eeriness that only one's own visualizations can add to these excellent audio descriptions with on the mark timing, voice characterizations and sound effects.

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Goofy Funny Fringy

Fractured History delivered at a frantic pace - the jokes fly fast as the Wrights are roasted off their pedestals. Well done comedy.

Rumpus
Magical Music and Story

Lovely children's dream story embellished with brass quintet classics and poetry for the ages. Told in dance with effective use of fabric reminiscent of that old Jeune Leune magic.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
Entertainment is this

Clever premise, music plus acrobatics by really sharp performers who have it all down, especially the amazing music. A new genre.

"1967"
"We were there"

The year of riots and unrest and Dr. King's death remembered - brings home the lingering sensitivities of racism in a touching eye witness.

On The Exhale
Transforming

Whatever you're take on 2nd amendment this will make you feel its depth in your soul. Best acting I have seen in some time-dead on-masterfully written and directed

Spec
Trippy Fast

challenges everyday perceptions in a tickling, sometimes shocking but artful way. Expand your consciousness a bit with this well written stuff. At times I felt Ben was reading this off the floor as he looked down intently sometimes correcting a mis-spoken word. Very unlike the San Del of old who told giggly stories about mittens and first time awkward sex, he is quite intensely transcendent here.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Channels Chaplin, Keaton

So funny. Masterful physical comedy and not a word spoken in forty minutes of side split.

Our Boy
Develops nicely with superb acting

This surprised me - I expected a morality lecture and instead got a really well acted play out of revealing tensions in a couple facing the direst consequence of their ( and our own) culturally-inherent and reality-incoherent sexism.

Anarchy! (a handbook)
Focused, intense, cerebral,

Beautifully written, directed and executed material that macerates the chaff of "protest movements" - Just loved this. Riveting and engaging.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Fun - and it may save your life

Just a hoot - should be presented to all those who enter national parks, tongue in cheek. Well done and well conceived.

DANCING BARE FEET
Bollywood it is

Want to know more about Bollywood romance? this has the recipe down. Good energy, some missed tech cues, huge cast. All fun and light and love at the happy ending - oops - did I give it away?

Live From New York, He's A Prom Date!
Sharing with showmanship

I last saw Jen Maren in Glensheen as a cold hearted gold digging sociopath. Here she is as herself - a loveble teen angst queen in a fantastic true documentary of her own life. Touching.

Wellstone: A Minnesotan Musical
Not quite there

Paul Wellstone is a giant of a man who needs something bigger than this - it's a starting point , but this show needs more of his internal struggle and expression of his vision to hit the mark. Could have called it Hillary just as well for the amount of time spent developing characters. Though well intended, directed, and executed, the script and song need a big shot of Green Bus Magic to be the opera of his inspiring life.

The Second Banana Revolt!
Fun Fun Fun

Send up on old TV local kids shows with real kids who steal the show. A little rough around the edges but works. Full of fun and energy.

It's About Love Again This Year
Fluffy Lovey

Pretty, relaxing, simple dance. Nothing inspiring or amazing here, just Nice.

Antonio and the Juice Man
Good premise

The show started out with a strong premise that seemed to fade. I am not sure what the role of the properties person on stage was supposed to be - I found it distracting. The stereotypical "Brooklyn" accent was also distracting and hardly funny. All in all it lacked objective direction - a director independent of the narrator-writer-creator might have helped.


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