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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Michael Sheeks

Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
45-54 years old
Lives in... Greater MN
Favorite genre: Comedy

Michael Sheeks' reviews

Making It Home
A Win for Theatre

Take an hour and see this show. It's not about craft. Open your heart and you'll cry, laugh and leave prepared to be a better you. What more can you ask from a fringe show?

The Relationships Are In There

Fringe this year is filled with some great windows into the experiences of immigrants and marginalized people. This one, on the other hand, leaps without remorse into the struggles of those of us steeped in privilege have with knowing that the world has gone sideways and are struggling with what to do with it. While I could complain about the didactic exposition that sometimes bogs down the narrative, the relationships inside the story are strong and there are some very nice performances. When it stops being intellectual and allows the personal side of the journey through its a very nice show. The renderings of Mary and Hannah were very satisfying. Five stars because this is the kind of work we need to be doing.

Wellstone: A Minnesotan Musical
What Public Service Looks Like

Although this production crams a lot of styles and forms into sixty minutes, the overall effect is sure to resonate with anyone who wishes all our public servants had the soul of Paul Wellstone. See it as a reminder of why we vote.

Craft and Heart

A beautiful concept articulated with skill and passion by a talented cast and artistic team. I couldn't ask for more from a Fringe show. Don't miss this one and watch these performers in the future. Kudos!

Finding Mohamed

I agree with everything that Betsy (prior review) said. I was totally intrigued by what was happening and the skill with which Ifrah manipulated tone. To my way of thinking, this is why Fringe exists. The show is a little raw and bewildering, but definitely worth the time.

Playwrights on a Train
Fun ending!

Frequently a new script will have a range of interesting elements but doesn't know how to end. Playwrights On A Train has a fun ending and I enjoyed the way this script wrapped up its mysteries. As mentioned previously, getting there was a little slow. You have to be a bit patient and it's more of an intellectual exercise in which you contemplate possible plot developments rather than get truly engaged by the characters. One notable exception was provided by Anna Olson playing Meredith Gaines, who delivers a strong performance.

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