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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Pj Doyle's reviews

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Most fun so far this year

Tom Reed doesn't disappoint. A multi-faceted performer. Excellent voice, commanding stage presence, and uses the entire theatre space to engage the audience. Having never seen Stranger Things, I thought I might be a bit lost, but he keeps you in the loop throughout the performance. A fun ride!

Melody Mendis is "Barbra"
High Quality Entertainment

A long-time fan of Barbra, I was a little skeptical about what quality to expect. So very pleasantly surprised at Melody's voice. Her range is outstanding and her energy impressive. Loved the movie songs and even got a little teary. She delivers song with emotion and skill. Look forward to seeking her out for future gigs.

Oxygen Is Overrated
Bounty hunting ala Janeway

SciFi look at realizing your dreams. Well written script and program itself. Artistic take on a copilot. If Janeway had washed out of Star Fleet Academy, she might have taken up bounty hunting just like this.

DANCING BARE FEET
What's Fringe Without Bollywood

Beautiful costumes and wonderful dancing. Love the use of the space and the experience was just plain fun!

Much Ado About Nothing (as told by Dogberry and Verges)
Where is the 6-star button?

From before the Fringe announcement to the roaring applause at the end, this was superb entertainment. The combo of Fringe humor with really well done Shakespearean interpretation was great. Loved every minute. Have already called non-Fringe friends and told them to get their butts over to Jungle for the last show!

Songs of MN Summer
Gotta love talent

Loved how the artists recognized that audience was family oriented and based routine on suggestion of a child. They rocked the baseball vs theater geek theme. Talent not only in quick thinking artistry, but use of voice, self and space made for fun start to a Friday night!

Themselves They Made Immaculate: Clara Barton at Andersonville
Humanity in Reality

Admittedly, I am biased as a Red Cross volunteer. However, the dramatic reading of Clara's testimony was lovely. Kudos to the team for keeping it simple. Linda Sue Anderson captured the woman's passion and eloquence. And, the additional information about Andersonville in the program is a nice draw for audience members to explore further.

Wait...didn't Patrick's Cabaret close?
Engaging entertainment

Interesting combination of song, comedy and stories. Uneven talent, but overall a nice mix.

The Perils of Steve
High Energy Slapstick Without the Pies

Not usually a fan of slapstick, but the high energy and four talented performers won me over. Not only were the accents fun (and surprisingly well done for as many as there were!) but the actors projected well and used their bodies as props. They moved about the space like choreographers.

Playwrights on a Train
Clever Idea That Needs Work

Mixed bag all the way around. Acting was uneven. Main character was most consistent. Interesting use of space and supporting cast. They were strong in some of the sub-roles and not so much in others. Liked the idea of sharing dialogue among the actors. The plot itself is too predictable and may have suffered from having to cram it into such a short time frame. Still, a cozy little mystery for fans of the genre.

BELIEVE
Save the Planet, but first save the ears

Way too loud. The sound level detracted from great dance with a lot of energy. Not sure that the story promised in the program was realized, but difficult to concentrate -- even painful. Costumes were extremely well done and the dancers are outstanding.

Gravitational Collapse
Huh?

I agree with the reviewer who wants more. I was surprised when the piece finished -- as opposed to ended. There was plenty of time left and I saw no resolution. Too bad, because I was involved in the performances. Felt like we were missing the last reel of a film.


Pinocchio