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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LuAnn Monahan

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
35-44 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Comedy

LuAnn Monahan's reviews

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
A well-polished old time radio show

My mom used to talk about these old radio shows her family would listen to when she was a child. This cast is completely comfortable providing not only the dialogue but also the sound effects so imperative to a radio show. They all have a wonderful range of voice, making listening to them all the more enjoyable.

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Never Disappointed

My first show of Fringe and easily one of my favorites so far. Josh and Andy play so well off each other and give their all in every performance they are in. Josh played a little more serious role in this show but still provided ample comedic relief. The Wright Aide singers were entertaining and provided great intermezzo songs in between scenes. A must see during this Fringe.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
A well-polished old time radio show

My mom used to talk about these old radio shows her family would listen to when she was a child. This cast is completely comfortable providing not only the dialogue but also the sound effects so imperative to a radio show. They all have a wonderful range of voice, making listening to them all the more enjoyable.

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Silly, but it works

A cast of four who play multiple roles and do so well. They made good use of the space and were a lot of fun to watch.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Fun, High-Energy

This show is almost non-stop laugh-out-loud funny. The cast members are all strong and they work well together. The original music is catchy and fun to listen to. Check it out.

Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
Love Ferrari McSpeedy Productions

I’m never disappointed by this production company. The writing is always strong, the timing of the show non-stop entertaining and they do a great job casting the show. I love it when you can tell the performers are having as much fun as the audience is having. This is a silly, but highly entertaining show I strongly recommend.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Cute but not laugh-out loud

A fun show with a cast who gives it their all. Great use of the space and loved the props and the audience participation. Edwin Strout as the park ranger was easily the strongest cast member with a great comedic timing and fun facial expressions.

Playwrights on a Train
Great story w/technical difficulties

I really liked this story " great Hitchcock-esque plot. The only reason I give 4 stars is because I missed some of the dialogue due to the over-ambitious sound effects. The first scene " the one that sets up the story " was hard to hear because the police pounding on the door was so loud I couldn’t hear anything happening on stage " but I’m also not sure I was supposed to hear anything. The last scene " the most critical of the story " was drowned out by the train sound, and then music. I understand wanting to set a scene but when the sound effects take over it just serves as a distraction rather than benefiting the show. The main actor, Bill Marshall, was by far the strongest actor in the show.

The Well
Dark and Unclear

I appreciate the effort to pull off a period piece show and the actors were all fairly strong performers, it just wasn’t a story I could get in to. It’s very dark and mysterious with very little explanation at the end to help those of us understand what was happening. The scene changes were also a little clunky but I think I attribute that more to the space they had to use.