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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Amy Salloway

Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Something Different

Amy Salloway's reviews

A Resister's Handbook (for holding onto optimism in shitty times)
Scowl, Smolder, Suck it in.

If you frequent the various places Javier performs (the Moth story slam, for example), you'll have heard parts of these stories before, or maybe their rougher, embryonic versions; however, it's absolutely worth it to come see all of these pieces together as a whole. Javier lets himself be more introspective, vulnerable and flawed than I've ever seen him be (this is a guy who tries to look hot while protesting, so "flawed" is a big deal), and that choice of truth and emotion over poise or punchlines gives the show real immediacy. I honestly left wanting to do more for this world than I'm doing; wanting to speak up and out more than I do. "Handbook" gets us to that place without shaming, hackneyed rhetoric or rage - just with honest stories.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Really this is 4.5 stars.

It's a testament to how fantastic this show was that we, the sold-out-capacity audience, sat together in a steambath of a theatre, simmering in each other's sweat, B.O. and flatulence (my region of Mixed Blood had a LOT of the latter) without complaint, laughing ourselves silly, and then all remained for a standing ovation. The writing was SO smart, strong and witty, and the actors were all triple threats with impeccable timing (especially the Levin kid, of strong comedic heritage). The 1st half of "Pageant" held a lot more interest for me than the 2nd; I feel like the show hit the middle and stalled out. I also wanted more of an ending, and I especially didn't want something so typical after such sparkling cleverness. Otherwise, BRAVO!

Hello, I Must Be Going...
I also love strudel.

All I knew about this play going in was that my long-time favorite actor-writer-comedian-quirkmeister-German-philology-professor Ari Hoptman was in the cast. Nothing else. So, I was truly caught off-guard when what was seeming to be a touching and rather heart-wrenching love story turned VERY dark, VERY suddenly! It really came out of nowhere, and that, in fact, was my only real issue with the show; I'd liked to have seen the intermediary phases between where the story started and its major turning point - some justification or build to that change. I'll echo that Ari was PHENOMENAL as Groucho - unrecognizeable down to his voice. And his "This is Your Life" improv, AS Groucho, was a Fringe high point. What a gift!

First Year Queer
Wanted less lesson, more Lyssa! :)

A bright & energetic show in which 26yo Lyssa does a quick, tightly-packed destigmatization of the secrets she'd been harboring for years. I loved the spirit of this play, & I loved tons of the details (Lyssa's puppet work is hilarious, & the physical staging of the entire piece is slick, dynamic & gorgeously lit). That said, because SO many topics were covered, I couldn't invest in any one. I wanted to know so much more: why did someone as bold as Lyssa fear talking about bisexuality? How long had she been hiding this and why? How was she able to embrace kink even though she'd been assaulted? Assaulted?! When, what, wha happened?! I didn't need any of the instruction or PSAs I got. I just wanted the strength of Lyssa's own personal story.

The Simple Mind of Dillon Magee
A+ direction. C- script.

Director Scott Gilbert knows how to work the "limits" of a Fringe Festival show. He's made "...Dillon McGee" feel as rich & sensory as any bona fide theatre production, & the world he creates becomes quietly wrenching, with its kinetic, nature-wild video of the tragic past overlaying Dillon's still, tiny haven; sunrises & nightfalls showing the passage of time; & the comforting closet light just offstage. Logan, the teenage lead, is phenomenal; his silent, repeated actions were riveting because he'd so clearly built an inner life for Dillon. The weak link in all of this is the script, which rushes a fakey, unsupported climax, has no ending whatsoever, & wants us to LIKE a therapist so condescending & dehumanizing I'd have smacked him.

Wait...didn't Patrick's Cabaret close?
You're sure to love at least 1/3!

Just like a full-length cabaret at the now-nomadic Patrick's, the point of these 3-act Fringe shows is to give voice, power and growth to "artists on the edge of culture" -- performers who defy genres, or might get shooed away by traditional theatres. That means that in any of these Fringe hours (no 2 are alike!), you'll probably see at LEAST one act that knocks you out of your cargo shorts with swoony amazement, and, potentially, one act that makes you wish you could get those 15 minutes back. On opening night, I swooned at 2/3 of the mini-cabaret: Heidi Arneson and Vie Boheme were both sparkling gems of brilliance. I feel certain that the rest of the shows are equally worth seeing; you'll leave with new favorite artists on your radar.

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