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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Little Voice

Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
years old
Lives in... Suburbs
Favorite genre: Comedy


Little Voice's reviews

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Fun, and genuinely creepy

Polished, professional recreation of actual old-time radio scripts. The performance style was spot-on to the genre, which was sometimes played for laughs, but also generated some genuine scares along the way too. It was fun to see the sound effects created live on stage.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Heartfelt and moving

Simple, beautiful staging and impeccable performances. The characters were beautifully brought to life.

Whisper Into My Good Ear
Brilliant performances, great script

Perfectly contained one-act play, with two lonely, old guys on a park bench. The script is sharply observed, funny at times and poignant without being sappy. Brilliant performances by the two actors.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Natural wonders don't just happen

Maybe the best comedic adaptation of a non-fiction book since, well, Adaptation. The talented cast gamely demonstrates many of the ways to die in nature, and the park ranger perfectly ties it all together with his dry commentary.

The Best of All Possible Worlds
Honest and relatable

One man telling the story of his life and career and how one got in the way of the other. Heartfelt and moving.

Hello, I Must Be Going...
More than just Groucho jokes

Often funny, but more often poignant. Brilliant performance as Groucho, and the two women playing Erin both did a fantastic job too.

Atlas Dynamo's Burnt Offerings
Unexpected

We just popped into this one as we had a hole in our schedule and were in the neighborhood, so I had no idea what to expect. I'm glad we went. A different sort of Fringe show with talented performers who played, sang and spoke from the heart. Contrary to the experience of other reviewers, our audience DID participate, and had a great time. (Well, I did anyway.)

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Best thing I saw at the Fringe

Hilarious script and terrific performances all around. Didn't think I'd hear the word "cocaine" so many times in a show about the Wright brothers.

William & Mary: The Way Out Experiment
Great, retro sci-fi

Fun take on a classic sci-fi premise.

Slaughterhouse Five: A Musical
So it goes

The production does a good job of illustrating the "unstuck in time" concept through music, staging and choreography. Many of the cast members had a hard time projecting over the band, so the instrumental music worked better for me than the lyrical.

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Is that Andy Samberg's little brother?

As much as I liked Stranger Things, I didn't plan to see this show; satiric recaps just aren't my thing. But the reviews swayed me. All in all, I probably should have stuck with my first instincts. Tom is a talented performer to be sure, and I'm giving it 4 stars just for that, but it just wasn't for me. Still, now I feel caught up in time for the second season of ST, so yay!

Dick White: Ghost Detective
Good, silly fun

More absurdist comedy than noir spoof, this show maybe relies a little too much on the easy joke, but I gotta admit I laughed at most of them. The performers have no qualms about breaking the fourth wall, which they used to good effect. My favorite character was the narrator, but my favorite scene had to be the song.

Playwrights on a Train
Good potential

The script has a couple plot holes, but it's overall an intriguing mystery that maybe needs just one more draft. Like others have noted, the music and sound effects overpowered the dialogue at times -- a particular problem during the final resolution of the story.

Swoopstake
Appealing lead, good twist

Good premise, but the humor didn't land for me. The lead actress was very good, though.

The Mystery
A little one-note

I like a good ghost story, and this feels like a good start towards one. But while the storyteller did a nice job of generating a feeling of dread, it just never paid off my in a real scare for me. His costuming didn't help; it set a comedic tone at the beginning that I don't think he was going for.

The Perils of Steve
High on energy, low on content

Kudos to the cast for bringing it: they were always moving and constantly, seamlessly switching characters. But the script needed to be sharper and funnier to live up to their performances.


Little Voice's Queue

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A Bollywood Twistery

by Harmonious Music

Ritz Mainstage  

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Anarchy! (a handbook)

by Big Picture Group

Rarig Xperimental  

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Antonio and the Juice Man

by Prime Time Players

Strike Theater  

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The Banana Wars

by The Miller Conspiracy

Strike Theater  

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Bear Eats Bear

by The Last Grizzly

Kenwood Community Center  

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BELIEVE

by M-SHE Productions

Southern  

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Blood Debt

by Degenerate Theatre

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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BOOMBOX.

by Hannah Starr

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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Buffy the Bedbug Slayer

by Spike Tape Productions

Theatre in the Round  

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The Buttslasher

by New Endeavors

Ritz Studio  

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Cocaine

by Cold Lake Productions

Ritz Studio  

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Code: L-O-V-E

by Highlander Kitty

Crane  

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Couple Fight 3: Weddings!

by Weggel-Reed Productions

Rarig Thrust  

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Flyer Guy

by David Lawson

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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Frankenstein

by Windmill Company

Rarig Arena  

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Good Kids

by NEO PRODUCTIONS

Rarig Thrust  

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
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Hello, I Must Be Going...

by Mercury Ninety Productions

Theatre in the Round  

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It Can't Happen Here

by Sinclair Lewis Productions

Ritz Studio  

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The Last Bombardment

by Oncoming Productions

Ritz Mainstage  

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Macduo

by Three Crazy Sons

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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Mnemosyne

by Sunday Driver

Southern  

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The New Gig Economy, A Musical

by The New Two Bit Players

Phoenix  

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Nowhere in Glass

by JSB Theatre

Crane  

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ODD MAN OUT

by Underdog Theatre

Rarig Arena  

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On The Exhale

by Market Garden Theatre

Rarig Xperimental  

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Our Boy

by Theatre B

Theatre in the Round  

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Oxygen Is Overrated

by Tesseray Productions

HUGE  

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Patriot/Traitor

by Society for the Preservation of Gravity

Ritz Mainstage  

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The Perils of Steve

by SaMi Productions

Rarig Thrust  

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The Pursuit of Awesome

by Northstarter Productions

Intermedia  

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RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical

by August Moon Productions

Ritz Mainstage  

Westside VW
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Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler

by Katherine Glover Presents

Strike Theater  

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Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heave...

by Ferrari McSpeedy Theatrical Productions

Ritz Studio  

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Spec

by Ben San Del Presents

Mixed Blood  

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Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL

by Turd Spout Productions

Phoenix  

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Subpar Heroes

by Renegade Theater Company

Southern  

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The Murmur of Murder

by Swing and a Miss

HUGE  

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The Summoning

by Grumpy Bean

Southern  

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The Well

by Coattail Productions

Ritz Studio  

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The Zoo Story (New Version)

by Mortimer Productions

HUGE  

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Your Motivational Power Hour!

by Change! Your! Life! Productions

Phoenix  

Bollywood Dance Scene