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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Jeremy Motz

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
25-34 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Something Different

Jeremy Motz's reviews

The Masque of Power
a risque worth taquing

there's a lot more to this show than it appears on the outside. i went in trying to remember the (little) i knew about commedia, but thankfully realized pretty early on it wasn't necessary. the structure and conventions of the piece deal with a lot more than just the hook of the mask work, and while this style of 4th wall disregard doesn't sit well with some folks (i know from experience...), it is smack dab in my wheelhouse. i'm still chewing on a lot of the scenes, but i would recommend this odd, hilarious, and extremely fringey show to anybody.

they're probably recording my keystrokes

dance shows aren't supposed to make me paranoid about my online activity...THANKS A LOT, GUYS. there was a lot to chew on with this show, and i was impressed that it had not one, but TWO unforgettable if not perfect theatrical moments i'll carry with me for a long time. i wish their run wasn't already over, cuz i would love to discuss a lot of these pieces with them in person, but alas, i'm still glad i was able to catch them!

Out of the Shadows
gorgeous, impressive, personal

i know i was not the only one blown away by mr. mata's preview a few weeks back, so this leapt to the top of my must-sees, even knowing nothing else of the show's content or his previous work...but that's what fringe is all about! and MAN, i'm glad it did. from an audience standpoint that is always admiring dance and just would love to know how to dance, it was gorgeous, flowing, and impressive. from a fellow solo performer perspective, it was fascinating, personal, and engaging. the step-by-step breakdowns of the process, the personal connections behind the movements, and the "laymen's nicknames" of certain movements...it all combined to something heartfelt and unique and unforgettable. absolutely recommended!

Bear Eats Bear
lot to chew on...hopefully not by bears

this show was not what i was expecting when i walked up, not what i was expecting when i received "instructions", not what i was expecting in the first 10 minutes, not where i thought it was going in the next 20 minutes, ended somewhere i wasn't ready for, and has been chewing at me for the week since i've seen it. i was hot, sweaty, and cranky when i arrived, because i severely underestimated the walking distance to the venue, and crankier when i realized i'd have to walk some more for the show. but the day was so beautiful, the lake was so gorgeous, and the intentional lack of narrative brought me someplace i wasn't prepared for. how alone can you feel surrounded by people enjoying summer? me? VERY. i'd do it again if i had the time. wow!

Skirmish of Wit: Your Imaginary Forces
heart & charm & talent to spare

much has already been said of the remarkable talent of this group of youngsters, and they STILL found ways to impress my cynical soul and get me tapping my dang feet. to be honest, i can't remember much of the actual show, (that's on me, it was a long day of fringing!) other than it served as a framework for the songs and jokes and general feelgoodness. there was one scene toward the end that stands out that i would LOVE to talk about, but don't want to spoil. just go see it! i'll be keeping an eye (and ear!) on these guys for YEARS to come.

The Fainting Room
unfair in her talent & unmissable!

holy cow, the fun i had at this show! the characters ms. bernard brings to our enjoyment, the songs she sings, the clown work...and at the heart of it all, the message that is poignant and important and worth hearing. fringe is for shows like this, and should make it on your schedule ASAP. well done!

The Banana Wars
a masterclass on threads of history

mr. miller once again knows how to cram a semester's worth of knowledge into under an hour withOUT feeling overstuffed. i feel like he should give room on his program to take notes, and his observation on how to "follow the threads through history" was one of those "why haven't i thought of that before..." moments. his use of structure is immaculate, especially with a deeply seeded joke that takes WAY longer than you think is possible to pay off. make time for this one!

There Ain't No More!
there ain't no better

good LORD what a show. the music, the acting, the structure, the theatricality...how long has it been since i've seen cantastoria (aka, the moving panorama) not only utilized, but utilized BEAUTIFULLY? i couldn't tell you, but now i know the next time you ask me. i can't extol the virtues of this show enough, and our festival is made all the stronger for its participation. drop everything and don't miss the remaining performances!

It's About Love Again This Year
Boom-de-otty, boom-de-otty, boom-de-otty

what a wonderful surprise this was! lovely, heartwarming, visually stunning, technically impressive, never a dull moment. each piece flows from one to the other, sometimes with a funny little interlude sketch or charming cast confessional. there's a moment involving a poem, some chairs, stillness, and the sound of crashing waves that i may rank as one of the few Perfect Theatrical Moments i've ever encountered. plus, that blastedly adorable song at the end will be stuck in your head forever, but with a giant grin plastered all over your face. make room, find time, get to the Southern and see this lovely show from this wonderful touring company before their last show on Monday!

The Legend of the Storm and I
the man, the myth, the LEGEND!

a storm i knew nothing about, from a storyteller i knew nothing about, but by the end, was so glad to have learned of them both. the hidden heart and depth buried in this tale and why it is relevant to hear it today snuck on me and hit me hard, enough for me to recommend this show to everyone i can. it's simple, it's soothing, it's heartfelt. hear it for yourself!

Dancing with the Enemy (and Other Celebrations of Life)
great guest artist!

i caught this performance on saturday, with the drumming guest artist. he made me miss drumming myself, very enjoyable! some of the dancing pieces were a lot of fun, and very well executed...i only question the ordering of the show, as some pieces flowed into another really smoothly, while there were other times there were "brief pauses" while we had to sit there in the dark waiting for costume changes. not that big a deal, but something i definitely noticed. good job!

Sunrise Banks