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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Derek Reise

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


Derek Reise's reviews

Songs of MN Summer
wonderful improvised songs & story

Creative, entertaining, enthralling. All very talented performers. We found ourselves laughing throughout. These performers are clearly very comfortable with each other. With one suggestion, they weave together an engaging story willed with drama, silliness--and of course, songs! Highly recommend.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Met high expectations

If you have seen Levi Weinhagen and Joshua English Scrimshaw before, you know they are capable of original, zany, high energy comedy. This show does not let you down. It was a roller coaster of emotions from the stage. I recommend sitting close enough to see their facial expressions, which are heavily utilized for comedic effect. If you love physical comedy, you'll love this show. If you don't care for physical comedy, you'll still probably enjoy this show because it is that well done.

His Name Doesn't Matter
Engaging, funny, thought-provoking

This is a very well written and put-together show with great pacing. The two weave together stories, insights, and reenacted conversations. It was both funny and touching. Two very talented performers. The show seemed to speed by in a tight 60 minutes.

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Three for three

This show matches the previous years' Couple Fights in the variety of types of silliness with just a little genuine heart. While I enjoyed this very much, I kind of hope there won't be a Couple Fight 4--I can't see this being maintained. All the couples were hilarious in different ways. I especially liked Shanan Custer's response to anything that resembled PDA or tenderness. And Rita Borsma's over-the-top, over-tired, pie crust-provoked freak-out! It is hard to imagine another performer successfully mimicking her absurd behavior . She managed to squirm, flail and yell about in a way that cn did not get old.

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Reaching for the stars

This was an ambitious show. It had a lot of components of telling a story, having outrageous characters, some creative use of props, and a fair amount of singing. The show was very fun and endearing. I recommend seeing it. But I would say it did come up a little short in its ambitions. While the show made no claims to historical accuracy, it would have been nice to have further beefed up Katharine Wright's character to the instrumental role she did play. The songs employed were effective in moving the plot along, but the performances were uneven. Andy Kraft's Orville Wright was hilarious, but bit of a one trick pony in being a dunce who kept getting his hands stuck in bottles.

Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
You never know what to expect

You never know what to expect from Ferrari McSpeedy, except that it will be silly, bizarre, and possibly surreal. While this show felt like it had been hurriedly put together, it had clunky moments, it was still a fun time. Anna Hickey and Rita Boersma were especially delightful, especially during their song and dance. My favorite moment came early in the show with the out of control combine. Great fun!

Much Ado About Nothing (as told by Dogberry and Verges)
Fun, but confusing

The preshow bit was creative and funny, but once the adaptation began, the show slowed down. The performers were great. I just did not understand or appreciate some of the choices in this interpretation, including the puppets and transition back and forth to the Fringe "volunteers."


Derek Reise's Queue

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Blackout Improv

by Rogues Gallery Arts

Phoenix  

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Couple Fight 3: Weddings!

by Weggel-Reed Productions

Rarig Thrust  

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His Name Doesn't Matter

by Power Clashing Productions

HUGE  

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The Last Bombardment

by Oncoming Productions

Ritz Mainstage  

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MEDUSA

by Vox Medusa with Infiammati FireCircus

Boom Island  

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Queen of Delicious Animals

by The Rachel Teagle Effect

Strike Theater  

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RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical

by August Moon Productions

Ritz Mainstage  

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

by Ferrari McSpeedy Theatrical Productions

Ritz Studio  

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Songs of MN Summer

by Shrieking Harpies

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

Sunrise Banks