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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Zander Lee

Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
55-64 years old
Lives in... Out-of-state
Favorite genre: Comedy

Zander Lee's reviews

I Believe

Outstanding and powerful dance show with a gripping story. Amazingly talented performers. So glad I gave this a try. You should too.

No Lie, PINOCCHIO is Great

Sheep Theatre has become Must-See for me at the Fringe and when I'm in town. They have an incredible range of young talent on every level. Joey Hamburger writes some of the funniest , moving, and most intelligent scripts you will see and whatever collaboration that others provided just added to it . Great direction by Michael Hugh Torsch, great live original musical accompaniment by John Hilsen, and great performances all around by a gifted ensemble, especially Mr. Goetzke in the title role. Keep your eye on Sheep, they are special.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
The Force is Strong with OBI-WAN

This is the best STAR WARS related Fringe show since HAMLUKE. This is NOT a parody but a smart & different perspective of the story. Matthew Englund makes for a charming Luke in his evolution from farm-boy to Jedi-he's wonderful. Our two droids (who want to be recognized as Female) and Chewbacca are hilarious. Fans will really enjoy the Han/Greedo scene-Nathan Gerber makes for a perfectly cocky Han. Elora Riley honors Carrie Fisher with her terrific performance as Leia. Two actors combine as Darth Vader & voice and fighting are both top-notch. Matthew Saxe is brilliant & terrifying as the Emperor. He embodies the role, and his chilling monologue & final scene are outstanding. You really can't ask for a better Fringe STAR WARS show. 5-Stars

De Hjerteløse [The Heartless]
Endless Heart

Beautiful and moving. Felt like an old Norse story but clearly with modern values that don't feel forced. Incredible physical talent displayed by the entire cast. The actress who played Ran-the Storm Giantess-was very captivating, she felt like a force of nature personified. I don't want to give anything away, but all three "Heartless" had great chemistry. The actress who played Solveig was delightful and the actress who played Ingrid was a great lead and both men were too. All the actors had moments to show their talent, and they did. All the elements: music, dance, movement, story really meshed together. Its a show that will capture your heart, even if you think its frozen or lost. Inspiring to see this level of work from a young cast.

Waiting for Gygax
Shall we go to Gygax? Yes. You should Go

I'm more familiar with Beckett than Dungeons & Dragons, but that didn't really matter in this highly enjoyable classic Fringe mash-up of a show. The writers did a great job capturing the pace and feel of Becketts absurdist classic. It starts a bit slow (but that's INTENTIONAL), kicks into a higher gear with the appearance of Pozzo & Lucky, slows down, picks up when they return, and then becomes very moving at the end. All four actors each have their shining moments, with Saxe especially standing out as the blustery Pozzo. D&D fans will probably catch more references than I did, you don't need to know either source to enjoy it, but it helps. Some cleverly funny lines, great comedy fight scene, fun costumes, & a perfect Beckett-like ending.

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