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!

Close this


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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

Daniel Pinkerton

Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
65 or older years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Musical Theater

Daniel Pinkerton's reviews

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Funny and oh, so true

You will laugh loudly and repeatedly as you watch reenactments of REAL FIGHTS between couples surrounding their or someone else's wedding. As with all storytelling, the material is shaped a little so it seems even funnier in the retelling. Light, no real message, except perhaps that the biggest fights can come from the most trivial disagreements.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox

Forgive the pun, but this historically grounded story of two young sisters who found the Spiritualism movement in the 19th century is eerie, moving, and will stay with you. The narrative is nontraditional but clear. The performances, particularly Boo Segersin and Kayla Dvorak Feld, are superb. Simple props and music are used effectively. It's not without humor, but it is a tragedy, and a show I would urge everyone to see.

Spy in the House of Men: A One-Woman Show With Balls
I laughed and I was moved

You don't have to be transgender to love this show. Penny Sterling's show about growing up transgender --- and so much more --- is everything a one-person show should be. It is laugh-out-loud funny in places, it is topical (insightful references to America's current social/political atmosphere), it is deeply personal and very moving. Highly recommended.

Much Ado About Nothing (as told by Dogberry and Verges)
Charming Shakespeare anyone could love

The title is misleading --- it's neither a mashup nor a Stoppard-style reinvention. It's simply one of Shakespeare's simplest plots expertly cut (believe me, the original needs it) and winningly performed by a cast of 6 and a few puppets. All the women onstage are expert actors and many are superb physical clowns and puppeteers. You have the chance to see Taj Reuler, Sara Richardson, Alayne Hopkins, Catherine Johnson Justice, and Kirby Bennett all on one stage. GO! And take some kids if they're over 10. It's a great intro to the Bard.

Extraordinary writing

Ben San Del is a delightful storyteller. In this group of five speculative tales, it is the extraordinary writing that stands out. In particular, the opening and the closing story (both, interestingly enough, about robots) are just astonishing and pitch perfect from beginning to end. I would give anything to have a book or e-book of his stories. Until then, go see an amazing hour of spoken word science fiction. You won't regret it.

A Mermaid Abroad & A Fish Out of Water
Loose, friendly, fun

Two friends spinning tales for our pleasure: it's a winning formula and the stories are great. Scot and Ariel are honest, open, freely admitting the best and the worst in themselves and the traveling companions they meet. I had a great time, but I had a small problem. I have heard both of the opening stories at other shows. While Ariel and Scot established a great rhythm and it sets the mood well for the rest of the show, I thought that Scot's half needed just a little more of the context it had in its previous show.