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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Jeff Cawhorn

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

Jeff Cawhorn's reviews

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
More fun than an elephant in your PJs

If you only see ONE show at this year's Fringe, you're not really getting the full Fringe experience. Also, you're paying for a full day's worth of shows so why not go nuts? But if you did see only one show this us the one! It's got laughter, music and geography! One of the gang throws a globe covered in stars to a lucky audience member who picks a location and returns the globe. One of the gang will remove the star -- repeat THEY will remove the star -- and they play a tune to represent the chosen location. It's fun for the whole family!

Waiting for Gygax
Light the Kettle

This is a delightful mash-up and great fun to watch. It's not necessary to have read Beckett or played D&D to enjoy the play. It may be funnier if you have, and I got the feeling most of us in the audience had. It's too bad they can't move it to a bigger venue. It would probably sell out whatever theater it's in.

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Not Mr. Wells's History

This is the funniest show I've seen so far. As Martha said to George, you'll bust a gut! It may not be as historically accurate as a Ken Burns documentary, but Mr. Burns is kinda light on the laffs. I recommend this show highly. You might want to make a reservation as it will probably sell out.

Hooray for Bollywood!

I came to see this show because my first show had sold out. That's one of the great things about Fringe. If one show doesn't work out there's plenty of other great shows to choose from. I'm glad I lucked into this one. It's a wonderful show and great fun to watch. It features beautiful costumes, music, dancing and a touching story. This is a must see!

The Second Banana Revolt!
Don Knotts Ain't Gonna Take It!

This is an all around great show. It's funny, touching, has great songs and maybe has a couple of digs at a certain local media dynasty. It reminds me of some of the children's shows I enjoyed as a child. Only I didn't know about all the back stage drama.

Ghoulish Delights