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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Hazen Markoe

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
55-64 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Musical Theater


Hazen Markoe's reviews

Anarchy! (a handbook)
Who knew Anarchy could be SO hilarious?

When dealing with a serious subject such as the place Anarchy has in political discourse, who expected it to be discussed in such a gut bustingly hilarious way? Big Picture Group succeeds in great fashion with this thoughtful, intense, yet very funny take on how we need to take on serious problems in society, especially when peaceful protest can be ineffective at times. The five person ensemble handle their sketches with aplomb and conviction, yet never failing to spice things up with their high energy mix of comedic goofiness. Highly recommended.

Waiting for Gygax
Fun mash-up of Brecht and D&D

Riffing on Brecht's WAITING FOR GADOT and D&D, this delightful show proves you don't have to be familiar with either to enjoy its quirky mix of wit, metaphysical discussion, and comedy! The ensemble cast all turn in solid performances, while the script by Kyle B. Dekker & Jacob Gulliver make this show a tempting addition for Sci-Fi conventions everywhere.

The Second Banana Revolt!
A funny look back to old TV kiddie shows

Set in the days where TV kid's shows were locally produced and cheaply budgeted, THE SECOND BANANA REVOLT follows the adventures of a VERY dysfunctional production where the supposed hero of the show, Captain Comet, is a real jerk, the kiddie audience is out of control, while the actress/writer playing "Cometeer Jackie" deals with being frustrated and ignored. The cast ably handles the high energy songs and comedy bringing a lot of laughs Wade Fields, Emily Anderson, and Lillian Walker do delightful work as the not-so-good Captain, Jackie and a goofy puppeteer respectively. Despite some mood whiplash that occurs late in the play, this is a fun love letter that director/playwright Minrod Mier and composer Shirley Mier have created.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
R2D2 steals the show

While an interesting take on the Star Wars mythos, this uneven production is underdone by an Obi-Wan (Dave Stanger) who aimlessly paced the stage and was extremely hard to hear, even from the first row seat I was in. Elora Riley, on the other hand, had a strong monologue as Princess Leia, while Matthew Saxe and Nathan Gerber are fun as the Emperor and Han Solo respectively, while Stanger, Joe Allen and Matthew Englund strongly handle Jean Young's fight choreography. However, it is Heather Jo Raiter who steals the show as a hilarious R2D2!!! With her scuttling gait, expressive facial expressions, and assortment of beeps and boops, she adds a delightful amount of fun to this show and is worth the ticket price alone.

Pope Joan
Fascinating script, but slow pacing hurt

This fascinating production looks at the story of the medieval legend of Pope Joan, who ruled the Church for 10 days, before being revealed as a woman and killed by an angry mob after giving birth in the middle of a procession. Here, Featherstone Creative looks at the story through the theory that the title character was actually a transgendered person. Many interesting ideas are well thought out in the script and Kjertina Whiting is solid in the title role. Unfortunately, the show was rather leisurely paced and had a low energy that made it difficult to really get pulled into the story. I would still recommend it, but not as a first choice.

Dick White: Ghost Detective
Good or really this bad?

When watching DICK WHITE: GHOST DETECTIVE, I found myself wondering if the acting and script were meant to be intentionally bad, or if this was truly the case. With its mix of fourth wall breaking, "dick" jokes and clueless characters, I found it hard to be sure. The astounding lack of energy and laid back atmosphere seemed to argue for the "being really inept" side. The show gets two stars for being genuinely funny in spots, but that's it.


Hazen Markoe's Queue

Wayward Theatre - The Weir