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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Kara Greshwalk's reviews

Full Metal Rabbit
It had a training montage scene!!

Full disclosure: I've never read 'Watership Down,' so I probably missed a ton of references. However, I was raised on 80's action films and that made this show really work for me. Also, the cast was so fully invested and immensely talented, and the fights looked great! I look forward to the next chapter in the saga of the Hefner family.

Repertoire Dogs
Poor Tom

When you see multiple shows in one day, THIS is exactly the kind of show that will carry a fringer through it. It's a short and sweet hour of watching a group of very talented performers show off their fabulous impersonations. A huge shout-out to Brad Erickson for his Sean Connery reading 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' and Joe Wiener for, well, pretty much EVERYTHING. The M.C. totally needed to cut Tom some slack, because his Bane had me rolling with laughter. Highly recommended if this one remounts (fingers crossed).

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
Do yourself a favor and see this

What a delightful show! When musicians play complicated pieces while dancing, clowning, or performing acrobatics and make it look easy, you know you are watching something really special. The entire spirit of the piece; involving pieces from around the globe in a celebration of different cultures, felt relevant and almost poignant at times. Special kudos to Allegra Lingo and her wonderful spoken word skills. I always appreciate when touring performers collaborate with local artists and honor other fringe festival shows, which is exactly what they did tonight. These performers are every bit as classy as they are talented, and I look forward to enjoying future shows the next time they are in town.

Knifeslingin'!
Knife to Meet You!

Motz does it again! There's nothing better than nearly crying with laughter, then getting an opportunity to explore both sides of an issue like Stand your Ground legislation--and doing so without feeling preached to. That's no easy feat, and Motz takes the audience on this journey with him, even breaking the fourth wall along the way! This is one artist to watch and keep on watching. Motz has such an original, intelligent voice, and I look forward to seeing what's next from very talented writer and actor.

Whisper Into My Good Ear
Heartbreakingly Good

What a beautiful show about loneliness, aging, and the despair that comes with feeling invisible. Even if those themes don't resonate with you, the masterful performances of Lawrence Ripp and Pat O'Brien will--long after you leave the theater.

William & Mary: The Way Out Experiment
Bradbury Fans: This one is for you!

As one who grew up on reruns of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the Twilight Zone, and Ray Bradbury Presents, this madcap treatment of the genre was such a treat. The talented ensemble was clearly having a great time with the throwback-style script, as was the audience. Highly recommended!

Be Your Selfie!
Social Media Parable

It's a fact: people either share their "greatest hits" or self-proclaimed "TMI" on social media these days, and I appreciate that this show explored both ends of the spectrum. It's a relevant message that wraps up in a really lovely, positive way. I seriously could have spent another hour with all three characters. They were well-written and were in the capable hands of a very talented and engaging cast. I look forward to seeing more from this talented group of artists (including the writer and videographer!).


Westside VW