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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Patrick Pfundstein

Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
55-64 years old
Lives in... Saint Paul
Favorite genre: Something Different

Patrick Pfundstein's reviews

A Fabulous Hour Did Strut Upon the Stage

A couple talented actors, the words of the Bard, and not much else. And naught else was needed for a great show; “If [my theatrical soul] find heaven, must find it out [at BLB] tonight.” (Or Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.) A highly enjoyable version of one of my favorite plays!

De Hjerteløse [The Heartless]
A Well-Crafted Vessel

From a gentle guitar setting the mood before the show opened, through storm and loss, and a heroic quest transformed mid-effort, De Hjerteløse had me on board from beginning to end. An original story, beautifully performed by an excellent cast (and musician)!

Setting a Classic on Fire!

Loved the storyline, staging (a truly lovely opening), movement, drama, and most of the fire. My only regret was that Medusa (in both her priestess and gorgon modes), and one of her fiery hench-women were so spectacular, I kind of wanted Perseus to go down in flames. Tremendous way to spend an hour down by the river!

Sean Neely
Didn’t want to see it...

...didn't want to like it. As a Fringe-o-phile, I wanted nothing to do with the show, which ultimately is why I scheduled it (art should challenge). Like the show, my reaction is complicated. To give props, Mr. Neely is a talented performer, as I suspect most of what we saw tonight (reading, and ticks and all) was performed. The story has innate power too, and part of that power is the effective veiling of the boundary between reality and fiction. However, that same veil carries strong elements of manipulation and possible contempt hidden under the humility. Guess I’m glad I saw it, but can’t say I liked it.

Minnesota Dance Ensemble Presents CARMEN
O.K. Carmen

There was a lot to like here; some good dancing, the live singing that gave a club feel, and some of the choreography (especially the creepy masked fortune-telling scene and multiple duos). I thought other things didn’t work as well including other parts of the choreography that seemed dull/static or extraneous to the story, and the directorial choice to play a core emotional scene as light comedy thereby venting most of the steam from the ‘second act’. Solid show, but not great.

Patrick Pfundstein's Queue

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