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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Bradley Johnson

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


Bradley Johnson's reviews

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Favorite Show of the Night

Saw 3 really great shows and 1 average opening night and this was definitely my favorite! It features some of the best comedic talent the twin cities has to offer and they delivered! Highly recommend for everyone regardless of their relationship status.

Out of the Shadows
Not Your Typical Dance Show

Not typical is right. I don't want to give too much away... but, remember Casebolt & Smith from the Fringe 7 and 8 years ago? If you were a fan of their shows then I think you will be a fan of Gabriel's show. Highly recommend even if you never heard of or saw a Casebolt & Smith show.

The Zoo Story (New Version)
Captivating Drama

One of the things I love about Fringe is the wide variety of shows. From a quirky inexperienced first-timer to seasoned performers in a well done solid dramatic show. This show is definitely the latter. I was drawn in from the start and it kept my full attention throughout. Production, acting and direction all get an A+ from me!

The Pursuit of Awesome
David is Awesome!

Need a break from the 3 star shows you've been experiencing and want some awesomeness? Then this is the show to see! David is multitalented with a bit of quirkiness and will keep you engaged throughout the show. Entertaining and enjoyable for all ages!

Knifeslingin'!
Clever, Funny and Engaging

Motz has a really entertaining show here that will keep you laughing. Recommend for anyone wanting a fun filled hour!

Gruesome Playground Injuries
Worth Seeing

I won't go into all the details and there are enough other reviews that do, but this was a nice surprise for me. Wasn't high on my list, but really glad I saw it. And... it was close to a sold out show, so arrive early or reserve a seat!

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Bearclaw Jones is Worth Seeing

You don't need to be a teenage boy to relate to this heart warming adventure. Bearclaw Jones wasn't even on my radar, but I'm so glad I saw it! Show was close to sold out, so you might want to reserve a seat.

Pinocchio
Wow! Clever and Funny

A fellow Fringer recommended this show and I'm really glad they did! Their adaption of Pinocchio had me laughing and smiling throughout. One of the things that really added to the full experience was their use of subtle music. Kudos to musician John Hilsen!

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Flying High!

Josh and company have done it again. I've been a fan of his shows for years and this is one of my new favorites. Only 2 shows left! If you can fit in, plan to see it!

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Quick, binge watch Stranger Things

Now that you know what Tom is making fun of, you'll enjoy the show eleven fold. Tom does a great job of re-telling stories in a fun and comedic way that can catch you off guard and have you laughing. This is a MUST SEE, so hurry up and binge watch. It's only takes 6 hours, 47 minutes to really enjoy his 60 minute show!

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
And the Crown goes to...

Jefferson Township, of course! This show was recommended to me and I'm so glad they did! It has earned the rank of one of my top 4 Fringe shows for this year! From the concept to the comedic acting to the awesome music, it is no wonder that they are filling seats. This is Fringe at it's finest!

Live From New York, He's A Prom Date!
You Can't Know It All At Once

Picked this show because we had 2 teenage nieces Fringing with us. Thought it would be just okay and figured they would enjoy it. Well, they did! And I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed it! Jen Maren was wonderful! Sharing her prom (somewhat nightmarish) story in a very entertaining and comedic way. Isn't it wonderful how time can heal and we are able to laugh and share what once was unbearable?

Hello, I Must Be Going...
Touching

This show take a peek into the aging personal life of one America's original comedians. Not only did Ari give us a stellar performance as Groucho, but the supporting cast was quite good. I'm really glad I saw this! Highly recommend!

Whisper Into My Good Ear
Fringe At Its Finest

Larry and Pat give stellar performances in this touching piece. This is definitely worth seeing and one of the top shows at this years Fringe! Only one show left!

One Foot
Touching Drama with a Dash of Humor

Like the majority of other reviewers, I give this 5 stars. A wonderfully done 2 person show that is very well acted. It is well worth seeing and with only one show left, it's a great show to end the Fringe!

A Resister's Handbook (for holding onto optimism in shitty times)
Breathe in pain, breathe out light...

I hadn't planned on writing a review since I saw the final performance, but Javier was inspiring! Thoroughly loved his show last year and again this year! The janitors union is very fortunate to have a servant leader represent them.

The Best of All Possible Worlds
Boy Can I Relate

I realize that I saw the last show, but David was great! Our life experiences are different, but close enough that I knew just what he had experienced and was feeling. So glad I ended the night with his show!

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Loved them at the 5 Fifths and Here!

I love when talent comes together like this! I tried to sit back and just listen to the amazing voices and sounds as they told the stories, but couldn't help but sneak some peeks! Will definitely need to check out their podcast and look for future shows.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Nonstop Laughter

As always the guys deliver a slapstick show that's bound to make anyone laugh!

ODD MAN OUT
I Want More!

Filled with great characters, but it left me hanging at the end. I'd love to see this show expanded. I felt like it was Act One and we were coming back to see Act Two. Hope they look at expanding it, maybe at Mixed Blood? I'd see it!

On The Exhale
Painfully Real

Guns and the destruction they can bring hits too close to home for me to the point I wasn't sure if I should see this show. It was well done, but brought up memories and feelings that I prefer not to address. Thankfully, the following show raised my spirits as this show was just too real.

Our Boy
A Parent's Nightmare

Deals with a subject parents hope they never have to deal with and shows how different parents react. Who's really to blame? The son's friend, the son, the mom, the dad... maybe each share some blame? Well in this production, David and Carrie were convincing in their roles. Just really thankful I didn't have to deal with it happening with my kids.

Queen of Delicious Animals
4H Queen

City boy here, so never really knew much about the 4H until Rachel gave me a glimpse. She's a great storyteller and kept me entertained sharing her 4H story. Glad I was able to see it!

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Great Show to End The Fringe

Glad this won the encore spot. Very interesting story that was performed wonderfully! Need to check into this true story more.

William & Mary: The Way Out Experiment
Sci Fi 1960's Style

For real, this is based on an actual episode of the 1960's TV show Way Out. (You can find it on YouTube if you're interested.) The cast did a good job re-enacting and made some minor changes that worked well for the show, including some cigarette commercials. Only one show left, so see it if you are a fan of 1960's style sci fi.

It Can't Happen Here
Past, Present, Future?

This show, adapted from a novel written 80 years ago mimics thoughts, ideas and events troubling today's America. It was well acted and the set/props were quite ingenious. Worth seeing, but with only 1 show left and limited seats available, you should get there very early to try and get a seat.

Lettres et Café
You've Got Mail

Charming and adorable characters make this familiar story line maybe not a must see, but worth seeing if you can. Was glad I saw it!

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
Fruit Flies (A)Round the World

Three years at Fringe and 3 very talented performers made this a must see on my list of shows. It didn't matter that they were in the "Round", if fact, it only added to the entertainment! Worth seeing and appropriate for all ages!

The Buttslasher
Buns Puns Neverending

I enjoyed watching this sold out show, but I had to really let go of any sense of reality as it merged together 2 time periods that were decades apart. Regardless, I had many good laughs (in spite of all the butt puns) and Glen L. Dawson as Det. Heck Bills was quite good.

His Name Doesn't Matter
Cute Show

I was expecting a more standard story-telling show, but was pleasantly surprise with the presentation. They were engaging, funny and kept my attention as they shared their story. Thoroughly enjoyed and recommend!

Plan B
Glad I Saw It

I hadn't planned on see Plan B, in fact, I saw the preview and decided at that time to not see it. However, I totally forgot that when at the last minute decided to see the show. Am I glad I did! The preview did not do it justice. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and recommend it.

The Simple Mind of Dillon Magee
The Clue Was There From the Beginning

This show captivated me. It was tender and funny at times, yet serious. Logan Gilbert-Guy did a wonderful job as Dillion. Sometimes the thing you least expect can be the key to unlock the future. It made me smile!

Repertoire Dogs
Impressed Me!

I admit it... I can not do impressions, but thankfully we have some very talented local performers that can easily entertain with their impressions. And... the "celebrities" are put into some well known scenes that you'd never expect. It all makes for a very fun filled hour!

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Death Chance HIGH! Abandon All Hope

Clever idea... Awesome park ranger... but the rest of the cast and script could have used some more direction and rework to take it from average to greatness like past shows from this group.

Spec
AKA Speculation Fiction Storytelling

Have been a fan of Ben for years and although I enjoyed his show, it wasn't my favorite. This was my first taste of spec fiction and I found it interesting. I think I might have enjoyed it more if it ended after 3 stories or maybe if there would have been another storyteller sharing their work also.

Melody Mendis is "Barbra"
Glad I Saw Her

I was such a Barbra fan as a kid and really wanted to hear her belt out all my favorites. She was good... sometimes spot on... others, not so much. If you are also a Barbra fan, I think you will enjoy the show. If not, then probably not the show for you.

Playwrights on a Train
The Train has Left the Track

I had high hopes for this show as I love a good murder mystery, but it was just too predictable. I couldn't quite tell if it was suppose to be a farce or a parody or whatever. Many Hitchcock movie references throughout, so if you see it, you might want to see how many you can spot.

The Second Banana Revolt!
Almost a Cute Show for Kids

For the most part this was a pretty good show, but there was an offensive homophobic reference that seemed out of place and added nothing to the message of the show. Music was quite good and the little kids were cute.

Wellstone: A Minnesotan Musical
Good, but has the potential to be great.

Even though it was called a musical, I forgot since it was a good way in before we had our first number. Midway it started to pickup and became more of the musical was expecting. I wasn't quite sure of how they were going to deal with his death and end the show, but they handled it well and the show then continued on with his legacy. Worth seeing if you want to learn about or remember his life.

De Hjerteløse [The Heartless]
Liked It, Just Didn't Love It

I thought this show was interesting, but questioned if this was Norse mythology or a loosely adaptation. I was also expecting it to be similar to previous years exceptional storytelling/movement shows, but found it lacking.

DUNGEON
Dungeon or HOLES?

This was an okay show, but I don't think I was the intended audience. When it started, I thought it was going to be just shadow puppetry and I was glad it wasn't as that was some of the weaker parts. The weakest however was the actual story.

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical
Clever Idea

Show was clever, but not quite as good as previous shows from this company. Some funny lines, just not always delivered well and acting was just okay. Biggest challenge however was the singing as this is a musical, so one does expect they actors to be able to sing.

Hot Air
Don't Forget your EAR PLUGS

I was so hoping this show would have been better and maybe it would have been if I could of sat farther back. The constant screaming made it at times really hard to understand what they were saying and I really didn't get the sense it was 1945.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
They don't care about my opinion.

Oh well, they're getting it anyway. Overall it was high energy and fun. Definitely geared towards 20 something female, but some good local reference that were quite funny. I'd see future shows of theirs.

Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
Should Have Been Better

I typically love these guys, but the last couple years I feel they have been slacking. Sure they can be funny and at times they were, but this show fell flat. Only one show left and seating is limited, so if you don't already have one reserved, I wouldn't rush to get there.

Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler
Don't Quote Me

This show is here to remind us that the Republican Party does not have a good track record when it comes to Presidents. The "actual quotes" given in the show are quite funny as I look back, but reminds me how embarrassed I am from what is being said today. I guess we'll never learn. Overall, I liked the show, so if you can make it to their last show, go for it. It's good for a few laughs.

Debacle: Stories of Life's Ultimate Fiascos!
Music To My Ears!

I was expecting storytelling, but what I got was storytelling and music! I was pleasantly surprised! Allison and Jason were good, but if you couldn't tell, I loved the music! Great addition to a storytelling show.

Skins
Wanted a Better Fairy Tale

Another case of my expectations being too high due to reviews. Kind of enjoyed it, but could have been so much better.

There Ain't No More!
I Guess I'm in the Minority

Liked the show, but didn't love it like many of the other reviewers. Maybe my expectations were too high going in? Not sure. Wish I could have liked it more.

Code: L-O-V-E
Good Idea

Liked the concept, but the execution was poor. Was hoping I'd really love it.

The Last Bombardment
Didn't Scare Me

Interesting idea, but poor execution. Didn't really seem like a horror story to me.

To The Quick: A trio of short plays that cut deep
A Little Too Quick

Three shorts that were too short on character development. The first was the best, but maybe only because it was the first. Wish I would have skipped this one.

Slaughterhouse Five: A Musical
Slaughtered

I should have Wikied the story before seeing. It might of helped jog my memory. I liked Billy (good casting) and the jumping in time stayed true, but I found the music very distracting... at times over powering and unable to hear the cast. If you do not know the story (or remember much of it) you'd be better off skipping the show.

Be Your Selfie!
I admit it, I'm old!

I usually love Natalie's shows, but this one miss the mark for me. Partly because I'm not into YouTube personalities, but it also needs better direction.

The Murmur of Murder
Murmur of Murder?

Never has the company name been more appropriate.

Small Time Dicks
Preview Fooled Me

When I was this at the Preview, I thought it might be a good comedy. However, upon seeing it, I felt like it was written by a 12 year old boy and that was also the intended audience. The best part was the rap they did (and flubbed a bit) at the end of the show.


Cedar Printing