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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Katherine DuGarm

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


Katherine DuGarm's reviews

BOOMBOX.
Make a reservation!

I saw the first show and expect the rest to sell out. If I had more stars to give, BOOMBOX would get them. Hannah sells it, whether on the catwalk or the El. Audience participation I got into, call-and-response, no one singled out.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
Japan is breath taking

All of the music was good. Dancing happened while everyone was playing their instrument. (What coordination.) After the piece for Japan was done, there was that moment of silence while everyone collectively held their breath and let the piece continue in silence for a few seconds. Wow!

Out of the Shadows
Reserve a seat for Sunday!

On Saturday night, there was a standing ovation for a couple of minutes including cheers, bravos, and ululation. Do Not Miss This Show!! If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would. For the first several minutes, there was dance and I wondered if I wanted to see a whole show of only movement, and then the storytelling began. The show ended with dance, but now I had something to relate to almost every step - hip flexors, big palm trees, nervousness. This became my favorite show for this year's Fringe. I couldn't go to a 10:00 show after this because all else would pale in comparison.

Your Motivational Power Hour!
Where does the cheese com from?

I enjoyed skewed versions of motivational books I have read. I also have wondered things like why is throwing fish fun, and couldn't they get the job done faster with less throwing. These motivational speakers gave me more things to think about, for instance, how patronizing am I towards people with disabilities. And "you took me away from my real work for this?" I saw the first show and I think it needed a little more polish.

Blackout Improv
Improv I enjoyed

I have been to some improv that was good and to some that fell flat for me. This was one of the good ones. Characters I liked were Tickle-Me-Elmo, and Chuck-E-Cheese "I am there for you". Queen Drea's opening music and monologue brought sounds of recognition. I can related a few of the hot flashes she mentioned. The volume of her music and looping was almost to much for me. If I am free on the 3rd Friday of a month, I'd like to see them again. I don't think these are spoilers, since who knows what will be drawn from the hat next time, and the special guest changes with every show.

MEDUSA
Fire and dance

This is the kind of show I see at the Fringe and no where else. There was a classic, mythic story. A woman is raped and then punished while her rapist goes free. She and the other women gain power after that event. I was torn at times between watching projections on the arch and watching dancing right in front of me. Effects I liked were the flaming battle ax and Medusa's hair. If you go, a cushion and bug spray are helpful.

Finding Mohamed
Too conceptual for me

I followed the first several minutes when the woman wakes up and has morning prayer. After that there was much repetition of dripping water, knocking at the door, and swimming underwater. there were also videos of turtles crawling to the sea or swimming in the ocean, crabs walking on sand, and container ships at sea. In the last five minutes there were audio of children's voices and of Trump. Other than the first 10 and last 5 minutes, this was too conceptual for me, and I was confused. There wasn't resolution to the dripping water or knocking on the door, and I didn't know why sometimes she went swimming. At one point, several things were happening at the same time, demanding her attention. It seemed like she would have a breakdown


Katherine DuGarm's Queue

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Anarchy! (a handbook)

by Big Picture Group

Rarig Xperimental  

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Blackout Improv

by Rogues Gallery Arts

Phoenix  

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BOOMBOX.

by Hannah Starr

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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Finding Mohamed

by Ifrah Mansour

Rarig Xperimental  

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MEDUSA

by Vox Medusa with Infiammati FireCircus

Boom Island  

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Minnesota Dance Ensemble Presents CARMEN

by Minnesota Dance Ensemble

Crane  

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Out of the Shadows

by Gabriel Mata/Movements

Intermedia  

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Pope Joan

by Featherstone Creative

Rarig Xperimental  

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Spec

by Ben San Del Presents

Mixed Blood  

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There Ain't No More!

by Willi Carlisle Productions

Crane  

Sunrise Banks
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Your Motivational Power Hour!

by Change! Your! Life! Productions

Phoenix  

Cedar Printing