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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Robin Rayfield

Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
Lives in... Minneapolis

Robin Rayfield's reviews

Gravitational Collapse
A Bit Refreshing

There's a style of theater that I only see at the Fringe. It's frequently less about story and more about philosophy. This common form of theater regularly has the feel of contentless scenes. Although there may possibly be a label for that style of theater, I don't know of it. What Gravitational Collapse does is takes it, and sets it in outer space. This show added impressive futuristic music, the dialogue was quite good, I thought the costuming was great, the props were really cool, and above all else, the actors were fantastic. Their performances were deep, believable, and moving. Whether it was intentional or not for those involved in creating the show, it was a new take on something that has been done before, brought to greater life.

Blackout Improv
Funny and Thought-Provoking

It's difficult to review an improvisational show that has a different guest performer each night. Each night, the show is different. What I can say is that it was a solid show with extremely funny comedians, but it was thought provoking. The show deals with major issues of our time that the black community faces.

Interplay | still & moving
Elegance with a Tiny Bit of Wittiness

I think elegance is a great word to describe this show. Although the dancers showed physical strength and stamina, they did it with elegance. We had four beautiful women and a handsome man, all with bodies that quite a few Hollywood performers may possibly envy, dressed in fantastic costumes. The first two dances showed absolute beauty, elegance, and emotion. The final one seemed a bit less of what would be defined as modern, and more of what would be defined as contemporary. It was a nice contrast to the first two. A nice touch put into the choreography, however, was little bits of wit and humor, but it was sporadic, not taking away from the emotion of the dances.

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical

Being a sucker for romantic comedy and a bit of nerd (friends with people who go to conventions, I rarely do conventions) it was something I felt a bit suckered into. It was a good parody of romantic comedy, but also done with a bit of respect and appreciation. Something I also liked was that it also didn't belittle the woman lead. In fact, part of the story was about her becoming empowered. On the downside, I felt that the drums weren't necessary for the music, and the men in the cast were not the best singers. The women were fantastic singers. Definitely a fun show overall.

Good Friday: Round One
Not your typical passion play

It definitely had a more comedic twist than I expected. With dark humor, there's always the difficulty of classifying it under drama or comedy. For what it was, they did a fairly good job. The acting was definitely great. It had a semi-modern look at Jesus' crucifixion. I will say that the best part of the show, however, was the pre-show and post-show music done by Venus DeMars (and if you're going to the performance on the 11th, it looks like she won't be there). As a warning for people who are going to be doing some heavy Fringing and want to see this show, because you will want to stay for Venus DeMars' post-show music, plan to go to another show that's close by afterwards. Overall, definitely worthwhile.

A Pocketful of Jewels: Dance Gems from North Africa & the Near East
Educational and Entertaining

The dancing was definitely superb, but it was also great seeing Cassandra Shore speak about each dance beforehand, as well as the costumes and some of the music. Something that most dance shows typically seem to do is put information about the dance in the programs. I like this way better. I definitely thought the final dance was my favorite. Overall, I highly recommend this show to people who are interested in learning about different types of dances from around the world.

A Pickle
Great solo show

This show was basically a one-hour monologue, but extremely well done. It had a story with a great message, it had humor, and it included a pickle recipe. Something that heavily amazed me is how Angela Timberman memorized a full-hour monologue. Wow. Great show overall.

To The Quick: A trio of short plays that cut deep
Beautifully done

These were three short scenes, all well done drama. These scenes were beautifully performed, deeply emotional, but nothing over the top depressing. They all had nice sentimental messages, and were poignant. In addition to that, there were some nice bits of comedic dialogue.

Katie Versus The Devils
Not a comedy, but a well done DRAMA

People can complain that it has been mislabeled, but I was fortunate to be asked to come see the show without seeing it on the website, and I was told by a member of the cast that it was a drama. I thought it was well done. It seemed to be well researched on that time period, but the show was a fictionalized story, giving speculation of what could have been. The acting was well done, and it does have a great story. There was one part of the show that I think was intended to be a surprise. However, it was something that I predicted was going to happen. I can't say without spoiling anything. The show did have a slow start, but it definitely picked up and got pretty exciting. I do highly recommend it.

The Masque of Power

Wow! This was a fantastic show. I can't think of any problems this show had. I would need to see it multiple times and really nitpick the details. It was well written, well performed, overall entertaining, and it definitely had a great message. Unless you're a Donald Trump supporter, SEE IT!

Waiting for Gygax
Someone with little D&D or WFG knowledge

I've only seen Waiting for Godot parodies, and all I know of Dungeons and Dragons is things people have said about it. This show, however, had some funny moments, and it was well performed. The costuming was also great, and I definitely think it was worthwhile.

Blackbeard's Revenge

It had an exciting storyline and the actors did a great job. The costuming and set pieces were especially good. The highlighting point for me, however, was definitely the music.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
Definitely worthwhile

In the program notes for this show, Dave Stagner says that he wanted to recreate the wonder and excitement of the original Star Wars film, and the description above implies that this presents Obi-Wan as the villain. On one hand, I didn't see either of those promises kept. However, it was a great parody of Star Wars with fantastic acting, great dialogue, fun alternate perspectives of the characters, and it was definitely an entertaining show. Where it fell flat for me, however, was with Obi-Wan. Dave Stagner is both the strongest and weakest links. He envisioned and wrote a great show, but he didn't come off as either Obi-Wan or evil, and he was sometimes hard to hear. Overall, I do still highly recommend it. Great Star Wars parody!

Dancing with the Enemy (and Other Celebrations of Life)
Great Dancing and Heavily Needed Theme

The show was primarily a bellydance show, performed by fantastic dancers. Mirah Ammal had a lot of personality and energy, as well as being a fantastic dancer. The rest of her ensemble was fantastic as well. The show's theme was primarily about oppressed minorities, something that is heavily needed in this day and age. Something that they're doing every night is having a different guest dance ensemble of some sort of other ethnicity to perform with them. I can't review that portion of the show, as it is to be different each night. However, I will say that if you are a fan of bellydancing and if social commentary against oppression, this is a show for you.

Robin Rayfield's Queue

Two Bettys