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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Chris Gennaula

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


Chris Gennaula's reviews

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
It's you do & I don't & nobody said that

Oh, to look back at that big fight you had when you were about to get married. Every wedded coupled has this story. It's cathartic and funny.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this show!!!

I am a music geek. I am a theatre geek. Dance, not so much, but this show brings that to the table as well. These three performers completely own the stage and bring music from all over the world to our Fringe. We saw them last year and were so happy to see them again. Shout out to Allegra Lingo for joining the trio and holding her own in the Geographical Fugue! Also, the "Mariner's Revenge Song" by the Decemberists is another stand-out.

The Pursuit of Awesome
It begins with a snow shovel.

More than great story telling. Fun to watch juggling and acrobatics. There was a sense of confession... a confession of AWESOME!

Much Ado About Nothing (as told by Dogberry and Verges)
Speak low, if you speak love.

Wonderful shorten version of Much Ado About Nothing as told by an all female troupe. Great acting and inventive use of various theatre arts. I found the sub-title of the show a bit misleading as the focus wasn't really on Dogberry and Verge, but perhaps that is due to how powerful the characters of Benedick and Beatrice are.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Wonderful slap stick

These two have never failed to entertain and with this show they keep their records clean. The same cannot be said for the stage.

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Dreamers in Dayton

The true story of the smartest Wright brother--their sister! And their cocaine habits. Betsy DeVos would not let this be taught... OR WOULD SHE!?!?!

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
A show with an important message!

Get a trail map! Stay on the trail! Bring snacks! THE PARK HAS IT OUT FOR YOU!!!! Hilarious!

Themselves They Made Immaculate: Clara Barton at Andersonville
Historical yet current

Great show for my history and government geekish tendencies. It is based on Barton's 1866 testimony to the Joint Committee on Reconstruction. To quote from American Civic Forum's program notes "Our intent isn't another tedious white savior hagiography. We selected this piece because it's a concise, engaging window into Reconstruction..."

Repertoire Dogs
Gameshow vibe for impressions

So many impressions, so much fun. Even when the impression fell flat, it was still hilarious. I hope they have the impression of Björk singing "Piano Man" every performance. (I hope that is not a spoiler!)


Wayward Theatre - The Weir