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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Christine Malcom

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
Lives in... Out-of-state


Christine Malcom's reviews

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Enjoy the silence

Great voices, carefully crafted sounds, and just enough attention to visuals make this a great Fringe show that entice a newbie to tune into the podcast. A light touch with the context makes this a great mix of homage and original interpretation.

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Does anyone know Shanan?

Perfectly paced, great variety in the kinds of completely absurd fights. Best COUPLE FIGHT yet.

Much Ado About Nothing (as told by Dogberry and Verges)
Sisters (and puppets) doin' it

Clever, compact version of Much Ado wrapped in an amusing framing story. Excellent performances and really smooth collaboration among the ensemble members. Fun to see this with an all-woman cast.

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Might as well . . . Jump?

Great blend of truly, stupidly funny sight gags and smart humor. Inspired use of music, great performances, and an actual, cohesive, if over-the-top story. Definite must see!

Themselves They Made Immaculate: Clara Barton at Andersonville
Everything old is new

With the very extensive program notes and the nature of the show, this is certainly more lecture than drama, though that's not a bad thing. The performers capture the Kafka-Esque pace and tone of congressional hearings more USA-ians are getting to know in the current moment. The straight lines from Reconstruction-Era cries for a throw-rug of civility to cover the deep injustices beneath the surface and the same sentiments today are timely and productively depressing.

The End of the World Sing-Along Hour
This land IS my land

A unique idea that's a good fit for Fringe. Rough around the edges in a few places, but good engagement of the audience and leveraging of the power of song.

[Enter the Narrator]
Meta-meta-goose

Complex concept, really nicely developed with a well-tuned ensemble cast. Overall really solid pacing, even in the more expository points. Good enough original material that done go-to stereotypes weren't needed to draw laughs, but that was a minor negative at best. Definitely one to catch that's well suited to the Fringe format.

Anarchy! (a handbook)
Visualize whirled peas

This is a brave entry for Fringe, even in the Something Different category. It's well-scripted, and exceptionally well executed. The humor is a great seasoning sprinkled throughout. Not in the escapism category, for sure, and some of the lessons could have used trimming, but interesting.

Repertoire Dogs
Mechastreisand is coming for Thomas

Enjoyable, if a bit chaotic; a good mix of challenges/formats for the dogs to show off their chops.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Oso primero pero no ultimo

Premise is excellent, most of the performances are very good (especially the ranger!), but things are pretty talky and prop heavy. Streamlining would take the show from good to great c

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Stage Manager on verge of a breakdown

I always watch comedy suitcase with heart in mouth, and the danger factor here goes to 11. Sketches are VERY funny individually, but they might've used the "academy" premise more fully and the musuc could have played a larger supporting role. Still, these guys are always a must see, and this show is a testament to why.

Dick White: Ghost Detective
Not much there there

This comes across as an idea pitched and forgotten about until the night before. It has its funny moments, but they're sporadic and separated by long stretches of shakily delivered jokes that land only intermittently. It's not a matter of whether or not you're into the dick jokes, it's that the creator and cast don't care enough about them to make the audience care.


Christine Malcom's Queue

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL