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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Mark Goldberg's reviews

Blackout Improv
Hilarious

I have seen several productions that Duck Washington has been a part of at the Fringe before and have never been disappointed. This show was topical and extremely funny. Improv at its best!

F@*k the 90s
Best show at the Fringe So Far

I love it when a show surprises me. I went into this expecting some comedy, some singing, something light. While there were laughs and the voices of the singers were beautiful, this was much more emotionally powerful than I expected. Hearing Mame talk about the loss of her family members in the 90s got me, to use a yiddish word, verklempt. I am in awe of Mame's ability to

Much Ado About Nothing (as told by Dogberry and Verges)
Excellent interpretation

I try to watch any plays related to Shakespeare and this was among the best productions I have seen at the Fringe. Inventive, funny and very much true to the original source material. Don't miss this production

Spec
Funny and thought provoking

I was unfamiliar with Ben's work prior to this show, but he was very impressive. The stories do build in their complexity with the first one, about robots who get high, definitely the weakest of the tales. The Cage was probably my favorite story he told, as it went into unexpected places. I would definitely recommend seeing this performance

The Best of All Possible Worlds
Engaging and entertaining show

I cam really close to giving this 5 stars but did not because I am a harsh grader. Nevertheless, this is an incredible show that is witty, funny, poignant, and incredibly personal. I attended this show because it fit into my schedule, it was not on my original list but I am very glad I did. David is a real talent and I will be watching for more shows from him in the future.

Thor: Jurassic Park
Awkward staging, script needs work

This was a play I was looking forward to and was disappointed. Thor was quite good and very funny, the rest of the cast was uneven at best. The staging was a bit off, as there were times when I could not really see what was happening because a prop was in the way. This was most noticeable in the first scene where a cage of some kind was brought out and I could not see what was occurring. Other than Thor, I did very much enjoy the costume design for the pterodactyls, they were very inventive. There was some promise here, but it felt like a first time Fringe production.

Blood Debt
Need to rehearse more

I went into this play expecting to love it, and I did not. The script is well done and very thought provoking, my main issue with the play was with the female lead. Her delivery of the lines was...Shatner-esque in places. It felt to me that she was not familiar with the material. In a play like this, with just two people on stage, minimal props or costume design, the actors have a huge burden to carry the entire show. They were unable to do that in the performance I saw


Cedar Printing