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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Phillip Schramm

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
25-34 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Comedy

Phillip Schramm's reviews

His Name Doesn't Matter
Great Show

Spencer and Amie are both wonderful storytellers and have created a wonderful cohesion of both their storytelling styles, seamlessly weaving in an out of each others stories. Insightful, charming, funny, and meaningful, this is a show you definitely should see. Be sure to sit close to the front, as there are times I did have trouble hearing them in the back when they weren't using the microphones.

Crash and Burn: An American success story

This isn't one of those shows that is reinventing the genre, but that's okay. While the story may be predicable, it is beautifully told. All the actors are fantastic, and the show is worth it just to see them play these genuine authentic three-dimensional characters. The live music adds so much to the setting and context, that you forget you are even in the Midwest for the hour. Make some time to see this show.

Mayor Lear of Townsville

Shakespeare, Powerpuff Girls, and everything nice. These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little fringe show, But the producers accidently added an extra ingredient to the conncotion: Original artwork. And thus this show was born! Using their ultra-super great cast, Shalee, Daniel, and the rest of the cast, have dedicated their lives to making great theater and the forces of evil! Seriously this show is a delight. See it.


ODD MAN OUT definitely feels like it the first half of a larger show. The show ends on the climax and we aren’t given the time to see the emotional fallout of this family when everything goes to hell (we do get a glimpse, but I can tell there is more there). The actors were fantastic, and the script does an amazing job with crisp dialogue which feels real and emotional. The direction and pacing was on point too. Look forward to seeing if this show gets expanded upon.

The Last Bombardment
Slow Burn

Outside of the beginning sequences being a little too long (it drags a bit pacing-wise) The story picks up in the middle and everything falls into place. The physical theater is wonderful throughout (kudos to all the actors) and the music is superb. Highly recommend.


This is a show talking/asking philosophical questions on technology’s role in shaping our identities in regards to memories. The script is very intriguing. It does a great job setting up the rules of the world, and the lives of those who inhabit it. The ensemble does great movement work in supporting the various monologues, though at times I wasn’t sure where my focus needed to be. I also felt the show had an inconsistent tone. It moves from serious, to sarcastic, to nostalgic, to silly and back and I’m not sure if came together well enough for it to make it cohesive. It left me wondering what the piece as a whole was saying, and I find myself asking “What is the takeaway here?” Still, this is a show to make time to see.

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