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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Don Feeney

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
55-64 years old
Lives in... Suburbs
Favorite genre: Musical Theater


Don Feeney's reviews

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
Amazing

These folks were a very last minute addition when another group dropped out. Then they had to completely reblock their show to make it fit the theater in the round format, and learn the new blocking with almost no rehearsal time. And on opening day it looked like the show was always meant to be performed in the round. Very, very few performers could pull that off. By the way, it was incredibly entertaining. Instant standing ovation, which while common in other venues is actually rare at the fringe.

Making It Home
What Fringe is about

Where else could you come hear an immigrant family openly and honestly share their stories? You'll remember this long after most of the more polished productions have faded away.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
This is how professionals do it

"Mysterious Old Radio" was a tight, seamless ensemble performance that made for marvelously entertaining hour. While the material itself is nothing profound, watching it done by professionals who know their craft was a joy. Note to would-be fringe performers: This is how it's done. You start with good material, learn it inside and out, and recognize that the rehearsal process doesn't end when you know your lines--it's just beginning.

Live From New York, He's A Prom Date!
A great performance

The first thing you notice is that you are laughing. Constantly. And that you really are laughing with, rather than at. Then you realize how incredibly adept Ms. Maren is at bringing the characters to life, from her angsty teenage self to her mom to a pushy New Yorker (or two) and more. Afterwards you appreciate how well-written Mr. Simmons' script is, and how perfectly it was directed by Mr. Adams. An hour well-spent.

Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
Inspired silliness

It's unfortunate that the small space means that a lot of people won't be able to see this, but the space actually works really well for this production. Laugh-out-loud from start to finish, with performers who know exactly how to play this material and are clearly having as much fun as the audience. It's well worth the reservation fee that you'll need to pay to be sure you get in.

A Resister's Handbook (for holding onto optimism in shitty times)
Totally absorbing and inspiring

A monologue about political activism would normally leave me totally cold, but Mr. Morillo is such a gifted, committed and inspired storyteller that this production drew me in from beginning to end. "A Resister's Handbook" is extremely well-written--he chooses his words with care and injects just enough humor to keep the subject from becoming oppressive. You will leave inspired!

Gruesome Playground Injuries
Thoughtful, poignant, amusing

A thoughtful, poignant and amusing (often all at the same time) look into different points in the lives of two flawed yet engaging people. Tight writing (though with a somewhat unsatisfying I-don't-know-how-to-end-this ending), sensitive direction, and spectacular performances. I can't wait to see the careers of both these young actors develop and predict big things for both.

Flyer Guy
Unconventional career choice

This was a good way to spend an hour, though I suspect it's more interesting if you've spent some time in Times Square. (Some slides might help--you really can't comprehend the naked cowboy until you've seen him.) David gives a polished performance (which you don't always get on opening night), and provides an interesting and amusing look into a career choice most of us would never think to make.

Clutter, Chaos, Creativity and the Collyer Brothers
The art of storytelling

See this show if you want to learn what storytelling is about. This goes well beyond the string of jokes or confessional/cathartic monologue that so many one-person shows devolve into. It had good material (particularly the story of the Collyer brothers), an arc and flow, and every word was carefully chosen for full effect. The arena stage is not ideal for this type of performance, however, as it requires the storyteller to have their back to some portion of the audience at all times

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
I got to shoot a squirt gun!

Sit in the first row for some audience participation that's actually fun and not embarrassing. This show's just fun, though the plot line flagged a bit by the end. As others have commented, Ranger Stroudt makes the show.

The Buttslasher
I feel like I've seen this all before

Some amusing moments, but I left feeling beaten over the head by an endless onslaught of butt jokes. C'mon--anyone can write butt jokes. And hasn't the film noir parody been done so often that there's really nothing original left to say?

Your Motivational Power Hour!
See for Haddyr Copley-Jones

Reasons to see: 1) If you've ever been trapped in a room while being assaulted with cliche after cliche by a "motivational speaker", much of this show will resonate. 2) Haddayr Copley-Jones (who has a disability) does a hilarious and insightful send-up of the "handicapped person as an inspiration" motivational trope. The show is worth seeing for this alone. 3) Including the "Band of brothers" speech from Henry V as an example of what motivation should be is inspired. Reasons not to go: 1) It felt under-rehearsed. This will likely improve. 2) The rest of the cast isn't up to Copley-Jones, though there's good writing throughout. 3) The Henry V speech needs a more experienced actor to bring it off.

Playwrights on a Train
Disappointing

I've rarely been as bored by a fringe show as I was by this one. The last ten minutes held my interest, but the time before that seemed interminable. Clumsy writing and actors who never learned to project to the back of the house don't help. And a Hitchcock tribute should build some actual suspense. Playwrights on a Train never came close.

It Can't Happen Here
Amateurish script

Reducing a full-length novel into a 60 minute play usually results in a rush to get everything in, and that's what happens here. It's earnest and well meaning, but bogged down by a clunky, amateurish script, uneven performances, and poor use of the space. Much of the action took place at the far end of the stage, leaving those in the other end wondering what was going on.


Eide Bailly