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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Eric Cohen's reviews

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Thoroughly enjoyable

Well scripted, well acted, fast pacing, physical, and definitely identifiable if you ever went to camp. Pretty much exactly what I look for in a Fringe show.

The Zoo Story (New Version)
Wow!

Sam and Brad kicked the crap out of that show! For anyone who's ever had an awkward conversation with a stranger, you will definitely get what's going on. Well timed, well delivered, and well adapted.

DUNGEON
Awesome!

Really incredible. Shadow puppets, live music, and handheld lights mix with physical theater to make an incredible environment full of creatures creepy and delightful. Standard The Quest storyline brought to life wonderfully by a uniquely talented cast.

Full Metal Rabbit
If you like...

...80s movies, obscure references, obvious references, repeated tropes, James Bond, spy movies, bad action, good action, physical comedy, bass guitars, crappy effects, explosions, fourth wall breaking, alcohol humor, bunny jokes, ninjas, or laughter of any kind, this is the show for you.

Crash and Burn: An American success story
Solid story

Classic story of excitement vs safety. No real surprises, but well acted and well told with fun musical transitions.

Whisper Into My Good Ear
Good, but not for everyone

Excellent acting, good script, but no action and no real surprises. Just an exploration of the emotions of age.

Hot Air
Fun and absurd

A lot of fun, a send up of the noir genre and its tropes. A bit too non sequitur for me in the middle, but quite fun. Good use of lights, music, and shadow puppets.

The Buttslasher
A puntastic noir satire

Well acted, lots of puns, and a dose of fun lazzi. Pacing was a tad slow, butt lots of laughs to keep me interested.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Good, but...

Some of the bits ran a bit long, and on occasion they seem a bit too impressed by their own ideas. Still, I laughed, so no real complaints.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
A fun concert

Always fun, but make sure you're expecting a musical concert more than a play it you will be disappointed. Very talented performers.

The Well
Bloody well done!

Creepy, weird, still not really sure what happened, but that's the point! Great acting by Ms. Rosario. Transitions we're a bit distracting.

Skins
Nice use of puppets

More a mashup of Deerskin, The Goose Girl, and Cinderella than a re imagining of the last, but very good. Excellent physicality by the lead, and fun use of puppetry to bring together the more challenging elements. Slow costume changes did bring me out of it at times, but a good show.

It Can't Happen Here
Very timely

A good warning of how things could still go. Acting/direction was hit and miss, with some people delivering nuanced performances and others fairly flat. Several makeshift props prove distracting, but a good adaptation that proves that yesterdays worries are still very much a threat today.

Waiting for Gygax
Don't need to know the source to enjoy

Not as draggy as Beckett (no, I don't like him) but still a bit slow. A lot of fun jokes, and not d&d dependent. Only a moderate amount of sex jokes and toilet humor. A fun, quirky, physical show.

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Obvious jokes, well delivered.

Just like most of Carson's shows, obvious humor, but well delivered and well timed with a healthy dose of slapstick and physical comedy. Fun, but not a must see.

Serpentine
Two shows in one

Both the Greek mythology described above and two storytellers telling of their experiences with related issues. Both well done, but the back and forth made it harder to get into. Add to that overloud sound effects that covered some of the lines, and I don't feel it reached it's potential.

Never Wonder Land
Didn't grab me

The actors did great physically, but the whole thing moved too slowly and too erratically to hold my interest.

The Intrepid
Wanted to like it, but...

The dancing and drumming were enjoyable, but the story/acting were too badly hampered by the language barrier to get into. The scene notes in the program helped, but the accents and broken English were too strong.

The Murmur of Murder
Sorry, no

Cute concept, but it didn't work. Script was weak and erratic, timing was often too quick or overtop of each other. Physicality was distracting and while amusing, many references seemed very forced.


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