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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Tim Erickson

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
45-54 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Comedy


Tim Erickson's reviews

DUNGEON
Fringe Fantastic

Excellent show. I went to this show with a friend and we were both blown away by the creativity of the production. This sold out show clearly appealed to an enthusiastic Fringe audience that soaked it all in. I look forward to at least one show each year that catches me off guard and really sticks with me. This may be that show for 2017. For me, this was a visual experience and any criticisms about the lack of a story miss the point. It was a visual feast.

The Buttslasher
Excellent and Very Professional Show

This was overall the best written AND performed of the 7 shows I've seen at the Fringe this year. A very talented cast and well written script. At times it almost felt too professional for the Fringe (that is not a criticism) - not sure what that says about my expectations. There is nothing deep or thought provoking about the show, just a really well written and performed light hearted comedy.

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical
Surprised to enjoy a RomCom this much

I enjoyed this show much more than I expected. I thought that the script and "staging" (is that the right word) were really good and kept me engaged. As others have stated, the acting and comedy were much better than the singing. There were a few moments when I couldn't quite hear or understand the actors, but only a few. The romantic leads had the strongest performances, but the secondary relationship was a lot of fun and had some of the best lines. On the whole a good show that with a few improvements could have been great.

Small Time Dicks
Good stuff

This was a well done solid performance with a lot of good laughs. I loved the performance of the Captain. The humor was a bit juvenile at times, but no more than promised in the description. Nothing groundbreaking or entirely surprising in the production. But it was a quality show and I enjoyed it.

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Excellent - Fun for Everyone

This is a well written show and excellently performed. It's very funny. I really enjoyed it. I went with two friends, one whom watched the TV series in the last few months and was impressed by how well Tom captured the spirit of the show, the characters, and even some of the details. The other friend has not seen the TV show at all, but still loved the performance/show. I've seen the TV show, but it seems like a while back. I felt like there were some lines that would be lost on folks who did not see the TV show, but there is plenty there for everyone. I loved watching Tom's face and expressions. He is an excellent comedic performer.

The Simple Mind of Dillon Magee
Enjoyable Show

This was my first show of the Fringe and I didn't know what to expect. I was concerned about where it was going after the opening scene, but in the end I enjoyed the show. I really enjoyed the performances of the three actors, I was less impressed with the actual story. The parts of the story that we see are pretty well written, but I felt like it ended a little sudden and left me wanting more. It felt incomplete.

A Bollywood Twistery
BollyFringe

This was a fun show with a large and enthusiastic cast and crew. In comparison to other shows, neither the acting nor the story hold up with other shows I've seen this year. However, that is a high bar to cross. I go to the Fringe to see a variety of productions and I love the fact that I was able to include a Bollywood style show in my mix this year and I had a good time. The costumes and dancing were probably the highlight of the show - although I expected there to be more of a connection between the dance numbers and the story (but, maybe this is misconception about Bollywood style musicals). Appreciated chatting with the cast member who reached out to audience members after the show for feedback. I look forward to next year.


Tim Erickson's Queue

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