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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Gene Bard

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
Lives in... Saint Paul

Gene Bard's reviews

Queen of Delicious Animals
Simple start broad finish

Starts simple 4H story to broadly meaningful presentation. Witty, well performed, great story and teller. Broad audience appeal. Inspirational. Projects connection with audience.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Fun Radio Well Done

I remember the Shadow and it was done wonderfully a Rarig. Actors very good. Timing on and no mishaps. Gripping stories and my partner was even a bit frightened. When I was 8 years old my parent forbid me listening to it so be sure you have parental approval

Out of 20 shows this in top 5

Well acted. Entertaining and also with serious material to consider. Clever. Well staged.

It Can't Happen Here
Possible politics

Generally well acted. Lead roles were excellent. Built around book by st. Clair Lewis with some mods. Made me anxious that our Constitution could slip away so the play was convincing. Cardboard and wooden props were even intimidating. Three shows tonight but no evaluation of one.

The Pursuit of Awesome
A Variety

Messages about life couched in juggling, acrobatics, dance, deadpan or modest repartee. A fun show. Charming performer. Awesome but not some awesome. Juggled 5 balls. Stands on head a juggles. Not 6 or more and doesn' t play a drum while standing on head.

The Zoo Story (New Version)
Wonderful Cast and Story

This is the best I've seen thus far. The cast was right on. Excellent. Whether you will like the story I cannot know. It is thought provoking. Some funny parts and some serious. I will be thinking about it for a time to come.

Live From New York, He's A Prom Date!
Much more than anticipated

Well, you already get the broad idea. In addition I learned how some of these types of TV shows are built. Though I know about parent child relationships, some of those things to think about once more. And who would have thought she would sing some songs and do it bery nicely. A bit of philosophy tossed in as well Good story teller. And how did the date go? Well you learn that as well.

Hoped to be disappointed...Not

It was not a good evening at Fringe so thank goodness for this one. Interesting story and use of technology. A high point in my evening and of all the days I've attended Fringe thus far.

Sincere But

This is a sincere statement/effort about what is going on with the people of our world and a show to point it out to the audience. I agree. It doesn't pull off as well as I would wish but many in the audience seemed to embrace it with enthusasm.

Gruesome Playground Injuries
Love me, love me not

Well acted. Good story but wished for more love and less conflict as story continued. Really good.

Playwrights on a Train
Good and Fair

A clever story. Lighting a bit off. Voices at rear of stage too quiet for old guy ears. Acting was okay. Again though, a good story with a nice twist.

Beyond Limits
Motivational presentatio

Many, many challenges met with an alphabet of solutions. It failed to involve me in, what must have been and are the struggles. Seemed to not get at the feelings. Then the solutions seemed, to me, stereotypical.

FAITH: From Anger Into Trust and Hope
Where Going.. Where Went

At the beginning I wondered where this was going and at the end I was still unsure. I wasn't sure of purpose or purposes.

Blackout Improv
More discussion than comedy

I expected comedy.... considering there is only one hour a lot of time was taken up in discussion about vocational choices, etc. Nothing wrong in that of course but it just wasn't what I thought it would be. Good segment on how we are all different and no denying that. That fits with my misguided expectation. My note here highlights that I hope. Will come hear the program at Phoenix.