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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Sara Robinson-Coolidge

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
45-54 years old
Lives in... Greater MN
Favorite genre: Comedy


Sara Robinson-Coolidge's reviews

Repertoire Dogs
HILARIOUS

Even when I didn't recognize the person being impersonated, this show was uproariously funny. Don't miss it!

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
Ingenious

This trio is SO AMAZING. Great musicians, but they also include far more with their performances. Don't miss seeing their show!!!

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Non-Stop Hilarity

This is a laugh a second show. Don't miss it!

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
SO Funny

Consistently hilarious throughout - and it offers sensible advice for people visiting National Parks. My 14 year old daughter adds that this show is "amazeballs."

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Excellent

Tight script, great acting, and SO FUNNY.

Rumpus
Charming

A live brass quintet, poetry, dance, and a great children's book that involves (non-scary) monsters. I loved this way more than I expected I would.

DUNGEON
Brilliant Effects

This is a relatively simple story told in a visually creative way. I've never seen anything like it before - and I loved it. My 14 year old did get quite scared during the show, so be warned that there's a scary aspect (it truly was not that scary, tho).

Spy in the House of Men: A One-Woman Show With Balls
Excellent

I wish everyone in the would could hear Penny talk about her journey and experiences as a transgender woman. She's funny, honest, and her story is moving.

Much Ado About Nothing (as told by Dogberry and Verges)
Wonderful

This isn't a Shakespeare play that I was familiar with before entering the theater. The actors made this shortened version very clear, engaging, and lough-out-loud funny.

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
SO FUN

If you are familiar with the Netflix series _Stranger Things_ (or even if you aren't), this is a must see Fringe show. Tom Reed performs the entire first season of the show (8 episodes long!) in one hour, with nonstop laughs. Did I mention that he sings, too?

FUNKiN' Good Time
Amazing Energy

This is an astonishing show, not only for its unending energy and technically amazing dance, but also because the dancers don't look like stereotypical "dancer" types. Outstanding!

Facility
Excellent

This isn't a happy show but it is reflective of the reality of what hapens when an elderly family member develops dementia. It's very well acted; in particular, the man playiing Lionel, the dementia patient, is excellent. There's a lot of exposition about why Lionel can't be taken care of at home and at points it feels a bit belabored, but overall this is a moving piece.

The Pursuit of Awesome
This Show IS Awesome

Hilarious, fun, and yes, the soundtrack is as awesome as David Harris. Great fun!

Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
SO Funny

An hour of unending silliness, wonderfully performed.

Out of the Shadows
But Really More Like Ten Stars

Outstanding on every level - one of the best Fringe shows I've seen in 6 years - and really one of the best shows I've seen in a long time, including professional dance and theater. JUST SO AMAZING!!

The Best of All Possible Worlds
Honest Storytelling with Humor

So funny and honest - David is a captivating speaker.

A Resister's Handbook (for holding onto optimism in shitty times)
Perfect for Our Current Moment

This show is funny and moving and sad and inspiring... and important.

BOOMBOX.
Creative and Brilliantly Performed

Unusual show, very well crafted and performed. I'm so glad I was finally able to get to this at the encore performance and I hope this artist returns to Minnesota Fringe!

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
A+++

Couple Fight shows are on my Must See list for a reason. This one does not disappoint. SO fun and funny!

It's About Love Again This Year
Loved It

Beautiful dance, beautifully performed.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Perfect

Wonderful script, costuming, acting. I loved everything about this, including the historical aspect.

Plan B
Funny and Honest

This was an entertaining look at how teenagers might deal with a possible pregnancy in the modern era. The teens made many choices that older adults (like me...) find maddeningly stupid, but that's how many teenagers really are. Kudos to this group for a well acted play on a tough subject - and making it funny and accessible, too.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Old Timey Fun

Fun performances of dated but entertaining radio dramas.

BELIEVE
Fringe-y Dance

Great music and fantastic dance with a lot of energy. The story they were attempting to communicate wasn't clear, but it was definitely strange. Loved the costumes of the aliens in particular - and the environmental message. Clarifying the role of the aliens would go a long way to making this not just very good but amazing.

Mayor Lear of Townsville
Cute and Humorous

This show is far more Powerpuff Girls than King Lear, but it's fun, has a lot of laughs, and well done.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Consistently funny throughout

With not a word spoken, Levi and Josh kept me laughing for their whole show. Family friendly and fun!

The Last Bombardment
SciFi/Horror Done Well

I enjoyed this a lot - great concept, well acted. The script works well in one hour but could still be tightened up towards the beginning, where it felt a little slow. Overall, great show!

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
I Finally Understand D&D

My son and husband both enjoy Dungeons and Dragons, while I've never understood the appeal (tried it in high school and I Really Didn't Get It). This show was so fun and hilarious, and the audience was so into it, that now I do kind of get it. Hilarious, clever, and exciting show! Occasionally I was unable to hear what the actors were saying, but otherwise... loved this!

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Hilarious fun

Silly concept taken to a perfect extreme. The music and singing is great, too!

Knifeslingin'!
Hilarity

This could have used a little extra polish (as other reviewers noted), but it was *very* funny and creative.

It Can't Happen Here
Relevant Theater

This felt distressingly familiar (which it obviously is supposed to), and is well acted. The message is really clear and that's important - although I'm not sure the people who need to hear it ever will do so. More to the point, the script is trying to pack a lot into the one hour allowed by Fringe and I think this story likely needs more time to be told perfectly. Still, great acting and an important message are presented here.

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical
Extreme Silliness

This concept is ridiculous, and that's what makes this show fun. The integration of some elements of other "nerd cultures" is clever and quite well done.

The Buttslasher
Fun Silliness with Noir and Puns

This show is a lot of fun. It's not deep, but it's funny and enjoyable. The cast does a great job in their roles as well.

Dancing with the Enemy (and Other Celebrations of Life)
Ethnic Dance

Belly dancing, other traditional Middle Easter dances, and a guest artist (the one we saw was a trans woman with a fantastic message). Very enjoyable!

Fool's Paradise
Intriguing Piece

Excellent use of the space and unusual choreography. Loved the poetry interspersed within the dance.

Persephone
Impressive Dance Piece

Depression isn't something that it's easy to represent but these dancers do a nice job of expressing one person's depression journey. Technically excellent dancing and a great concept.

The Simple Mind of Dillon Magee
Simple But Very Good

A very simple story about a sad situation. Great acting. Would love to see this with more detail about Dillon's recovery.

Ambiance
Mixed Dance

This dance show has the vibe of a dance recital, with many different types of dance showcased, and dancers of varying levels. There were some outstanding pieces and some excellent dancers. It's a good show, not rising to the level of some of the more professional level work I've seen at the Fringe, but overall I enjoyed it.

Dame daDA & the Meta Show
Clever and Fun

Silly, funny, thoughtful at times... and there's a fair amount of audience participation.

To The Quick: A trio of short plays that cut deep
Three Interesting Stories

Three short short stories - understated but well acted. The scripting is good but could use more tension.

First Year Queer
Great Information, Presented Positively

This show takes on a LOT - bisexuality, non-monogamous relationships, kink, and issues of safety and consent. It's funny and honest. Because the content is so broad, it suffers slightly from a lack of focus. Overall, though, if you're interested in a positive take on the less commonly discussed areas of sexuality, this is great stuff.

Themselves They Made Immaculate: Clara Barton at Andersonville
Important History

Based on Clara Barton's Congressional testimony in 1861, this show illuminates aspects of the slave experience, Reconstruction, and the horrors of Andersonville prison.

The Murmur of Murder
Humorous But Doesn't Hang Together Well

This had a lot of funny moments, but the script needs overall tightening.

The End of the World Sing-Along Hour
Great Concept and Singing

This is a great idea with some wonderful voices. The sing-along aspect was really fun (and my daughter was delighted to gain a kazoo). It probably needs a couple more songs and a bit more fleshing out to become a truly amazing show.

Swoopstake
Light and Humorous

Clever concept and a lot of humorous but not outright hilarious moments.

Small Time Dicks
Great Ideas

This is a clever idea and it did offer some laughs. The script needs tightening and the overall production felt a little flat.

Duality: Expression/Reflection
Interesting

Several dance pieces are showcased. I loved some of them, and found one of them intriguing but difficult to grasp. The dancers are quite good technically.

Full Metal Rabbit
Cute Show

I liked this overall and it had some fun laughs. The script could have been tighter and the Watership Down references much clearer. I really did love that training montage.

Thor: Jurassic Park
Fun Concept But...

I love this idea, and there are a few genuinely amusing moments. However, the script needs work and the acting needs polishing. There are endless two or three sentence scenes that involve people running off the stage and some screaming. I hope they rework it and bring it back in the future.


Sara Robinson-Coolidge's Queue

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A Bollywood Twistery

by Harmonious Music

Ritz Mainstage  

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Blackout Improv

by Rogues Gallery Arts

Phoenix  

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BOOMBOX.

by Hannah Starr

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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The Buttslasher

by New Endeavors

Ritz Studio  

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F@*k the 90s

by FurTrader Productions

Ritz Studio  

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The Fainting Room

by Sonder Productions

Phoenix  

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Knifeslingin'!

by The Theatre Cosmic

HUGE  

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Mine/Field

by Glade Dance Collective

Ritz Mainstage  

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Mnemosyne

by Sunday Driver

Southern  

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Queen of Delicious Animals

by The Rachel Teagle Effect

Strike Theater  

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Sisyphus

by Moon-Eyed Owl

Theatre in the Round  

Bollywood Dance Scene
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Small Time Dicks

by Siege Perilous Films

Phoenix  

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So Goshdarn Warm and Fuzzy!

by First Daughter Dance

Ritz Mainstage  

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Subpar Heroes

by Renegade Theater Company

Southern  

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The Zoo Story (New Version)

by Mortimer Productions

HUGE  

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Thor: Jurassic Park

by Access World Productions

Theatre in the Round  

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Your Motivational Power Hour!

by Change! Your! Life! Productions

Phoenix  

Sunrise Banks