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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Lyle Larue

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
35-44 years old
Lives in... Saint Paul
Favorite genre: Comedy

Lyle Larue's reviews

the storytellers made the show

Saw this show as I have seen some shows that Jena Young has done. The first time I saw the actors in tunics, I didn't quite understand what was being depicted. But it made more sense to me after Jena, the first storyteller. I said 'I get it' as it made me think of an Oedipus-type story. And I understood the 'tunics' scenes to be metaphors, and I like metaphor. That being said, it was the storytellers that made the show. I liked the honesty in what they told us. And one doesn't have to be trans-gender to find it relatable. The second storyteller, the Mississippi native, spoke about being dis-owned, and some of us know what this is like when it happens for ANY reason. And I liked mention of 'truth being mocked' since this is often correct.

Buffy the Bedbug Slayer
enjoyed the puppet the most

saw this show as I know Daina from the stand-up comedy circuit. I liked the puppet the most, this was her role. Not the first Trump-inspired puppet I had seen, but I liked seeing Daina's version of it. I hadn't seen the 'Buffy' TV show in a while, but I don't think much was lost on me for this reason. I liked the Giles character a lot, the 'stodgy academic' since I often refer to myself as being one.

weird but compelling

I know Ben from the stand-up comedy circuit, it is why I chose this show. My hat is off to anyone that does a one-person show, it is hard to do. I did notice how he tripped over words a few times, but he kept going- the most important thing. Enjoyed the ones about the funny robot and pressing buttons at the cemetery the most- because I liked the social commentary in those stories.

funny and honest

I have seen plenty of shows that Joey Hamburger has done, it is why I chose this one. He and Michael Torsch are brilliant and work well together. I liked how this wasn't just a 'retelling' of the Pinocchio story, but an 'update' of it. I laughed a lot. But I liked just as much was how there was plenty of social commentary in it, such as asking why one has to be good.

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
a little bit of everything

I had seen many plays that Heather Meyer is in, it is why I chose this one. There was a request as to who we think won each fight. But I am not the type that thinks anyone 'wins' a couples fight. Although at times I did laugh, because even though I have been in couple arguments I didn't have any of these particular fights. I liked mention of song choices in one, and 'pretend receptions' was funny as well. No doubt thankful I haven't witnessed the hyperventilating, hysterical one, about jar pies. Heather was brilliant as usual, good at being dour- really liked her puns.

It Can't Happen Here
a slice of history

Thankful I saw this one as I majored in history and had often read about Depression-era programs like the Federal Theater Project. Also thankful I made a reservation as I saw how the first performance sold out, and the one I saw sold out as well. First time I had heard of this Sinclair Lewis story, I was more familiar with others. Pleased that this show will benefit the ACLU. Hopefully there will be a longer version of this show eventually, outside of Fringe.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
a wide variety of music

I happened to be an usher at their first performance, and for this reason decided to find some time to see it when not on duty. I liked reading the program I gave out which showed a wide variety of music selections. As a big Charlie Brown fan I liked the Vince Guaraldi selection the most. And I liked how the performers spent some time giving background information before each song. Great idea on the audience participation, throwing around an inflated globe to help with song selections. The props/obstacles were a nice touch as well, more challenging to play the music. And the buttons for sale makes the show stand out as well.

America, The Rewrite

Disappointing is the best word for me to describe this show. I majored in history and was expecting to see plenty of history being discussed, but very little was covered, let alone written about. so the title is misleading to say the least. Probably the worst show I have seen at Fringe, and saw my first show 5 years ago. I was in disbelief that it was just 30 minutes as well. At least the short format gave me more time to eat before attending another show.

Lyle Larue's Queue

Sunrise Banks