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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Tony Sofie

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

Tony Sofie's reviews

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
60 minutes of belly laughs

Given the theme, this could easily turn into the same joke played over and over again. Instead, the 6 couples provide hilarious and relatable vignettes that range from ridiculously petty arguments to over-the-top full-blown meltdowns. With a blend of storytelling, reenactment and social commentary, there's something here for everyone.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Dark musical comedy FTW!

Spot-on comedic performances by all four cast members. Vocals are terrific, the songs are smart & catchy and perfectly integrated with the hilarious script. Definitely a must-see show of the year.

Powerful performances

The tight script and committed performances in this show left me speechless. The story is compelling and you can feel the truths of these characters pouring out onto the stage. Beautifully directed and acted throughout with a perfect balance of catharsis and levity. My only qualm (and it is minor) is that the ending is so abrupt that it was unclear that the show was finished. This feels like the first act in an unfinished play and I'm dying to know where it goes from here.

Our Boy
Great fringe debut by Theatre B

This is a timely and thought-provoking story, well acted by the Wintersteens as the characters deftly and subtly explore the cracks in their relationships with each other and their son. If this is representative of the work Theatre B does, I will definitely seek them out if they participate in future Fringe festivals.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
Great concept, uneven execution

Disappointingly, this show can't seem to decide what it is: a satirical re-enactment? A sci-fi feminist manifesto? A re-imagining of the saga with Obi-Wan as mastermind? The satire is occasionally spot-on (the Han/Greedo scene made me guffaw), there are some priceless impersonations (Chewie and R2 especially) and the fight choreography is great. But the pacing is punishing as the script alternates between slow-paced, overwrought commentary and high-energy re-enactments of iconic scenes from the original trilogy. Stagner has a good concept, but I wish he'd allowed someone else to play the title role so that he could have fine-tuned the script instead of endlessly circling the stage while narrating in a gravelly, near inaudible monotone.

Tony Sofie's Queue

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Couple Fight 3: Weddings!

by Weggel-Reed Productions

Rarig Thrust  

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by Windmill Company

Rarig Arena  

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Our Boy

by Theatre B

Theatre in the Round  

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Passing the Poison

by Twin Cities Dance Court


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by Sheep Theater

Mixed Blood  

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Repertoire Dogs

by Ideal Productions

Mixed Blood  

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RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical

by August Moon Productions

Ritz Mainstage  

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Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heave...

by Ferrari McSpeedy Theatrical Productions

Ritz Studio  

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Songs of MN Summer

by Shrieking Harpies

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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Subpar Heroes

by Renegade Theater Company


Peace Coffee