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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Randa Schollmeyer

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
45-54 years old
Lives in... Suburbs
Favorite genre: Drama


Randa Schollmeyer's reviews

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Super Funny

This is my favorite of the three Couple Fight shows. I thought the skits were relatable and entertaining - occasionally hilarious.

Whisper Into My Good Ear
Drama Must See

Moving and powerful, this show had me spellbound. Acting, writing, directing - all superb. But it's the honest, intimate, sometimes raw look into the lives of these two men that will stick with me for a long time.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
So good!

Talented actors performing classic sci-fi radio - such fun! Personally, I liked the added visual aspect of watching them create the sound effects rather than just hearing the story. But I'll admit there were times I closed my eyes and just listened during the really creepy parts. Great show but heed the 'suggested age' warnings - I think the little girl behind us will be sleeping with her lights on for years to come.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Unexpected Gem

I thought this show would be interesting (and it was), but it was so much more than that. This show is well done. The stage is set perfectly for the story. The performances are strong with subtle changes in facial expressions that said volumes. The story is told in a compelling, compassionate way - without being sappy or making excuses. The show seems as if it were made for the arena stage, which it probably wasn't, so cheers to the company for adapting so well. If you sometimes skip historical dramas out of concern that they will be dry and boring, take heart that this one is neither. Ultimately it's the story of two sisters - like Frozen, but not.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Great start to Fringe!

This show does just what it tells you it's going to do, but so much better than other shows of its kind. The physical comedy didn't rely on worn out gags for laughs. The skits were original, and they were performed wonderfully. Be sure to sit where you can read the chalkboard. Great show for kids - the youngsters in the audience loved it.

Playwrights on a Train
Ambitious

When I got to the end of this show, I realized I really liked the script, but the performance itself was a bit coarse. I think it's tough to do 'film noir' well, and it was maybe too ambitious for this cast. Loved the plot twists.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Some good laughs

I liked the originality of this show, and while it had some really funny moments, the overall execution was uneven and didn't quite deliver on the premise. The park ranger was the standout performance - he did a good job keeping it pulled together.

Clutter, Chaos, Creativity and the Collyer Brothers
Not what I expected

It pains me to give only two stars to any show, but this one just did not work for me. While Judith is very likable and while the Colluer story was interesting and well-told, it just wasn't enough to lift the otherwise awkwardly constructed show. For me, there was a mixed message, which wasn't successfully managed, and the final story was sweet but wholly off-topic. Overall, it seemed like 20 minutes of solid content that was stretched into a 60 minute show. The use of 8x10 photos as visuals was not effective. Her voice could sometimes barely be heard, even from the front row.


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