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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John Gigrich's reviews

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
Well done

The beards have an amazing ability to find the funny each time they hit the stage. One of the most consistent improv groups I know of, and that's not easy in the improv world.

De Hjerteløse [The Heartless]
Sisterhood of the traveling ax

This is a great example of the whole being much more than the sum of the parts. Everybody does a great job, especially Ingrid. The unsung hero here is actually Zach Briscoe who provides live music and sound design. This show wouldn't be nearly as good if it had used pre-recorded elements.

Great work.

This may be the best ensemble cast in the 2017 MN Fringe. Odd Man Out should be expanded into a larger work, the time constraints of Fringe are holding it back. Time constraints or not, I highly recommend this play.

On The Exhale
Great Job

It isn't every day you see an actor handle a 50 minute monologue so wonderfully. My only slight quibbles are some pacing issues and believe or not, some of the lighting choices. I'm sure most people won't be notice the lighting, but with the small pacing flaws and some unmotivated lighting choices I'll be the lone dissenter and knock off one star. If we just rated the acting... 5 for sure :-)

Everybody in the pool...

It's actually a 3.7 so I rounded up :-) Silly fun, that even older kids should like. I think it could use a couple more "in the pool" scenes, to break up some fairly repetitive dialog. Loved the diversity in the cast.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi

Maybe actually a 3.75, so I had to round up :-) Leia and the amazing R2D2 steal the show. At times it does seem to wander a bit, but on the up side that did help to make it less predictable.

Blackbeard's Revenge
Worth a risk

This a fairly eclectic play, and I could some really liking it while other are less impressed. Kelly Nelson did a great job, which helped the whole production.

Sunrise Banks