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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Greg Hernandez

Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
35-44 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Comedy


Greg Hernandez's reviews

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Hovis does it again!

If you saw Shakespeare Apocalypse in Minnesota Fringe '15, you know Keith Hovis writes musicals that have irresistible hooks, clear storylines and lots, and lots... and wait for it... lots of laughs. Well, all that verve is back in a scathing poke at small time life and stupid, stupid dreams of acceptance and admiration. Hovis and crew nail the zeitgeist of Fringe people and make us laugh at ourselves through these archetypical small town dorks, played with bravado and smirk by a ridiculously talented cast. It gets a little pitchy (internationally?) and bro-ey (definitely intentionally) on occasion but a funnier, catchier new music show at the Fringe you'll not find.

The Masque of Power
Wild fun with a message

Full disclosure: Mathew was my acting teacher. Good to finally see him work in such a special piece. With only a threadbare stage, masks and a doll, Matthew Vaky and son Nathanial have concocted a really fun and thought provoking rejection of all things Trump using dance, comedy del arté, clowning, stage combat and well crafted monologues and fourth wall breakouts. It gets wacky, it gets serious, never letting you catch a breath. A real gem! I can't imagine there's much overlap between Fringers and Trumpsters but obviously avoid taking #MAGA dingbats to this one.

Spec
Moth Balls

San Del shows off his storytelling brilliance while showing us his darker more philosophical side. If you like The Moth podcast or audio books, you just might love Ben's Bradburyesque performance. High points for me were The Cage and Footnotes on Headstones, the former like a campfire ghost story on very bad club drugs, the latter a nice piece of introspection using the ingenius device of a headstone that plays the resident's former thoughts. Ben could use more acting in his act-outs (his robot comedian plays like a weird human comedian). And maybe it was just me but I think the show needed more warm up to get us in story listening mode. All in all though, a very cool show that sharpens your imagination.

Blackout Improv
Light it up!

John Gebretatose was in our Fringe show in 2014 and I have known and liked Khary Jackson for many years so I may be biased in saying Blackout is fantastic. Not afraid to tackle big questions while having a great time on stage. So much energy and positivity! I do agree there was too much gabbing at points. The fuse could be shorter but the payload always hits! FYI This troupe performs all year at the same space.


MTA