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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Kari Elizabeth Godfrey's reviews

The Zoo Story (New Version)

This was masterfully done. A well deserved standing ovation for Sam and Brad. They both deliver the genius of Albee in riveting, compelling performances. I was drawn in, emotionally and physically, to Sam's performance-he commands the stage. The intensity at the end had me shaking; the chemistry was so palpable between Jerry and Peter it was electric. A must- see if you enjoy classic drama done well.

To The Quick: A trio of short plays that cut deep
Excellent Production

This show is what Fringe is all about-packing as much as you can into a limited time, all the while delivering on all levels-content, talent, and direction. In the round is difficult and Em Gill did a great job with the material and actors so that nobody missed out on anything. All of the performers were absolutely amazing, and Lori Roovers did a fantastic job in a role not usually her type. The minimalist sets/props was also a great choice, as the actors created their spaces and locations spectacularly, with blocking and choices. A shout out to the sound design too, for creating a believable oceanside setting.

Be Your Selfie!
Perfect Fringe Show

This is by far one of the best shows I have seen at Fringe. The writing is tight, the video work is seamless, and the performances are amazing. It's a very clever and hilarious take on what our social media/self-obsessed culture has become. I loved that we were able to experience the vulnerabilities of the characters, which gave us insight as to their need for followers, fame, but mostly, friends. It is so easy to get lost online these days, and hide behind who we really are, and this was a great exposition of that mind-set & intention. Natalie, Ethan, and Rob are extremely talented, and I loved the use of the voices as additional "characters". The editing, sound, and production values are superb.

Whisper Into My Good Ear
Master Class

If you have ever taking an acting class, the first thing you learn is that 'acting is reacting'. This show was a master class on that lesson. Lawrence and Pat are able to create a beautiful world for themselves, simply by sitting on a bench and listening to each other. Truthful, simplistic, and engaging. Both actors played well off each other-an honest balance of emotional vs. cerebral. I love when I can watch an actor just "be" in a moment, and see it in their eyes, what is going on in their mind. It is a rare gift and both these actors have it. Completely deserving of the standing ovation.

Absurd Advice

What a fun and original and sweet show! A very relatable premise between a father and his teenage daughter who is awaiting some news that may alter her life's path, and the comedic sketches that ensue, is a clever and funny take on a situation many of us have been in at some point in our lives. Eva Potvin does an outstanding job as the daughter, and the scenes with her and Kevin Hatle are so much fun. The rest of the ensemble are committed and spot on, bringing a multitude of laughs in cleverly directed roles, with a myriad of fun props and signage. A great show for families, which is something Fringe needs!

First Year Queer
Enlightening and Enjoyable

Lyssa Sparrow is an amazing storyteller with a fantastic, bubbly, welcoming and warm persona that makes you want to hear and see more. Her puppetry was HILARIOUS, and her bravery was something to behold. She made a topic of conversation that some do not feel comfortable with, into an accessible and funny experience. I do not want to ruin anything, but she warned of potential trigger material, and then did a spectacularly beautiful thing with that. She shared a very creatively done, yet important video on a subject that was deeply emotional and personal, had some special guests join her on stage to tell their stories, and she gave gifts away at the end. What a great way to end our Fringe day.