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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Eric Siegel's reviews

Bear Eats Bear
Walk in the park

If you've ever been to an art museum you may have been offered a pre-recorded tape that will help explain the galleries as you wander about the halls, from one exhbit to the next. This show is similar to that, except there are no exhibits and the only person in the room is you. It is perhaps a disservice to simply state this production is a "unique experience" (which it is) but there's a real sense of isolation and meditative introspection that becomes naturally born from the form this show has chosen to take. So if you're up for something that offers a bit of quiet from the noisy rows of an audience, this show is for you and is something wholly unlike anything else at the Fringe.

A Perfect Mixtape

Hannah Starr is one in a million; a performer with talent in such a wide range of stage vocations you'll wonder whether they all come naturally to her or if she spends every waking moment mastering her craft. Maybe both! This show in a real, authentic experience that spans from topical comedy, operatic solos to moments of genuine human observation. It's easy to call this show simply an impressive series of comedy but more than that this piece is clearly a labor of love from somebody whose real world actuality breaks through into all of her bits and characters. I highly recommend this show to everyone as it's deeply connecting without being preachy and funny without being merely crass or excessive.

Mayor Lear of Townsville
A Townsville Tribute

Remixing Shakespeare is often a risky gambit but the production quality alone makes this show worth it. Scene and sound design are on point and the costumes are particularly accurate and defined. Fight choreography and direction were noticeably strong and the entire ensemble - though notably the titular Mayor - put on excellent and committed performances. While obviously not a perfect translation of King Lear the attention to detail here makes a convincing translation of two incredibly unalike worlds and does so without making Shakespeare feel overly childish and the Powerpuff Girls unduly grim; you get the best of both worlds and I recommend this show to anyone with familiarity over either source material who is ready to laugh or howl.

Expressive and authentic

I'll start by saying that the script of this show feels bare bones but it's effective because of and not in spite of that fact. The story feels straightforward and enough information is provided to the audience to understand what's happening. But the real meat of this show is the various dance and movement pieces which are so utterly engrossing and evocative they sweep away the need for heavy dialogue and plot. It's an incredibly powerful and effective emotional experience which is communicated mostly through the ensemble's movements. Great performances by all those involved and strongly recommend this show for it's articulation of anxiety and depression through motion and body language.

Generosity is the enemy of grief

I'm not sure I can recall a piece of theater - Fringe or otherwise- that has challenged me so immediately as an audience member. As memebers of the audience we are taught very specific and universal decorum; that what's happening on stage is all an act and to keep our best attention forward towards the action before us. Beckett and Suzi Love put on a masterful and harrowing performance with a script that confronts the audience with what it means to be even a silent participant to abuse and trauma. The allegory that undercuts this point is poignant without being overbearing and serves to remind us how easily we can forget we all have the tools to help one another overcome trauma and grief even when they are placed directly into our hands.

Slaughterhouse Five: A Musical
A clever rendition

With a menagerie of fast transitions, impromptu musical numbers and wide ranging cast, this show collects all of Vonnegut's weirdness and threads it back together in a colorful way. Transitions are numerous but employed to give the show it's pacing and rhythm while also reveling in the mannequin nature of Billy Pilgrim as he gets tossed from one end of the cosmos to the next. The biggest hurdle this show has to overcome is it's audience familiarity with the source material. Yet with its economical use of set, clever alien costumes, solid performances by the cast and apt use of Vonnegut's repeated intonation - "So it goes" - the show brings all of the necessary elements together to create an enjoyable and wry hour of theater.

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