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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Mary Johnston

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
25-34 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Something Different


Mary Johnston's reviews

DUNGEON
Wow

This show was so darn amazing. I am so upset these talented people are from out of town. Friends! We have a really cool puppet scene here! Move to MN!! PLEASE?!?!?! Go see this show. You won't regret it.

ODD MAN OUT
More please!

This show was lovely. The acting was phenomenal from everyone on stage. The story was complex and interesting. It felt cut short though. I am hoping this is a promise of more to come. I would love to see a full-length production of this play.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
So funny

I saw a lot of funny stuff this Fringe, but this one probably made me laugh the most. Often I feel comedy shows just beat you over the head with the same joke over and over and over. This show had a specific concept that it's jokes were based on, yes, but there was enough variety and surprise to keep the joke funny even as it was told again in different ways. I loved the bears and was so glad I got to do some "audience participation".

Skins
Newer Version of the Older Version

This show was really well done! I loved the new version. Great acting! Puppets! Costumes! I highly recommend this show. I suggest reading the directors note to fully appreciate what they have done.

Knifeslingin'!
Great show!

This show was funny AND thought provoking while bring light to current social issues. I dig it. I highly recommend this show.

Pinocchio
Creepy Puppet Boy

I loved this take on Pinocchio! I have long considered the tale to be one of the strangest ones around, and it seems I am not the only one. The play was hilarious and strange. The only bummers for me were the same same two bummers from last year: only one female actor and I lost many lines due to a lack of waiting for the laughter. I am a fan of Sheep Theater and look forward to their next production!

MEDUSA
Mythic Ritual

I loved this show! It felt like some ancient ritual brought back to life. So mysterious and wonderful. Go see it!!!

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Comedic Musical Gold

This is how Fringe musicals should be done. Often I feel fringe musicals try to do too much (you only have an hour!!!) or do too little, but this one struck up the perfect balance of song and spoken words. The songs were also important to the plot and moved the action along, another strangely rare thing in a fringe musical. I loved all the hilariously dark turns it took. Super good. It reminded me of Crazy Ex Girlfriend in the best possible way.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Delightful

This show was an absolute delight! I was smiling the whole time despite the creepy content (or maybe because of? it). True this was not a comedy, but I found myself laughing quite a lot at the pure joy of seeing these old-timey works being brought back to life. Great story telling, fun live Foley artistry, and gripping-if old- tales from the beyond. Go see it!

The Last Bombardment
Creepy in the Best Way

This could be in the horror festival! I just hope to GOD that it stays a work of fiction. Very good show! Slow at times (seems not all lines were at 100% leading to some unnecessary pauses), but great physicality (no set, no problem). I would recommend it.

MANIFESTO: An American Play
Important

This play was very hard to watch, but I think it is very important. I did get worried about representation of mental illness, especially with the phrase "the light is gone from your eyes" which is often use in the anti-vaccination community to describe a child with autism. I feel the play needs more work, and deserves a life beyond Fringe. Love and care can change the world and the humanization of the "monstrous" of our world is very important.


Mary Johnston's Queue

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The Banana Wars

by The Miller Conspiracy

Strike Theater  

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Be Your Selfie!

by Hey Rube

Intermedia  

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Beyond Limits

by Toolbox Theatre

Ritz Studio  

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Blackbeard's Revenge

by The Park Theater Company

Rarig Arena  

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Blackout Improv

by Rogues Gallery Arts

Phoenix  

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The Buttslasher

by New Endeavors

Ritz Studio  

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Code: L-O-V-E

by Highlander Kitty

Crane  

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Couple Fight 3: Weddings!

by Weggel-Reed Productions

Rarig Thrust  

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DANCING BARE FEET

by RGK Modern Indian Dance Academy

Rarig Thrust  

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DUNGEON

by Hit the Lights! Theater Co.

Jungle Theater  

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Facebook Lite

by Nancee Magistad

HUGE  

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FOOL'S MEDICINE

by Theatre of Fools

Jungle Theater  

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Frankenstein

by Windmill Company

Rarig Arena  

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Full Metal Rabbit

by Beta Fish Productions

Intermedia  

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Hot Air

by SCHMAGENCY

Rarig Xperimental  

Surly
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It Can't Happen Here

by Sinclair Lewis Productions

Ritz Studio  

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Katie Versus The Devils

by Scared Hare Productions

Rarig Arena  

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Knifeslingin'!

by The Theatre Cosmic

HUGE  

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Lettres et Café

by Bad Mime Productions

Theatre in the Round  

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MEDUSA

by Vox Medusa with Infiammati FireCircus

Boom Island  

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The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox

by The Winding Sheet Outfit

Rarig Arena  

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ODD MAN OUT

by Underdog Theatre

Rarig Arena  

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On The Exhale

by Market Garden Theatre

Rarig Xperimental  

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Out of the Shadows

by Gabriel Mata/Movements

Intermedia  

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Persephone

by Torre Edahl Dance

Ritz Mainstage  

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A Pickle

by Really Spicy Opera

Ritz Studio  

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Pinocchio

by Sheep Theater

Mixed Blood  

Westside VW
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Queen of Delicious Animals

by The Rachel Teagle Effect

Strike Theater  

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Skins

by Collective Unconscious Performance

Ritz Mainstage  

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Slaughterhouse Five: A Musical

by Clevername Productions

Jungle Theater  

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The Murmur of Murder

by Swing and a Miss

HUGE  

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The Second Banana Revolt!

by Far From The Tree

Rarig Thrust  

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The Summoning

by Grumpy Bean

Southern  

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Thor: Jurassic Park

by Access World Productions

Theatre in the Round  

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We Would Not Exist Without Disco

by GlowEarth Productions

Crane  

Bollywood Dance Scene