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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Walter Furtney's reviews

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Shanan Custer, Eric Webster

I have to vote for Shanan and Eric in an amusing, true and enjoyable hour of theater. All the performers were funny but Shanan and Eric were really funny.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Gimme that old time radio

Technically outstanding. The love, respect and devotion to old time radio drama comes through loud and clear. I listened to some with my eyes closed and it brought me back to my own early 50's childhood the very end of this type of radio This isn't a complaint but I enjoyed the Shadow much more than the Shadow People.

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Better than Stranger Things

Tour de force. This guy has talent dripping out of every pore. Musical, humorous, intense, absorbing and just over all fun. One of the best solo shows I have ever seen. There won't be many seats available for this one

The Buttslasher
Stillwater Minnesota

Terrific. Small fun show that hits all the marks.

Out of the Shadows
Inside a dancer

There might be better dancers than Gabriel Mata but its hard to imagine. This was dance at the highest level. The movement, the technical perfection and the artistry blended into a riveting performance. I liked the behind the scene look. It made the technical aspect even more interesting

Plan B
teenage angst

Perfectly cast, rip roaringly funny and surprise surprise it had more than a grain of truth.. Even the video game was great.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
My Hometown

Four 5 tool actors (singing, dancing, acting, comedy, drama).Great songs, wonderful voices, extremely funny exposition and a zen master denouement. A totally enjoyable evening of theater.

Hello, I Must Be Going...
I agree

Ari Hopman was dead solid perfect playing Groucho not as a caricature but as a real human. And just like Groucho he was funny even when he said mundane things. It was however a very sad story.

Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
Silly but still funny

Surprisingly this show reminded me of Monty Python and old Bob Hope television specials with its silly walks and the ability to keep going when a prop doesn't work. I kept saying to myself this is silly but I kept laughing. I was surprised when my wife said she didn't get it.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Physical physical comedy

Joshua Scrimshaw makes me laugh just by walking on stage. Levi Weinhagen matched him pratfall for pratfall I'm not sure how either of them can walk after the show. All the sketches were over the top, low brow and of course extremely amusing.

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical
Much better than expected

4.5 stars I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this show. Great humor, wonderful rom com references good pacing and energy all added up to a great show.. I know I'm not the first to say this but the singing voices were not that strong, but overall very enjoyable.

A Pickle
State fair

Cute, I knew there was a reason not to go to the state fair. A little ethnic humor in the retelling of this legendary story

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Boy scouts

4.25 stars.. Really great acting by a young enthusiastic cast. Smooth transitions in a humorous lesson in life play. Looking forward to their work in the future.

Songs for a Post-Apocalyptic World
Music

I love a tight live band. The songs were fun and pointed highlighted by the Magnetic song. The exposition a little less so. I was always eager to get to the next song.

A Mermaid Abroad & A Fish Out of Water
Travel storytelling

A pleasant enjoyable 3/4 hour of travel encounters in foreign lands. I loved Ariel Leaf's frankness until I didn't love her frankness. I could have done without the last two stories

Waiting for Gygax
Monster downtime

Skillfully crafted tribute to Samuel Beckett. I love the concept: what do monsters do in their downtime?

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Sad Tale

Fascinating historical tale. I was vaguely familiar with the girls story and I enjoyed the dramatization of the story which will make me do further research. I did feel however that the middle 20 minutes dragged a little.

Persephone
Depression

Really 4 1/2 . Powerful with very expressive dancing but hard to watch. She had great support but couldn't break through the fog even though it was obvious her friends cared for her. In the lobby after the show the performers were smiling the fog had lifted.

Good Kids
High School

Powerful show. Young cast. A very brave performance by Dexieng Yang. I was actually moved emotionally by her soliloquy.

Lettres et Café
Post war Paris

Delightful performances by Abby Day and Jillian Johnson. A very busy stage actually enhanced the cute love story. And I loved the dresses

The Fainting Room
Sex from NY

Talented and energetic. Very interesting theme. Cute songs. Audience participation. Humour but she really needs a full audience

Passing the Poison
Soldiers sacrifice collateral damage

Really 3 1/2 stars. This show had a lot going for it. Important theme great lead dancers, a delightful tap interlude, wonderful music but the show made the cut with a sledge hammer instead of a knife

FUNKiN' Good Time
What the fringe is for

It was great to see an entire show of the kind of dance that is usually only seen in 5 second snippets on TV. High energy great personality, enthusiasm, passion and talent made a very enjoyable show.

Frankenstein
Body Count

Intense, engaging, beautiful cast

It's About Love Again This Year
Modern dance evening dress

Great energy, Lots going on, on stage, a total feast for the eyes. The music was listenable and the dancers smiled and demonstrated some personality. My one complaint: I didn't care for the evening dresses as dance attire.

Playwrights on a Train
Mystery solved early

Caroline Vodacek was fabulous as the ingenue/femme fatale. She had my rapt attention. The mystery inside a mystery inside a mystery a little less so.

The Well
Meditation on death?

I think they were talking about fate or the randomness of life but the deeper meaning faded from my thoughts as I hurried to my next show.

F@*k the 90s
Death and loss

She had a great sense of humor and timing, but the juxtaposition of humor and pathos was jarring. I was delighted by the humor but not sufficiently moved by the pathos. Nevertheless I would rather have listened to her than the audience participation at the end, I did love the live music.

Subpar Heroes
Duluth Humor

After a slow start the jokes started to click the facial expressions came in sync and the last half hour was actually quite funny and enjoyable. The best line however was early in the show something about Sally's desire to be double teamed by the Property Brothers.

Mnemosyne
Interesting Idea

3 1/2 stars. A very interesting concept that took too long to come together. The overall impression at the end of the piece is profound but the journey was muddled and diffuse.

BELIEVE
Too loud

Great energy, nice tap dancing interlude but the music, even though we were warned ,was way too loud, actually painfully loud. It is difficult to appreciate any other artistry when in pain.

Skins
Rewriting fairy tales

It might have been good but it just didn't appeal to me. Puppets.

Duality: Expression/Reflection
potential squandered

Walking back and forth across the stage is not dance its not even entertainment. The company had one dance that was enjoyable and showed its potential but for me it was mostly an hour of; What am I doing here?

Mayor Lear of Townsville
did' get it

The audience seemed to like the show. I tried to play catch up the entire show. I'm not familiar with the powder puff girls and I didn't see the king lear connection. Great art should have transcended my ignorance. I did however like the fight sequences

Mine/Field
Nothing moved me

The one fun fact that baby boomers make up more than half the Fringe audience should be a warning to the Fringe. Expand your audience or die. Back to the show. The dance wasn't visually pleasing and the survey wasn't very interesting. I actually try to say something positive at every show but at this show I was at a loss


Pinocchio