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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Fourth Wall

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
35-44 years old
Lives in... Suburbs
Favorite genre: Comedy

Fourth Wall's reviews

Don't miss this one

Powerful monologues surrounding the human condition and the struggle for social justice. Three persons performing monologues and one musician. All very talented. Glad I caught this one.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Watching Radio

Very professional and polished show. Fun to see the props and tools used to make the "radio" sounds. Lots of laughs and very entertaining.

On The Exhale
See it

The narrative is original. The subject matter is timely. The script demands a great deal from the actress and she fully delivers. This is a must-see.

Making It Home
Personal accounts

A show surrounding the cultural shock that can come from finding a new home in the United States. There was a particularly strong monologue about immigration policy history in the U.S. I left a better person for having seen it.

A Pocketful of Jewels: Dance Gems from North Africa & the Near East
Beautiful and educational

I loved hearing the history and geography behind the dances and instruments. Beautiful costumes and dancing. Good one for kids and adults alike.

Good Kids
Talented cast

This is serious content. The hour flies by. This is a very polished and impactful show.

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
Very good time

Improv meets D&D. Loved it.

Lettres et Café
Light and Cute

Loved the costumes and the clever set. Pina Colada song meets Sesame Street meets French class.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
See it!

Hilarious. Fantastic musical numbers. The pipes on the performers were phenomenal. Lots of laughs and an all around good time. Dark humor. Not for the kiddies.

Live From New York, He's A Prom Date!
You won't find another show like this

True life story of going on Sally Jessy Rapheal as a teenager. Wow. You may find yourself painfully uncomfortable during the playbacks. Note to producers: I was SO concerned the front legs of the chair were going to give out.

Gruesome Playground Injuries
Scenes in a relationship

Heartwarming in many places. A nice work illustrating how life can be distilled into important moments. Overuse of the words "f***" and "retard" to illustrate how imperfect the two characters are. Glad I saw it.

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!

One of the skits stood out but on the whole it was pretty standard cliche "people freaking out about their wedding." Lots of laughs but not a must see.

Weird. I like weird.

Amazing dance and costumes.

Glad I went

Super ambitious and they pulled it off. Trippy and futuristic. I was in the back. You may want to be up front to hear the dialogue clearly.

Wellstone: A Minnesotan Musical
So much potential

Love the concept, but their was no spark...and no Wellstone bus! (Real or alluded to). The musical numbers left something to be desired. I can see this being the framework for something great.

Slaughterhouse Five: A Musical

I think you can miss this if you haven't read the book. I enjoyed the music but it was hard to hear the lyrics over the instrumentation. Loved the aliens. I was a bit lost having not read the book. But it was still enjoyable!

KnoW WesT

I'm not smart enough to understand this show. I enjoyed most of it nonetheless.

Glad I saw it

They definitely pulled off the addiction piece of this play...but not the co-dependency, which was necessary for the second half to work. The play drew you in nonetheless. Good one to schedule a meal break after since it's 30 minutes.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
Lots of energy

I suspect if you're a millennial that this is a must-see. My forty-year-old self enjoyed it, but I was expecting more given how many 5-star reviews it had. I had trouble hearing all of the lines, which probably didn't help.

Dick White: Ghost Detective
Campy and Fun

I laughed out loud throughout the show. The musical number and the Bechdel test scene were my favorite parts.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Funny and informative

I felt bad laughing at the stories of actual people dying at Yosemite. But not that bad.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Visually beautiful show

A unique twist on the concept of "perception is reality." Strong acting. If the occult is not your thing, you can miss this one. I'm glad I saw it.

The Mystery
Third show of the first night

Though it may not be scary and there is no arc to the story, you could visualize yourself casting a protective spell with your mind against the impending incantation. Lighting and music seemed random and didn't build tension. Actor was personable in his "thanks for coming" postlude.

Oxygen Is Overrated

A one woman show with an artistic (think Georgia O'Keeffe meets Audrey Two) and illuminating sidekick! Does our fearless captain have 30 minutes or 24 hours? I'm not sure. A nice way to end opening night.

Fourth Wall's Queue

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Blackout Improv

by Rogues Gallery Arts


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by Hit the Lights! Theater Co.

Jungle Theater  

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Hello, I Must Be Going...

by Mercury Ninety Productions

Theatre in the Round  

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The New Gig Economy, A Musical

by The New Two Bit Players


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One Foot

by Langston Theatre Company

Strike Theater  

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Out of the Shadows

by Gabriel Mata/Movements


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A Pickle

by Really Spicy Opera

Ritz Studio  

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Plan B

by Kyle Schwartz

Mixed Blood  

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Queen of Delicious Animals

by The Rachel Teagle Effect

Strike Theater  

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Repertoire Dogs

by Ideal Productions

Mixed Blood  

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Small Time Dicks

by Siege Perilous Films


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by Perspectives Theater Company

Rarig Arena  

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Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL

by Turd Spout Productions


Two Bettys
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Waiting for Gygax

by Hot Chocolate Media

Rarig Xperimental  

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What You Will

by Jammed Desk Productions


Peace Coffee