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 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.


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.


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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Kim Chase-Kozak

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
45-54 years old
Lives in... Saint Paul
Favorite genre: Musical Theater

Kim Chase-Kozak's reviews

Code: L-O-V-E
Compelling story and great acting!

I don't always love drama at the Fringe, but I did with this show. Compelling play on Cyrano de Bergerac! Beautifully acted. On the paint smell, we walked inside the door and stood there for a couple minutes while the previous show was clearing out. The smell was very strong near the entrance and I was worried. But once I got further in the building it was totally fine and I didn't think about it again through the 2 shows I watched. Just thought I'd put that out there.

Buffy the Bedbug Slayer
Buffy for the win!

This show is just hysterical. I'd give it 5 stars on Buffy's performance alone. She had her hair flips, voice inflections, etc down! Spike was also fantastic and it was fun to see the old gang back in action. Good clean fringy fun!

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Must see comedy!

This show was great use of a Fringe hour. Non-stop fun and laughs. The mom in me was concerned for the safety of the actors - there is some wild stuff in this show!

A Pickle
A piece of Minnesota History!

I really enjoyed this! It was not at all what I expected from a show put on by Really Spicy Opera. The actor playing Doris was fantastic. I'm also a person who has had various items on display in the Creative Activity Building at the State Fair and this definitely gave me something to think about. I hope they get the opportunity to show this to a wider audience.

The Second Banana Revolt!
Cool beans!

Talented cast, adorable children, catchy songs sung well, and a sweet story line that kept moving. Nothing not to love! Thanks for a great first fringe show of the year!

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Funny and fantastic singing

This is a clever script and a fantastic cast singing fun music to weave a tale. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The cast for this show was top notch! That said, the sight lines in Mixed Blood are awful. Where I was located, I felt like we missed part of the story because we couldn't see what was going on close to the stage. As an aside, it was very warm in Mixed Blood (not reviewing based on that) with a full house.

Get Hooked
Arg mateys! Fun!

We really enjoyed this high school show! I am surprised at the extremely low reviews honestly. I've seen much less entertaining shows on stage in the cities. LOVED the live music and that really made the show. There were small issues with volumes, pacing, and some of the teens were possibly newer to theater, but it kept moving with the humor and the puns! The main villain was hilarious and is very talented!

Thor: Jurassic Park
Had high hopes

A few laughs but chaotic and uneven.

Kim Chase-Kozak's Queue

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by M-SHE Productions


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Get Hooked

by Madlads Productions

Rarig Thrust  

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by The Theatre Cosmic


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Never Wonder Land

by Laughing Nomad Productions


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Pope Joan

by Featherstone Creative

Rarig Xperimental  

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Slaughterhouse Five: A Musical

by Clevername Productions

Jungle Theater  

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The Second Banana Revolt!

by Far From The Tree

Rarig Thrust  

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There Ain't No More!

by Willi Carlisle Productions


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Thor: Jurassic Park

by Access World Productions

Theatre in the Round  

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Your Motivational Power Hour!

by Change! Your! Life! Productions


Humble Cup