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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J. Bach

Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
Lives in... Minneapolis


J. Bach's reviews

35 Different Angles From Which To Hate Yourself
I Should See More Dance at the Fringe

I left this show thinking I will definitely make a point of seeing more dance shows at the Fringe. This was so great! Not a dull moment. Beautiful, captivating, thought provoking. The dance, the music, and the metaphor were all moving. This show will stick with me.

Repertoire Dogs
Great!

So funny! A mix of impressions and improv. Very talented actors. A very fun hour!

The Simple Mind of Dillon Magee
Beautiful

Beautiful story, beautifully executed. The actor who played Dillon was particularly moving and memorable - subtle, mostly non-verbal acting. I was mesmerized. Great work.

First Year Queer
GREAT Storytelling!

Deeply personal, interesting, and moving stories told in creative and captivating ways by Lyssa and several of her friends! Funny, touching, and engaging. Great use of puppetry and props!

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Classy!

A great show, which is not at all surprising considering the talented cast! Polished and classy.

On The Exhale
Intense!!!

Wow. This was so intense, and then it got more intense and dark, and then it got even more intense. I was literally on the edge of my seat by the end. I'll leave it at that to avoid spoilers. I am in awe of both the writing and the acting in this production. Seriously one of the most captivating Fringe shows I have ever seen.

Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
LOLOL!!!

Absolutely wonderful! As funny as you'd expect with this talented cast. The outrageously small space somehow made it even funnier!

The Fainting Room
Clever and fun!

Excellent clowning show by a really compelling actor!

Making It Home
Fringe At Its Best!

A mother and her five children on stage. Mom and three of the children told personal stories about their experiences immigrating to the US. These are stories we Minnesotans need to hear. As a side note, those kids did a GREAT job with the tricky challenge of storytelling in the round.

It's About Love Again This Year
Visually Stunning!

Oh wow, this was such a beautiful dance piece...the movement, the costumes, the music, the whole atmosphere they created. I also loved how they used the space in the Southern Theater. Visually stunning! After all the shows I've seen today, I'm going to fall asleep tonight thinking about how beautiful this was.

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Hilarious!

A hilariously clever parody of Stranger Things in which Tom Reed plays all the characters! Funny impressions, great physical comedy, and a surprisingly helpful review of season 1 to get us all ready for season 2 in a couple of months.

Persephone
Thank You

Thank you to all the artists involved in creating this beautiful work. This will stick with me.

Out of the Shadows
YES!

Great show! Don't miss this one. The audience burst up into a no-hesitation standing ovation at the end! Well deserved!

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Impressive!

This show is VERY fun, as many others have said. It's also impressive...Excellent comedy writing and acting, top notch singing. I loved it all!

Pinocchio
Clever and Hilarious!

A very clever adaptation! SO funny! One of my favorite shows in this year's Fringe!

MEDUSA
Hell Yeah!

Everything was great! Loved the dancing, costumes, lighting, projections, singing, set, story, fire, Mpls skyline in the background, sunset! Wow!

Gruesome Playground Injuries
Captivating!

Captivating actors, captivating script, captivating finished product. I'm particularly impressed by how the cast and crew created all that they did on what must be one of the smallest dramatic acting stages of all time. The audience was utterly transported by what was happening on that tiny stage.

The Banana Wars
Wonderful!

Wonderful multilayered story by a great performer and storyteller!

Live From New York, He's A Prom Date!
Great story!

What a great story! And beautifully told!

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
I'm a Fan, But...

I have LOVED the previous Couple Fight shows, but I didn't love this one. I did love Shanan and Eric's piece, and their vignette alone was worth the price of the ticket! And I really liked a lot of the other couple's pieces, taken individually. However, on the whole most...not all, but most...of the couple's fights seemed to fit a gross stereotype of nagging woman vs. laid back jokester dude. One or two of these would have been fine for me, but toward the end it seemed to add up in a way that turned me off a bit. Also, it would've been nice to see a bit more diversity.

Debacle: Stories of Life's Ultimate Fiascos!
Good

Good stories

Mine/Field
I liked it

A good show. Good dancing. I liked it.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Didn't Hold My Attention

I appreciated the acting and the visual aesthetics, but the low energy of the show and the story itself didn't hold my attention.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
3 Stars for Enthusiasm

High energy and fast paced, but the humor was broad (as in unsubtle) and sometimes mean-spirited.

The Well
Did Not Enjoy

Uh oh, I did not enjoy this. Wasn't captivating or suspenseful to me. Lovely actors, though. Nice job with the accents. Very cool well prop too.

Subpar Heroes
Not For Me

Some of these actors were truly charming, but I just didn't enjoy the script. It was just silly with nothing more to it.


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