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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Sunny Sorenson's reviews

Once again

Once again, Motz's one man shows is delightful, weird, and thoughtful. Suzie was lovely. It was perfect for the venue. This classic Motz production was perfect

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
What the Fringe is for!

This production is a poster child for what the Fringe is for! A well-executed romp through glitz, glamor, and childhood grudges. Many times "parody" Fringe shows are all fluff & cheap jokes, but Keith Hovis' creativity and nuance with score and script is more along the lines of SNL, Parks and Rec, and basically anything with Tina Fey. Besides a well-written show, the cast is brilliant and truly executes Keith's style to perfection. SEE. THIS. SHOW. That said, I hope it comes back for a revival - or may, dare I say, be expanded to a full-length musical?

Sheep Theater does what it does best

Once again Sheep Theater's signature style of new American clowning is laugh out loud funny. A unique take on a classic fairy tale is full of charm and wit, this company-collective brand of theatre is sure to make you laugh. I am interested to see where Sheep goes as they progress through the Twin Cities milieu. For me, the Fringe is about trying new things and expanding one's artist self. I hope to see Sheep Theater do just that: try something new. But hats off to Sheep for finding their voice and using it with humor and heart.

On The Exhale
Yes, this!

This production was a breath of fresh air for the Fringe. Performed to the T by Jane Froiland with simple lighting and nuanced control of mood and tone. Powerful and poignant - I know we are going to be talking about this one for years to come.

Never Wonder Land
Visually Interesting

This production to me is the what the Fringe is for: to try something new and then develop it more after. Over all, there were some lovely visual moments. But the narrative structure was lacking. So I hope that the creators continue with the piece: define the "story" and refine the physicality, which at times felt disconnected from the action and each other. Oh! Michael Terrell Brown is fantastic. He has a great personality and text technique, he really made the show's quasi-poetic language clear and full of purpose.

The Last Bombardment
Amazing Ideas

The show's concept is fascinating and unique - which is the hardest part at times. However, I felt the two biggest places for improvement are the transitions and the overall pacing of the action. But the ensemble really created a brilliant allegory/fable/story/myth...err..whatever word you want to use. Kudos all around!


What a lovely spoken world play. Funny but though-provoking. San Del's writing is full of wit, charm, and technical prowess. Although at times I felt that his writing would be better served on a page rather a stage, I enjoyed it nonetheless. And I learned that "spec fiction" is a thing! Job well done!

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
As always, very funny

As always, these Twin Cities comedian icons shine through the marriage vignettes. Funny, heartfelt, and personal are ingredients for a good hour of laughs. Just, maybe next year, they'll try something new.

Good start but needs more

It is so refreshing to see a drama at the MN Fringe! My biggest critic is that this play needs to be a full-length. I cannot wait to see where this script goes!

Live From New York, He's A Prom Date!
Why I love the Fringe

These types of shows are what the Fringe is for. No where else can you see an actor and her one person show about a unique aspect of her childhood; this personal connection really emphasized the humor and poignancy. Funny and full of heart , this production - to me - is why we need the Minnesota Fringe. Bravo to all involved! You've earned it.

Playwrights on a Train
Lost opportunity

This play was a missed opportunity for me. The concept was interesting but lacked performance and narrative. While I enjoyed how the ensemble characters were used, the show was ill-paced and became a lecture about playwrighting rather than a riveting noir. Maybe those who are detective aficionados will enjoy it more than me!

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical
Donuts for Dinner

This show was funny, don't get me wrong, but it was basically one massive cultural reference. The score was simple and the lyrics were basic, which is disappointing given how delightfully nuanced their first hit, The Oregon Trail, was. That production was nuanced and well-staged while this production felt rushed. Don't get me wrong, I laughed a lot, but wanted some technique to the comedy. But in the end, I found true enjoyment from watching every person on that stage having an amazing time. And that is all a production needs to be a smash hit!

De Hjerteløse [The Heartless]
Lovely on the surface

I wouldn't necessarily take this adaptation of Norse mythology as the most accurate representation of it, but over all the production worked...mostly. At times the "devisey" style was pretty standard and expected but was solid and clear. The script came across as stoic and stilted however. I noticed that the director also performed in the piece. It would be interesting to see if she was completely on the outside - at times the blocking/staging seemed so focus on the central action that those not "involved" in that action seemed lost on stage. But of course any production truly generated by the ensemble is a to be admired; I will have WAR Theater on my list to watch out for Fringes to come.