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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Jacob Gulliver's reviews

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Completely Unique

This show is artful in ways other shows strive to be. The concept is wonderful, and the use of space and props is brilliantly inventive. The cast is captivating, don't miss this one.

DUNGEON
"What?!"

This show is so good! It's completely indescribable, though I'll try. A skillful blend of shadow puppetry, mime work, and an ingenious use of handheld lights. The story is simple, but the journey is wild! You absolutely must go see this show!

Dick White: Ghost Detective
So Meta

Some great jokes here - it's unchained meta humor thats so dumb it goes all the way back around to clever. Great commitment to the bit by the whole cast. Definitely worth a watch if you like self-referential, goofy humor.

The Perils of Steve
Live Action Cartoon

This was very fun. It felt like a spontaneous and sexy live-action cartoon, with the actors working their butts off to deliver fast physical comedy and role after campy role. Definitely worth a watch if you love slapstick, funny voices, or send-ups of the spy genre.

DANCING BARE FEET
Come for the dancing and costumes

This was a very fun show, and it had a unique style - the attention to detail on the set pieces and costumes was really a treat. I feel the dialogue hurt this show the most, with some awkward lines and strange phrasings taking me out of the moment from time to time, but to be honest, the story wasn't the centerpiece of this show. The show was driven by skillful and passionate dancing from the performers, and that's the real reason to go see this.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
Some good moments

This is a situation where the 1-5 star rating system doesn't really capture what I want to say. There were some great things about this piece, some of the moments of parody and the impassioned performances were really fun and enjoyable. The droids and Palpatine were particularly compelling, and I wish they'd been given something a little more concise to work with. The main trouble with this is the script - the concept is unique and there are many interesting moments in it, but it is ultimately trying to do way too much. I found myself frustrated to see elements from the EU Star Wars books - as though were canonical, surely confusing for non-fans. This show is performed with much passion, but it ultimately feels very scattered.

Katie Versus The Devils
Unique concept at glacial pace

This is a great concept, with some solid old-school dialogue - believable for the setting. The costumes and the performances were good, and I commend the cast for their work. The dialogue felt very long-winded, and there was a lot of times where I was wishing for the scene to end long before it did. Worth the watch if you like classical theater or religious alt-history.


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