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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Bryn Tanner

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
25-34 years old
Lives in... Suburbs
Favorite genre: Musical Theater


Bryn Tanner's reviews

Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler
Sharp as a tack

This is one of those Fringe shows that sells you on its utterly bizarre concept and executes it flawlessly. The time travel gimmick is utilized well and the satire is spot on. Highly recommended if you have any investment in politics.

Knifeslingin'!
A cut above the rest

I was expecting some goofiness and I certainly got it. Stellar performance from the playwright and star that really sells much of the comedy. I was disarmed by the show's segue into heavier subject matter, but ultimately found this only enriched the experience. And it finished with 20 seconds left on the clock - talk about efficiency!

Skins
Very artistic

Stirring performances and some creative puppetry - definitely worth seeing if you're into the "something else" camp of Fringe shows.

Facebook Lite
Cute concept, loses steam

Dylan Olmsted does a good job selling us on Facebook's Orwellian cousin, Facebook Lite. I like the idea of a company orientation for a play, but I feel it was stretched a little thin. Some good satire and I really enjoyed the actress who played Bev.

Mayor Lear of Townsville
Interesting

I came into this much more as a Powerpuff Girls fan than Shakespeare, but I still got plenty of enjoyment out of the show from that angle. I felt sometimes the King Lear elements were at odds with the rest of the show. Mayor/MoJo was easily the standout of the cast, and I wish everyone else had been able to match her energy. The technical elements helped sell a lot of the humor in a show that ended up being much dryer than I anticipated. Definitely the kind of show that captures the essence of Fringe.

Repertoire Dogs
A good time

Some of the impressions were a little shaky, but overall we enjoyed ourselves. Not much else to say given the improv nature of the show.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
Not bad

If you're a Star Wars fan (who isn't?) you'll probably get some enjoyment out of the more skit-based material. But I didn't find the glue that held the story together - the suggestion that Obi-Wan masterminded the plot of the original trilogy - all that compelling, and I wish Obi himself had been more dynamic. Like I said, if you're a Star Wars fan it's a solid romp. Special attention to R2's impressive footwork.


Bryn Tanner's Queue

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Gruesome Playground Injuries

by Mosaic Productions

HUGE  

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Knifeslingin'!

by The Theatre Cosmic

HUGE  

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Repertoire Dogs

by Ideal Productions

Mixed Blood  

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Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler

by Katherine Glover Presents

Strike Theater  

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Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL

by Turd Spout Productions

Phoenix  

Sunrise Banks