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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Sarah JL

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
25-34 years old
Lives in... Saint Paul
Favorite genre: Musical Theater

Sarah Lanners' reviews

Powerful performers

The actors were all committed fully, and truly became their characters. Great chemistry between actors and solid use of the arena space. I wish the storyline/script would have had a bit more of an arc, but I would see it again just to watch these actors work together. Not a weak link on stage.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
just the coolest

This group of musicians are three of the coolest people around. There is not a show like this anywhere else; it's such a great idea and so original. What a treat.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Beautiful, simply beautiful.

I am always a fan of Boo Segersin's performances, and with Kayla Dvorak Feld, the two make a wonderful pair. Their performances were honest, making us laugh and cry, and the harmonies among the 4 primary cast members in their a cappella singing were perfectly haunting in just the right way. A very powerful true story full of intrigue. I'd say it's a must-see, and possible reserve as the space is small!

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
So fun

The lyrics to the songs made me laugh out loud constantly. The actors had great voices, the musicians were extremely talented, a hilarious concept--fans of the film Drop Dead Gorgeous would love it.

Facebook Lite
Lots and lots of laughs

A terrific example of a true ensemble piece. All the actors worked together to present something that was fun, funny, and thought-provoking. And Amy Burge as Bev may be my favorite character to appear in Fringe show this year.

Spy in the House of Men: A One-Woman Show With Balls

This show is the perfect example of why Fringe is amazing. Penny is a fabulous storyteller. Her story is so compelling, and the way she delivers it is top notch. Thank you Penny, for sharing your story with audiences.

Be Your Selfie!

The preshow videos were a real treat, leading into a video-driven show. I wish that I could have seen more live from the three actors, who were all quite talented. A fun show!

well done

This performance was well acted (Stromboli and Jiminy Cricket in particular) and the live music was phenomenal. However, sometimes the music made me feel like the show was extremely intense when I wanted to be laughing, or vice versa. I love the take on the classic story, but I wasn't sure how I was supposed to feel during it. And that's probably okay.

Great idea!

I love the idea behind this show; it is dangerously close to our reliance on technology and I love that. The stylized movement complimented the story well; I didn't quite know which character(s) I was supposed to focus on--perhaps making one storyline more prominent would be helpful.

Dick White: Ghost Detective
I wanted to like this

I read the reviews of this show and knew it would be silly going into it, and while the audience was laughing, I wasn't (I did a few times, but not as much as I had hoped). I wish that the actors would have taken their show a bit more seriously, committing fully to their goofy jokes and schticks. Be goofy, but own the goofiness!

Joia Spirit