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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Richard Heise's reviews

Out of the Shadows
Beautiful

If you like dance this is a must see. Beautiful choreography and movement. John Munger would have given this performance ten stars.

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Hillarious

Just what you would expect considering the cast and writer. I think it was better than "Couples Fight" and Couples Fight 2.

The Last Bombardment
Electrifying and somewhat chilling

Beautifully done even though it has a rather horrifying ending. The lack of any props was nicely overcome by the performers. If you like drama or horror put it on your list to see.

The Well
Exceptional

Short but very well done. The cast did an exceptional job. If you like horror this is a must see.

Pope Joan
Very well done

They must have gotten their early problems fixed. The performance I saw was very good. Very interesting premise. Really enjoyable.

Whisper Into My Good Ear
All to real

A bit chilling after you find out the premise of the two men'S encounter. Well done. I would highly recommend it.

Pinocchio
A different view of Pinocchio

Definitely not your Disney variety Pinocchio. A bit on the dark side. Well done and cute characterization.

Plan B
Hilarious

Fast paced and witty. Very enjoyable. One of the funniest shows I have seem in this years Fringe

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
A bit Farfetched but cutwe

The premise doesn't ring true but the show is cute and well done. Good for an hour of laughs.

FUNKiN' Good Time
High paced and thrilling

A really fun performance. High energy, almost makes you feel like you need a nap after they have finished.

The Buttslasher
Cute little piece

Maybe a bit slapstick and filled with cliches but very enjoyable. Really a cute performance well worth seeing.

Wellstone: A Minnesotan Musical
Could be one of the best of the Fringe

I was never a Wellstone supporter and would probably have never picked this show if I hadn't known several people involved with it. Found it very well written and produced. The performers all did an excellent job. Glad I knew people involved with the show and got to see it.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
Good light humor

A bit chaotic. Could be tightened up a bit but overall very enjoyable light humor.

Synchronicity
Cute little piece

Humor is a bit juvenile but the show was cute. A nice hour of relaxation.

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Worth your time

Cute performance by a young cast. Not the most polished performance I have seen but if you like light comedy I think you'll enjoy it.

Mine/Field
Nicely done dance piece

Really enjoyed the dancing. would have given it five stars except I felt they spend too much time lying on the floor playing with audience submitted cards. I realize that this gave them some rest time but it seemed a bit much.

Skins
Nicely done

Puppetry is not my genre but I thought they did a very nice job of using puppets and dolls to fill out the performance. It was cute a bit different and has a rather nasty twist. Not your typical fairy tale.

A Bollywood Twistery
Cute

Nicely done. The acting was good. Would have liked to have seem more dance.

Dame daDA & the Meta Show
Lite and fun

Witty and humorous. She likes to get the audience into the show so expect to participate

Wait...didn't Patrick's Cabaret close?
Typical Cabaret

What you'd expect from Patrick's. Varied and unique artistry. The three performers on Friday evening were excellent. I expect those at following performances will be also.

First Year Queer
Interesting and Informative

Done in several segments relating to her life and lifestyle. Seemed a bit disjointed. I think she could have tied the various segments together a bit better. It was, however, an enjoyable performance.

STRANGER
Eye opening

Not being Jewish I think I missed some of the symbolism. It was, however, an enjoyable performance by three very talented performers.

The Migraine Room (Photophobia)
Definitely different

I left the show with mixed emotions. It was interesting but confusing. Not sure I know what to think yet. One of those shows you have to digest for a while to get a real feel for it.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
WHAT DID YOU SAY?

Other than the sound level being deafening, which they should have corrected by their second show, the performance was good. I can't say it was enjoyable since it nearly blew my eardrums out thus the three star rating

Dick White: Ghost Detective
NO!

I thought about giving it two star but it kept getting worse. The humor, if you could even call it humor, was childish. I wouldn't recommend this show to anyone over about the age of ten. I tried extremely hard to find something positive to say about the show. Sorry, but to be brutally honest there was nothing.


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