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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JoAnn W. Pasternack

Lives in... Suburbs


JoAnn W. Pasternack's reviews

Playwrights on a Train
Tightly constructed mystery

This was a filler for me, between shows I really wanted to see, and it turned out to be one of my faves. Well written, cast, directed, and acted. Any tech snafus that might have occurred earlier were overcome. Appropriate foreshadowing of final twist in plot did not give away the end. Go see it; good entertainment.

Our Boy
Top show of my 2017 Fringe!!!

The script was spot on in addressing this disturbing and important topic. And the Wintersteens acted it perfectly. Excellent use of the venue, too. A MUST SEE for every parent, every teenager, and everyone else. I can't praise it enough.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
Entertaining and fun, some slow moments

Cute take on the original movie. Scenes with Han Solo were funny, but somewhat overdone. Standout acting by Heather Jo Raiter who stole the show as R2D2. Worth your time.

Spec
A+ creativity and imagination

Ben San Del presented a group of amazing sci fi stories. Good use of the venue, despite it being one guy talking for an hour. Clearly he did his homework to prepare the Cage. With his amazing choice of words, sentence structure, and flow of thoughts, I would have liked to read these stories, so I could stop to enjoy the literary value. It was a little hard for me to focus for the whole hour of dense material. Maybe a slower delivery would help. Definitely plan to go, even if you are not a sci fi fan. (I'm not)

Making It Home
A perspective to consider

While the family needed a little more direction, especially to project their voices and speak slowly, the miscues and misunderstandings illustrate the difficulty of anyone in a strange country. Hearing them first-hand makes it easier to relate. The "narrator's" data on U.S. refugee policies and his experiences as a new Minnesota provided context. Worth your time, but try to sit in the front so you can hear. I agree that this is not the best venue for this show.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
A new twist on "classical" music

Creative choreography accompanies musical pieces played on standard and not so standard instruments by this VERY TALENTED trio. A real crowd pleaser. Don't miss it!

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Lotsa laughs

Cute idea, but execution was amateurish. That said, it was funny. Sit close so you can hear the lines.

Wellstone: A Minnesotan Musical
Ho hum

I had great hopes for this show, but the acting and singing were not exceptional, and couldn't overcome the weak script. They could have given GW Bush his Texas accent and provided songs for Sheila Wellstone in her range. Truly, I wanted to love it, but was disappointed.


Sunrise Banks