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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Dylan Olmsted's reviews

Sean Neely
Did what it Intended (I think...)

I'm giving this 5 stars because I think that it did what it attempted, namely to make you question whether or not what he said was true because it was quite believable. It also made me think about what theatre IS which is an accomplishment in and of itself. The controversy is quite overblown.

Blackout Improv
Hilarious and information.

I never got a chance to see this troupe before tonight, but now I will definitely seek more chances. As a white guy, some of the issues talked about were things that at best I was just kind of aware of, so I really appreciated the discussions and how those influenced the skits. Well worth going to.

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Love His Face

This man's face is rubber. I haven't had a chance to see him perform before, but this show was a lot of fun. People who haven't seen "Stranger Things" on Netflix probably won't get much out of it, though, and in my case it was kind of an experience of thinking back on something I haven't watched in a while, but he pokes fun at a lot of the things that bothered me and it seems to be a loving parody.

Waiting for Gygax
Most Fun I've Had In a Long Time

This show if great. The performances are great. The characters are great, if a little on the "stock" side. The jokes were funny. I haven't laughed this hard or enjoyed something this much in quite a while. I'm gushing. See this!

Very Good, but Hard to Watch

This show is very emotional and kind of a bummer. It's supposed to be that way. I was very moved and the topic hit close to home. To say I "liked" it would be the wrong word, but I'd give the writing and the performance an A+.

Full Metal Rabbit
Thoroughly enjoyable

I laughed so hard at so much of this. It's just the right amount of use of 80s action movie clichés for anyone who has a soft spot for the genre. The bunny one liners were also great. The only thing that REALLY bothered me was that they kept calling a bass a "guitar." For shame.

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

This was more or less what I expected when Penny handed me a flier about two hours earlier (proving that that method of advertising works), but of course it's the specifics that are the reason to listen to these stories. The moment with her mother and the moment in the gas station will both stick with me, as they were both so moving, and Penny has an excellent sense of humor. Go see this.

Wellstone: A Minnesotan Musical
I want a full version

I think that the beginning (a series of short scenes) was a little clunky. I think it would have worked better as a musical number seeing as how the first musical number comes unusually late for a musical and that this sort of time compression tends to feel less jarring in the context of a song rather than short scenes. Otherwise, it was paced pretty well and had me laughing or getting misty eyed at the appropriate parts. I want to see a more fleshed out version with more instrumentation, but for the limitations required by Fringe, this was pretty good.

Challenging the Audience

This show asks a LOT of its audience and it certainly isn't everyone's cup of tea. That said, while it takes a while to put the pieces together, everything connects at least in thematic ways. It reminds me a lot of going to a theatre college because I could easily see individual scenes assigned to work on "tasking" or I could see spending a few days of class analyzing and discussing the themes. Also, I have to say that the performances are pretty damn good. They make eating cereal compelling.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Inventively Told

This comes across at times as if it's being told by children who keep getting ahead of themselves. I think that was the intention. I knew a bit about the Fox sisters beforehand, so I was a little on the side of "oh yeah, these frauds," but this humanized them for me.

Subpar Heroes
Abrupt Ending

If someone were to tell me that this was a full length play cut down into an hour, I would absolutely believe that. It moves very fast and ends very quickly making me wonder where the time went. That said, it's very funny and enjoyable. I don't personally like the "man rape as a joke" trope for personal reasons, but besides that, it's the type of humor I love and expect from Renegade.

Thor: Jurassic Park
Doesn't Work

The idea of putting superheros into another established story is actually a very comic-book idea (like "Batman/Elmer Fudd" which is indeed a real comic), but there I just get the impression that the writers didn't really "get" the characters or plots they were adapting and were shoe-horning in their own social agendas. That would be fine if it was interwoven into the narrative, but the play just STOPS to preach to the audience a few times about a trope or a subject that has nothing to do with the story or characters they are adapting. I did like the pterodactyls, though, and I laughed a few times. The kids were good.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
Kind of Hated It

I've let this ruminate with me for a couple days, and although I really liked some of the acting (especially from the Matts in the cast) and I enjoyed some of the ideas, this was just not the right approach. The fourth wall breaking was painful (save for one or two behind the scenes Star Wars jokes that I liked) and the "translating" scenes were pretty badly implemented. Because it's in the round and they are facing opposite directions, you can only hear about half of the "translation" and the other half the time you are hearing R2's beeps or Chewie's growls when one or the other was facing you in the audience. It has POTENTIAL, but it needs reworking.

Eide Bailly