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!

Close this

Showtimes

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

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.

Close this

Andy Rakerd

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
25-34 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Drama


Andy Rakerd's reviews

Dead Silence
Powerful Debut

This is a strong first showing for an up-and-coming company. Strong writing with a poetry motif that brilliantly channeled through some talented performers. I was also impressed with their creative staging and lighting in such an intimate space. It's a hard drama, which is a rarity for the Fringe. Go in braced for that, and you'll see something really special.

The Second Banana Revolt!
Great message!

I found the preview for this show to be a bit confusing, but don't let that keep you away. This is a great show! The cast has a ton of energy, and the show has plenty of catchy tunes and comedic irony. Emily Anderson is great as Jack!

Facility
Chilling

This play shows us a different kind of horror; one we might all unfortunately face one day. Imagined Theatre, which produced The Pound last year, shows off its versatility with this production. With powerful performances from the cast, they can disturb as well as entertain. Go see it, but brace for intensity!

Subpar Heroes
Don't bring the kids!

I was a fan of Renegade Theater while I lived in Duluth and was pleased to see one of their works again. This show is raunchy, yet clever, and has a surprisingly catchy theme song! The cast is both strong and energetic, and the ridiculous plot takes plenty of twists and turns. Go see it!

DUNGEON
Hit the Lights

Wow! I saw this without planning to and was blown away. These people tell a beautiful tale with lights and sound that is both creepy and heartfelt. Add this to your schedule!

Wellstone: A Minnesotan Musical
Important Bio-Musical

This was a powerful tribute to a Minnesota icon. This is a lot different from anything else I've seen this year. The show has catchy tunes, honestly-acted portrayals of real-life politicians, and political commentary that still resonates today. I learned a lot, and if you consider yourself a Minnesotan, this is a story you should know.

First Year Queer
Be you!

This show is more seminar than performance, but it has a message that everyone in the modern world needs to hear. Lyssa Sparrow is at times self-deprecating, empowering, and instructive. There's a healthy blend of comedy and social commentary. The message is clear: love who you want to love and respect others for loving. Or, as Sparrow puts it, "Don't 'yuck' anyone's 'yum.'"

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
They rolled a twenty

I do not exaggerate: this is the best longform improv I have ever seen! They made me feel things, damn it! Go see it!

Code: L-O-V-E
Cool adaptation

I loved this retelling of Cyrano with a modern backdrop and a fair bit of gender-swapping. It's cleverly executed, and well-written and acted.

Gravitational Collapse
Is there more?

This has some clever writing that incorporates intriguing philosophical concepts in a sci-fi setting. It also features an all-female cast of strong characters. I was into it, and was somewhat disappointed by an abrupt ending that left several plot lines unresolved. Still, I like what was going on here. It grabs your attention early and invokes your imagination.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
I wanted a water pistol...

This show is pretty hilarious with it's clever physical bits and a spot-on riff on the Stage Manager from Our Town. I felt the concept grew slightly tired toward the end, but not before I'd thoroughly laughed like hell.

A Pocketful of Jewels: Dance Gems from North Africa & the Near East
Educational

I wandered into this one and random. Dance isn't usually my thing, but I felt like this was a different kind of cultural experience. What makes it is the MC; she is extremely knowledgable and charming. She also seems to be a Jill-of-all-trades when it comes to instrumentalism. The dances were mostly great, though not quite to professional-grade. Go for the history lesson if nothing else!

The Last Bombardment
Haunting

I love horror, and it's in short supply at the Fringe. This show does it well, and was delightfully disturbing. It's an ambitious project with a large cast playing multiple parts in this small town, and the performance was pretty seamless. I did think some scenes could have been cut or reduced in favor of focusing on some of the more principal characters. (In particular, there was a telephone montage sequence that went longer than necessary.) The good stuff was REALLY good though. Go see this!

Sean Neely
Fairly restrained, actually.

Neely has been getting a lot of negative press because of his performance from two years ago, with dealt with sexual assault and rape. I saw it, and while I'm heartily against censorship in the Fringe, I personally thought it was in extremely poor taste. This show, though following the same format, is somewhat less so. Neely blurs the lines between fiction and reality in his signature fashion, and courageously helps to raise awareness about a serious mental illness. I can understand why some our offended, but it's worth noting that at least this time around he attempts to start a dialogue without threatening violence. Credit where credit is due.

Blood Debt
Torture porn and social commentary!

I want to start with a commendation to the actors, who carry on with heavy intensity for a solid hour! As for the writing, the commentary on income inequality was a bit heavy handed at times, but otherwise dynamic. The show leaves you wondering who the real villain is. See it if you have an appetite for blood in your Fringe diet.

The Mystery
Better as a short story?

The writing was pretty engaging. The presentation, not so much. I didn't beleive the character, and a strange choice in costuming didn't help much. While there some moments of intrigue and intensity, I more often found my mind wandering during this lecture-style tale.


Andy Rakerd's Queue

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_grey

"___________"

by Little Oblivion Theatre

Jungle Theater  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purple

Bear Eats Bear

by The Last Grizzly

Kenwood Community Center  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_greystar_grey

Blood Debt

by Degenerate Theatre

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purple

The Buttslasher

by New Endeavors

Ritz Studio  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_grey

Code: L-O-V-E

by Highlander Kitty

Crane  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purple

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!

by Weggel-Reed Productions

Rarig Thrust  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_grey

En Passant

by McGo Productions

Jungle Theater  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purple

Facility

by Imagined Theatre

Rarig Arena  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_grey

First Year Queer

by Sparrow Productions

Intermedia  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purple

Knifeslingin'!

by The Theatre Cosmic

HUGE  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purple

One Foot

by Langston Theatre Company

Strike Theater  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_grey

Patriot/Traitor

by Society for the Preservation of Gravity

Ritz Mainstage  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purple

Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heave...

by Ferrari McSpeedy Theatrical Productions

Ritz Studio  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_grey

Subpar Heroes

by Renegade Theater Company

Southern  

show image
star_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_purplestar_grey

The Second Banana Revolt!

by Far From The Tree

Rarig Thrust  

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Sunrise Banks