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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Justin Betancourt

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


Justin Betancourt's reviews

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
Awesome as Always

The Bearded men always deliver a hilarious show. This show is no exception, from the start they get the audience involved and let them know all they need to know about the D&D dice system. They then launch into an adventure that will keep the audience laughing and engaged the whole time. I strongly suggest checking them out not only at Fringe but at HUGE Theater where they regularly perform.

Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler
History, Humor, Time Travel

Ever wish you could see a president travel through time and see what this country has become? The time has come. This show is quirky and fun, and educational. You're hearing real quotes from the former president while also joining 2 quirky time travelers exploring what they feel is most important. The acting in this show is silly and very well done. If you want to have fun and go on a journey through time with 40th president get yourself to strike this Fringe.

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical
SEE THIS SHOW!

This show was incredible. A fun plot with great music, great acting and a great story. This company always puts on great musicals every year and this one is no exception. The whole cast is quirky and hilarious and the whole show is delightfully self aware and very clever. Overall this show is a lot of fun and if you want a show that will leave you smiling and humming the tunes after the show, this is it.

Mayor Lear of Townsville
AMAZING!

This show was incredible. I am a fan of both Shakespeare and Powerpuff girls and this show did not disappoint. It captures the spirit of the cartoon while telling the story of Lear. I was smiling the entire time and would call this show a must see for this years Fringe. The background was projections of cartoon backgrounds that worked incredibly and added a ton to the overall feel of the show. The cast was the best part of this show. Every character from the classic cartoon came to life, the mayor was goofy, Buttercup was strong, and Bubbles was, well, Bubbles. Overall amazing show. Do yourself a favor and check it out!

The Well
Dark Slice of Life

This play shows horror by not focusing on an actual monster but by showing the fear a person can create in their mind from the unknown. We see the fear of a raiding party that is being picked off one by one. The real shining star of this show is the acting. The actors are completely invested in the characters and have a Scottish accent that is consistent and not distracting. While the show isn't without it's faults this is a very entertaining show that will leave you unsettled at the end. I enjoy the horror genre at Fringe and this dark show would be good to see if you like the horror genre.


Humble Cup