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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Austin Robinson-Coolidge

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
35-44 years old
Lives in... Greater MN
Favorite genre: Comedy

Austin Robinson-Coolidge's reviews

Much Ado About Nothing (as told by Dogberry and Verges)

Funny, clear, tightly written, and beautifully performed. Just an excellent show!

Well done, but hard to watch

This is a very well done show about how we treat our elderly and the choices we're face with. The actor playing Lionel, in particular, is incredible. Very moving.

The Pursuit of Awesome
David Harris is AWESOME

Funny and engaging. David Harris has a rockin' soundtrack and is committed to this show. And he can juggle upside down!

FUNKiN' Good Time

Go. See. This. Show. This was an amazing, high energy, incredibly well done show. I have no idea how they move like that! Definitely go see this!

Gruesome Playground Injuries
Well done

Interesting and very well done.

Out of the Shadows
Unbelievably Good

This is far and away the best dance I've ever seen at the Fringe, and is among the best dance I've seen anywhere, ever. A truly amazing show - quite possibly the best show in this year's festival.

A Resister's Handbook (for holding onto optimism in shitty times)
Excellent and compelling

This is less of a handbook and more of a memoir, but either way, it's excellent.

The Best of All Possible Worlds
Funny and honest

David Mann is a very polished performer - this was one of the tightest shows I've seen this year - and his material is a funny and honest look at what we learn about life as we get older. Highly recommended.

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Very funny!

Great physical comedy and funny script. The actors are great, and the singing is good. Andy Kraft in particular is one of my favorite people to watch at Fringe - his timing and comedy are excellent.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Funny! (And maybe educational)

This is a very funny show with snippets of good advice about how to NOT die in Yosemite. Recommended!

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
Amazing, as always

This is a must-see show. The trio puts on an amazing performance, full of fun, action, and great music. Great for all ages! If you only see one show this year, make it this one.

The Zoo Story (New Version)
Excellent production!

These two actors did an amazing job with this show. Carrying a show with only two people is demanding and difficult, and they do it with aplomb. Samuel Ahern's Jerry, in particular, was fantastic.

It's About Love Again This Year
Lovely show!

Great dancing, great energy! Great way to spend an hour!

Sweet, gentle story

Great show. The mixture of poems and Where the Wild Things Are, combined with the brass quintet and the dancing, made a very sweet and touching show. It's tight, well-danced and acted, and the musicians are great. I would definitely recommend this one.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Amazing show!

Tightly written, beautifully acted, and a great story. This is my favorite show of the 19 I've seen so far. The rapport between the actors was great, and they sing well, too, for an added bonus. Definitely go see this one.

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL

Great, hilarious show! If you've seen even one episode of Stranger Things, you should definitely go see this one. The show does cover the entire first season, so there are spoilers. Tom Reed does an amazing job!


One of my favorite pieces in this year's Fringe. Well written, amazing dance, great staging. I loved this!

Repertoire Dogs
Funny and talented!

Live, unscripted comedy is hard to do well, but this group pulls it off with aplomb. My pop culture knowledge wasn't good enough to be able to identify every actor they did impressions of, but that didn't matter; their stage presence and skill made it well worth it anyway. Highly recommended - it was a great way to end the night.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Funny, inappropriate, and awesome!

This is a delightfully well written, well acted, and well sung original musical that is uproariously funny. Definitely worth your time - go see it!

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Definite Must-See

I went in with pretty much no expectations and was blown away. The script is tight, the actors were great, and the story is sweet and funny. Great show!

Spy in the House of Men: A One-Woman Show With Balls
Honest, funny, and wonderful

Penny's story about her life and journey is well-told, funny, and poignant. Definitely go see this one - it's well worth your time.

Visually Arresting and Wonderful!

This is a great show, and totally different from anything I've ever seen at Fringe. I had no idea you could do so much with a flashlight. Amazingly original and wonderful work!

The Fainting Room
Brave and ambitious

Funny, fearless, and ambitious. I felt it could have done more with the history of hysteria treatment and been a bit more focused.

Dame daDA & the Meta Show
Funny and topical

Dame daDA does an excellent job of getting the audience to participate, and she's quite funny and consistent. I enjoyed it, although it is fairly meta.

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Funny and relatable

Anyone who's lived through the madness of planning a wedding, getting married, and then figuring out how to live together will find something to relate to in this extremely funny show. It's a great showcase of MN comedic talent, and the pacing and variety are top-notch.

The Buttslasher
Silly, but well done

This is a silly send-up of 50's noir, and it does a good job of being that. There's not a lot of depth, but the point is to make you laugh, and it does that well.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Physical Comedy 101 - Hilarious

Excellent physical clowning. Joshua and Levi excel at this sort of humor, and this is a great showcase for their talents. Very much family friendly, too; the kids in the audience had a blast.

It Can't Happen Here
Well done

Dark view of a possible future, clearly written during a time of great anxiety about the rise of the Nazis.

Mayor Lear of Townsville

Definitely more Power Puff Girls than Shakespeare, but funny and well done. The mayor, in particular, is excellent.

Dancing with the Enemy (and Other Celebrations of Life)
Great dance and great guest artist

Fun and engaging dance pieces. I liked the premise under which they performed, and the guest artist was a powerful and engaging speaker.

Fool's Paradise
Interesting and powerful

Intriguing dance piece that makes an excellent use of the Bryant Lake Bowl space. The dancers are clearly committed to their craft, and the poetry was powerful.

Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
Funny and strange

Like the two previous Ferrari McSpeedy Productions shows I've seen, this one is funny, more than a little strange, and sort of hangs together. It's enjoyable to watch, but don't go in expecting depth.

Duality: Expression/Reflection
Interesting modern dance

Several very different pieces. I really enjoyed the show, and felt the dancers did a very good job. Some of the pieces worked better than others, but I liked them all.

Full Metal Rabbit

The show is funny overall, and there are some great moments, like the training montage, but I struggled to hear and understand a fair number of lines, and the references to Watership Down were pretty fleeting.

Flyer Guy
Needs more depth

Good storyteller, with good delivery and presentation. The stories were interesting and funny, but they didn't have enough depth, and there wasn't an arc tying the narratives together. I was disappointed because he's good enough that I wanted there to be more.

The Simple Mind of Dillon Magee
Solid story and acting

This is a tight, well-acted play. The three actors do an excellent job with the material, and it's a solid story. I wouldn't have minded more story, though.

Thor: Jurassic Park
Great concept, lackluster execution

The pterodactyls were the highlight. The rest of the show was high energy, but needed editing and stronger directing.

Bryant Lake Bowl