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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Hailey Colwell

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
21-24 years old
Lives in... Saint Paul
Favorite genre: Comedy

Hailey Colwell's reviews

Not your Godfather's Pinocchio (wait...)

Sheep Theater brings it again with this hilarious twist on 'Pinocchio.' It had me engaged, laughing, muttering "what the ..." and most of all just enjoying the fast-paced, cinematic story. John Hilsen's score added both magic and creepiness. Robb Goetzke was perfect as the title role, and supported by a tight cast. It was dark, ridiculous, intelligent, and often poignant. If you haven't seen a Sheep Theater show, this is a great introduction and if you have, this one will not disappoint!


This show was unlike anything I have seen before. The company's use of found objects and darkness to create suspense was amazing. It truly was an experience from start to finish.

Out of the Shadows

Even more stunning than Gabriel's dancing was the genuineness of his story and how he told it. It was a gift to watch and listen to him share his thoughts and experiences, and he wove them together in a charming, humorous and touching way. Go see this show.

Gruesome Playground Injuries
Good to the point of overdone

The actors had wonderful chemistry and brought a lot to the tense, dark and sometimes funny script " especially at the beginning. But what started out as an intriguing look into two friends' relationship fell into a predictable pattern about halfway through, and even the strong actors could not sustain it. Overall, it was a pretty good take on a [pre-existing, published] drama, but the drama became too heavy-handed to totally accept it.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities

The energy was high, the performers into it and there were lots of really fitting jokes. Both silly and chaotic, it also made some interesting insights. I don't think it matters if you're a millennial or if you're familiar with Sex in the City or Broad City " it's a thoroughly funny and enjoyable show.

The Banana Wars
A few too many threads

Intelligent, informative, witty, and even funny, The Banana Wars tells an important story. Derek pulled on an ambitious number of threads to tell it, and I think cutting back on some of them would have allowed him room to focus on the heart of the issue, and to vary the pace. So much [useful, interesting] information was thrown at us, but I was left wanting to hear more about the human impact of the banana wars " namely, about the farmers who suffer because of everything he spent the hour talking about.


The fire, loud music and awesome projections made this show fun to watch. The dancing, singing and storytelling were far less captivating. I wonder what would have happened if all of the work that went into producing the show (and outside!) had gone into just telling the story.

Mayor Lear of Townsville
Did not live up to the premise

The concept of the show was funnier than the show itself. There were cool projections, it was well-cast, and there was an interesting doubling of characters. But in forcing the Lear/Powerpuff story lines together, the show lost out on really bringing either of them to life. It's a silly Fringe mash-up; go if that's your thing.

Hailey Colwell's Queue