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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Bailey H.

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

Bailey H.'s reviews

Our Boy
Committed performance.

This show was absolutely fantastic. I expected the son to be apart of the show based on the picture, to he honest I expected something completely different. It was so much better than what I had imagined it was going to be. I loved that it was in real time and that you were living through the conversation with the characters. I felt like I was there in that living room. Cast was phenomenal. This is exactly what Fringe should be. Relevant. Impactful. Necessary.

His Name Doesn't Matter
Fantastic connection.

This performance was funny, heartfelt, and so relatable. I felt like Spencer and Amie were my best friends. It's like they're talking just to you; you feel everything they're feeling as if you experienced it yourself. This is a must see!

The Zoo Story (New Version)
Compelling from the beginning.

I've never seen or read this play before, so I didn't know what to expect. I left feeling that I learned something but wasn't sure what it was, and that's how you know you saw something good. I felt like I had to go home and write a paper about it for school. Fantastic acting from the beginning to the end. Jerry's countless monologues were superb and Peter stayed engaged throughout, fabulous, fabulous acting.

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
I believed!

I've seen 11 fringe shows so far, and this is by far my favorite. I only wish it was a full length play, because I didn't want it to be over. All of the characters were so much fun, the humor was refreshing and not kitschy. I had so much fun, I absolutely loved it. Bravo to the writers, the actors, it's obvious there was a lot of sweat put into making this one great. GO SEE THIS SHOW.

It's About Love Again This Year
My first dance show.

I've never seen a dance show ever - not even outside of fringe. To be honest, I thought I'd be bored because dance really isn't my thing, but I found myself getting choked up watching this. It was so positive, so free. I loved it. Woman in the dark purple dress was my favorite.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Job well done!

It is so obvious the performers/writer's heart and soul went into making this a fantastic production. Staging, music, costumes, pace, acting... all were impeccable. It was an experience from the beginning to the end, there was never a dull moment. I love theatre that teaches me something about the past while also entertaining me, and this play inspired me to look into the Fox sisters! Fabulous theatre, don't miss this one!

Holy crap.

That was so cool. I can't really say more than already has been said, but that was awesome. I felt like I was in a video game. By the end up it, I realized I had been clenching a lot of my muscles in anticipation for an hour. There was so much to look at, and the use of plastic bags was so cool. I could easily have watched that for another hour. I won't say it's the best thing I've seen in all of fringe, but it is definitely the most unique.

Whisper Into My Good Ear

This show put me right in the middle of the park where these men sat. I didn't feel like I was watching theatre, I was listening in on their conversation. Honestly, at times I felt chilly, solely because they were acting as though it was winter so well, that I believed it was winter. I wanted to reach out and comfort them both. It's a relatable show and moving to watch.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners

This show was so much fun, like watching old cartoons. I seriously felt like I was witnessing Goofy and Donald in human form. The best part was the kids giggling in the front row. If children think it's good, it's gotta be!

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign

I literally don't know what to say. I could easily watch those guys every day. I wish they did shows every day (wouldn't that just be a fantastic way to spend a winter?) I wish I had seen all of their shows this fringe. Amazing, amazing, amazing. I don't remember the last time I laughed that much. Go see this show.

Awesome retelling!

I think a lot of us can agree, Pinocchio is a pretty boring movie. But this rendition made it so much cooler! Pinocchio himself was creepy, but endearing (talent!) and the supporting cast was energetic and earnest (Jiminy was a favorite.) Sheep theatre creates awesome work, look out for more from them.

Gruesome Playground Injuries
I love a good drama.

Interesting storyline, lots of layers, it was compelling, well-acted, and I lost myself in the hour. At times it was a tiny bit over dramatic, but then it would go back to being great. Dakotah is absolutely fantastic, I completely believed he was the character.

Clown with a big heart.

I was super excited to see this show; I've always loved Lloyd's performances at the Renaissance Festival. There was a lot of humor and heart in this show, but it wasn't quite as energetic as I've seen him do before. Still, all in all, a great show.

Drama in the house

I love family dramas. This play was a Mashup of August Osage County, Moonlight... One other I can't think of... I liked it, but agree with other reviews that at times the storyline was mushy. I think reordering some of the scenes would have been beneficial. I think this show needed more than an hour to fit everything in!

Code: L-O-V-E
"Kind"a fantastic

I usually don't like war dramas, only because I don't follow the stern, transatlantic, jargon heavy dialogue. It took me a little bit to warm up to this show, but by the end I was thoroughly entertained. The love story was truly compelling, even though I wasn't in love with the setting. Meredith Kind was fantastic. She stole the show.


Really nice performance value, you could tell the actors put in a lot of work in this show. I didn't go into it with any expectations, so I was pleased to learn something about JOC. The only qualm I had was that the whole show ended tied up with a bow - a "here's what you should have learned" type scene. I don't want to be told what I should be taking away from the performance. All in all, a good show.

Repertoire Dogs
Was that Tim Gunn?

So much fun! As a relatively young person, a lot of the impressions went over my head, but I still managed to laugh a lot (I liked the Muppets). Brad steals the show, what a national treasure. I agree with previous reviews, the audience suggestion segment was sort of awkward - people suggesting oddball impressions, impressionists unsure of how to do those impressions... Kinda awkward. But a fun show to get away from a lot of the dramas!

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical

While performance was cute! The RomCon song got stuck in my head, which was fun after the show was over. If you like romance comedies and fluffy happy shows, go see this one.

Real performance.

Great performance by Doc, he wasn't just acting, he was the character, which I appreciated. Joann had a strange accent, I couldn't understand what it was and it was inconsistent. I would have been pulled in entirely had that not been so distracting. All in all, a good show, wish it could have lasted longer!

[Enter the Narrator]
Cute premise.

I liked the multiple narrators and how they weaved into the story. It was an overall cute show. The ending got pretty confusing and garbled, like it had been thrown together last minute? But all in all I liked the show as a whole!

Melody Mendis is "Barbra"
Fab Bab

First things first, Melody is a fabulous impressionist. Her Barbra was spot on. If you like Barbra Streisand, go see this show. It's literally a concert of her greatest hits. Only two concerns - the first is that Melody would talk about her shows at Bryant Lake Bowl or Pride, but then talk about Barbra's career in first person. The breaking out of character was just a touch confusing - did she want to be Barbra, or Melody playing Barbra? At times, the back track swallowed her mic and I couldn't hear her, which was a bummer. She truly is a beautiful singer. Papa Can You Hear Me was gorgeous.

Good Kids
Drama drama drama drama

I liked the collective narrative performance and the subject matter is very important. Overall, I liked this show, but I wish it had more levels other than dramatic. I agree with the previous reviews that it shows like a teenager social justice meeting, with "like"s and "you know"s galore. I think with a touch of rework with the script, it can be even more effective. (the "she asked for it. It was rape." dialogue went on a little long.) And if the cast could move away from the jerky, over-presentational way of speech team acting, it could be a so much deeper, believable performance.

Mayor Lear of Townsville
Cartoons before bedtime!

This was the perfect show to see at 10:00 after a long day of fringing. I felt like I was watching cartoons before going to bed. The Mayor was the most amazing part of this show - so much energy and honesty - she wasn't acting, she WAS the mayor. So great. I loved the all-female cast.

The Simple Mind of Dillon Magee
Can there be more?

I was excited to see this show. The reviews were good and I love a good drama. Unfortunately I wasn't drawn into this show. The performances of the mom and the therapist were good, and there was an interesting storyline, but the whole thing was very stagnant. It ended pretty abruptly and I was left wanting more. I wish more could have been shown rather than told at the end.

Beyond Limits
Inspirational poster.

I had trouble connecting to this performance. I realize it's her story and it's important, but everyone seemed disconnected, even Nikki. One actress seemed bored. There was a Narrator, then there wasn't, then there was. It was all recited like reading a series of phrases off of an inspirational poster. I would have loved to hear more about her medical condition - as a dialogue, not a narration. So much could have been shown instead of told.

Not what I thought...

I'm also in the minority, but I didn't like this show. I LOVE the Civil Rights Movement, so I expected to hear a lot about that, since 1967 is a huge time for Civil Rights. A couple of the storytellers touched on it, but mostly talked about themselves and love stories - not what I expected. I know they are all well known storytellers, but at times the performance seemed unrehearsed, like they were making it up as they went. The lights went off before any real conclusion was reached. I had such high hopes.

Full Metal Rabbit
What's going on?

So this may be because I've seen little to no war movies from the 80s, but I had no idea what was going on in this show. I liked the energy of the actors (especially Kit), but I was just so confused. Often times I couldn't hear what was going on or couldn't understand the actors (I was sitting in the 2nd row). I wish there had been more of a set up and exposition, the story just sort of started already in progress. And as someone who isn't familiar with these movies, it was tough to catch up.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi

I love Star Wars. That's why I and I assume many others came to see this show. But I agree with other reviews, it really seemed like a bunch of people got together to dress up as Star Wars characters and act out the first three movies. It was just one giant summary. The Obi-Wan monologues made the whole thing seem like it was supposed to be a drama, but it was a comedy...? The Greedo/Han scene was funny, but honestly I didn't laugh for the whole thing. And I love Star Wars.

Wish You Were Her
You know, like, right?

I really didn't like this show. I realize it is stand up comedy, but there was no storyline at all. He begins talking about his ex, their relationship and then their breakup. And then immediately talks about all the girls he's fucked, how big his penis is, and how one time a gay guy wanted to kiss him. Being a woman in the audience, it was honestly uncomfortable. None of it was polished - at one point I started to count how many times he said "right?" after his jokes, but after I reached 25, I decided to count how many times he said "like" instead. Six people got up to leave before the end, and honestly I wish I had just not come at all.

Westside VW