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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Richelle Amundson

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
45-54 years old
Lives in... Suburbs
Favorite genre: Comedy


Richelle Amundson's reviews

Spec
Thought it was amazing

The stories were captivating and the storytelling, for me, equally so. I spent this morning researching speculative fiction because if this show is any indication, I think I might be a fan.

[Enter the Narrator]
Kaufmanesque

Really loved the concept and performed well.

BOOMBOX.
Best of the Fringe for me

Amazingly talented. Her ability to share her at times cynical and at times very vulnerable observations about life with the audience through song, characters, and pantomime is jaw dropping. Beautiful.

Dead Silence
Moving

I had tears at the end that were hard to choke back and difficult to identify the source of. The play did an excellent portrayal of how we mask our hurt and either shut down connection or turn our pain on those we love in the form of anger.

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
Quick wit

Really funny improv with the DnD storytelling device a neat twist.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Fun

Really fun story and great singing.

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

Laughed out loud at the physical comedy.

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
We've all been there

...but it wasn't quite as funny as this show. Great talent telling great stories of love and battle.

Repertoire Dogs
Fun

Like being at a party with a group of really funny people.

A Pickle
Unexpected

This was a 'filler' show for me and turned out to be an unexpected gem. Wonderful story about discrimination and the courage to be yourself shared by a skilled actor.

The Pursuit of Awesome
My motivational hour

I did not realize walking in how much I would feel inspired by the end of the show to follow my own weird and quirky dreams. I am the mother to two boys and watching this show brought back the joy of watching my sons discover their place within the world through creativity and experimentation. It reminded me to never stop doing the same.

Knifeslingin'!
Guilty

...of putting on a hilarious show that had me laughing out loud. I think I have a little crush on Critter.

Blackout Improv
Thinking and playing

I enjoy going to lectures and panels on social issues, so the discussion among the group may have been even more enjoyable to me than the improv. They are a skilled group of performers and the improv interludes allowed for lighter space to laugh and play with the topics being discussed.

Sean Neely
Art

There was a man outside the theater protesting that the subject matter was not art, but evil. This was art, in my opinion. Art that was about reaching in and asking us to face what we would rather not look at in ourselves individually or socially. It was about choosing to be vulnerable and courageous with who we are-not just who we wold like people would see us as being. I was unsure in reflection about whether the story was personal confessional or dramatization of an imagined experience, but that feels beside the point. It was a plea for acceptance of those parts of us we feel ashamed of and have been shamed for, but remain with us all the same.

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Amazingly talented

Great talent having fun with a great show.

MEDUSA
Wow

I appreciated the program flyer that assisted in understanding the fuller story of Medusa told through the stunning sensory experience of dance, song, and fire under the evening sky. I was especially moved by the portrayal of the powerlessness of rape, the following despair and shunning, and then the transformation into the dangerous and defended experience of a more familiar Medusa. The presentation helped me to really feel that experience and transformation.

Code: L-O-V-E
Sweet romance

I like a good romance and this show met that need. I was captivated by the story and performance.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Wow

Amazing talent! I kept thinking about Chaplin and the other comedic greats of silent film era work. These guys have it and it was a joy to be part of it.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Romp in Yosemite

Enjoyed it. Brought the stories to life in a creative way.

A Resister's Handbook (for holding onto optimism in shitty times)
A glimpse into immigrant struggles

Through the eyes of a storyteller who experienced privilege and safety not experienced by those he has chosen to be an advocate for, he shares his sense of fear and agony when what he can accomplish on their behalf is not all he would hope for. However, his willingness to keep fighting despite the pain, or perhaps as a result of allowing himself to feel it, inspires.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Imagine an earlier time

It is a delightful trip back to before my time. I closed my eyes and imagined sitting in front of an old radio in a living room with my family, but occasionally popped my eyes open and watched the magic being made. Really enjoyable show by a very talented group of actors.

Mayor Lear of Townsville
Wonderfully well-done

I have never seen an episode of the Power Puff Girls and admittedly am not well-versed in King Lear. Yet, even with my lack of understanding of the references, this show captured me. The team has an amazing ability to create an entertaining tale, even for those of us who don't get all the jokes. I could tell by others' responses, that if you know the two sources being played on it would be even more enjoyable.

DUNGEON
ambitious and creative

So amazing! Their ability to use a few simple tools, light, voice, and their physical presence to leave you feeling like you were watching a live-action video game was amazing.

Gruesome Playground Injuries
really well-done

A drama about people's wounds and how two people are wrapped together through them. No quibbles with the performance at all - found it impressively performed. Regarding the story, I was left feeling it may have celebrated a co-dependently entwined relationship more than I personally was comfortable sitting with at the end.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
Delightful

I had heard a lot about this show going in, so expectations were high. It was a really delightful performance, showcasing an impressive range of talent.

Small Time Dicks
I want a sequel

It could have used a bit more tightening in some places, but I thought the buddy cop banter with the two detectives was so funny. I would definitely be on board for a sequel.

Dame daDA & the Meta Show
Don't be scared

Yes, you will have the opportunity to participate, and laugh, and think about how you think.

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical
So clever

Loved the story and writing. Issues with sound made it difficult to hear much of the actors when there was piano accompaniment. Some performer, but generally enjoyable.

The Buttslasher
Punny!

Film noir style story as if written by Bart Simpson. Well worth seeing.

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Sweet and engaging

Really great story and performance.

"1967"
Takes you to a time

The storytelling and songs take you to a time through the experience of the storytellers.

The Masque of Power
Found the message in there

I found the presentation to be distracting and confusing, but I do acknowledge that I think they were successful through their chosen communication style in getting across a good message about our own role in social power dynamics.

The Murmur of Murder
Cute concept and fun wordplay

There were some weak spots in both the content and execution, but overall, I actually really liked it.

Pinocchio
Cute

Pinocchio and Jiminy were the stars for me. Overall, not as funny as I would enjoy for a comedy nor as thought-provoking as I like in a drama. In the end though, worth the view.

The Second Banana Revolt!
Sweet

Felt like a small community play (a feeling enhanced by likely being in an audience of friends and family members), but an endearing one where you felt part of the community.

Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
Fun show

Vaudeville feel with loosely connected singing, dancing, and comedy throughout.

Synchronicity
Nope

Didn't love it. Just felt silly to me and not in a good way.

Hot Air
So.much.potential

I really want to like this show more, even as I continue to reflect. The speed of delivery; the use of light, shadow, and physical comedy all appealed, but in the end it was loud and hard to follow. With some polishing, it could be a gem.

A Bollywood Twistery
I didn't love it

I would have preferred more of the show to be dancing and a bit more coherence between the story (which was cute) and the dancing.


Cedar Printing