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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Mitch Vosejpka's reviews

Sisyphus
Holy Hercules!

Hercules here is used to describe the strength shown throughout this show. Whether it was in the incredibly clever and charming writing, the hilarious and knee slapping humor, or simply in Christopher Allen's wonderful performance pulling everything together: go see this show! Christopher takes you from story to story with effortless flow (and some pretty decent vocals blended here and there too), conveying this hilariously human tale of a man climbing uphill.

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Jeepers Keepers!

This show is a keeper! Went in expecting good things and left blown away. This charming plot rose to its full potential in The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones. With a very funny and impressive script by Nick Sweetland whose well thought characters are brought to life by a hilarious misfit cast: you can't help but snort and jump with laughter. Reminisce of innocent times and experience this great tale before it sells out! Fantastic work campers!

Blackout Improv
Can't go Wrong

Because its improv and everything is a gift right? Well, Blackout certainly has been a gift to Fringe this year. With an intention to make you think and laugh at the same time they do their job and them some, causing boisterous laughter with every show. Led by the amazing Joy Dolo Anfinson, this crew builds community, spreads smiles and creates dialogues necessary to these times. Thank you for a wonderful show and congratulations!

Sean Neely
Necessary Dialogue

Thank You Sean Neely. Going into the show, I was drawn in because of the controversy of course, but I knew something important would happen on that stage. Sean Neely is raw and vulnerable with his viewers and makes you listen even if you are as nervous as he is. I never felt uncomfortable, but challenged? Yes. Sharing a dialogue with us, Sean sends a powerful and to some, possibly unnerving, message that needs to be heard. I am thoroughly impressed by this presentation and I believe there is something to be learned from the mind of Sean Neely. Attend this show with openness and you will be challenged to think and observe beyond. Dialogues and Communication like this must be had, and I am certain Sean Neely that you are doing what you need.

"1967"
Refreshing

In a Fringe such as this year's filled with political dialogues and similar popular themes, a show like this is refreshing. Some people heal in certain ways, but I feel everyone can find some essence of freedom and healing through a simple storytelling. This was not storytelling I would call simple though. Tremendously thought out; this collective brings skill, charm, wisdom and community in this gathering of life stories they share with you. In times like this we need stories told and life shared with each other. With beautiful music, lovely dynamics, thoughtful topics and charming presentors you will definitely enjoy this show.

ODD MAN OUT
Wanting More...

I enjoyed this production very much. Many great elements were present. However during the course of the show I found myself unable to connect with the story. Some characters brought there all, I will especially commend Charla Marie Bailey for her stunning performance. Some characters however felt uneasy or unsure; like they hadn't tapped into the story of where their character was at that moment in time cognitively. The energy seemed a bit slow during the first half, but naturally with the plot you feel a pick-up in energy through the second half. This half of the show made me want more of this energy and drive. Some tricky blocking moments and some awkward performances are the only drawback, but it is a good show that I would recommend.

Be Your Selfie!
YouTubers will Enjoy.

With a good message, a quirky and fun cast, and fringe humor: this show was enjoyable certainly. I felt as if though the content could have been played with a little more. Gone a little deeper. Maybe slightly more realistic. As a YouTuber there was a charm to the show, but somewhere lies a disconnect where the shows message of authenticity doesn't come through. Overall I think as a YouTube and Fringe artist, this show was worth seeing. But first, let me take a selfie...

Our Boy
Ambiguity

Going into this show, I had expectations of a different show. Essentially I witnessed an hour long struggling conversation between the two characters. At times I was uncomfortable with the ambiguity. Would the conversation really go further? Is there going to be more than what we are seeing at this moment? Are they going to actually reach the subject matter? Most of the performance I felt somewhat unsettled. Sadly it was not by the raw and sensitive subject matter, but more so by the presentation and disconnect of the plot. With a script made up of a lot of pretentious language and personalities it just overwhelmed my ability to see any reality in this portrayal of a really important conversation. Instead it felt taxing and endless.


Cedar Printing