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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Mirah Ammal

Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Dance

Mirah Ammal's reviews

Spy in the House of Men: A One-Woman Show With Balls
A must-see with the four Hs

Penny Stirling’s story telling mixes healthy doses of humor, hope, heartbreak and honesty for wonderful hour-long show. A skilled story teller, her timing, patter and comedy, and are well done, but perhaps even more impressive is the intense vulnerability with which she shares her truth. Her story is deeply relatable, enlightening and important--not only for trans and gender-queer individuals (and the friends and family who love them), but for anyone who has ever felt the pain of their own “wrongness.” It’s a one woman show, in a relatively low-tech setting"not a lot of flash or sizzle, but an honesty and rawness that makes it a must see. Go. See this show. Now. Go. Get your ticket.

Carly Reynolds and the STEAM Team
Great content--take the kids!

I really enjoyed the performance, the nearly all-female cast, and content of this show. I was pleased to see the “A” highlighted well in the story as, in recent years, an extreme focus on STEM in education has all but removed the critical role of Art in helping fuel other disciplines (at least in schools that lack the funding for special arts facilities and programs.) To partially echo (and perhaps expound on) what other reviewers have said, I would love to see where this could go post-Fringe in terms of in presentation to students. With an eye to such purpose and curriculum alignment (or appeal to groups such as scouts), I could see this show tightened up and used as a way to stimulate conversation and inspire kids. As to this production, yes, there are a lot of transitions, and the acting is a little uneven in some places, but this is Fringe"I fully expect some rough edges in any “premiering” show. The important take away is, this is a show with an excellent theme, relatable dialogue, engaging characters, and a creative, flexible presentation. Well done.

Finding Mohamed
Beautiful, Powerful, Important

This haunting, evocative work will stick with me for some time. Tip for Fringe audiences: do not go into this expecting a literal story, don't try to "figure it out" or worry about what each sound/image is or represents in the moment. Just let it wash over you, experience the flow, sit with the uncomfortable feelings and images it may conjur, tap into the intense emotional load the character conveys through her simple movement and expression. As the work approaches it's culmination, both a depth of the broad message and intimate humanization of individual experience becomes more clear. It's a short show, and Ms Mansour invites discussion and questions from the audience at the end. Just don't expect her to lay it all out for you. ;)

Blackout Improv
Smart and Funny

As other reviewers mentioned, it's not non-stop improv--there is discussion as well, but I feel in some ways, that's a real strength of the show, especially when you consider this all black cast is speaking and performing to a predominantly white audience in a city of strong liberal intent yet still a high level of de facto racial segregation. The show had the air of sitting in on an honest conversation among a group of frank and funny friends who then get really silly with the improv. I'll need to check out one of their monthly shows for sure. Have you seen this show yet? Do you have your reservation? Well, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? :D

Out of the Shadows

I was familiar with Gabriel's gorgeous dance technique and artistry from his work with Zenon, so I was excited to see his show, but I'd not previously realized his writing and acting talent. Out of the Shadows is smart, funny, at times satirical, at times tongue-in-cheek or even slightly irreverent about the dance form, and at times deeply moving. Physically impressive, emotionally exquisite, I cannot recommend this show highly enough.

PHD (Po H# on Dope) to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life
Raw and Beautiful - Must See

Dr. Elaine blends excellent storytelling and character work (with some brief a capella musical interludes showcasing a rich voice) with a powerful, powerful story. Her style is raw, blunt, yet remarkably well thought-out and crafted as a performance. The material may be difficult for those who have dealt with domestic or sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or addiction, but that is not necessarily a reason *not* to see it if you are able to prepare yourself, plan time for self-care afterward. The story is well worth the challenge, and the final message hopeful and positive. One more show--GO. SEE. IT. :)

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL