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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Derek Dirlam's reviews

The Murmur of Murder
Laughed my A$$ off!!

A hilariously silly , high-energy show, that was the perfect end to a night of Fringe! It felt like the cast was working every moment while they were on stage, and the jokes never stopped. Even had a couple of 'too soon?' moments, which the audience CLEARLY responded to, and that was funny in itself. Over-the-top characters, a few comedic props, some simple but effective lighting designs, a very odd/silly script, all came together for a very fun evening.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Long live Old-Time Radio!

I've always been a fan of old-time radio theater, and have seen Ghoulish Delights perform before in a smaller venue. So I have to say I really enjoyed seeing them in a bigger environment, complete with a set of Shure 55s - definite style points there. The two shows they performed really captured the style and feel of the 'golden age of radio', and the classic commercials also added a bit of nostalgia and history. They made great use of the Foley props, although I would have liked to see more (I am a bit of a foley-geek). I also liked the background info they provided before the performances as well. I highly recommend seeing this show, and kudos to the group for helping to keep this classic art-form alive today!

Waiting for Gygax
Godot + D&D = Very funny show

Thankfully I got in line early for this one :) A great performance, and a perfect mash-up of Waiting for Godot and D&D. Although I don't think you need to be a big D&D fan to enjoy this one. Yes there are a few D&D specific references, but the humor still really lies in the interplay between the monstrous duo, and what happens when...well, you just have to see it. Great performances from the entire cast, excellent timing, a fantastic script that kept the humor coming and the plot moving , and even great staging - interesting while not feeling too repetitious. Highly recommend this, but make sure you get a reservation or get in line early, as it did sell-out. Maybe they'll consider a re-mount in the future???