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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Michael Johnson

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


Michael Johnson's reviews

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

Much of what I could say has already been said, so I will just say this - Thank you for coming from a place of truth. Because, when I was done laughing, I was glad to be reminded - family matters. Your passion matters. Everyone, even those of us who get our hands stuck in jars from time to time, has a use and a purpose. And when things are most dark is when we often have our most important enlightenments. Thank you for this wonderful, wonderful show. One of the "can't-miss" shows of 2017 Fringe!

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
SO GOOD

Went to last night's show and I am *gushing*. Excellent, clever characterizations, great music....so glad I went!

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
+4 Dagger of Enjoyment

There is, frankly, not much to say about these guys that hasn't been said below, so I'll keep it brief: Swords. Axes. Bows. Birds that feast. Timothy. Sharp-looking costumes. Chimera love-making techniques. "How to track a dragon." Sleight of hand (and not so sleight of hand). An engaging dungeon master who is clearly having just as much fun as the improvisers. And probably most importantly - the brilliant-as-ever Tyler Mills dead-panning the difference between "killing and murder." Brav0 - a show that simply *cannot be missed.* P.S. The caveat of having an improvised, running plot as a Fringe Show is beyond brilliant. I have found myself wondering often in the days since I saw it, "I hope Timothy is okay."

Mnemosyne
Very nice!

While it started slow, this was a show that had me nodding my head as I left at some lovely work. The specificity of gesture in the show is unparalleled in the Fringe. Some very lovely performances, namely by Mnemosyne and the gentleman who plays the 'memory broker.' A huge issue with shows set in other worlds is the oftentimes numbing amount of exposition the storyteller(s) feels they must use to "make the audience get it." I truly, deeply appreciated the fact that both the performers and the show in general trusted the text and the work enough to stay away from this sci-fi sin - bravo. As repeated by other reviews, some performances were uneven and I had an issue with some staging - overall however, a very enjoyable show

MANIFESTO: An American Play
A passionate endeavor

This show exemplifies what Fringe is really about - risky, at-times problematic new work spirited on by the work of passionate performers. While I did want the text to show me more instead of tell me, there were some truly heart-stopping moments. The use of song was powerful, and getting to hear Callie Schroer's voice is always an immense pleasure. However, I left hungry for more of these moment, and wondered what impact this story could have had had it pursued more similarly expressionistic moments. Overall, a strong show from a new TC theater company.

Swoopstake
Charming, fun and clever

A really fun show by a new(er) company out of Hastings, I am really glad I went to the Sunday Matinee. New comedies are tough, and I was extremely pleased that there were never any attempts to shock or be gratuitous - the comedy is quite clever at times, and comes from a place of truth. Great show, guys - and totally appropriate to bring the whole family too!

Playwrights on a Train
A solid but slow train ride

Not my cup of tea - and, unfortunately, I suspect this is true for most other Fringers, who have come to thirst for things a litle more off-the-wall than this. That being said, a fine piece of theater for those who are appreciative of the dinner theater, murder-mystery type genre.

Sisyphus
Not for everyone, but enjoyable.

This was a show that definitely generated some mixed feelings for me. On the one hand, very smart, charming, captivating storyteller. Keep telling stories. On the other, all of the songs detracted from the drive of your story significantly. I chuckled a couple times, but ultimately felt frustrated that the story was derailing itself by these at-times awkward interludes. I was a little stumped about the importance of the bike crash - while I understand the metaphor of the journey, the crash and it's relation to both the legend and your life felt too ambiguous. You can hit us over the head a little bit with this metaphor. While the text could use some re-arranging, this was a fun show with a sweet, albeit slightly surface-level message.


Michael Johnson's Queue

Bollywood Dance Scene