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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Jon Golden's reviews

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Jar-ingly funny

This show is an absolute blast. The energy these folks have is abounding and even makes the audience excited and energetic. All of the performances are invested, fun, and filled with incredible comedic timing but I have to give it up to

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
For entertainment you rolled a 20

SEE THIS SHOW. These are some master improvers at work and it does not disappoint. I have never done a DnD campaign and still understood and enjoyed every moment of this show. MJ Marsh is an absolute pleasure to watch. I am already planning on seeing this show again its that good.

Sean Neely
I couldn't formulate sentences after

Some of the other reviews are incredibly spot on and they were able to formulate sentences that made sense and that i agree with. I walked out not knowing how to formulate sentences about what I saw. Reality and theater blurred heavily.

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Rainy evening fun!

Starting fringe this was one of the shows that I had no idea about but was interested to see simply because of their promotional material. I judged the book by its cover and it did not disappoint. This show was a lot of reminiscent fun with some great direction and some hilarious performances. There were a few moments where it maybe gets away from itself but picks up seconds later. I would for sure say Samuel and Hannah are standout performers, both really created these characters that everyone knew growing up and both have really touching moments of honesty. Overall I'm glad I had this show on my radar and if you don't have it on yours, add it.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
My opinion doesn't matter

5 stars

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Netflix and killed it

If you are a Stranger Things fan you will like this show. If you are a parody fan you will like this show. It is a blast to watch Tom Reed do what Tom Reed does. Certain sections weren't my favorite but that's personal taste and I can't knock a star for that. I will forever think of Tom's Joyce screaming for Will anytime I see Winona!

Much Ado About Nothing (as told by Dogberry and Verges)
Much Ado

6 amazing actors present the bard in a new and inventive way. It was a bright way to start a fringe day at 1:00pm. That being said, some moments for sure felt like a 1:00pm opening kind of energy. Overall still very impressive and engaging. Also the cuts to the script to shorten it down to 1 hour were done very well, keeping the entirety of the story intact and easily follow-able.

The Last Bombardment
The Last Bombardment

Walking into the theater for this was a really cool experience just from the minimalist backdrop. I'm not gonna ruin that because it is super cool. The story itself though was too long and repetitive, watching 6 people talk on the phone as like 20 different characters for 10 mins is not very exciting or interesting to watch. The story takes a while to actually get going but the staging and lighting are great once it does. The acting is a little here and there, each person seems to excel at one of their multiple characters but the others aren't as great. With so many characters I found myself not really connecting or caring about any that much.

DANCING BARE FEET
Bollywood may not be for me

Was this show terrible, no, was this show incredible no. The dances were good, a little off here and there but overall fun to watch, the story in the middle drags on for way too long. Main guy and girl have a good stage presence though. Nothing I can fault the actors for but the lighting and sound ques were often way off when I saw it which stopped them from having any seamless transitions.

Blackout Improv
Improv great-discussions drag

These folks are very talented at what they do, my main problem was that some of the discussions that inform the improv went on tangential rants that lasted in incredibly long time. There are some important topics covered but I felt like it was a lot of talking in circles or going off. Once the actual improv began, the group is very good and very funny, it's just reigning in the conversations a little more would be helpful as they last longer than the improv.

Mnemosyne
3.5

This show is good. Do I think its a must see for fringe, maybe not. There are some strong performances and some weak ones throughout. Mnemosyne herself is pretty fun but some of the other performances seem incredibly put on and more unnatural than they need to be. The movement is good but I wish it was more incorporated into what is going on, as opposed to feeling like a background noise and making me decide whether they or the speaker were more important. I also wish there were more movement pieces because i think this group really excels at movement. If i could give 3.5 stars i would.

What You Will
Great message, ok delivery

This show is great, with amazing young talent, and a message that is very relevant and poignant at the moment. The flaws this show had were in the language I believe. I know this story, as well as can follow shakespearian language quite easily, but even I occasionally had a hard time following. Instead of letting the words flow through and really be crisp and clear, almost everyone talked from the back of the throats and rushed the entire time which just draws me out of the poetry of the words. The highlights of this show though are by far the music and the movement pieces. This group really excels in those moments and they are captivating to watch. Especially the last few minutes.

Plan B
Picks up steam

3.5 stars. I was expecting more of an adventure journey with hijinks from this show but it's more of a bedroom(s) comedy. Starts out kinda slow but picks up steam as it goes along, Teddy Larsen steals the show with the most complete character. The others are good as well but Teddy is the standout. Script could maybe use one more draft to flesh out all ideas and characters.

Buffy the Bedbug Slayer
Dawn Dawn Dawn

The shows script is not good. And most of the performers were fine. But this show gets 2 stars for the incredible look of the Drumpf puppet, and the actor playing Dawn. She was by far the funniest part of this show, she created a character that resonated with the hatred of Dawn by every major Buffy fan, but with hilarity that made her the star of the show. Buffy was also pretty good in the impersonation aspect with the hair flips and door kicks and vocal quality. However the show itself was not great. I never thought id say this but id watch a full hour of just Dawn.

The Murmur of Murder
Murmur

I blame the script for this show more than anything on the actors. This show tries too hard to be funny. It tries too hard to be topical. It tries too hard to be something its not. There are some amusing jokes, and some good performances, but overall just lacks any real depth, or comedy. That being said, Aidhan Jhane Gallivan and Nate Weingarden are fun to watch, I just wish they had a better script to work with.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
No-bi wan

I really had high hopes for this show but I was let down almost immediately. This is a show that I found myself staring at the ground more than actually watching what was happening because of how bored i got. The biggest problem with this show I believe is the script, its incredibly long winded, filled with monologues that last way too long and are not that great, and kinda trite. There are some good performances in Matthew Saxe and Matthew Englund but beyond that I found myself incredibly bored and straining to care. Obi Wan is incredibly hard to hear anytime he talks and the constant circular pacing does not help that at all, and I'm not talking small pacing, I'm talking in and out of darkness through the entire space.


Two Bettys