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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Jim Louis

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
45-54 years old
Lives in... Suburbs
Favorite genre: Comedy


Jim Louis' reviews

Mine/Field
Must See in My Book!

I went into this show not knowing what to expect. They did an awesome job of mixing dance, music, spoken word, and data collection to make it one of the best shows I have seen at any MN Fringe Festival. This show moved me. It made me feel. I am strongly looking at going again. Go before they are gone!

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Worth getting a reservation!

I decided to take a chance and see this show, I was not disappointed. It has a good balance of comedy and real life application.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
I laughed and cried at this show

There are members of the cast and crew that are part of a nonprofit I manage. After reading reviews of the first night I was ready to go into this expecting not to like it, but I ended up loving it! The story was comedic and the right use of actors for the roles. There were so many performances that I fell in love with that I can't pick a favorite. If you are a fan of Star Wars, I would recommend seeing it.

Pope Joan
I was pleasantly surprised!

This was an excelled performance! It dealt with history and religion with a balance of humor, cleverness and quick wit. Great Job!

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
On my Recommend List

Sometimes there is confusion at the start that makes no sense, however, this was a refreshing change to that. This show has a range of emotion that I rarely see. It was well conceived in using the stage layout. Definitely, go see it!

Blackout Improv
I laughed so much!

There is a member of the cast who is involved with a nonprofit I manage. I laughed so much at this show. I never know what to expect from Blackout Improv, other than laughter. A must see!

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Laughter & Informative at the same time!

There are multiple of members of this cast and crew in a nonprofit I manage. Very rarely do I go to a show that informs me and makes me laugh all at the same time. I have never been to this national park but I feel now have! The interaction with the audience helped add to the comedy. If you get a chance go see this!

STRANGER
Powerful

I wasn't planning on seeing this show, but I am very glad I did. It opened my eyes to different aspects of cultures I normally do not see. Thank you and I recommend people to go see this show if they have a chance.

Themselves They Made Immaculate: Clara Barton at Andersonville
Very Moving!

I had heard of the POW camp before, but never about Clara Barton's role in helping so many families find peace. I learned so much from this show.

Anarchy! (a handbook)
I liked it!

This show had a great balance to comedy and delving into difficult societal issues. The actors did a great job of showing that. Also great use of multimedia.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
A

+

FUNKiN' Good Time
If you love Dance, go see this show!

I added this show because of other reviews and they were right. This is a fun show from start to finish. I wish I had that level of energy. Keep up the great work! And you potential audience member reading this, go see this show!

DUNGEON
Go see it!

It was an amazing visual journey and if you ever played old time video games you will enjoy some of the plot decisions.

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Worth it!

If you are married, have ever been married, thinking of ever getting married, know people who might get married, know people who never want to get married, or know people who want to get married in space, Go see this show! I laughed so hard at other peoples relationship issues and I don't feel the need to apologize. Thank you to all the performers to bare their relationships to public scrutiny.

Waiting for Gygax
Get your reservation in for this show!

I have a member of the nonprofit I manage involved with this show. I had been looking forward to this show for many weeks and it didn't disappoint. I liked how the writer dealt with issues we normally do not hear about when storytelling in fantasy. Great use of the space and costuming. It was funny at times and punny at others. It was a treat to see on this busy day.

Atlas Dynamo's Burnt Offerings
A great break from other shows

This is a music show, there is no great plot. It was a nice relaxing break from other shows I saw. If you need a palate cleanser or just some time to listen to some music, stop in.

Wait...didn't Patrick's Cabaret close?
Great Mix of Performers

There was a good mix of comedy, singing, story telling and dance. A different show every night so check out the Cast and Crew page to see your favorites.

Clutter, Chaos, Creativity and the Collyer Brothers
Interesting but scattered

The story telling was good, however I found this show to be scattered.

First Year Queer
Funny and Informative

There was too much to cover in depth in this show. I would have loved more coverage of one or two topics vs so many covered quickly. However I still recommend seeing this show.

Gravitational Collapse
I want to see the next episode.

It seemed like it was a pilot for TV series. At the end, I felt like I need to click next episode on Netflix. The set design worked really well in the space. The audio effects were perfect. The only other note I have is that I didn't know who was one, two, three, four, or five as they were listed in the program.

The Summoning
Interesting take on a old story

Many of the cast and crew are members of a nonprofit I manage. I liked the interplay between the Mother, her son and his friends. There was a nice use of comedic symbolism in the play. If you need some laughs or are a lawyer it is one I would go to see.

Skirmish of Wit: Your Imaginary Forces
A fun show

Need a fix of fun, amazing instrumental performances and awkward teens giving their all? This is a show for you! I laugh so much and even cried a few times. If you need a laugh, come see this show.

The Well
So much to like!

There are members of this cast and crew that are part of a nonprofit I manage. I feel conflicted on this one. The acting was great, the costuming was well done and the building of the story basics was good. I wish some of the story points came earlier in the production. I think it would have helped me better understand some of the earlier scenes. I this was the best acting performance I have seen from Lana Rosario. Well Done!

So Goshdarn Warm and Fuzzy!
Good fun show

If you need a break from some of those goshdarn other shows that are dealing with difficult issues, then this is a show for you. Great audience interaction and participation.

Katie Versus The Devils
Close!

I have a member of the cast who is in a nonprofit I manage. I came into this show not knowing much about the storyline. I felt this show started and ended strong, but there were some flat points in the middle. I feel that this is one of those shows that will get better as Fringe goes on. I applaud the cast for working through unexpected situations.

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical
Great laughs.

This was a wonderful story. The actors did a great job. The music was a little overpowering the dialog at times. However, I still recommend seeing it.

Absurd Advice
Great to see such enthusiasm

I have a member in this show who is part of a non-profit I help manage. It is nice to see actors who are enthusiastic about acting. Great use of props and I loved the program!

Facebook Lite
I liked this show it was good! (FB Lite)

I have members in this show who is part of a non-profit I help manage. There are some good characters in this show (FB Lite Approved Comment). It makes you think what is are the three B's and how and what we post on social media.

Serpentine
The Storytellers were great!

I have a member of the nonprofit I manage in this show. The Greek mythology based story made no sense. It wasn't too challenging to see what was happening, it just a mess of trying to do too much with too little. The extra vocal special effects were too hard to understand, the costuming seemed incomplete and the actors' vocial levels were hard to hear at times. The two storytellers save this show. Their stories were moving.

The Migraine Room (Photophobia)
Too scattered

I really wanted to like this show. However, it was too all over the place to follow much of what he was trying to get across to us. At times I could not tell if he was purposely being so disorganized or it just happened. Definitely, could have helped to have a director to work with him on some of the scenery work and transitions. As someone who has helped with the production of a show dealing with a mental health issue, there is a no one right way to deal with it. However, focusing on one issue or getting set pieces built before show time would have helped. At times the dialog was lost due to the noise from the moving of set pieces and backdrops. The show went right to the 60 minute time limit.


Jim Louis' Queue

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Code: L-O-V-E

by Highlander Kitty

Crane  

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Couple Fight 3: Weddings!

by Weggel-Reed Productions

Rarig Thrust  

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DUNGEON

by Hit the Lights! Theater Co.

Jungle Theater  

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Facebook Lite

by Nancee Magistad

HUGE  

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First Year Queer

by Sparrow Productions

Intermedia  

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Full Metal Rabbit

by Beta Fish Productions

Intermedia  

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Gruesome Playground Injuries

by Mosaic Productions

HUGE  

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Interplay | still & moving

by Ray Terrill Dance Group

Intermedia  

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Lettres et Café

by Bad Mime Productions

Theatre in the Round  

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Minnesota Dance Ensemble Presents CARMEN

by Minnesota Dance Ensemble

Crane  

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Skirmish of Wit: Your Imaginary Forces

by The Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company

Jungle Theater  

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The Summoning

by Grumpy Bean

Southern  

Ghoulish Delights
Red Stag Supperclub