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 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.


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.


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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Dahlia Acman

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
Lives in... Minneapolis

Dahlia Acman's reviews

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
Just Delightful

So much fun! Brilliant writing, true acting, perfect comedic timing. So very 2017 but the jokes weren't stale. I can't wait for this theatre company to build a presence in the cities!

Sean Neely
Come for the controversy...

Stay for the content. "I want to be remembered as something great, but that's not what I am." We may never know where the line between story and reality lies. What I do know is that I saw 4 shows today and this is the one I thought about on the way home.

Blew my mind!

From the description, I did not think I would like this piece. But I ran into a friend on his way to see it a second time and he convinced me to give it a shot... I'm SO GLAD I did! This was seamless and so well-done. However, there are lots of flashing lights and strobes so please avoid if those bother you. I did not see any warning for that.

Out of the Shadows
Beautiful and Honest

As artists, we often feel like we're worthless and should give up. This piece really speaks to that, and the passion that keeps us going. Also holy shit can this guy dance.

Blackout Improv
So glad they're year-round!

I LOVE the Swag-Hat format! Having a group of Black theatre artists discuss a difficult racial topic, and then making us all laugh about it. I definitely plan on attending more of their shows in the future.

F@*k the 90s
Beautiful Tribute to Loved Ones

I laughed, I sang along with the (amazing and super talented) band, I cried a little (a lot). I was a small child in the 90's, so I even learned a little about historical events and fashion. I really liked the part where an audience member came up and talked about their own experience with loss and grief. This kind of an experience is definitely not for everyone, but it was definitely for me!


SO MOVING. This took my heart clean out of my chest and stomped on it. Holy shit you guys. I am not worthy. Bravo. I really hope I don't come across as patronizing when I say that I respect how much courage it must have taken to perform this piece. Like. I cannot stop thinking about it. Absolutely a highlight of Fringe 2017.

Professional and Heartfelt

I absolutely loved the story. "What do you want?" It's okay not to know sometimes. The cast is incredibly talented and the show was well-rehearsed and polished. The singing was beautiful, and the use of puppets really added to the overall aesthetic. What kept me from five stars was that somehow it felt too polished. The performers were obviously well-trained and all had lots of professional experience, but it felt a little cold and I would have loved more vulnerability.

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical
So Cute!

Just nice and silly. Musicals just need more technical elements than what is available at Fringe, and this production wasn't an exception. The music was good, but the keyboard being off to the side made it difficult for actors on the other side to hear and therefore got out of sync at times. I'm giving it 4 stars because the characters are well-written and it's perfectly cast. I'm also a sucker for puns. And oh boy, are there puns.

It Can't Happen Here
Great performance- not right for Fringe

You rarely see, especially at Fringe, a performance with so many strong actors over the age of 40. That being said, I'm not sure why this was a Fringe production. In my dreams, I'll see a full-length production with more connection in moments, slowed-down dialogue, and less time trying to play catch-up. I also am a little weirded-out by casting a woman as Buzz Windrip. Don't get me wrong- she was incredible, but I'd feel better knowing the reasoning behind it. I hope it's not to make fun of a dictator by emasculating him. Tiny hands or whatever.

The Murmur of Murder
Wonderfully Stupid

There were a couple moments when an actor was trying too hard to be funny, but not enough to make it an unpleasant hour. Would have given 3 stars if it weren't for Adian, who managed an honest portrayal of such a silly character. If you don't like stupid humor, skip this one. If you, like me, appreciate laughter for its own sake, give it a go.

Weird Sci Fi

If you like Black Mirror you'll love this "will-we-take-technology-too-far" story. My only critique is that I think it tried a little too hard to be weird. The story itself was brilliant, and the connections between the actors are what I really loved about the piece.

Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler
Fun and Educational!

A very left-wing take on a Republican hero. Really funny show brought to life by a strong ensemble. It did get the tiniest bit preachy so just make sure everyone in your group is super liberal and you'll have a great time.

WTF... but in the best way

This piece deserved a bigger stage! STRIKE is a difficult space this year and I would have loved to see this with more fleshed-out movement. That being said, it was very difficult to watch at times, but I feel lucky to have been in the audience. The storytelling was moving and relevant.

Be Your Selfie!
Fun idea!

This was a really good concept, but it could have been about half as long and we would have gotten everything. Well-acted, but it lacked strong plot and character development.

Your Motivational Power Hour!
Take it for what it is

It was really cool to see a family do an original Fringe show! The parts were selected for each actor very well, and I liked seeing someone so young pull off that Shakespeare monologue. I would have liked to see more scenes and fewer monologues. Show, don't tell.

Blood Debt
Fell flat

It was very topical, but neither side presented anything new and the stories seemed vague and impersonal. The Person's unnatural speech made her less relatable than I think was intended, and the high-stakes beginning made it difficult for the play to go anywhere.

Dahlia Acman's Queue

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by Little Oblivion Theatre

Jungle Theater  

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Blackbeard's Revenge

by The Park Theater Company

Rarig Arena  

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Blood Debt

by Degenerate Theatre

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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by Hannah Starr

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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Code: L-O-V-E

by Highlander Kitty


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First Year Queer

by Sparrow Productions


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Katie Versus The Devils

by Scared Hare Productions

Rarig Arena  

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by The Theatre Cosmic


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The Last Bombardment

by Oncoming Productions

Ritz Mainstage  

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Lettres et Café

by Bad Mime Productions

Theatre in the Round  

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by Vox Medusa with Infiammati FireCircus

Boom Island  

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Pope Joan

by Featherstone Creative

Rarig Xperimental  

Sunrise Banks
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Songs of MN Summer

by Shrieking Harpies

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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by (lumin)theater lab


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The Zoo Story (New Version)

by Mortimer Productions


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Your Motivational Power Hour!

by Change! Your! Life! Productions


Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL