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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Kelly Glader's reviews

Mayor Lear of Townsville
A+++ for production!!

And the fight choreography, and the direction, and the ACTING, and the animation - oh my! Wow. So much fun and silliness but pulled off so, so seamlessly. I am not a huge fan of Shakespeare and don't remember much about the Powerpuff girls but I had a lot of fun watching this production. If you love silliness or Shakespeare or Saturday morning cartoons you will have a blast during this show.

Technology and dance - and it works!

Full disclosure I am a tech nerd who also loves dance so obviously I fit into the niche here but this show was a really well done, sometimes silly, sometimes serious, sometimes improv, sometimes planned show. I personally loved the mish mash of everything and think the theme still shines in every part. Highly recommend this show!


I kid you not this is the hardest I've ever laughed during a show... comedy or otherwise. Pinocchio's character was so well done that I didn't know what else to do but just laugh with joy. When the house lights went up at the end of the show, I saw every person around me wipe their cheeks from tears of laughter. Pinocchio's character was so well done, so ridiculous but incredibly seamless. Wow. I can't say enough praise. This company is one to watch out for. Their use of the stage and vertical space (yes, really) is something so unique. Go see this show and every other show this company does in the future!!

You already know you should see it

But let me tell you why you should see it. Let me tell why you should probably see it twice. At least twice. Hannah Starr is the most talented performer I've ever seen in a one-person show. She is not only the most talented comedian and story-teller, there may also be some ...unexpected... talents that you'll just have to see for yourself. Hannah is in from Chicago and it is a rare treat to have a chance to see her here in MN. Stop reading this review and buy your pass (and reservation...she's already selling out her shows!) right now.

Dick White: Ghost Detective
A dickin' good time

This is a fun show. Puns and dick jokes, yes. But also a storyline that I ended up caring about. And even some surprise performers that ended up evening out a lot of the masculinity happening on stage. The only negativity and insults are directed at the performers themselves, which is refreshing for a comedic performance. Somehow there was love under all that dick.

Repertoire Dogs
Worth an hour of your time

You'll laugh. You'll be *impressed* (get it?). If you want a silly fun comedic performance and you are familiar with some famous characters this will be a fun time for you. Not every show in Fringe has to be thought-provoking or serious or theatrical. These folks are super talented. It was a nice refreshing show in the midst of many heavier shows this year.

A safe place to feel all the feels

Wow. This show is something special. The actors bring you an incredibly strong performance, the script is super well written, and one of the coolest things about this show is it leaves space for you to fill in the story with your own experience. Poetry in motion, truly. Yes there are difficult subjects, but the performers and the space itself lend well to self-care and they do a great job making a safe space for tough feelings. I left the show feeling like I had closure on some things. That's all I'll say about that. It's beautiful. Go see it.

Bear Eats Bear
Fresh air and fresh feelings

This show as a part of the larger festival really gives it some power. Get out of those warm, stiff theatre seats and go walk (or in my case, lay) around the park for awhile. Think about stuff. Feel the breeze. It's a good use of your hour and you won't regret it.

More spec fiction please!

While I am new to sci-fi, it's becoming a favorite genre of mine, and I am so thankful to Ben for showing me how much fun spec fiction can be! I am definitely going to check out Kieran's night for spec fiction now thanks to this show. Yes, this show is a story-telling show, a one man story-telling show, but the stories will paint vivid pictures as if you were watching a whole cast on stage. As a fellow writer I can safely say that is HARD TO DO! And Ben pulls it off. I'm still thinking about these stories days later. Love, love, love this show.

His Name Doesn't Matter

This show is heart-warming, honest, fun, funny, entertaining, real, poetic, silly.... It's so many things that feel like they shouldn't work all mashed up together but they do. The performers are strong and deliver honesty with a great sense of self-awareness that is really inspiring to see on stage. Their friendship is sweet and complicated and relatable. Refreshing to see a show that focuses on friendship instead of romance. Who doesn't love their friends?


Great writing. Full of surprise feels but that doesn't take away from the laughs. Motz - you are one hell of talented person! You better do a show next year or else!!!!

The Masque of Power
You thought you had enough politics

But you haven't. You thought you had heard the T word enough, but you haven't. This father-son duo will warm your heart as much as they will ignite it with rage. Come feel warm fuzzies for such a delightful and talented family while also wanting to yell "F*** EVERYTHING!" at the same time. Truly a refreshing take on something I thought I could never be refreshed about.

Joia Spirit