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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Matthew Garten

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
25-34 years old
Lives in... Suburbs
Favorite genre: Comedy


Matthew Garten's reviews

BOOMBOX.
Boombox = Box Office smash!

Went to this show based on the reviews from its first showing. And I'm glad I did. Previously was not on my radar, but it should definitely be on yours. Hard to describe, but it'll make you laugh; make you smile; and might even make you think about life and the seemingly endless hustle we are all consumed by.

Gruesome Playground Injuries
First Show I Saw; Might be best I see

This is the show I will compare all other fringe shows to this year. Great (real) characters. Amazing script. Fantastic acting. This show has it all. Only negative: it was only 50 minutes long. Could easily have sat through another 50 minutes. Laugh. Cry. Lighthearted and serious at the same time. Makes you feel; just like real art should! Do Not Miss This One!

The Pursuit of Awesome
Get Me A Huffy Bike

The bike story is worth 3 stars alone. Throw in all the other goofy shenanigans, and David puts together a solidly entertaining show. Now, if only I was taking notes on the rules.

Knifeslingin'!
Can I Get a VHS Copy

Part VHS instructional video, part court-room drama, this show had a lot of laughs and a surprisingly serious message. Motz channels his inner Danny MdBride to make "Critter" a lovable loser type of character. The lists and ramblings were full of quick jokes and helped give the show some structure.

There Ain't No More!
Sock Puppets!

Need you know more after the title of the review? I mean, who doesn't like some good sock puppet theatre? The actor/musician/storyteller has some serious talent. The timeline confused me a bit, but, overall, I enjoyed this show.

Dr. Kev: Licensed Loveologist
Not bad For the First Time

As someone who has been striking out in love as of late, this show and its premise appealed to me. Although not a absolute stand out, this show offered some laughs and perhaps a few tips on how to succeed not only in your love life, but life in general. Also, as a show with a first time producer and (some) first time actors, the jitters and slip ups can be forgiven.

The Mystery
Unpolished

The idea of a ghost story intrigued me. And when the show flyer mentioned "Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark" I thought for sure I was going to love this show...and maybe even be a bit scared. But I was neither. Weird costume. Slow pace. Convoluted script. Needs a lot of work.

Facebook Lite
Lives Up To Its Tagline; Need More Bev!

Three "B"s: Bland, Boring, Benign. And sadly, that is what this show was. I had high hopes, but a good concept falls apart with poor execution and forgettable characters and scenes. The character Bev was the only highlight, but unfortunately she only appears in a couple of scenes.


Matthew Garten's Queue

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"1967"

by 2Lorens

Rarig Arena  

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America, The Rewrite

by The Fighting Mongooses

Rarig Xperimental  

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Antonio and the Juice Man

by Prime Time Players

Strike Theater  

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Blackbeard's Revenge

by The Park Theater Company

Rarig Arena  

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BOOMBOX.

by Hannah Starr

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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Dr. Kev: Licensed Loveologist

by The Boiler-Maker Collective

Crane  

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F@*k the 90s

by FurTrader Productions

Ritz Studio  

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Facility

by Imagined Theatre

Rarig Arena  

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Flyer Guy

by David Lawson

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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Full Metal Rabbit

by Beta Fish Productions

Intermedia  

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Good Friday: Round One

by Fat Chance Productions

Ritz Mainstage  

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Good Kids

by NEO PRODUCTIONS

Rarig Thrust  

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Gruesome Playground Injuries

by Mosaic Productions

HUGE  

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Hello, I Must Be Going...

by Mercury Ninety Productions

Theatre in the Round  

Bryant Lake Bowl
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His Name Doesn't Matter

by Power Clashing Productions

HUGE  

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Hot Air

by SCHMAGENCY

Rarig Xperimental  

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Knifeslingin'!

by The Theatre Cosmic

HUGE  

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KnoW WesT

by Gaylord Family Construction Company

Rarig Arena  

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The Mystery

by Conduit Theatre

HUGE  

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Never Wonder Land

by Laughing Nomad Productions

Crane  

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ODD MAN OUT

by Underdog Theatre

Rarig Arena  

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Our Boy

by Theatre B

Theatre in the Round  

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Oxygen Is Overrated

by Tesseray Productions

HUGE  

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The Perils of Steve

by SaMi Productions

Rarig Thrust  

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A Pickle

by Really Spicy Opera

Ritz Studio  

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Pinocchio

by Sheep Theater

Mixed Blood  

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Plan B

by Kyle Schwartz

Mixed Blood  

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The Pursuit of Awesome

by Northstarter Productions

Intermedia  

Metro Transit
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Repertoire Dogs

by Ideal Productions

Mixed Blood  

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RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical

by August Moon Productions

Ritz Mainstage  

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Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler

by Katherine Glover Presents

Strike Theater  

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Santa Academy

by Wok Papal Thither Productions

Strike Theater  

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Sean Neely

by POTTER PRESENTS

Phoenix  

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Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heave...

by Ferrari McSpeedy Theatrical Productions

Ritz Studio  

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Sisyphus

by Moon-Eyed Owl

Theatre in the Round  

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Skirmish of Wit: Your Imaginary Forces

by The Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company

Jungle Theater  

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Small Time Dicks

by Siege Perilous Films

Phoenix  

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Songs of MN Summer

by Shrieking Harpies

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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Spec

by Ben San Del Presents

Mixed Blood  

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Subpar Heroes

by Renegade Theater Company

Southern  

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The Murmur of Murder

by Swing and a Miss

HUGE  

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The Second Banana Revolt!

by Far From The Tree

Rarig Thrust  

Wayward Theatre - The Weir
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The Zoo Story (New Version)

by Mortimer Productions

HUGE  

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There Ain't No More!

by Willi Carlisle Productions

Crane  

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Thor: Jurassic Park

by Access World Productions

Theatre in the Round  

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US-52 South

by The Gentipede

Strike Theater  

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Your Motivational Power Hour!

by Change! Your! Life! Productions

Phoenix  

Humble Cup