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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Lanny Langston

Years attending Fringe: This is my first year
35-44 years old
Lives in... Saint Paul
Favorite genre: Drama


Lanny Langston's reviews

Crash and Burn: An American success story
A Fringe Success Story!

This play was lovely. This cast and crew nailed it on every level: excellent acting, wonderful atmospheric live music, a thoughtful, funny and poignant script, and nice stage direction. The title made me think it would be just a bit of silly fun, but I came out genuinely moved. This play could easily just be a parody of trailer park trash, but instead is a genuine insight into the lives of people who dare to dream big. Bravo to this cast and crew on an excellent performance, and I hope you go see this play.

ODD MAN OUT
Highly Recommended

A great night in the theatre. Look forward to seeing what else this production does in the future. Not sure if this is a script that is going to be fully developed, but I sure hope it is. Left me wanting more (in a good way!)

Waiting for Gygax
Fantasy nerds unite

Watching this show made me reminisce about my youthful adventures playing D&D. The actors and playwright do a good job of paying homage to both Dungeons and Dragons, and also the source material of Waiting for Godot. Also adding to the sense of nostalgia were the very home-made costumes. Congrats to the cast and crew for creating a fun Fringe piece.

De Hjerteløse [The Heartless]
A beautiful mashup of movement and story

Congrats to War Theatre and Sidecar Theatre for mounting this ambitious production. The cast and crew have devised a Nordic folktale that feels like it has a place amongst Norse mythology. It wasn't until after the show when they said the script was 100% their own I realized it wasn't an adaptation, so kudos to the cast and crew for staying true enough to the feel that they created something so believable. The cast does a bang up job of creating the physical world with minimal props and a little bit of fabric. The play does start off a little bit slow, which is why the 4 instead of 5 stars, but once it gets going it is an engaging and worthwhile piece, definitely worth adding to your Fringe schedule!

Serpentine
A mixed bag

This play had an interesting premise, which led me to the theatre. There are two parts to this play. An actual play, and a few bits of storytelling that are inserted between scenes. The play itself was difficult to follow. I honestly wasn't sure what was going on for most of it. The autobiographical storytelling was engaging, and gave some insight into what it is like for transgender person to transition. But it wasn't until about 30 minutes into the play, when one of the storytellers gave some context for the experimental play that was happening, that I started to understand some of the plot in the play. If they do this play again, might be good to start with the storytelling first to give the audience the context so they aren't lost.

Katie Versus The Devils
Fun Concept, a catchy title, & pretty OK

I live pretty close to Luther Seminary, and know several people who attend, so was excited to see a play that was about Martin Luther's bad### wife, Katie. I enjoyed the script, and thought the historical context served the audience well (as there are a few Lutherans in Minnesota). The acting and direction of the show were serviceable, and stood out in parts, but overall needed a little more work. Kudos to the cast and crew for a clever idea though, as well as some of the most beautiful set pieces and costumes you're likely to see at Fringe this year. If the rating system allowed it, this would actually be 3.5 stars. Definitely worth seeing, especially if you are interested in Katie Luther.


Lanny Langston's Queue

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Anarchy! (a handbook)

by Big Picture Group

Rarig Xperimental  

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Blackbeard's Revenge

by The Park Theater Company

Rarig Arena  

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Code: L-O-V-E

by Highlander Kitty

Crane  

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DUNGEON

by Hit the Lights! Theater Co.

Jungle Theater  

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Gruesome Playground Injuries

by Mosaic Productions

HUGE  

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It Can't Happen Here

by Sinclair Lewis Productions

Ritz Studio  

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Knifeslingin'!

by The Theatre Cosmic

HUGE  

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Mnemosyne

by Sunday Driver

Southern  

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ODD MAN OUT

by Underdog Theatre

Rarig Arena  

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On The Exhale

by Market Garden Theatre

Rarig Xperimental  

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One Foot

by Langston Theatre Company

Strike Theater  

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Out of the Shadows

by Gabriel Mata/Movements

Intermedia  

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Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL

by Turd Spout Productions

Phoenix  

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Subpar Heroes

by Renegade Theater Company

Southern  

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
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Synchronicity

by Raw Sugar

Mixed Blood  

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The Zoo Story (New Version)

by Mortimer Productions

HUGE  

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Waiting for Gygax

by Hot Chocolate Media

Rarig Xperimental  

Westside VW