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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David Lawson

Years attending Fringe: This is my first year
25-34 years old
Lives in... Out-of-state
Favorite genre: Comedy

David Lawson's reviews

Not Quite: Asian American by Law, Asian Woman by Desire
Many powerful stories, 1 important theme

Through a thread of stories hitting on the personal, professional, political, and comical Ada Cheng takes us through how the United States government makes sure even if done legally that their immigrant population feels like "the other" their whole life. She ties it into the Black Lives Matter movement and the simple fact of feeling safe on city streets. And while a certain current president isn't mentioned, I could feel that her story had an added urgency because of that person. In other words, it's a timely political work that never gets didactic about its timeliness. Ada has a terrific presence (likely through decades of teaching), knows when to throw in a joke to let off some dramatic steam, and her stories are always gripping.

Energy for days

Felt like a 90s movie that flopped because it was too dark and weird but then found a cult following on VHS. Cast has energy for days and filled with great jokes.

Gruesome Playground Injuries
Well acted, funny, hit me in the feels

Dakotah and Lauren are insanely good in this show. Funny, charismatic, and for a show about pain and hurt they both "went there" when things got heavy, and used just the right light touch when things were light.

His Name Doesn't Matter
Creatively weaves in & out of 2 mediums

Fun to watch this story creatively weave in and out of being a direct address storytelling show into being a comedic two hander play. All telling a story about sex, sexuality, and coming-of-age both as a straight woman and as a gay man. Gives us all hope that the awful person we've dated whose "name doesn't matter" could result in us growing up as a better person in the end.

You'll be transported to another place

Using a live musical score of just a bass guitar and a violin, and with effects as simple as shadow puppets, flashlights, striking actor movements, and sheets of plastic Hit the Lights transported me to an entirely different place. Each new plot point brings on another brilliantly executed world created right before your eyes.

Every setup has an incredible payoff

One of the best character-based solo shows I've ever seen. Laugh out loud funny, every setup has an incredible payoff, Hannah owns every moment. Bizarre one minute, sweet the next, terrific throughout. See it.

Kurt Vonnegut goes to The Moth

This was like if Kurt Vonnegut was workshopping short stories in a Moth-type environment. Just as bizarre and unique as that sounds. There are so many "scenes" in performance. I had never seen "speculation fiction storytelling." A good first exposure to a "scene" I didn't know about.

David Lawson's Queue

Eide Bailly