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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sam gisselman's reviews

Bold & brave - only at the fringe!

How courageous! Dance + song + fire + fight choreography, all out in a beautiful natural setting. Thank you for taking on such an aspirational production!! My kids and I loved it. Granted we were right next to a speaker but it seemed like you could dial the volume down 20%. Also, use a mic for the closing cast credits! Otherwise, wonderful tech work.

Good Kids
Proud of these kids!

Impressive acting and storytelling by a young cast. They approached the topic with passion and I'm proud of them for inspiring thought and conversation!

[Enter the Narrator]
An entertaining

This is a creatively written, fun love story. Was a nice light-hearted balance to other dramatic shows of our night.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
More brave kids

Fantastic energy and performances by everyone in the show - congratulations for being so damn BRAVE! I want my daughter to be as brave as y'all are some day! It seems that courageous kids is the theme of this year's Fringe. The pace was fast and the show FULL of hilarious clever jokes and moments - bravo to the authors. Chino Latino! Woodbury! St. Paul at night! And omg, the FRINGE HOUSE MANAGER!! We really couldn't get enough. Great work by everyone involved. Hope Funke looks a STAR and we can't wait to see what she does next. My only complaint: "guys, we don't care if you liked the show or not?" Damn...I didn't know I was the enemy :-(

Bear Eats Bear
i guess i didn't get it

I loved the feel of the walkman and the static sound of the recording. Had a great hour to myself walking the park and lake of the isles! But as far as something thought-provoking or moving, it didn't do much for me. Could have played up the post-apocalyptic feel? Given us directions throughout the tape to go to specific places or do specific things? Maybe had different versions that resulted in audience members meeting up with each other? I appreciate the bold new format, it was definitely different. And thanks for traveling all the way up from Texas to bring your art to us.

Ghoulish Delights