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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Laura Kauth's reviews

Rapturous (yes, that was intentional)

... But in a good way. This was a visual, aural, and emotional feast. It filled the eye from every angle, with dance and projections narrating the story while the lyrics remained untranslated, a decision which added to the otherworldliness of this glimpse into myth. The scheduling, as evening sinks into twilight, couldn't have been better timed; the dusk-light city was the perfect backdrop. One technical point: the outdoors setting means sound needed (and was given) amplification so the whole audience could experience it. People may want to bring earplugs to attenuate to a more comfortable range.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
Complex and provoking

This is a hard show to describe on a single scale, and a hard range of tones to transition in a single hour. Obi-wan develops some of the story gaps for major, yet essentially background, characters. The brevity favors the comical (and the droids nail the comedy of the source material). But what lingers is the deviation from Lucas' black and white morality: the complex conflicts of emotion and motivation, the ends that make the means seem justified, yet tarnish the charger. These sections would have, I think, benefited from a more intimate, confessional setting. The comedy works well at the full volume necessary for the space. The tragedy faces the choice of nuance vs projection. Overall, definitely worth seeing, and discussing.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
I'm not crying you're crying III

OK, I might have gotten a little misty. I'll reiterate what others have said; if you're short, get a seat near the floor, because that's where the (in)action is, and you don't want to miss it while glaring holes in someone's back. I want to describe this in non-trite terms, and I can't, because every element of it conveyed the experience of the Fox sisters' performances to their audiences: ethereal, spooky, mesmerizing, innocently cunning... It's a beautiful story of a sisterly bond that's part Bronte and part The Crucible. There are childish horror stories and real tragedies. And, like all the best ghost stories, in the end we're left to wonder...was there ever a ghost at all? The spirits say "No"....

Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler
And yet Reagan still looks better...

This was a fun mashup of politics and Dickens, with a journey back in time that will be a kick for anyone who remembers 1980s' politics, and goggles at how much the current mayhem makes the '80s seem sane. The actors delivered farce at full force....except the person depicting Reagan. That President had such an iconic speech pattern that even puppets have nailed him, yet the actor sounded like just some vaguely confused guy....and occasionally some vaguely confused guy from, vaguely, New England. The sheer unReaganyness actually diminished the Reaganism of actual Reagan quotes. OTOH, the Trump impersonator was spot on. Brilliant!

A Pickle
Not quite my taste in pickles

Actually, the pickles sounded delicious and I really want to try some. But the show itself didn't do much for me, in pretty much the same way that Neil Simon doesn't do much for me. It was well, if exaggeratedly, acted, I enjoyed the jar metaphor, and certainly it raises questions regarding arbitrary exclusion based on cultural differences, but the gossipy/ griping Mrs. Kravitz tone was grating, and had me wanting to pretend I'd left a stove on at home. However, other people in my group enjoyed it quite a lot.

Playwrights on a Train
for The Birds

I should honestly just copy Marie Cooney below, because that's exactly what happened to me. The pace was slow, the acting was sonorous, the plot was bland and tenuous at best, character motivations were over simplified and still confusing, the twist was predictable (not that some of Hitchcock's weren't, but yeesh), and I couldn't keep my eyes open. If I snored, rest of the audience, I'm not apologizing; it was probably the most humorous, liveliest part of that hour. You're welcome! I did catch the final "climactic" scene. The nap was more riveting.

Blackbeard's Revenge
My official WTF??

The music. The music was pretty decent. It didn't fit any part of the play, but neither did anything else, really. Heavy-handed accents (Geoffrey Rush, you've been outdone!), ham-fisted detailing of Blackbeard's villainy, a deus ex machina where the machina is actually ex dei (for reasons, I guess?), little plot, bad dialogue, and a "'moral" ending that equates to "Do whatever, and then find a magical item to save you!" Seriously. WTF. I'm trying not to spoiler, but the "redemption"? If Blackbeard had rubbed a magic lamp and the genie had made everything OK regardless of the cost to others, it would have been essentially the same ending. I feel like this treated the religious concept of a Redeemer really badly...and I'm agnostic.

Bollywood Dance Scene