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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Matilda Ruth

Years attending Fringe: This is my first year

Matilda Ruth's reviews

Lettres et Café
Standing Ovation

Right out of the shoot this show is energetic and entertaining. Love stories are not my favorite, but this show is funny and sweet without being cheesy. Costumes are great. Actors appear to really enjoy the roles they play.

Hello, I Must Be Going...

I had no idea about this story except who Groucho Marx was. This show is educational, hilarious at times and emotional. Actors played their roles in believable fashion. Interaction with the crowd was seamless and witty. I almost thought it was scripted. This story could easily be a two hour production that I would gladly see again.

Never Wonder Land
Beautiful imagery

The physical dance aspect of this show was very stimulating. I particularly enjoyed the use of shadows. Synchronization of mirror scenes could use some work. I love the concept of Alice and Wendy going on an adventure together, but the story lost me a few times.

Charming, Fun, Genuine

Christopher tells an all-too-common love story with Greek Mythological examples. The variety of songs add to the entertainment value of his performance. His self-deprecating approach makes it hard to hate him even though he is the villain in the story.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox

If you attend this show, get a seat in the front. The Arena isn't the best space for a show that has the actors sitting or laying for a good portion. Love the rapport between the sisters. Actors have great emotion and singing voices.

Thor: Jurassic Park

I really wanted to love this show. The story has potential, but scene transitions took way too long. Costumes and props were decent. One of the run crew/actors chomped on gum the whole show. Very distracting and didn't seem to be a part of the script. The actors played their roles with excitement and energy, but it just wasn't entertaining for me.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi

As a Star Wars fan, I was drawn to this show. I'm all about alternative endings, recreations and even alternate story arcs, but this show just did nothing for me. Obi-Wan was difficult to hear and lacked emotion. Overall the story was boring to the point I was counting the people in the audience who appeared to be sleeping. Although I'm not a fan of the Rarig Arena, as a cast/crew/production team you really need to be able to adapt to the space you are given. This show did not do that. Scenes took place at the end of arena to where I had zero visual as to what was happening.

Matilda Ruth's Queue

Bryant Lake Bowl