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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Sarah Lawrence-Lupton

Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
35-44 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Drama


Sarah Lawrence-Lupton's reviews

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Maybe Best Fringe I've Ever Seen

This was hilarious. I'm not sure if it's because I got married this summer so I totally see where these came from--not that I did any of it just that my husband and I spent a lot of time laughing about what "weddings are suppose to be"--ours was not that. The script was spot on, the actors were hilarious. I loved it--now if I could only win that marital fight that my husband should come to the theater with me!

Making It Home
Fringe: the Perfect Place for This

This was not a professional piece. It was just regular people with important stories to be told. I learned a lot about the immigration experience of Somalis; some of their own cultural biases and understandings and a reminder of the difficulty of being an immigrant in a foreign land. There are not enough opportunities for these stories to be told and I love that someone thought of Fringe as just the place to tell these stories. The storytellers (3 of them children) were courageous telling these stories in a second language in front of a large group of people that mostly didn't look like them. I'm very glad I went.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Nicely done

Very nicely done, professional quality & just the thing for a fringe. While the set & costumes were perfect it truly was a radio program-- so not that much to look at really. I imagine the podcast it's based on is supurb.

"1967"
Personal Reflections on 1967

Decent storytelling about a very compelling topic. Honest, heartfelt. Worth a look

MANIFESTO: An American Play
Not sure what to make of this

I'm not really sure what to make of this piece. The choreography was really good; the simple clothing and zero set was well done. I don't know how well researched the stories were, maybe perfectly. I think the intent was to give some humanity to the killers; I'm not sure I had that experience though going in I had anticipated that I would. I would maybe have liked more of a director's note with the background information. Still not sure how I felt about the play; though I guess that's ok.

To The Quick: A trio of short plays that cut deep
Disappointing

The synopisis sounds great. The stories are poorly written and not terrible compelling. It seems that maybe this was a high school production-- so for high schoolers I give the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was also written by high school students? I could see the topics being more relatable to high schoolers than adults-- a little over the top dramatic. Might be worth targetting thst audience. Acting was fine.


Bryant Lake Bowl