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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Cali Mastny's reviews

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
A lighthearted look at death!

This was a fun and ridiculous look at tragedy. A solid show overall. It was fast-paced and enjoyable. Because it's a series of stories it's hard to get overly attached to any storyline, but I also think that's part of the point. The park ranger was really well acted and kept me engaged through his continuity. Some things were a little over the top for me, but still a thoroughly enjoyable experience. It made me both want to visit Yosemite and also fearful of it!

Gravitational Collapse
Unique and beautiful show!

I really enjoyed this beautiful, poetic show. It was an intriguing story with strong characters and great acting. It had an interesting live electronic soundtrack that really added to the show! (There were some quirks with the levels but I’m sure they’ve figured that out). It had fun world-building through set, costumes and story. The sci-fi world/plot was a great vehicle to explore identity and human nature. The only downside: I wanted more! It felt like there was more story to tell and more things I wanted to find out. I would be excited to see part 2 added to this in the future!

Loved it!

I'm sometimes skeptical about of one person shows.. if that one person fails the whole show fails.. and had no idea what to expect with this, but Hannah rocked it! Fun show that kept me engaged the whole time. Lots of talent!

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
The right stuff!

Loved this show. A slightly ridiculous version of the story but it worked. The two main actors were really solid. Singing was great and the music really added to the fun.

PHD (Po H# on Dope) to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life
Wonderful show!

Dr. E is an amazing storyteller, singer and all around performer. It was an intense and moving story dotted with beautiful a cappella songs and even bits of humor. She deftly transitioned between those moments. I was riveted the whole time. Highly recommended!

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
A fun musical adventure

This is a fun show put on by talented performers. Loved the energy and creativity. They took pretty music and made it into a truly engaging show.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
I laughed so hard I actually cried.

This show was full of laughs. Physical humor can be really hit or miss for me. But they really made it work. They started with some fairly standard premises, but then took them in really unexpected directions! Their facial expressions were what really sold it. I loved the creativity and audience interaction. Great musical accompaniment too!

Dick White: Ghost Detective
Fun show!

This was a silly, witty, fun show. It made me laugh out loud many times. I enjoyed the self-referential asides and humorous way to deal with lack of budget. A few things could be a little more polished but overall it was super enjoyable and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes pun-based humor and wordplay.

Oxygen Is Overrated
Rough flight ahead

I appreciate the work that goes into a fringe show - and I was interested in the sci-fi plot, but the result didn't quite work for me. I never really felt like Brenna was in peril, which made it difficult to identify with or root for her. Reading that the author/performer is a public speaker and sci-fi author makes sense. Her performance definitely wasn't flat, but it felt more like a motivational speaker than a well rounded character. The world-building was interesting - I enjoyed the unique alien co-pilot and his way of communicating. But other one-sided conversations were a little hard to get into and maybe would have worked better with more actors. And for me the moral of the story was too heavy-handed for me, but your milage may vary.

Cedar Printing