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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Bradan Swatch

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
Lives in... Saint Paul


Bradan Swatch's reviews

DUNGEON
The 2017 Unique Fringe Flavor

HOW do people come up with this brilliant stuff? I don't know, but gosh am I happy that they do. This show is unlike anything else you will see at this years (and probably last years, and probably next years) festival, so see it now while you still can. It felt like a movie, like a maze, like a video game, like an art show, like a dance show, like a mystery. Totally beautiful.

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical
Punderful!

Imagine "Not Another Teen Movie" the musical on a Fringe budget (and I mean that in the best way possible). The singers are not all amazing, but it doesn't matter. The humor is smart and stupid at the same time. It's gold and I loved it.

Sean Neely
Consequences

If the controversial themes of this show are real, then Sean is facing all of the consequences for what he shared. If the controversial themes on this show are fiction, then Sean is facing all of the consequences for what he shared. It is quite the price tag, and I left really believing that either way the message was important enough. This was a powerful, scary, piece.

A Mermaid Abroad & A Fish Out of Water
Storytelling Pros

I was enthralled the entire time. Ariel and Scot are top notch storytellers. They had wonderfully natural banter the entire time which made this a 5 star show in my book. Fun way to spend an hour.

His Name Doesn't Matter
Unbreakable Amie and Spencer

I randomly stumbled into this show having no idea what it was going to be and I REALLY enjoyed myself. The storytellers to me had the dynamic of Titus and Kimmy from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. So imagine that but with more feminism and vulnerability.

Gruesome Playground Injuries
Bravo

First and foremost - the performances by Lauren Schulke and Dakotah Brown were incredible and brought the play to life (major props to you both!). Second, the story itself is incredibly solid. I loved every single one of the eight vignettes; all of them were purposeful and powerful and made me laugh (and...I won't lie to you, I got a little choked up too at one point). If there weren't 166 other shows to see on such a tight timeline I would see this one a second time. Add it to your queue my friends, add it to your queue.

Knifeslingin'!
Ted "Critter" Montana or Kenny Powers?

SUPER reminiscent of HBO's "East Bound and Down" (mullet included), which I happen to have loved and I hope J. Merrill Motz isn't sick of the Danny McBride comparison. This was a funny and clever show where the laughs come regularly, and, there is a political message thrown in there, per the rules of The Fringe Gods.

Serpentine
Difficult but wonderful

Very powerful show. At times, a difficult show to watch. I will say that I don't necessarily agree that this show is appropriate for 12+ year olds, maybe leave the kids at home for this one but share the message with them when you get back. Hats off to the cast and crew - this was a beautiful show.

Lettres et Café
You've Got Letters

Picture the 90s romantic comedy "You've Got Mail" set in post World War 2 France and you've got this show. Performances by the two leads were fantastic (my favorite moments in the show were the ones with JUST these 2). There are a couple of side plot lines that seemed to get a bit lost, BUT this show is well rehearsed and ready for you! Glad I saw it!

Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler
Fast Paced and Fun

Lots of laugh-out-loud moments in this liberal friendly comedy. Some good historical content that parallels nicely to issues of today. AND a very talented group of actors to boot!

"___________"
Lackluster

2.5 star show which I am rounding up to 3 because they do make some headway on sharing an important message (abuse, cycles of abuse, domestic violent) but the story takes a lllooonnnggg time to get going. There is a paper THIN ghost element but this is by no means a haunting ghost story, and the (few) interactive elements that are advertised didn't seem flushed out...I still don't know if the people that DID interact were plants or not? This is the Fringe Festival though - so don't let me stop you from seeing it and deciding for yourself.

Thor: Jurassic Park
Polarizing Mess

I have mixed feelings. This is a show I think some people will love, but more people will hate. I had a couple of laughs but overall the script was underdeveloped (with a few odd political opinions thrown in....I think?) and too much of it consisted of just running around randomly screaming. Oh joy.

Get Hooked
It is what it is

Kudos to the kids for writing, producing, and starring in this show! The whole show screams school project brought to Fringe, and an honest review gives it 2 stars. Pro Tip: If you decide to go, sit in the center section or you will be staring at backs the entire time.

The Well
It has potential

I do think this has the potential to be something great, but the problems with it were so distracting that it is hard to know for sure. Problems like: * I did not care about the protagonist at all (who was on this outdoor journey in full HEAVY makeup, as women of the time do on such occasions) * Scene changes were done frequently and without any sort of masking * I don't know what the point of this play was? * The REALLY COOL puppetry that could of been something was used for like ONE second * The play wasn't even 40 minutes long I'm sad about this one.


Bradan Swatch's Queue

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Absurd Advice

by Hill-Murray Theatre

Crane  

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Ambiance

by Minneapolis Ballet Dancers

Intermedia  

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The Banana Wars

by The Miller Conspiracy

Strike Theater  

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Bear Eats Bear

by The Last Grizzly

Kenwood Community Center  

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Blackout Improv

by Rogues Gallery Arts

Phoenix  

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Blood Debt

by Degenerate Theatre

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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BOOMBOX.

by Hannah Starr

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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Couple Fight 3: Weddings!

by Weggel-Reed Productions

Rarig Thrust  

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Dead Silence

by 2140 Productions

HUGE  

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Gruesome Playground Injuries

by Mosaic Productions

HUGE  

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The Last Bombardment

by Oncoming Productions

Ritz Mainstage  

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The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox

by The Winding Sheet Outfit

Rarig Arena  

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Mnemosyne

by Sunday Driver

Southern  

Eide Bailly
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Never Wonder Land

by Laughing Nomad Productions

Crane  

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ODD MAN OUT

by Underdog Theatre

Rarig Arena  

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One Foot

by Langston Theatre Company

Strike Theater  

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Our Boy

by Theatre B

Theatre in the Round  

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Out of the Shadows

by Gabriel Mata/Movements

Intermedia  

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Repertoire Dogs

by Ideal Productions

Mixed Blood  

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The Murmur of Murder

by Swing and a Miss

HUGE  

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The Well

by Coattail Productions

Ritz Studio  

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There Ain't No More!

by Willi Carlisle Productions

Crane  

Pinocchio