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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Mark Webb's reviews

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
This one's back for a reason!

Because it was hilarious! Every one of these bits was exceptionally funny and fast-paced. Great material and terrific performances all around!

On The Exhale
Make reservations NOW!

Do NOT miss this one. Jane Froiland delivers a riveting performance of Martín Zimmerman's material. I was completely captivated and blown away by this character's journey. As we left the theatre, I had to nod at those behind me, murmuring "holy shit". That's exactly what I felt too. Seriously, do not miss this one!

Lettres et Café
Beautiful show!

I really enjoyed this one. The fine cast delivers a fresh take on this charming story. The production was polished, well acted and directed, had real nice energy throughout, and really worked great in the round. Highly recommended!

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
It works in the round, too!

Always a fun time, this one was as fresh as the last two times they were here. Inventive, great musical choices, and a showcase for their talents, this is always one show not to miss! I dare you not to smile as you're leaving the theater.

Good Kids
Powerful

With such a young cast, many performing for the first time, I was hesitant to see this one. I'm SO glad I went. The entire cast was great, delivering dynamic performances along with the message this powerful script offers. It's meant to create a dialog and it certainly did. We talked about it all the way to our next show. Well done!

FUNKiN' Good Time
How do you even DO that???

How can I even describe this one without breaking a hip? OMG - these incredibly talented young dancers knocked this out out of the park. Using a wide and varied selection of funk music, they demonstrated some of the best funk moves ever; some I hadn't seen in years, and some I've never seen at all. Their intense dance moves were edgy and inventive - a total feel good, feast for they eyes.

Hello, I Must Be Going...
Incredible performances

Wow - Ari Hoptman was perfect and amazing as Groucho, with a stellar supporting cast. The script was emotional and captivating. Highly recommended!

The Best of All Possible Worlds
Wonderful

Mann gives a polished performance with his honest and often hilarious material. I was captivated throughout. Very uplifting!

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Show #56 - perfect way to end Fringe!

Honestly, I could watch Josh do his shtick all day long. Between his facial expressions and physical contortions, it's so reminiscent of Dick Van Dyke or Red Skelton. Paring his talents with Levi Weinhagen was perfect. It was the perfect way to end my Fringe!

There Ain't No More!
Highly entertaining

This piece was both entertaining and thought-provoking. Mr. Carlisle is wildly talented and gave a mesmerizing performance. There are many layers to this one - all wonderful.

Our Boy
An intense ride

This was the second show I saw on the subject, and was just as strong. The script was powerful and the actors pulled it off nicely. I loved the dissonance and revelation between these two characters as they discuss the actions of their son. Nicely done!

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
The geek world explodes

Not into the D&D world myself, I guess I have too many geek friends and know too much about this subject. This was a laugh-out-loud riot of a performance! Seriously, I'm not sure who was having more fun - the audience or the players. Great concept for a fringe show, and so well done.

So Goshdarn Warm and Fuzzy!
More dance please

For a dance piece, I was expecting more dance. The other elements were a lot of fun, and who doesn't like playing a kazoo, but it did detract from the wonderful dance sections of the show. The final number was beautiful!

Rumpus
Fun for the whole family

Who doesn't love to listen to Mike's Brass? They have a wonderful sound and chose the perfect selections for the dance. The story told through dance was superbly executed. Delightful.

Themselves They Made Immaculate: Clara Barton at Andersonville
Nice fringe material

Mostly a reading from the historical documents, this one is perfect for the fringe. Linda Sue brings Clara's testimony before congress to life. The material is relevant and powerful, and Linda Sue's performance is engaging.

William & Mary: The Way Out Experiment
Very nice

At first I wasn't sure I was going to like it. The main character totally rubbed me the wrong way and I just wanted out. Little did I know, that was totally on purpose. The the story line changed and I then loved what I was hating. Great show, with a wildly amusing script.

The End of the World Sing-Along Hour
Great time

This is a fun show, filled with great musical talent leading us through song, kazoos included. Perfect fringe fare!

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Silly Good Fun

I found this one to be quite humorous and . The accomplished cast was totally committed to the absurdities of the script until the very end. Lots of laughs and captivating performances all around.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Nice production

Nicely crafted, these fine actors bring the script to life. It's hauntingly moody and a nice look into the history of these sisters. Very polished production.

ODD MAN OUT
Intensely powerful

There's a lot going on in this story, and could easily become a full-length production. Nicely acted, the script is impressive, with some great characters. I was captivated and left wanting more!

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Good laughs

It's always hard to pick shows for the first night of Fringe, so I chose this show for the cast, and they did not disappoint. This is Andy and Josh doing what they do best. It's creative, funny, and some of the sight gags were hilarious. Definitely put this on your list!

The Banana Wars
Fun facts!

Derek always seems to find something interesting to talk about, and this show is no exception. He's a great storyteller and gives this little piece of history a nice personal spin. It's fast-pace and well done!

Songs of MN Summer
Great cast

These three (and their stellar accompanist) pulled off a great musical improve routine with lots of laughs. Nice concept that could easily fail, the cast was quick to move each section along with finesse. This was a real nice time!

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Who needs a huge cast...

... when you have this much talent packed into one performer! Mr. Reed is fascinating to watch. The material was creative and fresh, and moved along at a brisk pace. He's a captivating storyteller with incredible facial expressions and impeccable timing. Well worth it!

Slaughterhouse Five: A Musical
Definite Fringe material - Odd and Fun

I'm not sure this warranted being a musical, but it was interesting to see. Fine performances and well rehearsed, the talented cast moves through this one at a quick pace.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Crazy good fun!

What's not to love about this show? Clever, laugh-out-loud funny, great original score, and a superbly talented cast. This is perfect fringe fare. Don't miss this one!

Repertoire Dogs
My face hurt!

I wasn't expecting this to be so funny. Really, my face hurt from laughing so hard. Simple concepts superbly executed. These guys were all having a blast, and so did we. Cheers to Ed Wynn!

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Good fun

Great, historical material re-imagined. It was nice to see see and hear these scripts brought back to life by a cast that truly brought their talents to the table. Clever, funny, and mysterious, it was quite entertaining.

Pope Joan
Nice script

This was intriguing and well done. I enjoyed the script, and the main character really carried the piece. It's a fascinating topic which makes me want to research more.

A Mermaid Abroad & A Fish Out of Water
Nicely done

I've had the opportunity to watch these two storytellers grow over the last couple of years. To see them perform together was a delight. The material is fresh, unique, and a nice insight to their human experiences. Well done!

Melody Mendis is "Barbra"
Spot on impersonation

Melody's Streisand is quite remarkable. This was a very entertaining show. A few of the cues were a bit loud, so she was somewhat drowned out from time to time. This is a fun performance!

Skins
Pleasant surprise!

Couldn't get into our chosen show, so ran around the corner and saw this one. What a nice surprise! The very talented cast made good use of the minimalist set, and moved this piece along at a quick pace. It was a great retelling of the tale with some nice devices and twists. Very polished and well done!

Synchronicity
Silly fun!

This clever and often hilarious show is an overall good time. The adolescent awkwardness made for some great laughs. Special shout-outs to Sulia and Dani who reminded me how much I rolled my eyes growing up with two weirdo younger sisters. Lots of fun!

Songs for a Post-Apocalyptic World
Still baffled

This was a definite "WTF did I just see?" moment, and I don't mean that in a bad way. The show is perfect fringe material, and off to a good start. The cast did a nice job with this odd piece, but the musical numbers seemed to be way under-rehearsed.

Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler
Nice little time capsule

The show was quick-paced and quite clever. Although no real revelations here, it was a nice reminder of the cartoon politics in which we continue to live. Interesting script and some nice performances.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Great concept didn't quite cut it

Here's another show I chose because I know and adore most of the cast. The script was great in concept, but just didn't deliver. The cast seemed to play more for schtick than anything else. I think this one could use a good workshop and stronger direction.

The Perils of Steve
Nice cast. Failing script.

The script left these fine actors with little to work with. It was nothing short of just silly. I want to give this one a 2, but I could clearly see the actors were working their butts off to deliver this one. It's a fun genre, and I really was hoping for more.

Sisyphus
Great storyteller

I really enjoyed Christopher's brand of storytelling. He's humorous and clever. And although we could clearly tell that he has a nice singing voice, his music was too soft, which made him flat. Crank up the music and let us hear you.

Playwrights on a Train
Intriguing

Although I did like the script, the show seem quite unrehearsed. Sound cues overpowered the actors at times, so I missed some of the dialog. Nice performances from the cast throughout.

Pinocchio
Lots of laughter and fun

Clever material and lots of laughs, this was a great show to end the evening. The re-envisioned classic was brought to life by a fine cast.

"___________"
Disjointed and a bit slow

Although the performances were very nice, the material seemed a bit disjointed. My partner in crime and I discussed this afterward, and I'm pretty sure we did not see the same show. The pacing dragged, which made me lose interest at times, but the many odd devices used for the ghost parts of the show intrigued me.

Minnesota Dance Ensemble Presents CARMEN
Everything but the dance

I enjoyed the interpretation of this Carmen. Interspersed classical soundtrack with the modern numbers really worked well and gave the show a fresh look and sound. For a dance piece though, I must admit that I was expecting more experienced dancers - choreography was simple and appeared to be no challenge at all.

F@*k the 90s
Charming

This show had some great live tunes from the 90s (Thanks Scot, Courney, and Nicole!) and a stellar performance from Mame. I really enjoyed her brand of storytelling. She's captivating and delightful. The audience participation part of the show didn't work for me; I felt it distracted from Mame's story and changed the energy that had previously been built up.

Dick White: Ghost Detective
Goofy Fun

There were plenty of laughs in this show, most of which were a bit sophomoric, which isn't a bad thing. It just left the show a bit empty. The script was simple and void of any real plot, but the cast did a nice job with it, if not a tad over the top with the schtick.

Full Metal Rabbit
Moves along quickly

Some nice humor in this one, but the material didn't do anything for me. The cast did a fine job, and all were committed to the performance.

Whisper Into My Good Ear
Powerful but slow

Although the actors are both fine performers, I found this one to be slow and fairly predictable.

DANCING BARE FEET
Visually strong

I really do love this groups dancing, and the costumes are gorgeous. And although I understand the purpose of the stories, I found them to be distracting to what this group does best. I've seen them before, and I still would prefer to see more of their traditional dancing and less spoken word.

Debacle: Stories of Life's Ultimate Fiascos!
Nice, but a bit uneven

This was a nice combination of humor and music. Katy Vernon's sections were wonderful. She has a hauntingly beautiful voice and was a pleasure to listen to, and who doesn't enjoy a good ukulele songstress? The monologues were nice, but each one seemed a little too long. I believe cutting those pieces down would have moved this along nicely.

Cocaine
I wanted much more

Although the cast members were both fine, the script was empty and left me wanting so much more.

Good Friday: Round One
Went nowhere fast

I didn't care for this one at all. The script was nonsensical and irrelevant, and something that is overdone. And although the cast definitely has some good credentials, they just didn't seem to make anything out of this. I did find the conversation between Jesus and the ass somewhat interesting.

KnoW WesT
Slow and uneven

I didn't care for this one at all and really was hoping for much more. I found nothing compelling or interesting to hang onto

Wish You Were Her
A bit slow

I really didn't care for this one at all. Although Dan is charming enough, this production dragged on. There was some nice humor spattered throughout, but be the production as a whole was very uneven.

Never Wonder Land
Slow and uninspring

With little dialog, this show had a confusing script that just didn't deliver. Performances were uneven and seemed unrehearsed.

Antonio and the Juice Man
Uninteresting

I found both the script and performances to be uninteresting. Maybe a strong workshop could help this show, but I just didn't feel it was ready for performance.

Blackbeard's Revenge
Didn't come together

I found this one to be pretty lackluster, with the exception of the songstress and musicians. She was great to listen to, but the music didn't really go with the rest of the show, and the script was uninteresting.

We Would Not Exist Without Disco
Disco music, waltz storyline

I found the story to be a bit confusing and slow. The dance numbers were fun, and the actors were all quite talented, but the show left me feeling empty.


MTA