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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Justin DeLong

Years attending Fringe: This is my first year
25-34 years old
Lives in... Saint Paul
Favorite genre: Comedy


Justin DeLong's reviews

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical
Bubbly Fun!

This show was hilarious, and did a great job of poking fun at cliche love stories. The music was infectious (in a good way), but the singers were very hard to hear. You'll fall in love with this show. And probably sing a song or two about it.

Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler
Make Way: They're Reaganing!

This show had a ton of great moments and was a barrel of laughs. The ensemble really made the show. The time flew by! Pun intended.

DANCING BARE FEET
A Hot-Footed Delight

A cute show with some great dancing! Fans of Bollywood films will love this tale of a girl with a dream and the people who help it come true. Family friendly, some great laughs, and impressive choreography.

Slaughterhouse Five: A Musical
Time Flies!

This show perfectly nailed Vonnegut's absurdism. The music, though minimal, is great at giving a pause through Billy Pilgrim's nonlinear journey. The actors are solid while portraying the caricatures they are meant to be, and I couldn't have been more thankful for this. It is in no way heavy-handed and will make you smile. Not Quite family-friendly, but readers of the novel know this. Do yourself a favor and see this show.

Sean Neely
Brilliant and Heartbreaking

I went into this show well aware of the controversy surrounding it, and I left knowing that the consequences of the show made the controversy inconsequential. I respect this performance and Mr. Neely for no other reason than it started as a one-hour monologue that quickly stretched to another hours' worth of dialogue regarding whether or not it was fact/fiction, whether that factor is even important, and what supports are available for this segment of the population (there are few to none). If fact, I applaud Mr. Neely for putting himself at risk for addressing and starting this dialogue. If fiction, the same applies.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Guaranteed to Give You a Fever

Where to begin? This show is by far one of the best productions I've seen this Fringe. Every aspect of it was perfect. The comic timing of the actors really serves as a strong foundation for the well-written and witty music. The actors were easy to hear over the minimal (and excellent) accompaniment and I really enjoyed the believability of this unbelievably offbeat story. Honestly, I don't think there were more than 30 seconds between rounds of laughter. NOT family friendly in the most perfect way. SEE THIS SHOW!

There Ain't No More!
What Amazing Talent

This show blew me away. Great music, solid storytelling. It is a complete package of a show and I'm still in awe of the talent of the performer. See this show while you stil can!

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
+20 Show of Hilarity!

I can't endorse it enough. Some amazing improv, great physical gags, and an delightful sense of atmosphere. I don't think I've ever heard an audience respond as it did during certain scenes (especially when a 1 or 20 was rolled). Think of it as a funny, unpredictable, low-budget meal at Medival Times. Great fun, I hopper to see the final installment on Sunday!

Skirmish of Wit: Your Imaginary Forces
A Sweetheart of a Show

What a great way to adapt Much Ado! Great music, cute staging, but i felt that some of the dialogue was improvised and was difficult to hear and understand.

Much Ado About Nothing (as told by Dogberry and Verges)
Excellent Adaptation!

I was a little disappointed that this wasn't a two-hander as the title implies, but I was impressed at the cutting of this classic play. The actor portraying Verges/Borrachio especially stands out, but the whole ensemble shines and are masters (mistresses?) of timing. Fans of and strangers to Shakespeare alike will love this show.

It Can't Happen Here
Timely, but...

I thought this show had a lot to say and not nearly enough time in which to say it. This left me asking things like "Wait, who's this now?" and "What happens to so-and-so?" Overall, the story is solid enough, but I know there is more to be told and many lose ends are left. The acting was hit or miss for several of the secondary characters, but that the leads were well done. I do think that the portrayal of the antagonist as a woman in a pants role makes a statement on sexism, but that's not what this play is about. See it if you can, and I hope it sparks some good conversations.

A Mermaid Abroad & A Fish Out of Water
Absurdist Titles Lead To Great Stories

I truly enjoyed this show. From start to finish Leah and Moore spin fantastic tales.

Serpentine
Blindingly Good!

A great, gripping storytelling piece that uses accurate retellings of Greek Myths of Tiresias to explore the Transgender community. Some parts seemed shaky, but on the whole, well played by all.

Lettres et Café
Not Quite My Cuppa, But...

This show draws many comparisons to the film You've Got Mail, yes, but it is a sweet, well-polished show with a fantastic ensemble. Family friendly, many laughs, and guaranteed to make even the harshest cynic smile.

Thor: Jurassic Park
A Send-Up That Flails Wildly

I'm conflicted about this show. It's funny, and it knows exactly what it wants to be and is, but upon reflection, it's like watching a high school student record a project for class. High engagement, lots of gags, fun for kids and fans of both franchises.

The Zoo Story (New Version)
Absurd?

Perhaps it's just me, but I found this play to be utterly predictable. I've never read the script, but from the opening lines, I knew what the outcome would be. I'm no great fan of Albee, but I was still let down. I'd heard very strong things, and although the acting was superb, the plot and characters are grating. See it for yourself, get a few laughs, and view what Albee thought was the absurdity of the human condition.

Macduo
By the Pricking of My Thumbs...

...something underwhelming this way comes. In an effort to fit all of the most memorable lines from Macbeth (yeah, I wrote it on a theatrical website), the plot, pacing, and characterization of this suffers mightily. Some solid characters and physicality from April Hubbard, but overall I struggled with enjoying this. Its ambition, much like that of Macbeth, is its downfall.

"___________"
Maybe It's Just Me?

I'll be blunt: I did not like this show. It's not that I was "triggered" by it, or that I thought it lacked any value, I just genuinely thought the script was almost nonsensical. I got the definite feeling that there was something missing from this production, and I couldn't really tell what was going on/where it was set. The actors were fine, but I was confused as to why there was was audience participation, in which I couldn't participate because I was not given the proper means before the show. Additionally, members of the audience shouldn't be scolded for watching a play. It's a valiant effort, but I was not a fan.

The Well
Well...

I left this show in a foul mood. The script was lackluster and longwinded despite its 40 minute runtime, the set pieces, transitions, and dialect were distracting, and the suspense was anything but. I'm rounding this review up to two stars because the actors committed to the show despite all these things and SOME of the wound makeup looked very good in spite of the proximity.

Get Hooked
Here There Be Draggin'...

This show is very unique in that it was conceived, written, and performed by high school performers. That said, trying to temper my review because of this would be a disservice to the performers and audience. The leads are strong (especially the Pirate King), but the plot is weak, and while the music is catchy at first, it quickly becomes irritating. Too many puns, not enough polish or substance.


Justin DeLong's Queue

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Blackbeard's Revenge

by The Park Theater Company

Rarig Arena  

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Blood Debt

by Degenerate Theatre

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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The Buttslasher

by New Endeavors

Ritz Studio  

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Dame daDA & the Meta Show

by Nichole Hamilton

Ritz Studio  

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DANCING BARE FEET

by RGK Modern Indian Dance Academy

Rarig Thrust  

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The Dragonfly

by Clarity Visuals

Southern  

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DUNGEON

by Hit the Lights! Theater Co.

Jungle Theater  

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First Year Queer

by Sparrow Productions

Intermedia  

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Full Metal Rabbit

by Beta Fish Productions

Intermedia  

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Hot Air

by SCHMAGENCY

Rarig Xperimental  

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It Can't Happen Here

by Sinclair Lewis Productions

Ritz Studio  

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Katie Versus The Devils

by Scared Hare Productions

Rarig Arena  

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Lettres et Café

by Bad Mime Productions

Theatre in the Round  

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Macduo

by Three Crazy Sons

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

Two Bettys
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MEDUSA

by Vox Medusa with Infiammati FireCircus

Boom Island  

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Mnemosyne

by Sunday Driver

Southern  

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Never Wonder Land

by Laughing Nomad Productions

Crane  

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Nowhere in Glass

by JSB Theatre

Crane  

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Pope Joan

by Featherstone Creative

Rarig Xperimental  

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Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler

by Katherine Glover Presents

Strike Theater  

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Sean Neely

by POTTER PRESENTS

Phoenix  

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Serpentine

by Maximum Verbosity

Strike Theater  

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Sisyphus

by Moon-Eyed Owl

Theatre in the Round  

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Slaughterhouse Five: A Musical

by Clevername Productions

Jungle Theater  

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Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL

by Turd Spout Productions

Phoenix  

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The Zoo Story (New Version)

by Mortimer Productions

HUGE  

Wayward Theatre - The Weir
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There Ain't No More!

by Willi Carlisle Productions

Crane  

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Waiting for Gygax

by Hot Chocolate Media

Rarig Xperimental  

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What You Will

by Jammed Desk Productions

Phoenix  

Metro Transit