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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Danielle S's reviews

The Simple Mind of Dillon Magee
Good show!

All the actors played their parts well. I enjoyed the overall story, the set/prop design, and use of video to help tell the story.

Crash and Burn: An American success story
Bravo to the cast!

This type of story has definitely been told before, but I think this is a good version. The cast played their characters very well - I didn't think for a second that they were acting. Good use of props and sounds, too!

Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler
Whooooaaa!

Grab your umbrella and (time) travel to this show. All the actors play their roles with great energy and enthusiasm, and it's got a little something for everyone: Tons of humor! Music and dancing! Props thrown through the air with reckless abandon! Props not thrown but still expertly used! I truly enjoyed this play, and I bet you will, too.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
Wow, how do they DO that?!

Playing instruments well takes a lot of work. Now imagine playing instruments while doing all sorts of moving around/dancing! There are multiple short pieces within this show, with most involving significant movement, or trying a difficult technique. You might even be invited on stage to help!

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
20! Critical success!

This is a really fantastic show! You'll definitely get invested in the characters and be rooting for some to succeed or fail. Throughout it all, there are tons of funny moments, and all the actors are great at making scenes work well. You don't have to understand D&D to understand the show. As long as you're cool with a fantasy setting (magic, dragons, etc) you'll be able to follow along. I'd say this is a must-see!

DANCING BARE FEET
Beautiful all around

Costumes are great, dancing was fantastic, and the set design/props and theme of the show were great, too! Sure, the story itself was super stereotypical - but I believe the point of a story in Bollywood is specifically a vehicle to get to more dancing, so I didn't mind it at all!

Santa Academy
Cute show, good singing

The ending is mostly predictable, but hey, I got to hear some great singing along the way!

Mnemosyne
Really cool world

I really enjoyed the world this was set in. I only wish it was a little more... organized, I suppose? It was a little hard for me to follow, and honestly, the dancing/movement in the background did nothing to help the story that I could tell. I'd love to see more stories from this world!

Gravitational Collapse
Gilmore Girls + Dark Matter + no ending

Gilmore Girls because there's lots of fast talking drama; Dark Matter for the show's main theme; no ending because it feels like a cliffhanger TV episode. Also the music/sound effects can sometimes drown out the actresses' voices - maybe sit closer to the stage if you see it :) But it did keep me engaged for the most part. And I love how they did the costumes!

Facebook Lite
Great jokes

...rehashed over and over again. The premise is fantastic and the first 15 minutes or so were great until I realized they were just going to keep using the same joke formula the entire time.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
The louder you speak, the funnier it is!

Why do some comedians think a joke is funnier the louder and more ridiculous you are when you say it? There's a fair amount of that type of comedy in this show. There were definitely some funny parts though, and it's a fun premise.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
Guess I'm not the right type

I thought the show was decent, but judging from the 25 5-star reviews it has already, I have a feeling I'm not the type of person this play is really meant to connect with. It felt kind of stereotyped at times, and too silly/unreasonable at other times. But hey, what would I know, I live in Saint Paul (eek!)

Serpentine
Well... that happened

The title was all I could think to say when I was asked how I liked the show immediately after. But I've had more time to think about it since then! I liked the spoken word parts. But when it came to the actual play - it was very hard for me to follow. The writing is poetic and spoken fairly fast, so my brain cannot keep up while also trying to "translate" the poetry to what it means. So I ended up with just the general gist of what was going on, without understanding the details. It was also a bit too far on the weird side for my taste.

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Arguments, conversations, abuse...

The word "fight" is taken pretty loosely in this play. Started off well with the first couple, where it was an actual legitimate petty argument that was super funny. It went downhill from there, with some of the "fights" being basically just passionate conversations. One was even a wife constantly screaming (at herself, at her husband, into the void, whatever) and taking out her frustrations on him physically. While is does technically fit the theme of the show, it doesn't fit the spirit of the show, because abuse isn't funny. Ever.


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