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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Phillip Germond's reviews

Character-driven comedy

I loved this show. It didn't rely on easy humor. Instead it took a story we all know and explored the extremities of it. Though the characters were absurd, I ended up caring about them. That made the hi jinks all the more hilarious.

It's About Love Again This Year
Breath of fresh air

The choreography and storytelling was accessible, even to audience members who know little about modern dance. The joy of love radiated through the choreography and left the audience feeling exhilarated and hopeful. The naturalistic feel of the production was not supported by the use of a microphone. I wanted to hear the dancers call out with as much energy as they had danced with, instead of hunching over a microphone and being artificially amplified. My favorite number was the finale.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Honest Ambiguity

Not a single element of this show was left to chance. Everything was carefully crafted to tell the story. The characters were brought to life by the most honest performances in the Fringe. The onstage accompaniment was anything but a gimmick. Each line, each look, each movement was laden with meaning. I don't just recommend this show. I pity people who don't get to see it.

Repertoire Dogs
So close to 5 stars!

Great show, but the suggestion segment needs refinement. Maybe if audience members could write down their suggestions and then those were pulled out of a hat, it would eliminate the clamor and obscure suggestions. They could be read for laughs and put aside. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the show.

Absurd Advice
Pleasantly Surprised

Our group laughed from beginning to end. This series of vignettes goes to show that theater can be funny while still being family friendly. If you simply want to be entertained for almost an hour, this show is for you. The "Shopper and the Pharmacist" & "The OK Fairy" were highlights for us.

Inspired self-reflection

This show gave me a lot to think about. I appreciated the honesty, and the performances and script were solid.