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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Heather Rand-McKay

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

Heather Rand-McKay's reviews

Waiting for Gygax
Delightful even for a D&D alien.

This show was well-acted by each cast member--their contributions were unique and complemented each other well. The costumes were fantastic! I am not a person who knows D&D at all and I've never seen "Waiting for Gadot" but neither of those things detracted from my viewing. There is great character development throughout and each character is dynamic and with clear motivations. My only complaint is that the beginning felt slow, but I think that was probably as a result of my lack of knowledge rather than a shortcoming on part of actors or writing. The show is very well suited to the venue, it felt intimate. I sat in the front row and really got to enjoy the detail of the well crafted costumes and props. Highly recommend!

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Very enjoyable!

Despite being in a social circle with a few of the performers, I have never actually seen the show before, and I've been missing out! It was so entertaining, and I especially liked seeing how certain audio effects were performed. The cast are definitely professionals. Would love to see a show at the Hill House in the future.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Learn from these people!

I almost feel bad being as entertained as I was. The performers played their parts well, switching back and forth between the characters in the reenactments and the characters visiting the park. The show had lots of physical comedy, lots of jokes, and some interesting information about Yosemite in general. The death scenarios get a bit crazier as the show builds, and the props were used excellently. As has been mentioned, the front couple of rows are a definite splash zone, but it added to the fun of the show.

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
The funniest show I saw!

I really enjoyed this show. The mashup of music and acting was perfect, the script was smart and funny and just the right amount self-referential. Glad we chose this one as the encore we saw!

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Very enjoyable, even through the anxiety

This show was different than I expected. Joshua and Levi really put a lot into it. It's thoughtful and intentional and realistic enough that it actually gave me a measure of anxiety at times. The audience got to participate at times, and the musical accompaniment was fantastic. I laughed out loud often, and I'm glad I sat at the front--so much is delivered just in minute facial expressions.

Katie Versus The Devils
Plenty of high points

I think that the source material for this show is so interesting and something I knew nothing about. The costumes were beautiful, the props and set were quite nice, and there were several moments of levity which helped the pacing of the show. Like other reviewers have said, it was a bit slow to heat up, and the character development in the first third of the show is on the clunkier side. But as it moves into the action, it becomes a very enjoyable show. The cast is great, and managed some technical difficulties gracefully.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
Really wanted to love it

The cast had a lot of heart but I felt that the content was shallow and oddly detached considering the writers were writing for their own age and experience. It felt at times like it was co-opting the experience of being poor and being weird but that it didn't actually explore the experience in depth. The digs at the theater space and at the basic levels of organization of the Fringe in general were odd choices. I commend the effort and am glad for the huge turnout the show has gotten, and the supporting cast showed depth and talent, but ultimately the entire show left me wanting focus and development.

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