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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Riley Parham

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
21-24 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Comedy

Riley Parham's reviews

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Awesome Bruh

Go see this show! Chase Adelsman does an incredible job directing this piece, creating a wonderfully comedic and meaningful show. Beautifully developed characters will make you laugh and realize the genuine struggles hiding behind their scout uniforms.

One Foot
What Keeps you Warm?

Heartfelt, haunting, and honest. I'm going to be thinking about this show for the rest of Fringe. To walk with one Foot is to be unbalanced, incomplete, cold. What are the little things that warm you up? Sometimes a blanket doesn't cut it.

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
The Cast with the Most Beautiful Voices

I could have listened to these wonderful storytellers for another hour. Performed in the compelling, melodramatic style of old radio shows, the actors create enthralling worlds with their voices, shoes, and other simple audio props. Don't miss this fun escape into nonchalant horror

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Accurate-er than the Season Recap

Tom Reed never disappoints. This clever parody of Stranger Things season one will have you laughing on the edge of your seat. There are many hysterically valid points that Reed makes during the course of this impressive one man show. Definitely a show to see. Just one thing =) the monster doesn't appear when Eleven has a bloody nose because it's during the day and the monster is nocturnal. Loved the show!

Ending Fringe in the Light

An incredible shadow / puppet show that succeeds in creating a deep, vibrant world. The main actor excels in embracing the drama, creating comedy from the darkness, and beautifully puppeteers his own body. I heard some talking of this play as a Damsel in Distress tale. I disagree. I believe the plot reaches the deepest depths as a redemption story for this brother who made a mistake. Thank you for a great ending to Fringe!

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
Scale of 1-5, They Rolled a 20!

Absolutely hysterical. This is a must see! The Bearded Men are always a pleasure to watch and this is no exception. I laughed so hard I cried. The concept of the dungeon master adds so much to the improv, even determining how effective someone can cut off the villain's mustache. I loved it so much I may even try to see it again.

[Enter the Narrator]
Determined to Hear Judy's Ending

Narrator inception. Romance. Comedy. Meta-theatre. And, a Minnesotan mom. [Enter the Narrator] keeps you on your toes with its clever humor and genuine representation of love. We all want someone perfect. We don't often find them in the perfect place. I found myself wanting a little more depth at the end. But, ultimately it is a fun and beautifully executed show.

Repertoire Dogs
Fun Laughs

This show was a lot of fun. But, the time felt like it passed too quickly and by the end I was waiting for them to start. That being said, a very talented cast and great concept.

Cutting it Close

A very fun play with an important message that hits a little too hard on the preachy side. Motz does a wonderful job bringing Critter to life and his telemarketing scenes are incredible. It would have been nice to have a set actor as the ADA so that the lines could have been more polished.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
Ripe Fruit

A pleasant show that celebrates the varied music styles around the world. The pieces from Japan and Antarctica have me wanting more. I also appreciated the clarification: "A composer who happens to be female. Not, a female composer." Great show to sit back and soak in.

Blackout Improv
LaughedOut Loud

Hysterical improvisation of both social and personal subjects. It will be new every night, but you're in for a good show no matter what.

It's About Love Again This Year
Delightful Dance

This is a great show if you love dance or want to change things up from the rest of Fringe (or if you're a writer seeking random inspiration). The dance is beautiful, and there are some fun moments, but I found it lacking more profound emotional connection.

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
I'm a Skeptic

The director and cast make impeccable use of the Rarig Arena space. Their minimal in-the-round set design works perfectly to evoke a seance. While I loved the actors performance as well as the director's clever use of picture frames, I found myself wanting more from the story. If spiritualism isn't your thing, you can miss this one. However, if you are into mediums and the like, this is the perfect show for you.

Hypnotizing in the All Wrong Ways

The script is poorly developed and failed to build to a climax. The hypnotism bit is cute, but failed to draw me into the world. I was especially turned off when the hypnotism turned into manipulating a woman to perform a strip tease on two separate occasions, one of which was intended for blackmail. As storytellers, we can, and should, do better than this. I do not recommend this show.

Riley Parham's Queue

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Blackout Improv

by Rogues Gallery Arts


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by Hannah Starr

Bryant-Lake Bowl  

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Couple Fight 3: Weddings!

by Weggel-Reed Productions

Rarig Thrust  

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by Hit the Lights! Theater Co.

Jungle Theater  

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Gruesome Playground Injuries

by Mosaic Productions


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Hot Air


Rarig Xperimental  

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by Underdog Theatre

Rarig Arena  

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by Maximum Verbosity

Strike Theater  

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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