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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Holly Peterson

Years attending Fringe: 2-4 years
25-34 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Something Different

Holly Peterson's reviews

Hot Air
A Must See.

This is one of the best shows I've seen so far this year. The writing is great and the actors maintain breakneck energy for the entire show. Visually, their use of light and shadow are really interesting and allows them to change scenes quickly and effectively. The story is an over the top (in a good way) buddy comedy that sources physical humor, word play, visual jokes, and the downright ridiculous. I had so much fun for the entire show. I cannot recommend this one strongly enough.

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Made me wanna binge stranger things

I loved Stranger Things and Stranger-er Things is the perfect combination of fan art/story criticism/comedy for people who loved the show and can also admit that parts of it maybe didn't make a lot of sense. Both performers are great. The pianist is actively engaged in the performance and was fun to watch for all of his facial expressions, etc. Reed was phenomenal. His impressions are incredible and his singing is great. Totally enjoyed. Definitely check it out. I've heard people say that it's just as good if you haven't seen the show, but know that you'll miss some of the more subtle jokes.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
Hilarious. Non-stop Energy. Feministy <3

This is very solidly in my top five favorite shows of the festival. The plot (two college aged women run around the Twin Cities trying to get to their Fringe show on time) exists only as a vehicle for the comedy, which ranges from sex, birth control, feminism, mansplainers, relationships, the St. Paul/Minneapolis rivalry, and the intensity of Fringe festival volunteers. Not every joke lands for everyone, but the frenetic energy of the show and the rapid fire speed of delivery ensures that everyone is laughing constantly. It is a great show and well worth seeing. I can't wait to see what else they do.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Amazing Performances. Great Script.

This is so good. My only criticism is that I wish that they had taken advantage of having a cast of four people and harmonized more often. Other than that I loved the show. For the most part it is a perfect millennial comedy about coming of age with nothing to show for it. It's rambunctious, hilarious, and even wraps up with a pretty decent "moral of the story" at the end. Much suggested.

Not Quite: Asian American by Law, Asian Woman by Desire
Great Talk. Wish she'd left it there.

Cheng is a marvelous storyteller. She has a great sense of comedic timing, and tells an intimate story in a very accessible manner. Her story is definitely worth checking out. At the end of her show she had a talk back, which I wish she had either skipped or offered as something people could take advantage of after the show ended and most of us left. There were clearly conversations some audience members wanted to have with her, but as someone who was worried about making their next show, it was awful to sit through a q&a that took us right up to, if not a little past, the end of the time slot.

The Buttslasher
On Point Line Delivery. Great Script.

There are a lot of fake noir pieces this year, but this is one is well worth seeing. The comedic timing of all of the actors was on point (especially the daughter and the lead detective). There was a little bit of line flubbing at the performance I saw, but for the most part I thought it was a great show. Definitely recommended.

Blackbeard's Revenge
Piratey Goodness

I enjoyed this show! I thought that the scenes between Blackbeard and Gabriel were especially good and loved the twist at the end. I did not really understand the purpose of the musical interludes, but costumes and set design were gorgeous. I noticed a couple reviewers saying that costumes didn't match the era, but I got the impression costumes were going for an aesthetic (which they nailed) more than 100% historical accuracy. If you're looking for something piratey, definitely check it out.

Wellstone: A Minnesotan Musical
Really Cute. Great Impersonations.

This was a fun show. The beginning was a rapid fire biography of Wellstone, which would have been improved by a more minimalist set design or maybe one overarching music number to bring all the snippets of biography together. The audience spent a disproportionate amount of time in the dark waiting for scenes to start. Overall, I thought the cast did a great job. Wellstone's wife was super charming and the Bush and Clinton impersonations were spot on.

Dead Silence
Great Dramedy

I enjoyed this production. The description does not reflect the show very well. I mention this only because I think the actual story is much more complex and nuanced than it sounds in the write up. Both characters are coping with the same loss and it is strange that the person with the lesser connection to the person who died is the one whose loss is mentioned in the write up. I also would not consider this a spoken word piece because the spoken word moments are performed to an audience within the cast. All three performances are very strong. I especially liked that the writing gives the audience a few puzzles to work out.

Full Metal Rabbit
Funny and Lo-Fi

Full Metal Rabbit is a good piece of comedy. Actors could have projected a little more - there were definitely parts of dialogue that I missed, but definitely worth seeing. Just sit close to the front.

His Name Doesn't Matter
Charming. Fun. Too Much Monologue.

I really loved this show. There was great chemistry between the two actors and the writing was incredible. There was a great balance between comedy, social commentary, and really personal stories. My only complaint was that it got a little monologue heavy toward the end. The show was at its best when the monologues were broken up by scenes between the two friends.

Repertoire Dogs
Solid Show. Not Sure if Fringe Material?

I am new to the Fringe Festival, so maybe I'm wrong in my assumption that this is a place for artists to perform material that might not usually get an audience? I totally loved the show that the group put on, but they said that they do this show outside of the Fringe. If I had known that I probably would have used the slot on something that is only running for this week and a half. Still, their impersonations were great and the MC works the audience really well. It was a fun, engaging show.

Interesting Premise. Story Holes.

I like the dystopia feeling of the entire piece. The cast is talented, although more volume at times would have been nice. It's a big space. The reveal about 3/4 of the way through the show is interesting, but doesn't ever culminate in the "ah-ha" moment that a reveal like that should. The whole piece does a good job of embodying a sense of creeping dread, which is fun, but there was no solution to the puzzle, which makes it an ultimately unsatisfying piece.

35 Different Angles From Which To Hate Yourself

I liked this performance, but I wish that there had been at least one other man in the ensemble. I found it strange that the dances about love were between a man and a woman when in one of the interludes the male performer tells the audience he is gay. Either that or to make it more clear that the "35 different angles" are not exclusive to the male performer. It is only his face on the postcards and he is the focus of the spoken parts between dances, though, so it has to be his story. Other than that, I really liked it. There is a dance with plastic and one that he sings to a capella that I thought were especially compelling. The spoken parts between dances were also really good.

What You Will
Cool Premise. Okay Acting.

I really like the idea that Viola was trans and that her brother finding her actually ruined the nice little life that she set up for herself. More could have been done leading up to the end to give us hints about what was going to happen, probably through some cuts to the stuff about her loving Orsino, etc. The modern dance parts didn't really add to the story and generally felt either self-indulgent or way too literal. The incorporation of music was great. Everyone could have worked on their line delivery. Most of it came off pretty stilted. Overall this is a really talented group of kids. I cannot wait to see what show they rework next.

Great dancing. Okay content.

The shtick of this show is that before the show you have to fill out a card that they collect and incorporate into their performance. It's a great idea, but it was poorly executed for two reasons: 1) The person who spoke to the audience initially seemed to be trying to interact with us as a robotic motherboard kind of figure, but kept lapsing into being conversational. Either choice would have been fine, but the inconsistency was uncomfortable. 2) They didn't actually use our cards. They summarized their results from the previous night, so it completely lost its impact. The dancing was great. I didn't really understand why they invited a couple local dancers to perform with them, especially because their role was so minimal.

Beautiful stories. Offensive Pairing.

This is basically two shows performed in one. The first show (Greek Myths 101 + SeXXX) has a great cast, but it's a bad show. The show bumps the rating of standard Greek myths to X, which is so unnecessary. Those things are sexy to begin with. The second show is true stories about being trans. A mother mulls over her worry for her trans daughter. A trans woman talks about her losing her family and trust because of her identity. She almost saves the show with a connective anecdote about Tiresias. Both women tell powerful stories that made a bunch of us cry. Ultimately, though, the audience is left with a show that tries to equate the experience of a trans person with a bunch of destructive sexual behaviors. That's a gross thing to do.

Wish You Were Her
Not for Me

Take my review with a grain of salt because I knew, going into the show, that it wasn't for me. The show bills itself as an average guy coping with the end of a long relationship. That is essentially what the show delivers, but only in that his ex is the thing that he comes back to after telling a bunch of tangential jokes. The narrative arc could have been much more clear. The end of his set seemed abrupt, too, and didn't have the foundation in jokes that the rest of his set did, so it came off as more bitter than he probably intended. Dan's comedy tends toward self-deprecation, which isn't my favorite, but he does have good stage presence. He interacts with the audience really well, but overall the piece just didn't land with me.

Holly Peterson's Queue

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by Little Oblivion Theatre

Jungle Theater  

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Blackout Improv

by Rogues Gallery Arts


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by Hit the Lights! Theater Co.

Jungle Theater  

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by Society for the Preservation of Gravity

Ritz Mainstage  

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Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler

by Katherine Glover Presents

Strike Theater  

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Slaughterhouse Five: A Musical

by Clevername Productions

Jungle Theater  

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The Murmur of Murder

by Swing and a Miss


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The Zoo Story (New Version)

by Mortimer Productions


Joia Spirit