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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Scott Eastman's reviews

Blackout Improv
Creativity & social relevance, see this!

This improv is terrific! Innovative, engaging, with a wonderful talented cast. And to top it all off, POC (people of color) giving us all a window into what is is to be black in Minnesota today. I love this show and these people, and urge everyone to see it

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Suspenseful fun, nostalgic and beautiful

Really talented cast presenting live suspenseful radio performances. Great staging, costumes, very effective and engaging. I loved how they transported us back to the radio age. Stories were scary with doses of humor, and it is an immersive experience. I enjoyed closing my eyes at times (and at others having almost no light) to help me really experience the feel of the original shows and environment

Live From New York, He's A Prom Date!
Awkward painful tale told with humor

Loved this show. Jen Maren shows off her great talents, and I felt her embarrassment and pain. Smaller venue that felt so intimate, and Jen bravely pulls off baring her soul and made us all laugh and cry.

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Really funny, interesting variety

Thoroughly enjoyed these funny people with their wedding related vignettes. Especially loved Eric Webster and Shanan Custer, and Rita Boersma. These are super talented people! And also really loved Jim Robinson's engagement with the crowd, he cracked us all up, too.

First Year Queer
Funny, informative, great storytelling

Wow, so funny, poignant, and informative. Lyssa Sparrow is wonderful, and presents very personal subjects with grace and humor. I learned some important things, laughed a lot, teared up some, and feel so connected with Ms Sparrow. I urge you to see this, you will be glad you did!

A Pickle
This show is so great!

Wonderfully acted by Angie Timberman, the show itself is equally fascinating. A story of true courage and standing up for oneself. And it's true, and funny, and is definitely a story worth seeing and hearing. And now I want some of those delicious pickles!!

Out of the Shadows
Magnificent dancing, good message

Gabriel is extremely talented and makes his dances seem effortless. He has a way of bringing the audience in and getting them totally engaged. Very creative and unique show. I would enjoy seeing it again, and think that he has a lot to say

The Pursuit of Awesome
A delight!

I laughed so hard, and really enjoyed this performance. Mr harris is extremely talented, and is so relatable while also reminding us he knows he is odd... and it works! He and his show are charming and fun and I'd like to see it again


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