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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Bobbi Pauling's reviews

The Banana Wars
The Banana Wars

This show was everything I expected and more. The mix between historical fact, personal experience and humor was wonderful and well-staged. Just the sheer fact that Miller could memorize all of it amazed me and the person I was with, but to do so with all the punch lines in place, good timing while going back and forth in time and real professional and centered stage presence was wonderful to watch. Miller's show was has now become one of my two favorite fringe shows I have ever seen, and to think had it not been pouring out, I would have missed it.

Clutter, Chaos, Creativity and the Collyer Brothers
Clutter, Chaos, Creativity

I really enjoyed unexpectedly attending this show. Yes, it has a bit of a slow start, but this is a really really seasoned storyteller who makes us look at clutter and creativity from quite a few angles and not giving a one size fits all rule, which is very freeing. Her story of the Collyer Brothers is slowly brought forward through her tales, so that you are waiting for it, and it is a tale worth waiting for. I actually gave her a piece of clutter that was in my bag--a small flowered notebook. She is very informal, but has very well-prepared stories, connects with her audience, and I could hear everything when I don't always.


They're all good stories and storytellers telling of a time period that I could really relate to with well-crafted performances worth seeing. Here's why I didn't give it a five. I think the piece could have been staged differently. The performers backs were to people too much for me, as with many older people, making it hard to hear sometimes, but not often. End result: Well, I wish they would have connected with the audience more. Also, the ending surprised me. It felt like there was nothing that summed it up or tied it all together.

William & Mary: The Way Out Experiment
William and Mary

I really liked this. We all, I think, wonder these days about how far things can go in certain areas of medicine, politics, etc. Well, this takes you there in a really funny way. I didn't find it all that horrific, so don't hesitate to see it on that count. It is enjoyable and the acting is good, and I can say that even though I was dead tired. I think the story really worked from beginning to end.

Whisper Into My Good Ear
Whisper Into My Good Ear

Okay consider that I was going on not enough sleep and my hearing is not the best, and then consider that O'Brien was supposed to be a low-key kind of guy. For the role, he did a good job, but for me it was difficult, so I asked some people who came down from the last row, and they said no problem hearing. So take this for what it's worth considering the above, I wish O'Brien would have had a bit more umphf, even with the role he was portraying. There is a thread going through the story, which did not work right for me in the end, and could have used a different title. I can't say more without doing the bad usher thing, and I know many liked this show. It is addressing an important theme, but I thought that could have been developed more.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
Broad Sex In The Twin Cities

I probably shouldn't be rating this show because I had trouble with some of the young generation's jargon and how fast they were talking in juxtaposition with that I was tired and my hearing ain't the greatest. Nevertheless, this is a really lively and spunky show with good pacing. This piece does not aim to solve the problems of the world except for bringing it a bit more fun. It is an imaginative piece, and I liked the ending.

Cedar Printing