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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Ellie Browne's reviews

The Pursuit of Awesome

Really captured my imagination! Thank you!

Thank you for a fun night!

Original and funny, without disparaging the Bard. Well done! Can't wait to see more from this young company.

Out of the Shadows
Great dancer, okay actor

Amazing dancing, but this show lacked plot. However, the young man has a true gift. Thank you.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
fun show.

I mean...it's okay. Some parts were fun. Singing overall is pretty nice.

Blackout Improv
Interesting and funny, but single topic

I have very high standards, but this did make me laugh. I was a bit put off when one of the actors said something like "don't ask us to improv about Justin Beibet, we want to talk about police brutality." I'm paraphrasing here. I feel that if you are a professional improv artist, and someone wants to hear about Justin Beiber, you should have at least 40 minutes of golden material.

Waiting for Gygax
Not for everyone

I don't know DnD, so I had no idea what the heck was happening. Acting seemed good, although the masks hindered full expression. I'm sure if you know DnD, it will be a lot funnier.

MANIFESTO: An American Play
A brave attempt

While I commend the exploration of such serious topics, I felt that the execution was cliche and lacked true beauty. The acting was okay. I felt like I was watching my son's high school drama club.

Nowhere in Glass
Too much

The actors need to learn to be subtle. Also what is this story? I couldn't for the life of me figure out what this was trying to say. Seemed like an excuse to be dramatic and edgy. There were some interesting moments, but I got the impression these actors just wanted to shock me.

Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler
One sided and under-researched

Theater should not be this divisive. I'm no Trump fan, but can we handle this in a classier way please?

First Year Queer
Not much

As a lesbian, I feel that this show portrays the community in a weird and oversexualized light.

Boring, bad acting

Some funny moments, but the acting overall was confusing. Also...what is this script?

Mayor Lear of Townsville
Leave Lear Alone :(

If you can't do Shakespeare, then don't. I'm not necessarily a purist, but this was a silly idea. We can do better.

Sean Neely
No beauty

Another failed attempt to shock the audience with some weird new idea. Very upsetting. It didn't make me think, it made me cringe

Ghoulish Delights