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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Todd Walden's reviews

Very fun, unique experience!

We went to see Dungeon on a whim (basically because we were already at the Jungle) and I'm so glad we did. I was expecting simple shadow puppetry, but what we watched went far beyond that expectation, really dropping the show right in our laps. The performances were all strong, and it is clear that a great deal of work has gone into polishing this performance. It is entirely immersive, and entirely entertaining. The only criticism I have, and it is a SMALL one, is that at times it can be a bit repetitive. The repetition is endearing at first, but gradually starts to wear. Nonetheless, this is an incredibly strong performance, well worth seeing. If you get the chance, this show is well worth checking out. You will not be disappointed.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
Fun Performance with Substantial Flaws

Obi Wan is quite lucky to have a great cast around him. For a show about Obi Wan Kenobi, I would have preferred to see the Jedi master's performance delivered with a lot less monotone and a lot less aimless pacing. Outside of Obi Wan's performance, however, the show was entertaining and very clever. I do think the show struggles a little bit in deciding what it wants to be. Characters trying for farce are struggling against the characters trying for tragedy, but while the whole is a little shaky, many of the individual pieces are wonderfully crafted. R2D2 was spectacular, and, frankly, stole the show. Overall, well worth your time.

Skirmish of Wit: Your Imaginary Forces
This Needs More Polish

The most important thing to point out here is that this show is a young cast, who, though they need more practice to build their stage presence, are very talented individuals and deserve a lot of credit for having the confidence to bring this performance to life. The show has a fun vibe and some enjoyable parts. However, performances were lackluster from much of the cast, and the show didn't have a "finished" feel. The Much Ado feel came through strongly, and definitely held the plot together. I think with a bit more direction and a bit more confidence in the cast (plus a little practice on delivery) this could be very strong indeed!