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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Jimbo Kramer's reviews

DUNGEON
GO SEE THIS SHOW!

This is such a unique theatre experience! You will be on the edge of your seat for the entirety of the show. It is visually stunning, and has an amazingly talented cast that brings you in a journey to another world. You don't want to miss this show.

It's About Love Again This Year
One of the best shows at Fringe

This piece left my cheeks soar from smiling. The dancers put their souls into their work and resonated love to their audience. At several points I felt the urge to run down and join them! I highly recommend this show! Words can't express how much joy it brought me.

Wellstone: A Minnesotan Musical
Want to see more

This show has so much potential. The music is catchy, the story is interesting, but it is hard to fit Paul Wellstone's legacy into an hour show. I hope the writer puts more time into making this a full length musical after Fringe! The actors portrayed their characters well and created a show That is full of hope.

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Masterpiece

This is one of the best shows I've seen at Fringe so far this year! Tom Reed has the confidence that I wish I had. For the entire hour show he had the audience's attention and took us on the journey of Stranger Things. His impressions were spot on. I would not recommend this show for anyone who has not seen Stranger things, but if you have you will laugh until you it hurts!

Gruesome Playground Injuries
Amazing show

This play requires mature actors, and boy did they deliver. The actors in this play were committed to their characters and confident in their performance. They took on every part of the character, including the ugly parts. I was highly impressed with this play and would see it again in a heart beat!

Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Entertaining Show

I was expecting more from this show after seeing the amazing reviews. However, this was a show that consistently kept me laughing. The actors were not amazing, but the scrip was well written and helped them create an hour of fun.

Buffy the Bedbug Slayer
Potential

This show was full of jokes that didn't land. The actors were far better than the script, but that did no help this show. It had its funny moments, but overall I was hoping for more.

Blackbeard's Revenge
Not great

The writing for this show was not as exciting as I exprected. I wanted to see an adventure fun of energy, but instead got a snoozer of a show. I saw commitment from the actors, but the scrip just didn't give them enough to work off of. The musical interludes were charming, but I questioned their relevance and timing.


Bollywood Dance Scene