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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Jesse Swanson

Years attending Fringe: 5-9 years
years old
Favorite genre: Comedy

Jesse Swanson's reviews

The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
Favorite so Far

Silly fun! The pop songs didn't always fit for me, especially in a longer montage section, but I was cheering for the Wright Brothers the whole time. The cast obviously enjoys each other. I thought I noticed the father character reading lines off of a sheet at the table so it was funny to see him called out on it in an obviously unscripted moment. Great fun! Go see it!

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
So Good!

I thought this show was masterful. Well done!

Lettres et Café

Wonderfully staged in the round. Strong performances. I enjoyed this show a lot!

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical

Probably closer to 4-1/2 stars but rounded up for the genuine fun of the show. The music was simple but catchy. The female lead was very strong!

Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
Quirky Fun!

So much quirky humor. It's a great show! One audience member could not stop laughing and was honestly a distraction. A great show, but the Devlin character came off as disinterested.

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
Performances Save Purposely Wonky Script

Confident performances! The script is very much in the style of Broad City, so expect a series of sketches looselt tied to a premise. It's a very self-involved style of storytelling that sometimes satisfies and sometimes feels too frenetic to enjoy. There are too many side trips in the story. Funny moments created through character work.

Mayor Lear of Townsville
Strong Lead Actress and Tech Elements

People familiar with Powerpuff Girls will appreciate this more. The fight choreography wasn't effective for me. Very strong lead actress and tech elements raise this from 3 to 4 stars.


Contagious fun! The live music added a splendid touch. Great show for kids and adults.

So Goshdarn Warm and Fuzzy!

A fun, family-friendly slot. There's a lot of heart in this show and the final choreography piece is very well done. This show is worth a look.

Show Us, Don't Tell Us

There are some good discussions to be had about the premise but it dragged as a stage adaptation. It was an awkward mix between broad comedy and drama. Very little action in the staging. The actors mostly sat around a campsite.

The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi
Uneven Re-Creation

This show never decided if it was a farce, instructive, or light comedy. Outside of the monologues, the actors were committed and enjoyable. I was mostly bored.

Full Metal Rabbit

Very good fight choreography. Sloppy storytelling. Many of the scenes felt undirected.

Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler
Heavy Handed

Great energy from the cast, but the script wasn't very satisfying.

Blackbeard's Revenge

The story plodded and I never cared about any of the characters. Nice set pieces and costumes. The music was fun but felt like separate action.

Metro Transit