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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Dorothy Owen's reviews


I loved this show! Bright, colorful, energetic - Bollywood on stage.

[Enter the Narrator]

I loved this show. It was clever, well-paced, and well acted. It reminded me of Stranger Than Fiction. Oh, and Carl was amazing like always.

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign

This was the best show I've ever seen in my life. My favorite so far at the Fringe this year. This group was so in sync and performed at the top of their game. I want more!!!!


If Johnathan Blow wrote a Fringe show.

One Foot
Well done

All kinds of feelings.

Beyond expectations

This was a wild card show for me. I wanted to stay in the area between my 7pm and 10pm picks, and so I had no idea what I was walking into. I loved every second of it! The writing is engaging and descriptive, and Ben draws you into his imaginative worlds with a calm yet commanding presence and soothing voice. I want more! Ben, have you published anything? Do you have a podcast? Do you have stuff lying around that you want someone to look at? I'm heading to your website right now. Let me be your fan girl!

Small Time Dicks
I mean, I get it...

I understand why people would think this is a dumb, poorly done buddy cop show. That's the impression I got from the preview, and pretty much exactly the reason why I went to go see it in the first place. I went in wanting and expecting it to be awful in the best way possible, but it actually was WAY better than that. It was very well written and executed. The Abbott and Costello bit was clever, and there were many equally as clever moments that paid homage to the cop drama genre. The two cops had excellent timing and chemistry. It reminded me of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Go see it!

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Wait, so did you like ST, or what?

Tom Reed is a brilliantly talented performer. Excellent voice, commanding stage presence, the whole package. Be that as it may, I felt like the show made it seem like he didn't actually like Stranger Things. Which is odd, because why then would he put so much time and creative energy into creating a show that aims to serve as an homage to the series? I wanted to stay and talk to him about it after the show, but I didn't because I didn't want to be that guy. But it is definitely a must-see. He is incredibly engaging. And so handsome! Sorry, I had to throw it out there. It's true.