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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Julie Elizabeth's reviews

Broad Sex in the Twin Cities
Hilarious

The audience, myself included, was laughing, clapping and knee-slapping throughout this performance. Tremendously benefitted by a wonderfully written script, and actors with impeccable comedic timing, this show hit all the marks with a bang. The leading characters helped carry the show very well and the supporting roles were nothing but delightful. My only tiny critique is that this show caters to a pretty particular audience. If you aren't a liberal from the Twin Cities who is involved with fringe, much of this may go over your head. GO SEE THIS SHOW!!

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
Super Scouts

Easily the best show I saw at Fringe this year. These guys retained the wholesome and innocent nature of young scouts while performing a hilariously silly script to perfection. Never a dull moment. Did not shy away from sad and heartfelt moments. Each actor shone in their own way and stayed in character regardless of whether they were the focus of the scene. (I actually found some of the best comedy in the faces of the actors who were digging in backpacks, sharpening knives, etc.) I want to see this again!

Hot Air
Tons of Fun

Outrageous, Obnoxious and Hysterical for all the right reasons. This show will have you laughing from start to finish. Great comedic timing, and a creative use of shadows and backstage technical effects. A bit loud (especially for the front row), a few sloppily executed moments and the ending felt a bit deflated, but overall, a stellar performance. A must-see for all lovers of jazz music, over the top dramatics, and bit comedy.

Anarchy! (a handbook)
A Bit Underwhelming

This show while great in concept was a bit choppy in performance. The performers interactions with each other prior to the show's beginning were awkward, and when technical difficulties occurred the performers were not quick to continue with the performance but rather remained inert and confused. Transitions were not fluid and the lighting/sound effects were not particularly effective. Particularly strong performances in scene 5 with a very poignant conversation we all need to be considering. Nathan Bern had comedy quirks akin to the style of Olan Rodgers. Overall this show does do a good job of featuring talented actors sharing important messages, the execution was just a little sloppy.


Sunrise Banks