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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Diana Thompson's reviews

The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
You don't want to miss this

First off, this cast is just all around hilarious. Combine that with a fast-paced, cleverly written script and some awesome direction, and you've got a Fringe Festival must see. I loved the way that each actor was able to consistently play multiple hilarious characters. The comedic timing was spot on, and I was so impressed. Definitely recommend!

Mnemosyne
Exactly what I wanted

Wow. That's the first word that comes to mind. This was a visually stunning show with a delightfully clever story. LOVED the costumes, LOVED the portrayals of Rook and Anon. I was blown away by the choreography, and want more shows from this group!

Pinocchio
JUST PERFECTION

Okay, if you get a chance to see this show, you absolutely have to. Seriously, if you are reading reviews right now, deciding what to go see, GO SEE PINOCCHIO. Sheep Theater's production of Pinocchio was, in a word: BRILLIANT. Pinocchio was an amazing performer with hilarious instincts, Jiminy Cricket was great as Pinocchio's conscience. I loved this, I want everyone to see this.

Mayor Lear of Townsville
TOO MUCH FUN

Guys, see this show. This is an amazing piece of theater that is so clever. Natalie Rae Wass's performance is one for the ages! And who can forget Emily Rose Duea and Bre'Elle Erickson? They were so full of energy that just jumped (sometimes literally) right off the stage. My one critique was that Meghan Wolff's voice as Bubbles was a little hard to understand at times. However, that could easily be forgiven with the ridiculously strong performance she gave. Loved the fight choreography. Also shout out to whomever created those AMAZING projections. Please go see this show!

One Foot
Just wow.

Amazing. Stunning. Heartbreaking. This show will give you laughter, tears, and so much more. I was so engaged in the story, the actors were amazing, and I wanted to keep watching all day. There was nothing I could have wanted more from these two. They gave it their all and left it all out on the stage. Thank you for sharing this with us as an audience.

Dead Silence
Engaging

Let me start by saying that I think this show needs a trigger warning in the program. The content is very dark, and certainly audiences need to be aware of that. That being said, I absolutely LOVED the chemistry that these actors brought to the stage. Kate Stevenson and Christopher Kent play off each other so well. Add Adam Mellrup in there as the perfect catalyst, and the relationships between the three just ignite the story. They made really clever use of such a small space, and were smart about how they used it. Overall, a really beautiful and heart-breaking show.

De Hjerteløse [The Heartless]
Beautiful

This show was a lovely interpretation of Norse Mythology. I thought the movement was really well executed and that the story was well put together and well thought-out. I'd also like to give a shout out to the musician in the back. The sounds were perfect, added to the story, and didn't distract me. Thanks for putting on a wonderful show!

Buffy the Bedbug Slayer
Apparently I needed more Dawn in my life

This show had some great elements and some not so great elements. But first. Let's talk about the actress playing Dawn. HILARIOUS. Top-tier comedic performance, I laughed my butt off. Also, as a fan of the show, Buffy's impression was well done, if a little inconsistent. Willow missed the mark for me, but that pink sweater was perfection. Wish I could have heard some of the actors better, specifically the main villain, Drumpf. I missed a lot of what they were saying, so jokes didn't land quite as well as they could have. Speaking of jokes, the ones about Drumpf weren't particularly clever, they seemed to be the same ones that have been overused time and time again. Overall, a fun, fringe-y show.

Frankenstein
Very Underdeveloped

Sometimes a risk pays off. Sometimes it doesn't. This was one of those shows where the risk didn't pay off. It was unclear which aspect of Shelley's novel was supposed to be the focus of the show. The lights were distracting, and at times even painful. There were characters that weren't fleshed out, and I really didn't need to watch someone put their shoes on for a solid minute with no purpose. All in all, this show is underdeveloped and not fully realized. I will say that the woman playing Justine was good, even with a poor script. More questions than answers: What was the malevolent force? Mother? Narrator? Personification of madness? Unclear. It was a solid miss for me on this show.


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