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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monte vognsen's reviews


Constantly inventive, surprising, and witty, this piece was far and away the best thing I saw at the fest. The ensemble has great presence and impeccable timing. One big WOW.

Dick White: Ghost Detective

Akin to a Marx Brothers-like skit, where the best of the humor abides in the asides, the mostly silly - sometimes stupid - piece is constantly buoyed the skill and charm of the actors.

Lettres et Café

A youthful and energetic company take on an oft-repeated storyline and the result is charming. Special kudos to Mime.

Katie Versus The Devils
a surprise

A bit quirky, this piece won me over with beautiful phrasing and fine acting. Though the plot is a bit thin, the collision of Lutherans with elements of horror felt unique.

Never Wonder Land

Though the actors were engaging and charming, their efforts were thwarted by the (I use this term loosely) plot. The worlds of Alice and Peter Pan should prove a gold-mine in their embrace/attack, but here was a flabby, confusing "meh" of a mess. Hopefully, they'll find a better path into those worlds in the future.

The Last Bombardment
almost there

It was almost there. The acting was almost there. The script was almost there. What was an interesting premise to explore kept eroding as the piece moved on. It took the easy/"shocking"/boring road.

The Perils of Steve
I was rooting for them

With such charming and enthusiastic performers, and a whirlwind of goofy characters, I really wanted to like this piece better. Unfortunately, the jokes and jibes - though plentiful - tended only to the mildly amusing. Sigh.

Get Hooked
a bit of a skit

Not much to this piece. Done by high-schoolers for high-schoolers.

It looks like a play, but it's not.

I'm sorry, but this is not a play. Rather, it is a depiction of a dementia patient as documentary. The character is well-written and very well-acted and poignantly shows how dementia affects the patient (my father had dementia), but, well, nothing happens. A plot is attempted with a horribly clichéd attendant, but the action means nothing. The piece felt like a here"s-what-to-expect-in-the-future for family dealing with a recent diagnosis.

Minnesota Dance Ensemble Presents CARMEN
I give them a star for showing up.

By far the worst thing I saw at the fest. Dancers with little training, no athleticism, nil skill. Choreography that was insipid, simplistic, and cliché, except for injections of "edgy" pop drivel. Just excruciating.

Blackbeard's Revenge
should pirates whine?

This piece is really still-born. You don't really have a play if everything is exposition. Characters talk/whine about what happened, or they talk about what will happen. Basically there is no action, except a short, poorly-staged swordfight. And, banjo music for a pirate show? Yikes.

Ghoulish Delights