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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Eric Meininger

Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
45-54 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Something Different


Eric Meininger's reviews

"___________"
Terms of Engagement

OMG. Powerful. ...and brilliant use of psychology on the audience. Must see.

Plan B
Must see!

Hilarious! The only improvement on the show would have been to hand out Plan B to the audience as door prizes. This show captures the anxiety all young people have about sex as well as some of the misinformation that exists. It also demonstrates the risks of restricting access to safe contraception. Highly recommended! I was feeling the anxiety along with the actors. The brawls were well staged and hilarious. Halo added An extra layer of comedy with (his?) spontaneous comments.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
Superb!

Playing an instrument is hard. Playing it while moving is harder. Playing it while someone else is shoving it or you around is nigh near impossible. These three artists succeed at the latter and produce superb music. You will be amazed and enthralled. Highly recommended.

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Any show with a Scrimshaw brother

So worth it. See the encore or you'll be sorry!

DUNGEON
Wow.

What a way to end the Fringe for 2017.

Gruesome Playground Injuries
Broken Lives

Two lives, intertwined, add laughter, trust, and tears and you'll come close to this show. 5 stars. This is a small theater and this will sell out. Arrive really early or reserve seats ahead. You won't regret it. PS - Minnesotan's don't like to sit in the front row, so look for your seats up there.

Atlas Dynamo's Burnt Offerings
Welcome back!

Thanks for coming back to the Fringe! Loved you last time, equally brilliant performance this time. Glad we were able to catch the last show at the Fringe!

The Masque of Power
Heartfelt

I walked out of this one not sure what to think. They stepped In and out of role with abandon and smashed the 4th wall on at least one occasion. More importantly, they argued about feminism and were real in their purpose and shortfalls. Recommended.

Spy in the House of Men: A One-Woman Show With Balls
From the heart

Penny tells an autobiographical story in a way that is tender, heartfelt, funny and uplifting. The community needs more people like Penny to share stories and be role models for the rest of us. May Lulu never scare you again. Highly recommended.

Macduo
True to the Bard

Wonderfully edited to fit the time, but true to the words of the bard. The pair is incredible to watch, especially as they masterfully switch between characters.

"1967"
Wisdom

Not an alternative baby boomer perspective as one of the reviewers stated. These are more stories of our elders - to remind us not to repeat the same mistakes again. As someone born after the 60s and the summer of love, I grew up hearing about the Detroit riots and the fear and racial divide in that city persisted, throughout my college years. Go, and hear these perspectives from these very talented storytellers. They are able to bring to life the culture and lessons of the 60s in ways that reading Tom Hayden and studying the SDS never could. I only wish that I could hang out more with them and hear more stories. By the way, I'm not a Lutheran. Recommended.

On The Exhale
Wow.

A powerful commentary.

Mnemosyne
From the not so distant future...

A dystopian journey into the sharing of what most makes us human. You won't be disappointed if you add this to your schedule for the, uh, sorry. I forgot. Recommended.

Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Extreme Silliness

Tom is silly to the extreme. I'm most impressed that he's able to keep the story straight and perform it within the hour. Look for an 80s flashback you might wish you missed, but you'll be laughing the whole time. Not a lot of plot, but if you get tired of all of Tom's impersonations (and faces, and singing), look to Jon (the musician) who has a hard time keeping a straight face as he provides the perfect musical accompaniment. If you're looking for something to do at 5:30 on a Friday (Hey, the theater sells beer - Happy hour!) or penance after church on Sunday, check this show out.

What You Will
Well done Shakespeare

There was no stumbling over these words of the bard and the musical interludes for the story. Well done! Recommended.

Whisper Into My Good Ear
Secrets

It's amazing the power secrets have over us. Two skilled actors and a park bench and the chemistry is made. It takes some time to understand the context, but by the end you feel like you know the two characters and where to look them up. Recommended.

Patriot/Traitor
It always comes down to the Zombies

Well acted articulate discussion / argument about the challenges of government secrecy and transparency. One that we are not often willing to hear. Come and join this trip off-grid and walk away with a better understanding of the challenges than you will get from the (fake) press. Recommended. It's amazing how zombies can frame every argument so well.

First Year Queer
Better than your high school sex class

This starts out much like any of the many coming out monologues that have played out over the years in the Fringe.... but then it takes a sharp left turn and starts pushing boundaries. I'm pretty versed in sexuality in the queer community, but I laughed, was absorbed in stories that are never told, and learned. Not the best show of the fringe, but one that needs to go on the road. Don't miss this. Bonus door prizes!

Themselves They Made Immaculate: Clara Barton at Andersonville
American War Crimes

Less an adaptation or an interpretation and more a reading of a story rarely told - of likely the first woman to testify before Congress on the atrocities committed in a confederate prisoner of war camp and the slow spread of the truth of the great emancipation. Recommended.

Out of the Shadows
Social commentary in modern dance

Gabriel Mata brings insight into the life of a queer artist of color with talented grace. You'll view dance differently after this man leaves the stage, and boy can he dance. Don't miss his remaining performances. I won't view stepping on the cockroach in the same way again.

Code: L-O-V-E
love and espionage

A story of unrequited love and loss during wartime. Well acted. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't rave about it.

Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
May the Dark Spirit of Yosemite keep you

Hilarious, physical comedy with a demonic park ranger. Recommended.

Dead Silence
Drama cut short

A drama that was certainly engaging, unfortunately cut in the ultimate sentence by Fringe staff for running over. Recommended. Nice staging for such a tiny space.

Serpentine
Challenging performance

Challenging performance to follow. The viewer would be best served by reading at least the Wikipedia entry for the mythology of Tiresias to help understand the context. Otherwise it will feel like some type of Druidic secret society ritual until the readers come in. I would advice the sound tech people to turn down the volume of the sound effects (especially the voiceovers). They make the words of the actors particularly hard to understand and add more frustration than feeling of awe. Overall, a great attempt at tying the story of Tiresias into modern day struggles of many of our gender nonconforming siblings, but more work is needed. Kudos for the attempt.

Full Metal Rabbit
Slapstick humor

More physical comedy than deep. Beware the profane, but laugh along with the actors. Bring a bar of soap to clean up afterwards.

Persephone
Difficult to watch

This show is hard to watch as someone who experience(s/d) mental illness and health. The dancers do a good job of portraying the inner turmoil, but it was challenging to sit through. There haven't been many shows I've been watching the clock, but I looked down and struggled with the fact we were only 40 minutes in. Powerful work.

The Buttslasher
Bumshoe follies

Follow an intrepid gumshoe who failed to anhiliate narcotics from Stillwater schools in a rogue tale of a serial buttslasher.... or not. Great for some puns and laughs, though by the end the butt jokes become tired. Not a lot of plot, and more derrière than you really wanted to see.

Frankenstein
The Modern Prometheus

An adaptation of Mary Shelly's novel staged in the round of the Rarig Arena. Well acted and generally true to other adaptations, the show drags on after a while. Victor is quite handsome, and the acting of all is good, but the character of the narrator (I think that's who she is!) is confusing. Nothing more sensational than a little blood.

Small Time Dicks
Slapstick comedy

Hmmmm. Plus one star for the rap at the end.

Dick White: Ghost Detective
Funny, but not a lot of plot

I don't know if I'm hitting the wall with Fringe shows, the actors are getting tired, or I've found the dregs of the Fringe. This show is of course, full of Dick jokes. I did enjoy the frequent breaking of the fourth wall and the sarcastic didactic on the Bechdel test predictive value. Of course I laughed out loud at some of the horrific puns. I did enjoy this. Go if you want to be entertained, but don't expect a lot of depth.

35 Different Angles From Which To Hate Yourself
"What a crappy day...

... I think my car hit a rabbit." That line captures my overall experience. I'm not sure what to think. There are funny parts, sure, even laugh out loud parts (Jessie's list, for sure, but it wasn't a dance). A few cute numbers (I'm not sure which were which, but perhaps Reactionary or Rage filled). In looking over the program afterwards, I realize that the titles would have added to my understanding of the numbers. Perhaps the title should be projected somewhere for the audience? A little too supratentorial for me. See this if you're a big fan of modern dance (post modern?) or you have a gap between two Fringe shows.


Eric Meininger's Queue

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Absurd Advice

by Hill-Murray Theatre

Crane  

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Antonio and the Juice Man

by Prime Time Players

Strike Theater  

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Beyond Limits

by Toolbox Theatre

Ritz Studio  

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Blackout Improv

by Rogues Gallery Arts

Phoenix  

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Couple Fight 3: Weddings!

by Weggel-Reed Productions

Rarig Thrust  

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Facility

by Imagined Theatre

Rarig Arena  

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FUNKiN' Good Time

by Ti-en-T Presents

Crane  

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Good Friday: Round One

by Fat Chance Productions

Ritz Mainstage  

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Good Kids

by NEO PRODUCTIONS

Rarig Thrust  

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His Name Doesn't Matter

by Power Clashing Productions

HUGE  

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Hot Air

by SCHMAGENCY

Rarig Xperimental  

Red Stag Supperclub
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Lettres et Café

by Bad Mime Productions

Theatre in the Round  

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Minnesota Dance Ensemble Presents CARMEN

by Minnesota Dance Ensemble

Crane  

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ODD MAN OUT

by Underdog Theatre

Rarig Arena  

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Passing the Poison

by Twin Cities Dance Court

Crane  

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A Pickle

by Really Spicy Opera

Ritz Studio  

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Pope Joan

by Featherstone Creative

Rarig Xperimental  

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Ronald Reagan: Time Traveler

by Katherine Glover Presents

Strike Theater  

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Sean Neely

by POTTER PRESENTS

Phoenix  

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Sisyphus

by Moon-Eyed Owl

Theatre in the Round  

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Skins

by Collective Unconscious Performance

Ritz Mainstage  

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Slaughterhouse Five: A Musical

by Clevername Productions

Jungle Theater  

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So Goshdarn Warm and Fuzzy!

by First Daughter Dance

Ritz Mainstage  

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There Ain't No More!

by Willi Carlisle Productions

Crane  

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What You Will

by Jammed Desk Productions

Phoenix  

Westside VW