Started in 1994 with 52 shows and a total audience of only 4,630, Minnesota Fringe has grown into the Minnesota State Fair of theater. Last year, 45,000 audience members roamed among more than 900 shows, ranging from a Bollywood murder mystery to an improvised live-action Dungeons and Dragons adventure, to a truly outsider piece of monotone monologue heavily featuring the word “cunt.” Fringe doesn’t make a habit of playing it safe: Shows are chosen by lottery, not curated for quality. This year, instead of throwing all the balls in the same bin, show hopefuls entered one of three separate lotteries corresponding to different venue sizes, hopefully eliminating some perpetually sold-out venues, though nobody’s sure how it’s going to play out. But that’s nothing new for the Minnesota Fringe.
Readers’ Choice: Minnesota State Fair