Health and safety protocols in our theatres

Brave New Workshop fills up on comedy with a new show This Show Is Cheaper Than Gas – America on Empty running Aug. 11 to Nov. 5, 2022

July 19, 2022

Veteran cast members return to 824 Hennepin Avenue to make you laugh for less than what you’d pay to fill an F-150

MINNEAPOLIS (July 19, 2022) — Hennepin Theatre Trust has announced that the Brave New Workshop (BNW) comedy theatre continues its summer comedy with their brand new This Show Is Cheaper Than Gas – America on Empty. With America’s needle quivering near empty, the country is almost out of gas, literally and figuratively. If you feel your gas light is on, it’s time to refuel with laughter Thursday, Aug. 11 through Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, at 824 Hennepin Avenue., in downtown Minneapolis This is Brave New Workshop’s 305th show with preview performances beginning Thursday, Aug. 11 and an opening night scheduled for Friday, Aug. 19, 2022.

Tickets go on sale Friday, July 22 at 10 a.m. to the general public at

Performance dates
|Preview performances are:
Thursday, Aug. 11 to Saturday, Aug. 13 and Wednesday, Aug. 17 to Thursday, Aug. 18
All five preview performances are at 7:30 p.m.

Opening night is Friday, Aug. 19. Remaining performances are Saturday, Aug. 20 to Saturday, Nov. 5. Performance dates and times vary.

Ticket prices
Preview performances: $23
Thursday and Saturday matinee performances: $38
Friday and Saturday evening performances: $43

A $3 service fee per ticket is included.

It takes a co-signer to fill up your minivan, nine people nobody voted for have decided to rewrite the last 50 years of history, and there’s an election coming up that no one is excited about. The economy is in freefall, every day the news gives us something else to be terrified about, and things are so crazy politically that most people have forgotten there’s a war going on in Europe. You need a laugh! And lucky for you, tickets to this show cost less than what you’d pay to fill an F-150.

The Brave New Workshop invites you to This Show is Cheaper than Gas– America on Empty. If you feel like your tank is on empty, then this is the show for you.

Veteran cast members Lauren Anderson, Denzel Belin, and Doug Neithercott will be joined by Brave New Workshop newcomer Isabella Dunsieth for what might be the last comedy revue before laughter is no longer constitutionally protected. Jon Pumper returns as Musical Director along with Technical Director Matthew Vichlach.

The Brave New Workshop is now in its 64th year of crafting audacious and original satirical sketch comedy and improvisation. Founded in 1958, the Brave New Workshop is the longest running comedy theatre in the United States. Dudley Riggs, a fifth-generation circus aerialist who performed all over the globe, originally founded BNW as the “Instant Theatre Company.”  Riggs assembled and led a talented group of writers and performers intending to make people think by first making them laugh. The company opened off-Broadway with a show consisting of vaudeville-style sketches, burlesque blackouts, and something completely new:  the use of audience input in the creation of “instant theatre.” This “theatre without a net” would be the beginning of comedic improvisation as it is widely known today.

After touring nationally, Dudley and his “Instant Theatre Company” found a permanent home in the Twin Cities in 1958, and the name Brave New Workshop, was added in 1961. In 1997, co-owners John Sweeney and Jenni Lilledahl purchased Brave New Workshop from Dudley Riggs to ensure long-term sustainability and honor the unique history of the theater. In 2021, Hennepin Theatre Trust purchased the Brave New Workshop and the downtown facility (824 Hennepin) from Sweeney and Lilledahl to steward the theatres’ rich world-class sketch comedy and improv tradition.

Since the beginning, Brave New Workshop has made its home on Hennepin Avenue – first in the original East Hennepin location, then in uptown from 1961-2010. Their mainstage theatre home is now in the downtown facility at 824 Hennepin in the heart of Minneapolis’ theater district. In the more than 60 years since its founding, Brave New Workshop has produced more than 400 original productions and exposed over 4 million people to the theatre’s unapologetic and unwavering brand of sketch comedy and improvisation. With an impressive list of alumni, including Louie Anderson, Lizz Winstead, Stevie Ray, Al Franken, Melissa Peterman, Tom Davis, Mo Collins and Cedric Yarbrough, the Brave New Workshop is a true Minnesota institution.

Connect with Brave New Workshop online:
Facebook: /BraveNewWorkshop
Instagram: @bnwimprov
Twitter: @BNWImprov

Brave New Workshop, now in its third owner and 64th year of crafting audacious, hilarious, and thought-provoking original comedy, improv and satire in Minneapolis, is a Twin Cities comedy institution, and a truly unique place to enjoy an evening of laughter that will make you think on the car ride home. Brave New Workshop has been writing, performing and producing original sketch comedy, music and comedy improvisation longer than any other theatre in the United States.

Hennepin Theatre Trust drives cultural and economic vitality in Minnesota through leadership of the dynamic Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis and educational programming that reaches every area of the state. Its historic theatres — Orpheum, State and Pantages — and event center at 900 Hennepin Avenue light up Hennepin Avenue with top-tier entertainment, including the best of Broadway and a wide variety of arts programming. Hennepin Theatre Trust is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more at

Heart of Hennepin – celebrating 100 years of the Hennepin Theatre District
To honor the centennial, Hennepin Theatre Trust is kicking off a yearlong celebration for the Orpheum, State and Pantages theatres, along with The Hennepin event center and 824 Hennepin, home to the Brave New Workshop comedy theatre. This year-long centennial celebration honors the history of the Hennepin Theatre District and looks ahead to what the future holds for the arts, the Trust and downtown neighbors.