All-star lineup of improv performers will create a new show every night
MINNEAPOLIS (April 24, 2023) — Hennepin Theatre Trust has announced that the Brave New Workshop will heat up this summer in a brand-new show It’s Not the Heat – It’s the Stupidity beginning Thursday, June 1 through Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023 at the Dudley Riggs Theatre (824 Hennepin Ave.) in downtown Minneapolis. This is Brave New Workshop’s 308th show! It’s summer in Minnesota, that time when we emerge from our burrows to bask in the wonder of unending road construction. It is a glorious time of cramming six months of fun into two weeks of pleasant weather. No one show could possibly encompass the limitless expectations we have for our all-too-brief vacations, so what’s the solution? A different show every night!
Tickets go on sale Friday, April 28 at 10 a.m. to the general public at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.
Preview performances are:
Thursday, June 1 to Saturday, June 3 and Friday, June 9
All five preview performances are at 7:30 p.m.
Age recommendation: PG-14
Opening night is Saturday, June 10 with performances through Aug. 5, 2023. Performance dates and times vary.
Preview performances: $23
All other performances: $28
A $3 service fee per ticket is included.
Join the Brave New Workshop for an evening of all-improvised comedy performed by a rotating cast of comedy all stars. Each performance is a one-of-a-kind original that has never been rehearsed before and will never be performed again because it is entirely created from audience suggestions. It’s the kind of fun summer was made for, but like summer, it’s only here for a short while.
A host of Brave New Workshop alumni and up and comers take the stage each weekend along with Musical Director Jon Pumper and Technical Director Matthew Vichlach to bring your ideas to life. Performances are limited during the summer months, so don’t miss out!
The Brave New Workshop is now in its 65th 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.
Jon Pumper (Music Director) has been with the Brave New Workshop since 2017. In addition, he served as the Music Director for Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. He also works as the Director of Music for Grace Lutheran Church of Northeast and runs a successful music/comedy YouTube channel that has garnered over 180K subscribers and 87M views as of January 2023.
Matthew Vichlach (Technical Director) designs lights, sound, images, and videos for each Brave New Workshop production. He also serves as the Technical Director for The Hennepin event center. He has been working professionally in theatre for almost twenty years doing sound design for theatres in the Twin Cities including Yellow Tree Theatre, Theatre Mu, Theatre Pro Rata, Commonweal Theatre, and many more.
Standard Disclaimer: For over 50 years, the Brave New Workshop has proudly covered controversial topics in a satirical manner. Therefore, shows may include ALL or NONE of the following: adult situations, sexual content, blatant irreverence to whatever you hold sacred, irresponsible depictions of gunplay, knife fights, and taser usage, and very, very naughty language.
Brave New Workshop, now in its third owner and 65th 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 HennepinTheatreTrust.org.
This activity is made possible by voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.