The Brave New Workshop has been performing original satirical sketch comedy and improvisation since 1958, longer than any other theatre in the United States. The Brave New Workshop began after Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus aerialist Dudley Riggs survived a near-fatal fall from a trapeze. He decided, for obvious reasons, to move to a less risky career and started his own "Instant Theatre Company" with a cast assembled from the circus and vaudeville circuits.
They 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." That was the beginning of comedic improvisation, as it’s 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 when they moved to their historical 2605 Hennepin location. In the more than 50 years since its founding, the Brave New Workshop has put on more than 250 original productions and exposed over 3 million people to the theatre's unapologetic and unwavering, brand of comedy and improvisation.