THE BNW PEOPLE

   

Meet the people who make it all happen at the Brave New Workshop.

BNW Founder & Owners

bnw-people-jennililledahl

Jenni is co-owner of BNW with husband John Sweeney, and serves as executive director of the BNW’s school, the BNW Student Union. Considered a ‘founding mother’ of modern improvisation study in Minnesota, Jenni has endeavored the past 20+ years to bring the mindset and tools of improvisation to as many people as possible. Outside of the BNW, the hallmark of Jenni’s community involvement is her work as co-founder of Gilda’s Club Twin Cities, a cancer support organization that opened in 2014.

CONTACT ME ABOUT:
Improvisation outreach in the community, Getting trained as an improv instructor, Applied improvisation for schools or community organizations and special audiences, Loon Calls, Using Improv for Life and Improv for Good

Jenni Lilledahl

Owner, Brave New Workshop and President, BNW Student Union
bnw-people-dudleyriggs

Dudley Riggs is a fifth generation member of a distinguished show business family, and has worked (since the age of 5) as a circus aerialist, movie actor, vaudevillian, comedian, writer, stage director, and producer.

A noted improvisational comedian, Riggs created the Instant Theater Company in New York, which he moved to Minneapolis in 1958 to become the Brave New Workshop.

Dudley Riggs

Founder of Brave New Workshop
bnw-people-johnsweeney

John is a visionary entrepreneur, author, and inspiring keynote speaker. His passion for innovation has led him on a life journey of bridging key improvisational behaviors and mindset to the business world through his work with Fortune 500 companies. His quest for making the world a better place includes building a sustainable business model for a self-funding arts organization.

Contact Me About:
Ways we can help your organization focus on and transform behaviors; Keynote speaking; cultivating an innovative mindset; entrepreneurial life; giving and philanthropy; Jiggly Boy

John Sweeney

Owner, Brave New Workshop and Executive Producer, Creative Outreach

SU Staff & Faculty

BNW-people-Melissa-KALINOWSKI

Melissa joined BNW SU in late 2016 after 20 years in education technology, marketing and consulting. She is responsible for strategic planning, growth, operations and sustainability at the BNW SU. She leads the organization’s mission and expansion plans to spread the joy of improv for life to serve more than 10,000 annually. Melissa is passionate about BNW SU’s unique expertise to help students develop an improv for life habit to say “Yes And” to a lifelong journey to become their best selves.

CONTACT MELISSA ABOUT:
Partnerships, Community Outreach Initiatives, Custom Improv for Life Workshops, Public Relations, and Press Inquiries

Melissa Kalinowski

Executive Director
liz for web

Liz is thrilled to join BNW SU's team as the Program Director and promote improv for life. She spent the past five years at the popular circus arts school Circus Juventas, performing administrative roles as their Assistant School Administrator, and Communications and Education Manager. She is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with double BAs in Theatre Arts and Mass Media Communications. Outside her administrative experience, she’s worked with local theatre organizations including the Children’s Theatre Company, CLIMB Theatre, Stepping Stone Theatre, Theatre in the Round, and Como Zoo and Conservatory's education programs. Liz performs frequently with St. Paul-based theatre company Dangerous Productions. She is also a Board Member for the MN Thespian Society, coordinating an annual theatre conference for high school students across the state. When not working in the arts, Liz enjoys playing soccer, hanging out with her cat Little Thomas, and watching her favorite TV shows Survivor, Jane the Virgin, and Game of Thrones.

Liz Carey-Linskey

Program Director

SU STAFF

Erin Boylan, Building Manager
Nancee Magistad, Building Manager
Marty Wessels, Building Manager
Alyssa Marose, Building Manager

SU FACULTY

Kevin Albertson, Lauren Anderson, Sarah Arnold, Jason Bindas, Jonathan Brown, Chris Campo, Alex Cleberg, Jackson Collins, Michael Dallavalle, Bobby Gardner, Lizzie Gardner, Luke Gonnella, Gretchen Grunzke, Brian Hodge-Rice, Damian Johnson, Dave Kappelhoff, Jenni Lilledahl, Matthew McCloud, Aric McKeown, Sarah McPeck, Heather Meyer, Ryan Nelson, Gregory Parks, Tom Reed, Jim Robinson, Taj Ruler, Jen Scott, Jake Scott, Erin Sheppard, Amanda Underwood, Becky Wilkinson-Hauser, Olivia Wulf, Leslie Vincent