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

BNW Founder & Owners


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.

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

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

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

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


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


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