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.

Video from the Ivey Awards’ 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to Dudley Riggs

Riggs also opened the Experimental Theater Company (E.T.C.) in the Seven Corners area of Minneapolis in the early 1970s. This theater provided a wider range of material including stand-up comedy, variety shows, and specialty acts, including the Flying Karamazov Brothers, Penn & Teller, Louie Anderson, and Lizz Winstead, among many others.

Riggs has attended the University of Chicago, the University of Tulsa at Oklahoma, the University of the Philippines in Manila, Mankato State Teacher’s College and the University of Minnesota. His continuing education includes being accepted into the Harvard University Writing Program in 1996.

Dudley Riggs at BNW Coffee Shop
Dudley Riggs Minneapolis Brave New Workshop
Dudley Riggs Minneapolis Brave New Workshop
Dudley Riggs Minneapolis Brave New Workshop

In addition to receiving a Kudo Award from the Twin Cities theater critics, Riggs received the Urban Guerrilla Award and the Charlie Award from the National Association of Comedy Arts. After selling the Brave New Workshop in 1997, Dudley Riggs started his third career as a writer. He is currently working on two books – one a memoir of his early life in circus and vaudeville, the other a history of instant theatre and political satire.

Ivey History Awards Twin Cities

Recently, The Ivey Awards, an annual celebration of professional theatre in the Twin Cities, named Brave New Workshop founder Dudley Riggs its 2009 Lifetime Achievement honoree.
We love you Dudley!