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

Marty Wessels

Youth Programs Coordinator


Erin Boylan, Building Manager
Jennifer Burks, Building Manager
Obed Floan, Building Manager
Nancee Magistad, Building Manager
Alyssa Marose, Building Manager
Adam Moyer, Building Manager
Alex Renshaw, Building Manager


Kevin Albertson, Clayton Anderson, Lauren Anderson, Sarah Arnold, Samantha Baker Harris, Denzel Belin, Jason Bindas, Jonathan Brown, Fred Cheng, Alex Cleberg, Jackson Collins, Michael Dallavalle, Steven Fay, Austen Fisher, Summer Freed, Bobby Gardner, Lizzie Gardner, Luke Gonnella, Gretchen Grunzke, Damian Johnson, Dave Kappelhoff, Jenni Lilledahl, Matthew McCloud, Sarah McPeck, Heather Meyer, Gregory Parks,  Jim Robinson, Michael Rogers, Tim Roser, Jen Scott, Kelly Sheehy, Philip Simondet, Matthew Slater, Amy Stedman, Leslie Vincent, Marty Wessels, Olivia Wulf