3 May 2017

The Showman Dudley Riggs

For the week of May 7, 2017

Dudley Riggs transformed the Twin Cities theatre scene in 1958 when his Brave New Workshop introduced audiences to “instant theatre.” Today, the BNW is the longest running improv comedy theater in America and has helped launch the careers of some of Minnesota’s funniest entertainers including Louie Anderson, Liz Winstead and Al Franken. Riggs discusses how he conceived of this new type of theatre and his memoir, “Flying Funning: My Life without a Net.”

Guest: Dudley Riggs, author and founder of the Brave New Workshop

  • Part 1 – 13:04

    Part 1
    Born into a show biz family, Riggs performed vaudeville routines as a five-year-old and by age eight, moved up to the flying trapeze. Life in the circus taught Riggs how to adapt to changing environments and interact with an audience—skills that would lead him to invent a daring new form of theatre.
  • Part 2 – 13:30

    Part 2
    Improv comedy is the “theatre of now,” says Riggs. “You’re not using the words of a playwright from another time or another place; you’re allowed then to freely associate and bring forth a thought from that moment. And that moment is all that counts.”

    Find more information on Dudley Riggs’s book “Flying Funny” at the University of Minnesota Press website

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