Laughs for free: Brave New Workshop’s Student Union Youth Performance Team


I hate art, parks, music, sunshine and puppies, but I love Brave New Workshop’s Student Union Youth Performance Team.

Brave New Workshop is a theater that specializes in satirical plays and improv comedy. Their Youth Performance team does a show at 4 p.m. on the first Sunday of every month at Brave New Workshop’s Uptown location in Minneapolis. The results are impressive, and it’s absolutely free.

These performances last only an hour and are the perfect form of entertainment for somebody who has a short attention span, loves comedy and hates to spend money. It’s also interactive.

“It’s a lot of fun to watch and you can be a part of it,” 15-year-old audience member Iain Knopp said. “I think seeing a skit you might have suggested an idea to is really cool.”

Before each skit, people in the audience shout out words. The performers then improvise whatever comes to mind. During the November performance, an audience member shouted out “Cheerios.”

Somehow, this word led the performer to confess that all her life she thought she was a monkey. She is, understandably, quite confused, so a boy comes up to comfort her. He looks around, bewildered, and asks what’s going on.

“I’ve had a realization,” she says.

“I’ve never seen a realization turn a room upside down,” he replies. “And create a new color.”

The scenes flow into each other, with different performers breaking in to do their own bits. It seems to be stream-of-consciousness theater.

The performance that night ended with one boy greeting another in an Australian accent.

“Ay, baby Kangaroo, yer jumpies are broken,” he said.

This spontaneity is quite pleasing, and could only come from teens.

Brave New Workshop

Address: 2605 Hennepin Ave. S, Minneapolis, Minn. 55408

Cost: Free

Hours: Youth performances take place the first Sunday of every month, but call to confirm time and date.

For more info: Visit, or call (612) 332-6620.

“There’s a thing about teens doing improv,” Brave New Workshop coach Josh Kuehn said. “They’re less detached from their childhood, which is what improv is.”

Students aged 13-17 who want to get involved with the Youth Performance Team can attend camps in July and August that teach about improv. Brave New Workshop also offers day-long classes called Pizza Jams for kids aged 9-12.

This tea, of teen comedians provides amazing entertainment for free. The casual atmosphere is a far cry from the Guthrie but it’s nice to enjoy a little theater without giving up my life savings.

TheeSixty Editor’s note: This is our second article in a year-long series on cheap and free ways for teens to have fun in the Twin Cities.