In memory of
Dudley Henry RIGGS Jr.
In memory of
Dudley Henry RIGGS Jr.
Age 88 Died on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, in Minneapolis, with his wife, Pauline, by his side. He was born in 1932 in Little Rock, AR, to Martha Lillian (Lil) Harker and Dudley (Doc) Henry Riggs, Sr., both circus and vaudeville performers. A fifth-generation member of a distinguished show business family, Dudley performed in the circus as a trapeze artist and off-season, in vaudeville. As a teenager, he traveled the world, performing in circuses as an aerialist and gymnast. Wherever he was, he furthered his education, attending universities in Chicago, Tulsa and the Philippines. In the 1950s, at Mankato State University and in the 1960s, at the University of Minnesota, he focused on teaching and theater. In 1996, he studied film writing in Harvard's Extension Writing Program. In 1956, he married Ruth Elaine Fowler of Minneapolis. Their son, Paul Dudley Riggs, was born in 1960. Ruth died from cancer in 1968. In 1988, Dudley married Professor Pauline Boss of St. Paul. Known as a founder of satirical improvisational theater, Dudley Riggs established the Instant Theater in the 1950s in New York, and in 1958, brought this novel entertainment to a Minneapolis cabaret called Café Espresso. In 1961, this Instant Theater became the Brave New Workshop, the longest running comedy satire theater in the United States. In 1971, he established his second theater, the ETC, Experimental Theater Company, at Seven Corners in Minneapolis where "What's So Funny About Being Female?" was a hit. Countless young artists got their start in his theaters and went on to success as actors, writers, and comedians. For ground breaking work in theater, he received the Kudo Award, the Urban Guerrilla Award, the Charlie Award from the National Association of Comedy Arts, and in 2009, the Ivey Award for Lifetime Achievement. After Dudley retired from the Brave New Workshop in 1997, he acted in two Guthrie Theater productions, "To Fool The Eye" and "The Sunshine Boys" and published his memoir, "Flying Funny: My Life Without a Net" University of Minnesota Press, 2017. He and his wife continued to enjoy opening nights at the Brave New Workshop and Guthrie Theater plus many other arts events in the Twin Cities and New York. He delighted in traveling the world with his wife, and spending time with the children and grandchildren, who loved him dearly. Dudley Riggs is survived by his wife, Professor Emeritus Pauline Boss, Minneapolis; son, Paul Riggs, Crystal, MN; two stepchildren, David Boss, Ft. Collins, CO and Ann Boss Sheffels, M.D., Maple Grove, MN; and four grandchildren, Hayley Boss, Christopher Sheffels, Sara Sheffels, and Erin Sheffels, Ph.D. He was preceded in death by his parents; his uncles, Albert and Arthur; his first wife, Ruth; and his half-brother, James W. Riggs. A memorial tribute to Dudley Riggs is being organized by the Brave New Workshop and will be held online in mid-December 2020. Announcement to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donating in honor of Dudley to the Brave New Institute, a non-profit educational organization which Dudley loved and supported. https://www.givemn.org/organization/ Brave-New-Institute
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In memory of
Dudley Henry RIGGS Jr.
Age 88 Died on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, in Minneapolis, with his wife, Pauline, by his side. He was born in 1932 in Little Rock, AR, to Martha Lillian (Lil) Harker and Dudley (Doc) Henry Riggs, Sr., both circus and vaudeville performers. A fifth-generation member of a distinguished show business family, Dudley performed in the circus as a trapeze artist and off-season, in vaudeville. As a teenager, he traveled the world, performing in circuses as an aerialist and gymnast. Wherever he was, he furthered his education, attending universities in Chicago, Tulsa and the Philippines. In the 1950s, at Mankato State University and in the 1960s, at the University of Minnesota, he focused on teaching and theater. In 1996, he studied film writing in Harvard's Extension Writing Program. In 1956, he married Ruth Elaine Fowler of Minneapolis. Their son, Paul Dudley Riggs, was born in 1960. Ruth died from cancer in 1968. In 1988, Dudley married Professor Pauline Boss of St. Paul. Known as a founder of satirical improvisational theater, Dudley Riggs established the Instant Theater in the 1950s in New York, and in 1958, brought this novel entertainment to a Minneapolis cabaret called Café Espresso. In 1961, this Instant Theater became the Brave New Workshop, the longest running comedy satire theater in the United States. In 1971, he established his second theater, the ETC, Experimental Theater Company, at Seven Corners in Minneapolis where "What's So Funny About Being Female?" was a hit. Countless young artists got their start in his theaters and went on to success as actors, writers, and comedians. For ground breaking work in theater, he received the Kudo Award, the Urban Guerrilla Award, the Charlie Award from the National Association of Comedy Arts, and in 2009, the Ivey Award for Lifetime Achievement. After Dudley retired from the Brave New Workshop in 1997, he acted in two Guthrie Theater productions, "To Fool The Eye" and "The Sunshine Boys" and published his memoir, "Flying Funny: My Life Without a Net" University of Minnesota Press, 2017. He and his wife continued to enjoy opening nights at the Brave New Workshop and Guthrie Theater plus many other arts events in the Twin Cities and New York. He delighted in traveling the world with his wife, and spending time with the children and grandchildren, who loved him dearly. Dudley Riggs is survived by his wife, Professor Emeritus Pauline Boss, Minneapolis; son, Paul Riggs, Crystal, MN; two stepchildren, David Boss, Ft. Collins, CO and Ann Boss Sheffels, M.D., Maple Grove, MN; and four grandchildren, Hayley Boss, Christopher Sheffels, Sara Sheffels, and Erin Sheffels, Ph.D. He was preceded in death by his parents; his uncles, Albert and Arthur; his first wife, Ruth; and his half-brother, James W. Riggs. A memorial tribute to Dudley Riggs is being organized by the Brave New Workshop and will be held online in mid-December 2020. Announcement to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donating in honor of Dudley to the Brave New Institute, a non-profit educational organization which Dudley loved and supported. https://www.givemn.org/organization/ Brave-New-Institute
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