Bryant Lake Bowl

810 W. Lake St., Mpls Open 8 am‑2am daily

Restaurant/Bowling (612) 825‑3737 Theater (612) 825‑8949


The Theater of Public Policy

Presented by Danger Boat Productions

Described as “What could become Minnesota's answer to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert,” The Theater of Public Policy (T2P2 for short) makes civic conversations fun again.

Using real on-stage conversations with newsmakers and big thinkers, T2P2 makes issues come alive through improv comedy theater. Each night:

  • The show’s host interviews a leading thinker on a big issue
  • Then a team of the Twin Cities’ most talented improvisers use the conversation as inspiration for longform improv comedy
  • In the second half of the show, the guest answers questions from the audience
  • The show wraps up with more no-holds-barred unscripted comedy

 It’s improv comedy for the NPR listener in all of us. Join the fun as we learn and laugh about everything from streetcars to education policy, from big data to apple breeding.


Previous performances

April 7 guest: Dr. David Levinson

Monday, April 7 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
The University of Minnesota’s resident civil engineering guru is known around the world as The Transportationist. Professor Levinson will join us to talk about the Twin Cities, traffic, streetcars, and why we don’t yet have hover bikes.

April 14 guests: Mark Ritchie, Otto Doll and Bill Bushy

Monday, April 14 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, City of Minneapolis Chief Information Officer Otto Doll, and Open Twin Cities’ Bill Bushey will tell us about making government data more readily available to citizens. All three have been working to make government more transparent and efficient through data. We’ll ask why anyone would want all the city’s records on cats getting stuck in trees, and why the monicker “hacker” is considered a dirty word.

April 21 guest: Lisa Bender

Monday, April 21 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
City of Minneapolis Council Member for Ward 10, Lisa Bender joins us on stage. She’ll talk about the big issues at City Hall, what efforts she hopes the city will address in the coming months, and how it feels to have the god-like powers of a city council member.

April 28 guests: Nick Zerwas and Dan McGrath

Monday, April 28 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Two voices from two very different political perspectives will prove it’s still possible to have respectful, civil, yet lively conversations in public. Republican State Representative Nick Zerwas and Take Action Minnesota Executive Director Dan McGrath take our stage together to talk about the big issues facing Minnesota.

May 1 guest: Denise Spect

Thursday, May 1 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Our guest, Denise Spect, is the president of Minnesota’s largest teacher’s union, Education Minnesota. She’ll answer your questions about teachers, students, class size, and snow days. Bringing her an apple is optional.

May 8 guest: Eyenga Bokamba

Thursday, May 8 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Sprockets, St. Paul’s out-of-school time programs network, has a new director and she’s going to join us on the show. Eyenga Bokamba will talk to us about why students need to keep learning even after the school day ends. In addition to her work leading this diverse coalition of programs, Bokamba is a visual artist in her own right, and a Harvard graduate. Consider us intimidated.

May 15 guest: Sue Haigh

Thursday, May 15 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Think coming up with your own five-year plan is a challenge? Try coming up with a 20-year plan for the entire Twin Cities region. That’s just part of the charge for our guest, Susan Haigh, chair of the Metropolitian Council. We’ll ask her all about what visions they hear from Minnesotans for the future of the Twin Cities.

May 22 guests: Dr. David Bedford and Dr. James Luby

Thursday, May 22 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Did you know that 80% of the apples grown in Minnesota are creations of the University of Minnesota breeding program? We will talk to one of the people behind the University’s apple program, scientist David Bedford about how you create new apple varieties, how our ways of producing food are changing through science, and if anything will ever be as great as the Honeycrisp.

October 6 guest: Chuck Marohn

Monday, October 6 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Chuck Marohn is the president of Strong Towns a Minnesota-based nonprofit which focuses on city, small town, and neighborhood sustainability. The author of Thoughts on Building Strong Towns (Volume 1), the primary author of the Strong Towns Blog, and the host of the Strong Towns Podcast and See it Differently TV, Mr. Marohn has developed a national following. We’ll ask him if we’ll still need freeways once we have flying cars.

October 13 guests: Minneapolis school board candidates

Monday, October 13 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Candidates in one of the most important elections in Minneapolis school board history will join The Theater of Public Policy on stage for a live conversation brought to life through unscripted improv comedy theater: Iris Altamirano (Confirmed), Rebecca Gagnon (Confirmed), Ira Jourdain (Confirmed) and Don Samuels (Confirmed).

October 20 guest: Robert Helland

Monday, October 20 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Minnesotans will elect a new secretary of state this fall. The Theater of Public Policy invited the three major-party candidates to join us on stage for a conversation, but only one will be there: Independence Party candidate Robert Helland.

October 27 guest: Paul Anderson

Monday, October 27 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
The honorable Paul Anderson served as Associate Justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1994 to 2013. During that time he heard seminal cases on everything from the independence of medical examiners, to bail laws, to a much-discussed recount in Minnesota’s 2008 U.S. senate race.

November 3 guest: Jennifer Ford Reedy

Monday, November 3 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Philanthropy is changing, both on an individual level as well as an institutional level. Jennifer Ford Reedy took the helm at the St. Paul-based Bush Foundation at the tailend of the Great Recession. We’ll talk about being at the helm of one of the region’s largest foundations, and if it gets annoying to receive President Bush’s fan mail.

November 10 guest: Brenda Cassellius

Monday, November 10 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
As Minnesota’s Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius has one of the toughest jobs in the state. And that’s before she agreed to come on our show. We will ask Commissioner Cassellius, “Is our children learning?” and what happened to all those microfilm readers.

November 17 guest: Jacob Frey

Monday, November 17 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Elected in 2013, Jacob Frey is part of a new class of Minneapolis City Council members swept in last fall. In just the past year, Frey has championed allowing ride-sharing services in the city, rule changes around restaurant alcohol restrictions, and stronger city investment in affordable housing. He has bravely agreed to venture out of his 3rd district enclave to join us for a night at the Bryant Lake Bowl.

November 24 guest: Chris Farrell

Monday, November 24 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
In his new book, "Unretirement," Chris Farrell documents the trend of baby boomers to stay in the work force. More than a necessity caused by the Great Recession, Mr. Farrell argues it signals a new paradigm about work, community, and finding happiness. We promise you will leave this show with lots to talk about with your parents at Thanksgiving dinner.


Monday, March 9 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm

Guest: Dr. Thomas Fisher

Monday, October 12 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Former Dean of the University of Minnesota School of Architecture, author of the forthcoming "Designing Our Way to a Better World Design"...Like Reggio Godfrey movie, everyone talks about it, but does anyone actually get it? Dr. Thomas Fisher of the University of Minnesota Architecture School does. He will join T2P2 to talk about the hidden elements of the built environment that affect our daily lives.

Guest: Anthony Newby

Monday, October 19 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Executive Director, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change / In less time than it takes to refine a bottle of tabasco, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, or NOC, has built a member-led organization aimed at "building power in under-resourced communities and communities of color across the Twin Cities." We'll ask NOC's executive director, Anthony Newby, about the challenges and opportunities facing these communities.

Guest: Andrew Johnson

Monday, October 26 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Minneapolis Council Member, Ward 12 / Elected in 2013, Minneapolis Council Member Andrew Johnson, has made a name for himself simultaneously digging into the city's past and future. By day, he works to bring the city's relationship to technology and data into the 21st century, or at least the 20th. By night, he reads seemingly outdated city ordinances by candlelight, howling curses for them into the south Minneapolis night. We'll ask him about both passions!

Guest: Dr. Doug Chapin

Monday, November 2 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Head of Humphrey School's Elections Academy / In 2013, the United States Supreme Court struck down key parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In the coming term, it's expected the court will take up another challenge to the VRA. Few people are more qualified to provide insight and analysis on what effect these decisions have had and may have going forward on citizens access to the ballot box.

Guest: Melvin Tennant

Monday, November 9 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
President & CEO, Meet Minneapolis / Have you ever had trouble convincing friends from other parts of the country to visit you in the Twin Cities? Maybe because they think it's too cold here, or because they guessed it's not exciting, or because they heard 10,000 lakes and assumed everyone who lives here are water-breathing fish hybrid people that only eat kelp. Well, imagine trying to convince tens of thousands of people from all over the world to visit Minneapolis each year. That's Melvin Tennant's job and we'll ask him all about it, as well as where he buys his kelp.

Guest: Metropolitan Council Chair Adam Duininck

Monday, November 16 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
NOTE: Adam Duininck of the Metropolitan Council Chair will replace Lt. Governor Tina Smith in tonight's show. The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning and policy-making body for the entire 7-county Metro, helping coordinate everything from transportation systems to sewer lines.

Guest: Education Reporter Special

Monday, November 23 at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Ale Wasem, Star Tribune and Beth Hawkins, MinnPost / School's back in session, and before everyone goes on Thanksgiving break, we're going to talk with a couple of the smartest people covering education in Minnesota. We'll ask Ale Wasem of the Star Tribune and Beth Hawkins of MinnPost about the big education issues facing Minnesota, like the achievement gap, a new Minneapolis schools superintendent, and if they'll loan Tane their Algebra II notes.

Past performances

Monday, February 23 at 7:00 pm
Monday, March 2 at 7:00 pm
Monday, March 16 at 7:00 pm
Monday, March 23 at 7:00 pm
Monday, March 30 at 7:00 pm

comedy / performance


Full bar and menu service
available throughout the performance