Augsburg alumni bring ‘Hoopla Train’ to rural Minnesota

sodhouseThis summer, Sod House — a theater company founded by Augsburg College Chair of Theater Arts Darcey Engen ’88 and her husband, Luverne Seifert ’83 — brought a production of “Hoopla Train (with Yard Master Yip and his Polkastra)” to 14 historic ballrooms in different Minnesota cities including Barrett, McGregor, Nisswa, and Sleepy Eye.

Engen and Seifert shared the stage with a troupe of performers to put on the production billed as “Lawrence Welk meets ‘Hee-Haw.’” The Sod House Theater project began in 2011 when Engen and Seifert collaborated to create the condensed version of Anton Chekhov’s play “The Cherry Orchard” with Twin Cities colleagues including Sarah Myers, associate professor of theater at Augsburg.

This year the “Hoopla Train” has garnered the attention of media outlets across Minnesota, including the following organizations and stories:

BringMeTheNews names David Lapakko among Great Thinkers

David Lapakko, associate professor of communication studies, has been named a finalist in the Great American Think-Off, an annual competition in which hundreds of thinkers from across the United States and around the world submit essay answers to a question posed by the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center, according to BringMeTheNews. Lapakko is a veteran of the competition and this year responded to the prompt, “Does Technology Free Us or Trap Us?”