Augsburg Theater Alumni Featured in a Sod House Theater Production

Come and see some Augsburg University Theater alumni from several generations perform this incredibly fun and evocative production!

An Enemy of the People written by Henrik Ibsen adapted by Darcey Engen and Luverne Seifert with music by Brian Laidlaw and Ashley Hanson, will be presented by Sod House Theater and tour eleven rural cities in Minnesota from July 25 – August 26, with a run in Hastings early September (TBA), 2018. The Sod House is teaming with local talent that includes a number of Augsburg University alumni!

This classic play examines how a community responds when a local doctor threatens to expose that the water it relies upon for tourism is being poisoned. The play questions how far a community will go to protect their town’s secret in order to avoid financial ruin. It will be performed at site-specific locations that are important to the historical narrative of each community.  Performance locations include town halls and river parks. “We’ve chosen communities to perform with that have recently experienced water pollution issues and whose lakes and rivers are a major contributor to their tourism economy,” said Luverne Seifert, co-artistic director of Sod House Theater. After each performance, water experts from local organizations will facilitate conversations centered on local water issues in hopes that the play and community dialogue will inspire water conservation.

 

About Sod House Theater:

Sod House Theater is a Minneapolis based theater whose mission is to perform in venues that serve historical significance in small-town communities. The works they choose to perform are relevant to the small-town atmosphere. Their goal is to be interactive in the communities by performing with local actors and at historical sites. They have been touring greater Minnesota since 2011.

Tickets for “An Enemy of the People” are $15 for adults; $10 for Children, Students, and Seniors.

Tickets are available at www.sodhousetheater.org. For show information call 612-414-2032.

Alumni who are leading the project:

Co-Artistic Director, Luverne Seifert ‘83; Co-Artistic Director, Darcey Engen ‘88; Production and Tour Manager Del Logeais ‘18.

Alumni who are performing in the Taylors Falls Production:

Peter Skjervold ‘83, Jenny Nordstrom Kelly ‘84, Lisa Pestka Anderson ‘86, Ali Fitzpatrick ‘11

Current students performing in Taylors Falls:

Madeleine Rowe ‘19, Hannah Dyson ‘20

6 Quick Questions With the New Conductor of The Masterworks Chorale

Mark Sedio ’76 has been the transitional conductor for the Augsburg choir for the past two years. Mark has recently accepted a new role as conductor for The Masterworks Chorale. We had the chance to chat with Mark about all things Augsburg and music. Check out these 6 Quick Questions with Mark Sedio:

Favorite memory as a student at Augsburg:

Conversation with friends in the old “Chin Wag” before Augsburg Choir rehearsals.

What makes singing in a choir so great/powerful/exciting?

The act of making something beautiful together – a true act of community.  The joy of performing a piece – the final result of hours and hours of rehearsal.  Then, of course, all the non-musical things wrapped up in it all – singing with friends, the performance spaces, the stories about the history of a piece – all coming together.

What excites you about working with Masterworks?

The caliber of the singing is so very high and the possibilities are endless.

What are you looking forward to with Masterworks?

Over the past four years, it’s been great fun for me to have worked first with Cedar Singers and then the Augsburg Choir.  Osmo Vänskä, the conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, says it’s all about the music – and it is.  How we form a phrase together, how we mold sound – not necessarily a pre-conceived notion of what an ensemble should sound like – but rather what we do with the sound we have.  That’s the concept I used with both Cedars and Augsburg Choir – it works – and the outcome can be really thrilling.

Share something about working with the Augsburg Choir:

It’s hard to put into words what the 50-plus singers in the Choir came to mean to me.  Again, it’s all about community.  It was a joy to be able to make music together – and I think it showed in each and every performance.  We had great fun – and it showed in their singing.  I am extraordinarily proud of those wonderful musicians (some whom I knew since they were first-years in Cedar Singers).  Their musicianship and growth over the years.  To work with them was both an honor and sheer joy.

Share a Mark Sedio fun fact:

If I wasn’t able to do what I am doing (choral music, organ, composition), I’d LOVE to have a talk-show.

 

If you are interested in joining The Masterworks Chorale, the gatherings are open to anyone interested in singing! The first gathering is Tuesday, September 4th from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm in the Choir Room (M2) in Augsburg University’s Anderson Music Hall. For more information visit the Augsburg University Masterworks Chorale Facebook page here.

For the Augsburg University Music Department website, click here.

Young Alumni Council: Lauren (Grafelman) Lesser ’12

The Young Alumni Council was formed to specifically represent the interests of young alumni in service of Augsburg University’s mission and goals.  Each council member helps connect and engage young alumni by planning and executing networking, fundraising, social, and volunteer events and programs. Click here for more information about requirements and qualifications.

As part of one of our series, we will be profiling members of the Augsburg Young Alumni Council (or YAC). This week, we spoke to Lauren (Grafelman) Lesser ’12, who is currently the YAC Vice-President. 

  • Name and Graduation Year?

Lauren (Grafelman) Lesser ’12

  • Time spent as a YAC council member?

2 years
.

  • What made you want to be a part of the YAC?

I enjoyed my time at Augsburg and I wanted to find a way to stay connected to the community. Additionally, I want to help others get re-connected with the Augsburg Community.

  • What is your favorite YAC memory or event?

My favorite event was the brewery tour. It was so fun to see so many familiar and new faces. Everyone really enjoyed hanging out as a group and it was a beautiful day!

  • Favorite memory from studying at Augsburg?

The summer after my freshman year, the band went on a trip to Romania. It was an amazing 10 day experience filled with new cultures, new foods, and new friends!

  • 
Why should other young alumni join the YAC?

People should join YAC to help their classmates re-connect to Augsburg and to help plan fun events that bring people together.

  • Interesting random fact about you?

I have lived in 7 states and went to 3 different high schools.

Are you interested in learning more about the Young Alumni Council? Visit http://www.augsburg.edu/alumni/leadershipboards/yac/ for information on applications and eligibility.