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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 — Hoopla Train: The touring theater variety show coming to a stage near you
  • Star Tribune — Summer is showtime for Sod House, Minnesota’s whistle-stop theater
  • Faribault Daily News — All aboard the ‘Hoopla Train’ bound for Faribault
  • Rochester Post-Bulletin — ‘Hoopla Train’ pulls into town
  • Pine and Lakes Echo Journal — Professional Twin Cities Theater Troupe to perform at the American Legion in Nisswa
  • Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch — ‘Hoopla Train’ show coming to Sleepy Eye next week
  • St. Cloud Times — ‘Hoopla’ brings old-fashioned fun to outstate Minnesota

Site-Specific Staging of ‘Peer Gynt’ Breaks Rules, Boundaries

Production is first-ever collaboration between Augsburg, University of Minnesota

A ground-breaking production of Henrik Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt” will take theater goers on a fantastic voyage that includes oversized birds and trolls, original music and simultaneous scenes, all while attendees and performers travel a quarter-mile portion of the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

The play, a 1.5-hour production condensed from Robert Bly’s 3-hour script of 2008, represents a first-time collaboration between theater departments at Augsburg and the University of Minnesota. It’s also probably a first for site-specific theater of this scale for theatergoers in the Twin Cities. “Peer Gynt” will be performed seven times from April 10-13. Continue reading “Site-Specific Staging of ‘Peer Gynt’ Breaks Rules, Boundaries”

Unique performance of The Cherry Orchard features Augsburg actors

cherryorchardLater this month, two Augsburg alumni and an all-star cast will debut a unique site-specific production of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard at the Historic Lind House in New Ulm, Minn. The production also features high school and community actors from the Sleepy Eye/New Ulm area and includes live music from the Sleepy Eye Concertina Club.

This production focuses on the struggles of a family in the throes of losing their estate through foreclosure and was chosen to bring attention to the rash of farm foreclosures in the Southern Minnesota farming community. Although inherently tragic, this production will illuminate the comedic and eccentric nature of Chekhov’s rich characters. Continue reading “Unique performance of The Cherry Orchard features Augsburg actors”

Tickets on sale for 'The Visit'

the_visitTickets are now available for the Augsburg College Theatre Department’s mainstage production of “The Visit,” written by Friedrich Durrenmatt and guest directed by Luverne Seifert ’83.

“The Visit” tells the story about a rags-to-riches millionaire, who as a young girl once lived in the decrepit and poverty stricken European hamlet of Guellen, who returns home for a visit. The town, giddy with the opportunity to climb out of its destitution, joyously welcomes her back, only to realize that she conceals a dark secret and that her generosity will come with a cost. Durrenmatt’s tragic comedy unfolds a haunting story of human greed and vengeance.

Performances run Feb. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 at 7 p.m., and Feb.3 and 10 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $2 Augsburg College Students; $8 ACTC faculty, staff, and students; $10 general public.

For reservations and more information, please call 612-330-1257.