University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

‘The Visit’ workshop set for May 14

Last fall, Kathy Coudle-King (English) received an interesting phone call at the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre.  Luverne Seifert from Minneapolis stated his interest in bringing a professional theatre group to produce and perform The Visit by Friedrich Durenmatt.  Not only did Seifert, head of Theater Performance at the University of Minnesota wish to invite her to the show at the East Grand Forks Heritage Center in August, but he wanted to invite her and any local actors she knew to be in the show.

Seifert and Darcy Engen, Associate Professor and Chair of the Theatre Arts Dept. at Augsburg College, have performed at The Guthrie, Ten Thousand Things, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Red Eye, Dudley Riggs’ Brave New Workshop, Illusion Theatre, and Open Eye, among others.  In the summer months, they enjoy performing plays in unique historical settings that lend another layer of reality to the productions.  Last year, for example, they toured Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard to historical homes around Minnesota.

This year they received a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to bring a production of The Visit to East Grand Forks.  The Visit is a is a dark comedy that explores the values, choices and consequences of a small town struggling to survive as they are faced with the play’s prevailing question—How far will a town go to save itself?

Then, on Tuesday, May 14, at 7 p.m., they will lead a free theatre workshop for up to 20 people at the Fire Hall Theatre.    Following the workshop, Seifert and Engen will hold auditions for roles in The Visit, to be performed in August.   The audition will involve reading from the script.  No preparation is necessary.  They will be looking for performers age 16 and up to play 10 to 12 roles in the production.  Rehearsal and performances will take place Aug. 5 - 12 at the East Grand Forks Heritage Village.  Costumes and props will be provided.

Those interested in taking part in free theatre workshop should email Kathy Coudle-King at or call 701.746.0847.

Those wishing to attend the August performance at the EGF Heritage Center can get tickets on-line at  Tickets, $15, will also be available in the community at places to be announced beginning in June.




What: The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt

When:  May 13th – reading of excerpts from the play, The Visit, 7 p.m.

May 14, 7 p.m. – theatre workshop with Darcey Engen and Luverne Seifert for those interested in performing in the August production or simply interested in acting.

Where:  Fire Hall Theatre – 412 N. 2nd Avenue; Grand Forks (located behind City Hall, and north of Central H.S.)




Darcey Engen is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Theater Arts Department at Augsburg College. She teaches over seven courses in the department including Advanced Acting, Voice for Stage and Screen and Movement for the Actor as well as directs a main-stage production each season. She earned her M.F.A. in acting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she specialized in voice and movement training for the stage. She specializes in vocal production for the stage with particular interests in martial arts actor training and feminist theatre. Her past performance experience in Minneapolis includes Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Red Eye Collaboration, Dudley Riggs' Brave New Workshop among others.  In the last two years, Darcey performed and toured I’m Telling; a show she originally conceived and developed.  Versions of the piece haveperformed at Open Eye Figure Theatre (2007) and Illusion Theatre (2009) in Minneapolis.  The piece stages both the dark and tender stories of her personal journey through motherhood.  This past summer, she toured a production of The Cherry Orchard to historical homes around the state of Minnesota. She managed and produced the entire project with her husband Luverne Seifert as well as played the lead role of Lyubov.
Luverne Seifert is currently head of BA Theater Performance at the University of Minnesota where he teaches beginning acting and physical performance.  His performance credits include:  Guthrie  The 39 Steps, Servant of Two Masters, The Governor Inspector, The Ugly One Ten Thousand Things  Measure for Measure, Vasa Lisa, Man of La Mancha, My Fair Lady, Othello, Raskol, Richard the Third, Little Shop of Horrors, Antigone, In A Garden, At Your Service, Mud, King Lear, and The Furies. Theater Off-Broadway:  New Victory Theater; Polonius in Hamlet  Regional:  Theatre de la Jeune Lune: Tartuffe, Amerika, The Three Musketeers, Hamlet, Children of Paradise, Gulliver, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Yang Zen Froggs, Germinal, Don Juan Giovanni; La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Trinity Rep, ArtsEmerson, Spoleto Festival; Arizona Repertory Theater: The 39 Steps;  Childrens Theater Company: Lion, Witch and Wardrobe, Tales of a West Texas Marsupial Girl, Antigone, Go Dog Go, Once Upon a Forest  Local: Workhaus Collective: 800 words, A short play about 911, Little Eyes; Other Member of the Acting Core, Ten Thousand Things Theater; 2003 Mcknight Fellowship for Theater Artists; 2010 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant; 2012 Arts Tour Grant for Producing/directing/Performing The Cherry Orchard; Ivey Award 2009 for Performance as Phillip K Dick in 800 Words. Training Augsburg College, Burlesque Center for clown, Switzerland.