The William & Eva Fox Foundation and Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, have awarded long-time Ten Thousand Things artist Luverne Seifert a fellowship for distinguished achievement to further his artistic and professional development and to deepen and enrich his relationship with Ten Thousand Things. Funded by the Fox Foundation and administered by TCG, the fellowship is one of only a few programs of its kind for actors in the country.
Luverne was just one of two artists across the country to win the award for distinguished achievement, with TTT as his host theater. He will travel to Switzerland and France to deepen his skills and training with two classically trained legendary clowns in order to prepare to co-create and perform in a devised comedy for TTT. Inspired by the lives of poor workers stuck in small towns, Park and Lake will look at a car wash in a resort community servicing wealthy visitors. At it examines income inequality, the play will ask audiences to choose an ending of change or stasis.
Luverne will hold pre-performance workshops at low-income centers throughout Minnesota, casting a few participants in small roles. Both traditional ticket-paying audiences and non-traditional audiences in prisons, homeless shelters, low-income shelters, and rural locations. The workshops that he conducts will provide opportunities for community performers to gain skills in areas that are not accessible to them.
Luverne has appeared in many TTT shows, including The Changelings, The Music Man, Vasa Lisa, Man of La Mancha, Othello, My Fair Lady, Raskol, Little Shop of Horrors, and King Lear. He is recipient of the 2009 Ivey Award for outstanding performance in Twin Cities Theatre, a McKnight Fellow Artist for Theatre, and multiple Minnesota State Arts Board awards and grants. He has acted with Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Children’s Theater Company, Berkeley Rep, Guthrie Theater, and Workhaus Collective, among others. Luverne has been an instructor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Theater Arts and Dance for the past 15 years and is co-founder of Sod House Theater.