Tofte Lake Center expands artists’ capacities and deepens their impact through retreat, nature and community. in a natural collaborative environment.
TLC envisions a world where artists are recognized as the meaning-bearers of our culture and are equitably supported and sustained in their artistic voice and vision.
Liz Engelman is a freelance dramaturg and the founder and director of Tofte Lake Center at Norm's Fish Camp. She is currently splitting her time between Ely, MN and Austin, TX, where she teaches in the Theatre and Dance Department at the University of Texas- Austin. Most recently, Liz lived on Whidbey Island where she was the Alumnae Relations Coordinator of Hedgebrook, a retreat for women writers. Liz has served as the Resident Dramaturg at Mixed Blood Theatre, as the Literary Director of the McCarter Theatre, the Director of New Play Development at ACT Theatre in Seattle, Washington, Literary Manager/Dramaturg at Seattle's Intiman Theatre, and as Assistant Literary Manager at Actors Theatre of Louisville. She has worked on the development of new plays at The Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, ASK Theatre Projects, New York Theatre Workshop, the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, South Coast Rep, Denver Center, and Florida Stage. She has directed new plays at The Illusion Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, The Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, and Carleton College. She studied dramaturgy and new play development at Brown and Columbia universities, where she received her BA and MFA in theatre and dramaturgy, respectively. Liz is the co-editor with Michael Bigelow Dixon of several collections of plays, a book on playwriting exercises, and of two volumes of monologues with Tori Haring-Smith. Liz has served as President, Board Chair and is a current board Member of LMDA, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. She is a Board Member of the National Theatre Conference (NTC) and serves on the Advisory Board of the National New Play Network (NNPN).
Thea Sheldon and DAve Hunsche
We contract with Thea Sheldon, Prime of Life Coaching, LLC and Dave Hunsche, CMT to help run the operations of Tofte Lake Center. Thea offers over thirty-five years of professional experience: coaching, teaching, training, and rigorously developing people's potential for growth in the education, government, non-profit and corporate sectors. Thea has owned her own business for twenty-nine years and is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. Dave is responsible for TLC’s property and facilities and has a long history and experience with tool-making, rebuilding large machines, serving as a wilderness technician for the USFS, and working as a carpenter on new home construction crews. Dave is also a certified massage therapist and offers these services to residents at TLC. Together Dave and Thea are passionate in their commitment to help fulfill the mission of Tofte Lake Center.
Board of Directors
Past Board Members
Kevin Bitterman (Vice chair)
Director of Institutional Advancement & Partnerships, Theatre Communications Group, NY, NY
Director, Tofte Lake Center, Ely, MN and Austin, TX
Sara Fenlason (TREASURER/SECRETARY)
Executive Director, the Ann Bancroft Foundation, Minneapolis, MN
Silversmith Jewelry Artist, Ely, MN
Jennifer Tatsuda (CHAIR)
Business Manager, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN