Tofte Lake Center is a retreat for artists, scholars and leaders wishing to expand and deepen their creative potential through collaboration with artists and thinkers in other fields. All work and play takes place within a supportive community offering daily opportunities for interaction, stimulation and reflection. Our facilities feature both individual and community work spaces, and all activities stem from the inherent belief that individual creativity is the essential tool in our evolution as a culture.
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 serves on the Advisory Board of the National New Play Network and is a member of the New Project Group of ITI.
Operations Manager and Program Assistant
Dave and Thea Sheldon
Dave and Thea have happily contributed in many capacities to the development of Tofte Lake Center over the past eight years. Dave’s long history and experience with tool-making, rebuilding large machines, serving as a wilderness technician for the USFS, working as a carpenter on new home construction crews and most recently serving as a certified massage therapist, continue to help him meet the operations, property maintenance (and relaxation) needs at TLC. Thea delights in working side-by-side with Dave. In her program assistant role at TLC, 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 25 years and is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. Together Dave and Thea are passionate in their commitment to help fulfill the mission of Tofte Lake Center.
Board of Directors
Vice President of Administration, The McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis, MN
Director, Tofte Lake Center
Sara Fenlason (Vice Chair)
Executive Director, the Ann Bancroft Foundation, MN
Founder and Executive/Creative Producer Octopus Theatricals, Princeton, NJ
Artistic Director, Mu Performing Arts, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Jennifer Tatsuda (Treasurer/Secretary)
Business Manager, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
Keiko Williams (Chair)
Executive Director, Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust, Ely, MN
Director and Fly Fisherman, Louisville, KY