Twin Cities actor, director, teacher and theater founder Luverne Seifert has won a $25,000 distinguished fellowship from the Bethesda, Maryland-based William and Eva Fox Foundation. Meanwhile theater artist Taous Claire Khazem has won a $15,000 fellowship for exceptional merit.

These two are part of a national cohort of six artists supported by the foundation, which underwrites training and career development for talented performers.

The support will enable Seifert and Khazem to deepen their knowledge of their art form and to work on projects.

Seifert (left) recently finished a run playing a nice gangster in Dark and Stormy’s production of “The Norwegians.” In the past 25 years, he’s acted at a myriad of theaters nationally and in the Twin Cities, including at the Children’s Theatre, where last fall he appeared in the premiere of Naomi Iizuka’s “The Last Firefly,” and at Ten Thousand Things, where he’s had a decades-long association.

He will travel to France and Switzerland to study technique with two master clowns for use in a piece for Ten Thousand Things about workers stuck in a small town.

Khazem (right) acted last summer in "Bars and Measures" at the Jungle Theater. In addition to her extensive work in the Twin Cities, she has performed and taught in Algeria. She is currently assistant director to Rachel Chavkin at the Guthrie Theater for “Royal Family.”

Under the aegis of Mixed Blood Theatre, which is located on the West Bank in Minneapolis, she intends to work with the Somali community on an inter-generational folktale project.

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