Staged Reading of Whisper at the Top of Your Lungs

Monstrous Little Theatre Company presents a staged reading of Whisper at the Top of Your Lungs by Matthew Stoffel

Who do you turn to when your back is against the wall?

Growing up, I was never very good at asking for help. I was stubborn, I wanted to do it by myself, and I was entirely flustered when someone suggested I wasn’t capable of something.

It’s incredibly fortunate that being willing to ask for help is a skill you can learn over time, because I can’t imagine how I’d have handled the last couple years and these past few months without a squadron of great people to support me. I’m grateful to all of them, and I can’t fathom where I’d be without the help of others.

It’s that heavy fear of being alone that drove me to write what was once called Catalyst, and is now titled Whisper at the Top of Your Lungs. What does someone do when nobody can help them? Continue reading

SFBJ cover story: Growing the arts as an industry in Sioux Falls

Here’s a preview of the Sioux Falls Business Journal cover story for January 13, 2016, about the ways the arts are growing in Sioux Falls, what might be holding them back and the possible ways the arts industry can grow going forward.
You can read the full story here.

Most people would have seen a somewhat drab, empty office building.

When Zach DeBoer looked at the vacant DM&E building downtown, he saw a one-of-a-kind chance to showcase local art.

“It was very sterile, and that was the beauty of it: The sadness and emptiness of the building. So seeing the work in that was kind of fun,” he said. Continue reading

Sioux Falls Business Journal: Earlier holiday sales create retail challenge

Here’s a preview of my December 9, 2015 Sioux Falls Business Journal cover story, looking at how retailers navigated the trend of consumers doing their Christmas shopping earlier and earlier. Companies like Lewis Drug, Chelsea’s Boutique and Montgomery’s Furniture had to decide whether to push their deals up to September or try to play the long game to serve holiday needs right on to the big day.
You can read the full story by clicking the link below.

The date hasn’t changed, but Christmas still came early this year.

In mid-September, reported that 32 million Americans, or 14 percent of consumers, had already started hunting for holiday gifts. Even more surprising, 4.6 million were done with their lists. Continue reading

USF memory play explores holocaust with young actors – review

Play review by matthew stoffel of the university of sioux falls' I Never Saw Another Butterfly
Promotional image, taken from USF Theatre’s Facebook event

Playgoers at USF theatre’s latest show found themselves walking through an arch and onto a painted set of railroad tracks, the other end of which disappeared into black curtains.

While we stepped off the path before that unknown darkness to find seats, the effect set a tone for director Joseph Obermueller’s attempt to put us in the place of holocaust prisoners.

The University of Sioux Falls’ I Never Saw Another Butterfly by Celeste Raspanti ran from November 11-15. Continue reading

A Big Search for Little Deer – 2013 SD Conservation Digest Story

This is a piece I wrote as while working as the public relations intern at The Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls. It appeared in the Sept./Oct. 2013 issue of South Dakota Conservation Digest, and is reprinted here with the permission of  Casey Archibald, SD Game, Fish and Parks information officer and current editor of the magazine.

A Big Search For Little Deer by Matthew Stoffel, writing for South Dakota Conservation Digest
Reprint from South Dakota Conservation Digest‘s Sept./Oct. 2013 issue.

“They’ll be curled up in a ball. Look for red. Good luck,” Kevin Robling offered a group as they began to search a field in Turner County.

The night before, Robling, a big game biologist for Game, Fish and Parks (GFP), had been out with a spotlight, searching for deer. Having spotted a doe in the area, a search party was assembled to try locating her fawns. Continue reading

Sioux Falls Business Journal: More companies offering school-year internships

Here’s a preview of the October 14 Sioux Falls Business Journal cover story about an increasing interest among companies in working with interns during the school year. You can read the full story by clicking the link below.

Matthew Stoffel cover story Sioux Falls Business Journal more internships offered during school yearDerek Klawitter can’t imagine going through the school year at The Outdoor Campus without naturalist interns on the teaching roster.

“They’re pretty much the heart and soul of what we do,” the group and community programs coordinator said. “Without interns, it’s hard to carry on here.” Continue reading

Links to Matt’s Augustana Mirror stories

While I was a student at Augustana College (now Augustana University), I was always weary of starting a blog because I didn’t want to put out content that was sub-par or would make me look bad later on. That concern had me hesitating for a long time, but it was probably unwarranted. These days, almost everything can be tracked down. So I figure, while my old articles for Augie’s school newspaper are laying around on the net, why not rake them together? Continue reading

Remembering Brian Friel and Reviewing UNL’s Dancing at Lughnasa

On October 2nd, we lost one of the most iconic Irish playwrights. Brian Friel died at age 86, as reported here by The Irish Times.

UNL's Dancing at Lughnasa runs Oct. 8-9 & 13-17 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 11 and 18 at 2:00 p.m. in the Temple Building's Studio Theatre.
UNL’s Dancing at Lughnasa runs Oct. 8-9 & 13-17 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 11 and 18 at 2:00 p.m. in the Temple Building’s Studio Theatre (2015).

Three days beforehand, I was granted permission to attend the final dress rehearsal of one of his best-loved plays at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I’m grateful to the Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film, general manager Julie Hagemeier and the lovely house manager, Emma Gruhl, for arranging a seat that not only let me see the show, but pay tribute to an important theatrical voice. Continue reading