Director of Theatre
Professor of Theatre
Resident Costume Designer
Michelle is in her 24th year at Hope College and has designed over 100 productions, which includes her professional
work as well as her designs for productions at Hope College.
As Director of Theatre,
Michelle is in charge of the production program and is primarily responsible
recruiting of prospective students and our Distinguished Artist
Award process. Michelle has taught Costume Design, Principles of
Design, Theatre Crafts, Senior Seminar, First Year Seminar and Encounter
Professionally, Michelle was the Head of Design and Resident Costume Designer for 10 years with Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in
Louisville, KY. Michelle has also worked for 17 seasons with Hope Summer Repertory
Theatre, a relationship that started while Michelle was an undergraduate theatre student! Additionally, Michelle has worked at Theatre at Monmouth, Austin Lyric Opera, and Austin Shakespeare.
Michelle works with Shakespeare Behind
Bars, a non-profit organization founded by her husband, Curt L. Tofteland to offer theatrical encounters to the incarcerated, allowing them to develop life skills that will ensure their successful reintegration into society. Michelle has traveled to several film festivals (including the Sundance
Film Festival in 05)to talk about her work with the documentary about
the program titled- SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS.
Michelle is very active in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival where
she serves as the Region III Chair and heads the Region
3 Selection Committee. Throughout the year, Michelle serves as a respondent
to college theatre productions in MI, IN, WI, IL and OH and attends other regional festivals as well as the National Festival each April.
- BA The University of Evansville
- MFA in design from The University of Texas-Austin
Running is a passion for Michelle - she ran the Chicago Marathon in 2004 - with a debut time of 3:52. That's 3 hours and 52 minutes, was was 2 minutes shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon! Michelle also ran the Chicago Marathon in 2006 (raising $3,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society), 2007, 2010, and 2013. She also practices yoga.
Michelle is married to professional director, Equity actor, and arts facilitator, Curt L. Tofteland. She has three children, a daughter in Fort Worth, Texas, a step-son in Los Angeles, and a son who is a first year theatre major at Denison University.