University Letter

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Kathleen Coudle-King awarded $5,000 Individual Artist Fellowship

Kathleen Coudle-King, associate teaching professor of English, has been awarded a $5,000 Individual Artist Fellowship by the North Dakota Council on the Arts.

Coudle-King was one of two artists awarded in the disciplines of dance and theater, alongside Aparupa Chatterjee, a choreographer and dancer from Fargo.

Coudle-King, a playwright who also serves as executive director and managing artistic director for Empire Theatre Company, plans to write a collection of monologues titled, “Whispers in the Wind: North Dakota’s Disappeared Speak,” telling the life stories of people who seemingly disappeared after they became associated with mental institutions in North Dakota.

“The disappeared are those who were erased from family history or only whispered about to the closest of relatives and friends,” Coudle-King said. “They are the ones who stand nameless in the family photos. They are the (almost) forgotten.”

Coudle-King will spend her fellowship collecting more stories, researching graves at Jamestown State Hospital as well as hosting story circles and writing workshops in support of “Whispers in the Wind,” prompting discussions on the project’s topics.

Then, in spring and summer 2024, King plans to preview a show containing monologues developed from her visits to North Dakota communities. Her goal is to eventually produce a full show for performance arts festivals in and beyond North Dakota.

“Creating this piece is an ideal way to stretch myself as an artist,” Coudle-King said.