Immanuel Founders’ Play Returns to the Stage

Immanuel Hospital in 1910.

In 1887, the Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Association for Works of Charity, led by Pastor E.A. Fogelstrom and five deaconesses, began establishing programs that served Omaha’s sick, cared for and educated orphaned children, and offered support to the elderly.

Next month, this story of Immanuel’s founding will return to the stage with a series of performances of “Reverend Fogelstrom Sells His Watch.” The play, written by WhyArts artist Ellen Struve in 2015, was commissioned by Immanuel to help celebrate its 150 years of service to the community.

When Pastor Fogelstrom left his post as a church pastor to dedicate himself fully to this ministry, he announced, “My life will be given up to the great work of humanity, and my home will always be Omaha.” The ministry grew and thrived, leading to the establishment of Immanuel Hospital a few years later and eventually to its family of retirement communities.

The cast features WhyArts teaching artists Kim Jubenville, M. Michelle Philips and Jens Rasmussen. Below is the October performance schedule.

Monday, Oct. 2
Pathways Southwest Iowa (Council Bluffs)

Wednesday, Oct. 4
The Landing (Lincoln)

Friday, Oct. 6

Tuesday, Oct. 10

Friday, Oct. 13
Immanuel Campus

Monday, Oct. 16
Pathways Omaha

Thursday, Oct. 19
Pacific Springs Village

Friday, Oct. 20
Immanuel Fontenelle

Tuesday, Oct. 24
Trinity Campus (Papillion)

Click here to read more about the history of Immanuel. Click here to watch a 2015 performance of the play.