• Jan 31st


    Author By Cindy

    Volunteers in the Spotlight: Dave Winston and Todd Nelson


    DAVE WINSTON                                        TODD NELSON

    ERHS parents Dave Winston and Todd Nelson graciously submitted to a Newsletter interview.  Learn what these Loft Stage supervolunteers have been up to this year, and then ask yourself:  When do these guys sleep?

    Rumor has it you are workshopaholics.  About how many volunteer hours do you put in each week?

    • D.W.  The amount of time varies by show and my work/travel schedule.  During the late summer (prepping the shop and the parade float) and Aida in the fall it was as much as 7-10 hours a week or even more.
    • T.N.  Probably 10, when things are really moving in the scene shop, between Saturdays and a couple of nights a week.


    Wow, you’re putting up some big numbers.  What projects have you been working on this year?  

    • D.W.  I seemed to have worked on a number of pyramids for Aida.  I know the song in the show recommended putting “5000 slaves on standby” but we managed to succeed with a handful of volunteers!
    • T.N.  I helped build pyramids and staircases for Aida, flats for the One-Act, Failure: A Love Story, and did some odd jobs on both.  Plus, moving things.  If nothing else is going on, there’s always something to move into, out of or within the shop.


    And that’s not all you do.  Show biz people often hear: “Don’t quit your day job,” advice that’s equally relevant for avid volunteers such as yourselves.  So, what is your day job?

    • D.W. I am a Vice President of Underwriting for Arch Insurance Company.  We insure many large construction firms, projects and as well as numerous Fortune 500 companies.  I work a lot with attorneys and actuaries during the day, so it is fun to spend time in the shop and work on something tangible.
    • T.N.  I’m a freelance journalist and specialize in writing about business topics.  Projects include writing a weekly Star Tribune column on small businesses and entrepreneurs.  Most of my work is from home, so I look forward to the interaction and energy in the scene shop.


    Impressive jobs—in terms of both career status and total lack of application to set construction.  But let’s talk guts and glory:  Describe your biggest shop mishap or your greatest construction accomplishment.

    • D.W. It is difficult to choose one!  I thought that the amount and variety of pieces that we worked on last year for White Christmas was a great accomplishment by the whole team.  As far as mishaps are concerned, my graceful tumble off the shelves in the prop storage room was tough to beat!  Glad the spiral stairs were there to catch me!
    • T.N.  I enjoyed seeing how the separate pieces we had worked on for Aida came together as a whole and how the cast, crew and orchestra brought so much life to it all on stage.  More than made up for the occasional splinter.  

    At last, you’ve come to the multiple-choice portion of your interview.  Select from the lettered options to complete the following sentence:  The reason I volunteer at the Loft Stage is…

    A.  It’s a great way to give back and support my child’s interest in theater.
    B.  It satisfies man’s powerful subconscious drive to create.
    C.  One word:  George.
    D.  Two words:  Power Tools.
    E.  Any excuse to wear those attractive safety goggles.
    F.  Finally, an opportunity to use high school math to solve real world problems.

    • D.W.  All of the above.  Plus I have a whole new audience for awful puns.
    • T.N.  All!  And it’s often is a welcome refuge from our menagerie of cats, dogs and other pets.


    Gentlemen, thanks so much for your time and talents.  On behalf of the Loft Stage, The Newsletter salutes you.

  • Nov 27th


    Author By Cindy

    Aida Potluck photos

    Let the celebrations begin!  A few photos from the Aida Potluck.

  • Nov 4th


    Author By Cindy

    Have a Blast at the Gala

    Yes, you heard right, Aida is phenomenal.  This show has everything:  Music by Elton John!  Forbidden Romance!  Intrigue!  Betrayal!  Spears!  It’s another Loft Stage triumph, so let’s celebrate together.  Have fun as you support ERHS students and the cutting-edge theater happening on this side of the Mississippi by joining us for


    The Gala offers Egyptian boatloads of fun, as evidenced by:

    • A dazzlingly transformed party space, with an honest to goodness, super-swank, Oscar-worthy red carpet
    • Catering by Green Mill, complete with a coupon to Green Mill WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION (!)
    • Entertainment by Tropical Ballroom–break out the Bangles, cuz you’re gonna learn to Walk Like an Egyptian
    • Delectable hand-decorated cookies
    • Photos by Jeanne Berget—get your holiday pictures taken care of right here–how convenient!

    But wait, there’s more!  Don’t forget the legendary SILENT AUCTION.  It’s easy, just follow these simple steps:  1. Sign up for a bidding number when you arrive.  2. Check out the loot.  3. Bid on or purchase the loot you like.  4. Check your bids and bid some more during intermission.  5. After the show, pay for your loot.  6.  Smile, you did  good thing helping out ERHS theater.  There are over 60 fantastic items and one-of-a-kind gifts, including but not restricted to:

    • Minnesota Wild stuff, including a signed Zach Parise poster, and Nov. 15th game tickets
    • A gorgeous hand-painted Aida-themed display plate (see below!)
    • Two full-sized wooden spears, artisan crafted for the staging of Aida
    • A student sledding party at the Reimann’s
    • A Davanni’s in-home pizza party for 12
    • A keepsake photo book on the making of Aida at East Ridge High School for pre-order


  • Oct 29th


    Author By Administrator

    Aida Volunteers Needed!


    AIDA Volunteers Needed

    Our AIDA Opening Night Gala is less than three weeks away, and we are in need of many  volunteers. There are time slots available  at the  various dates and times throughout the show’s run. Please click on the links below and check your calendars to see where you might be able to volunteer.  We are particularly in need of help with the Gala and Silent Auction on Opening Night. There are also many slots to fill in Merchandise, Ice cream , Flower and Ticket Sales. If you signed up at Parent’s Night, I will send  an e-mail to remind you of the date and time you already signed up. I would appreciate you adding your name to the sign up genius as well. It is your volunteer efforts that will help make this show a huge success! Thank you all so much!

    To sign up for the Gala/Silent Auction, click the link below:

    To sign up for ticket sales, click on the link below:

    To sign up for ice cream sales, click on the link below:

    To sign up for flower/merchandise sales, click on the link below:

  • Sep 28th


    Author By Cindy

    Aida Gala and Silent Auction FAQ

    As you know, the ERHS musicals are, hands down, the best theatre value around.  And you’ve heard this year’s show is already phenomenal in rehearsals!  Face it—you long to get swept up in the swoony, forbidden romance spectacle that is Aida.  Well, tickets are disappearing fast, so Get On It.  And if you really want to do it up in style, hit the pre-show Gala—the party of the year.


    Q:  What do you get for your Gala and Show tickets?

    A:  An $8 to $10 ticket to the opening night PERFORMANCE gets you:

    • Awesome show for a ridiculously low price
    • Awesome hand-decorated cookies
    • Access to the Silent Auction, also awesome

    A $10 ticket to the opening night GALA gets you:

    • The chance to celebrate educational theater in a community that values arts education.
    • Red carpet glitz and glamor, and, if you’d like, a great excuse to dress up
    • A dazzling, thoroughly transformed, beautifully decorated party space
    • Leisurely viewing of and bidding on all that Silent Auction swag
    • Roving appetizer trays from Green Mill and a $10 coupon to Green Mill on the back of your $10 Gala ticket!
    • Professional photographer, Jeanne Berget, to take spiffy family pictures
    • Entertainment fit for Nubian and Egyptian royalty


    Q:  Do I have to attend the Gala to bid on Silent Auction items?

    A:  No.  All are welcome to check out the goods and place their bids.  Just sign up for a bidder number before you get started.

    Q:  When do I know if I win, and do I have to be present?

    A:  Bidding closes five minutes before the end of intermission.  People can check their bids either before the show’s second half starts or after the show is over.  We do prefer you pay for and pick up your winnings that same night.

    Q:  What sorts of donations are you still looking for?

    A:  Everything and anything.  We need people to ask retailers for donations–remember they may value the 900+ opening night audience publicity.  Cash always works.  Or put together a theme basket.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

    Gift Cards:

    For local services:

    • Heppners Auto Body
    • Oil change
    • Teeth whitening
    • Manicures/pedicures
    • Massage
    • Hair salons

    and from local businesses:

    • Liquor stores
    • Starbucks/Caribou/Steepery
    • Sporting Goods Stores (Dick’s, Sports Authority, Gander Mountain, etc.)
    • Department stores, like Target (of course)
    • Woodbury Lakes
    • Boutique shops
    • Restaurants in Woodbury, Hudson, Afton, Lake Elmo, etc.

    Or throw together a theme basket, with or without gift cards, such as:

    • Italian dinner (noodles, sauce, cheese grinder, cookbook)
    • Tasting oil sampler
    • Chips and salsa sampler
    • Baking basket (baking pan, spatula, baking mix, cupcake liners, etc)
    • Hostess basket: (lotions, holiday towels, fancy soaps, etc)
    • Dog Lovers (gift card to a pet supply store, toys, treats, copy of Old Yeller, etc)
    • Family Movie Night (look for holiday, teenage, children’s, and/or comedy classics to create a theme, then add popcorn)
    • Slumber party basket (hair and nail supplies; Any John Hughes movie; snacks)
    • Family Game Night
    • Wine lovers
    • Beer connoisseur
    • Tea and coffee sampler
    • Chocolate lovers
    • Sports lovers
    • Hair and Nail care for guys or gals
    • Booklovers–Bestsellers, mysteries, young adult, etc.
    • Essential cookbooks
    • College student survival packages

    Q:  Where should I drop off donations?

    A:  Contact Sara Finn (tel # 651-714-9510 or–she will pick up your donations from you.  OR, you can drop them off at Sara’s house—there will be a bin outside her front door for donations:

    10580 Pinnacle Way, Woodbury MN 55129

    Q:  When are donations due?

    A:  As soon as possible!  We will take donations up until Monday, October 28. but since we need to put together descriptions for the items, the sooner we receive them the better.

    Again, feel free to contact Sara at with any questions, and thanks again for your support of the Loft Stage’s largest fundraiser of the year!


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