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'Explore Your Sheldon'

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Russell Johnson pulls on a rail on the side of the stage at the Sheldon Theatre. Johnson is the theatre's Production Manager.5 / 6
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By Ruth Nerhaugen, Contributor

A quarter-century has passed since the Sheldon Theatre was restored to its 1904 elegance, and to Sheldon officials that's cause for celebration.

On Sept. 28, the public is invited to an afternoon open house during which they can learn the theater's storied history, admire the amazing architecture and discover its inner workings.

"Explore Your Sheldon" will run from 2 to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

"We want to give people a chance to go on stage" and discover what it's like to be in the spotlight, said Mary Rauterkus, president of the Sheldon Board and chairman of an anniversary committee that also includes Friends of the Sheldon and Phoenix Theatre members.

"People can walk through the light booth" and check out the sound board, she said, then go downstairs and get a look at the green room, the makeup area and other spaces that usually are off-limits to anyone not appearing in a performance.

Limited access to spaces at the very top of the theater — an "Up and Over Tour" — also is being planned. More information about that is available by calling the Sheldon.

"It's their theater — the community's," Rauterkus said. "We want to open the doors and let them explore."

Making the Sheldon accessible to everyone is important to organizers, Sheldon Theater Executive Director Sean Dowse said. "We want to engage everybody in celebrating the platform that Red Wing has built and sustained for the performing arts."

At a glance ...

What: Discover what it is like to be in the spotlight at "Explore Your Sheldon"

When: 2-6 p.m. Saturday Sept. 28

Where: Sheldon Theatre, 443 W. Third St.

Cost: Free

More info: 651-388-8700 or 800-899-5759, or