Page to Stage a Success

By Jenny Loeffler

On June 15, donors of all ages gathered at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center to celebrate the success of the 2011-2012 FUNdraiser, Adopt-a-Trio and Page to Stage.

Page to Stage is an exciting project created by First Stage to engage youth and families in storytelling and theater. For a minimum donation of $25 to First Stage’s ADOPT-A-TRIO Campaign, our donors were able to adopt the adorable trio of finger puppets inspired by this past season’s DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER AND A FLY. These puppets served as an inspiration for families to write their own adventures starring the worm, spider and fly.

Esten family and cast members at the Page to Stage party

The evening began with some mingling and an introduction from new managing director, Betsy Corry. Once the audience took their seats, the lights went down and the Page to Stage trio performances began. Young performers from DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER AND A FLY acted out the four puppet shows:

  • The Tiny Heroes: Adventure at Human-School (by Joy M. Leirer)
  • Nighty Night Worm! (by Rhiannon Sage Teschner)
  • Bullying Ain’t Fly (by Laura McConnell and Jo Ann Byers)
  • Worm, Spider and Fly, and a Big Thanks (by Benjamin Schulz)

The young performers that participated in Page to Stage include: Sam DeDecker, Conlan Ledwith, Alison Pogorelc, Zoe Powell, Emily Riesterer, Austin Zdzarski, and Selena Deer, who served as MC for the performances.

Ben Schulz poses with his mom
Once the performances ended with well-deserved applause, raffle winner Benjamin Schulz was presented with his basket, which consisted of several DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER AND A FLY themed toys and activities, and the crafts and dancing began. There were craft stations set up where children could make a tissue-paper butterfly and decorate pictures of bugs. Some of the children enjoyed the finger puppet shows so much, that they gave their finished crafts as gifts to the young performers. Fun and energetic music played, and children and parents alike had the time of their lives boogying the night away.

The night was made even more special with contributions from B. Green, Beechwood Sales & Service, pizza from Palermo’s, and cupcakes from Milwaukee Cupcake Company. Special thanks to all volunteers.

First Stage is currently accepting ideas for the 2012-2013 FUNdraiser. If you are interested, contact Nancy at or (414) 267-2938.

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