Business profile: Raeann Ruth – Portage for Youth/Mounds Theatre


Raeann Ruth has lived in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood for over 30 years. In that time, she has made substantial contributions to youth and the community on a whole.

This is the second in a series of profiles of members of the Dayton’s Bluff Area Business Association.

Projects include the Portage for Youth, an after-school and summer enrichment program for young women in the neighborhood;  the Mounds Theatre, which serves as an arts and culture center for the greater metropolitan area,  and MYThS, Mounds  Youth Theatre  School, which operates professionally taught youth theater programs.

For the 2010-2011 season, the Mounds Theatre will  feature “A Christmas Story,” now entering its seventh year.

In February of 2010, Raeann Ruth approached Greg Eiden, playwright/composer about developing an evening of theater, where people could come to laugh and have a good time. The result was a brand new musical comedy, an interactive dinner theater show written for the Mounds Theatre called “Knotareel Getaway Cruise.” which was successfully produced in early 2010. Based on this success, Eiden was invited by the Mounds Theatre to develop a full season of dinner theater for 2011.


Mounds Theatre history
by Raeann Ruth

Folks from the Mounds Theatre have been spending a good number of hours at the Historical Society lately, trying to piece together the history of the Historic Mounds Theatre.

We would like to be able to put together a timeline and have discovered a few pertinent facts about the theater, but there are pieces missing. Therefore, we would like to find folks who were involved in the theater “in the day” or know of people who were involved-ushers, candy counter employees, projectionists, managers, etc. We would also like to find pictures of the outside and inside of the theater, from 1922 to 1967, when the theater was closed.

If you have any information, pictures or memorabilia relating to the Mounds Theatre, please email me at or call 651-772-8674. If we have enough people, we would like to set up a time for everyone to meet at the theater and tell their stories.

Thus ensued a series of four musical comedies called “The Bait Shop Trilogy,” following sportsmen/sports- women, through the major season openers of the year. Eiden’s musicals, have been produced in many theaters in Minnesota, as well as in Wisconsin, Iowa, Oklahoma and Colorado, where one of his shows was nominated by the Denver Drama Critics for “Best New Play.”

Mounds Theatre has always been committed to youth programming and that will continue in 2011 with the establishment of the Mounds Youth Theatre School (MYThS). Three 10-week sessions, focusing on helping students develop in the areas of acting, dancing and singing will be conducted during the school year. Intensive workshops will  be conducted in the summer, culminating in a performance in which the students are involved in every as- pect.

Commenting on the time since the theater re-opened, Ruth stated, “I learned from the theater companies that  staged their  shows at  the Mounds, watching every aspect of their productions and I could imagine something more permanent  that would allow the theater to sustain itself, moving into the future.  It took meeting the right person, Greg Eiden. “We worked well together and it just seemed right.” 

As Mounds Theatre enters its next phase, it is energized to continue in its mission to create opportunities for youth, adults and professionals to actively participate in drama, music, dance, cinema, multimedia and other arts and cultural activities by main- taining existing programs and by providing new forms of quality youth programming and new expressions for  uplifting entertainment for its audience.

More  information  about  the Mounds  Youth Theatre  School (MYThS) and the 2011 Mounds dinner Theater season can be found at