Performances at Simpson College's Pote Theatre will benefit from a newly installed stage elevator lift that will be used for both Theatre Simpson performances and the Des Moines Metro Opera. The lift, which replaces a 45-year-old lift at the theater, was made possible by a contribution from longtime Simpson faculty member Virginia Croskery Lauridsen and her husband, Nix Lauridsen. The original equipment had slowed down and gotten noisy, making it more difficult to incorporate into productions, said Jennifer Ross Nostrala, professor of theater arts at Simpson College. "The new lift will allow our theater students the opportunity to experiment with techniques and learn how something like this can really enhance a performance both practically and artistically." Located in the front of the orchestra pit, the lift occupies the semicircular area closest to the front row of the audience, a space referred to as the "playing circle." It allows scenery, props and sometimes even characters to be delivered quickly and discretely to the stage, often without the audience even noticing.