Honoring Playhouse Legends

Begun in 2011 , the Playhouse honors Playhouse Legends, whose talent and devotion to our theatre over a long period of time have helped set the high standards of entertainment, professionalism, and quality that our audiences expect today. Legends understand the life-changing power and importance of theatre in our community because they, themselves, have lived it.

2019 Honoree

  • John W. Viars, first show was Annie Get Your Gun, 1982

2018 Honorees

  • Sue Caswell, first show was Bell, Book, and Candle, 1957
  • J Michael Kellar, first show was The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, 1991
  • Melissa Kellar, first show was The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, 1991
  • Greg Leavengood, first show was Otherwise Engaged, 1980
  • Mark Morrison, first show was 42nd Street, 1990
  • Rich Richards, first show was Promises, Promises, 1977
  • Dick Russell, first show was The Great Big Doorstep, 1948
  • Antonia Nozicka, first show was The King and I, 1985
  • Original Board of the Little Theatre Society of Des Moines: James B. Weaver, President; Lewis Worthington Smith, Vice President; Ida T. Jacobs, Secretary; and Henry H. Griffiths, Treasurer; and Ditlev Tillisch, producer and funder of the first performance on Nov. 24, 1919

2017 Honorees

  • Steve Berry, first show was Jabberwock, 1974
  • Gina Gedler, first show was Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, 1983
  • Linda Juckette, first show was Man of La Mancha, 1979
  • Joe Tish, first show was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 1994
  • Shirley Brower, first show was Look Homeward, Angel, 1960
  • Marion Cowper Rae, first show was Anna Christie, 1928
  • Richard Wulf, first show was Born Yesterday, 1950

2016 Honorees

  • Verner Haldene
  • Cloris Leachman
  • Phyllis Love
  • Eddie Rissien

 2013 Honorees

  • Dale Berry, first show was The Clown Who Ran Away, 1966
  • Jo Berry, first show was The Sound of Music, 1973
  • Kathi Fieldsend, first show was Cabaret, 1988
  • Lenny Houts, first show was The Music Man, 1984
  • Henrietta Kagin, first show was Our Town, 1959
  • Phyllis Mumford, first show was The Sound of Music, 1973

2012 Honorees

  • Michael Cornelison, first show was Beauty and the Beast, 1963
  • Pearl Faessler, first show was Auntie Mame, 1963
  • Maxwell Schaeffer, first show was Woman in Mind, 1990
  • Toni Pickard, first show was The Philadelphia Story, 1957
  • Ruthanne Silverstein, first show was Guys & Dolls, 1958
  • Lloyd Von Hagen, first show was The Tender Trap, 1960

2011 Honorees

  • Al Downey, first show was Madwoman of Chaillot, 1960
  • Jeanne Hopson, first show was Damn Yankees, 1960
  • Jack Mishler, first show was Ah, Wilderness!, 1942
  • John Thompson, first show was The Traitor, 1950