Make a lasting impression by expanding your classroom with a visit to The Playhouse. Students experience live theatre with wide-eyed wonder. When the lights dim, they see a favorite story in a new way, visit new lands, imagine lives different from their own, encounter new experiences, and grow.

Please note: The Playhouse remains committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for volunteers and guests and as such we are monitoring the current recommendations, guidelines, and restrictions to which we are subject. Based on CDC and state guidelines at the time of your event, protocols may include mask enforcement, social distancing, or more. Volunteers and guests who do not comply with Playhouse policies will not be admitted and guest tickets will be refunded. Click here to download our full safety guide updated Aug. 31, 2021.

Tuesdays, Nov. 1 & 8, 2022 at 9:30 AM & Noon

Recommended grades: 2-7
Public performances: Oct. 28-Nov. 13, 2022

Interested in attending a school matinee of this show? Fill out the reservation request form here!

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022 at 9:30 AM

Recommended grades: 2-12
Public performances: Dec. 2-18, 2022

Interested in attending a school matinee of this show? Fill out the reservation request form here!

Tuesdays, Jan. 10 & 17, 2023, at 9:30 AM & Noon

Recommended grades: Grades PreK-1
Public performances: Jan. 6-22, 2023

Interested in attending a school matinee of this show? Fill out the reservation request form here!

Tuesdays, Feb. 28 & Mar. 7, 2023, at 9:30 AM & Noon

Recommended grades: 2-8
Public performances: Feb. 24-Mar. 12, 2023

Interested in attending a school matinee of this show? Fill out the reservation request form here!

Tuesdays, Apr. 25 & May 2, 2023, at 9:30 AM & Noon

Recommended grades: Grades K-3
Public performances: Apr. 21-May 7, 2023

Interested in attending a school matinee of this show? Fill out the reservation request form here!


How to Make Reservations

1. Count ’em up!
Groups of 15 or more are $7 per person for school matinees (Public performances offer group rates, but they are higher than school matinee prices.)
Reduced rates are available to students who receive free or reduced lunches. Please make requests for discounted tickets at the time of the reservation.

2. Get in touch!
Interested in attending a school matinee? Fill out the reservation request form here!
Questions? Call or email Robin Spahr, education director at or 515-974-5365. She provides personal service to make your visit to The Playhouse an experience you and your students won’t forget! Our matinees sell out early, so put in your request now!

3. Get the ball rollin’!
After you have filled out the reservation form, and assuming there is space, you will receive confirmation or your reservation within a week. Then we will send you an invoice and reservation contract. A deposit is due at that time and is required to hold your reservation. The full amount is due 30 days prior to the performance. If the amount is not paid, the tickets may be released. Depending on the availability of seating you may change your numbers up to 30 days prior to the performance. After that you will be financially responsible for the number you have reserved. Once tickets have been purchased, they are non-refundable. Performances can last anywhere from 60 minutes to over two hours. We will post running times once they are available.

About Your Visit

What makes The Playhouse visit unique?

  • The Playhouse provides short, 5-10 minute question-and-answer sessions immediately following each school matinee performance.
  • Each child attending the show receives P Bill Jr, a program with background information on the book’s author as well as enrichment activities.
  • No student is more than 7 rows away from the stage in the Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre. The John Viars Theatre is also an intimate setting with only 413 total seats.
  • Convenient, easy access parking on site.
  • Robin Spahr, education director, is your personal contact. She will take your reservation, answer any questions you have, and greet you and your students when you come to the theatre! Talk with Robin at 515.974-5365 or
Extend the Experience

Workshops and Tours*: To arrange an extended experience at The Playhouse, contact Robin Spahr, education director, at 515.974.5365.

*Workshops and tours are only available following the 12:00 pm performance for each show, or the 9:30 AM performance of the Family Holiday Classic.

Lunch Space

A limited number of rooms are available to schools needing space where students can eat a sack lunch. Space is subject to availability and arrangements must be made in advance with Robin Spahr, education director, at 515.974.5365.

Evening/Weekend Events*

Some schools have found attending an evening or weekend performance works better in schedules than a school matinee. Most children’s theatre productions have performances 7:00 PM Fridays, and 1:00 PM  and 4:00 PM Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets for groups of 15+ attending public performances are $16 for adults and $12 for students. Click here for a complete list of Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre shows.

High School drama, vocal music, and English classes can enjoy an evening or weekend trip to The Playhouse for our John Viars Theatre shows. Tickets start at $29 for groups of 15+. Show times are 7:30 PM Wednesdays-Saturdays, and 2:00 PM Sundays. The Family Holiday Classic show times are 7:00 PM Thursdays-Fridays, and 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM Saturdays-Sundays. Click here for a complete list of John Viars Theatre shows.

*Group (15+) tickets for evening and weekend performances are available by contacting Debbie Jacobson, group sales director, at 515.974.5361 School matinee pricing is not available for nighttime and weekend performances. 


Spotlight Literacy

Life-long readers are people who perceive significant benefit from reading literature. Young people learning to read and write benefit greatly from seeing their literature brought to life. Performing, creative drama, playwriting, discussion, and critical review are all ways in which children and adults alike can become involved on a personal level with theatre’s literature. It is our goal to provide a strong link between the page and stage.

  • For each of the shows in the season, we designate a Spotlight School. The deciding factor is usually the number of free or reduced priced tickets requested by a school.
  • Before the performance, actors from the show visit the classroom. They read from the book upon which the show is based, answer questions and give a copy of the book to each child, which is theirs to keep.
  • The children attend the show and receive P. Bill Jr., a program with language arts exercises.
  • After attending the show, the children write letters to the actors with a brief review and a couple of questions. About a week later, each child receives a written response from the actors.
  • Each season, we give away more than 500 books and 1000 letters pass back and forth between schoolchildren and our actors!

If you would like to be considered a Spotlight School, please contact Robin Spahr, education director, 515.974.5365, to inquire about this very special educational experience.

For more information about school matinees, please contact Robin Spahr, education director, at 515.974.5365.


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