Live Theatre Drive-in

The Des Moines Playhouse is keeping theatre LIVE in Des Moines with a unique new initiative: Live Theatre Drive-in. The Playhouse is presenting three, two-person cast plays in its parking lot, with audiences remaining safely in their cars listening via a radio frequency. Tickets are pay-what-you-can, but reservations are required as space is limited.

Some performances are fully reserved and have a waiting list. If you are on the waiting list but haven’t gotten a call, there is a chance you can still see the show. Come to the theatre before 6:30 PM be added to the standby list. At 6:45 PM, we’ll start filling empty parking spots with standbys.  Unfortunately, there is no guarantee to see the show, but we will do our best.

About the shows

Love Letters
By A.R. Gurney
7:00 PM, Fridays & Saturdays, June 12-13, 19-20, 26-27
ADDED SHOWS: 7:00 PM, Sunday, June 14; Wednesday, June 17; Thursday, June 18; Sunday, June 21; Wednesday, June 24; Thursday, June 25: & Sunday, June 28
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Love Letters centers on two characters, Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III. The actors sit side-by-side at tables and read the notes, letters, and cards that span a 50-year friendship. As time progresses, Melissa and Andrew discuss their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, victories and defeats. A different couple performs each night: Dani Boal and Bobby Nalean, June 12, June 18, June 20 and June 24; Gina Gedler and Steve Berry, June 13, June 17, June 26 and June 28; and Kellie Kramer and Micheal Davenport, June 14, 19, June 25, and June 27.

Rounding Third
By Richard Dresser
7:00 PM, Friday & Saturday, July 10-11
7:00 PM Thursdays-Saturdays, July 16-18, 23-25
ADDED SHOWS: 7:00 PM, Sunday, July 12; Wednesday, July 15; Sunday, July 19; Wednesday, July 22; Sunday, July 26
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Don is a coach who believes that winning is what is most important in baseball, and he is all about the game. Michael is his assistant coach and a businessman who believes that kids should have fun when they play baseball. Don’s kid is the team’s star pitcher. Michael’s kid can barely remember to keep his shoelaces tied. These conflicting personalities instantly clash.

The Roommate
By Jen Silverman
7:00 PM, Friday & Saturday, July 31-Aug. 1
7:00 PM, Thursdays-Saturdays, Aug. 6-8, 13-15
ADDED SHOWS: 7:00 PM, Sundays, Aug. 2, 9, & 16
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Sharon, in her mid-fifties, is recently divorced and needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn, also in her mid-fifties, needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets, they encourage her own deep-seated desire to transform her life completely. The Roommate is a dark comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.

Keeping the audience protected

  • The Playhouse parking lot will accommodate 20 cars with six-plus feet between cars. Audiences can sit in their cars or, remaining physically distanced, sit in lawn chairs in their parking space.
  • When you make a reservation, you are reserving one parking space for one car; we don’t care how many people are in the car.
  • This is a pay-what-you-can event. We’ve made pay-what-you-can donations simple. You can donate by text or by using DipJar. Either one you choose helps keep theatre and performing arts in Central Iowa (a)live. We’ll give you details on both options when you arrive. We have generous donors who have agreed to match each dollar we receive for every summer performance up to $12,452. Now your donation can make twice the impact. If you want to increase the amount of the matching funds, please contact Chris Andersen, candersen@dmplayhouse.com or 515.974.5370.
  • Guests are encouraged to use their facilities before coming. Restrooms will be available in emergencies with staff doing a thorough cleaning after each use.
  • Candy and beverages will be available for sale from theatre staff.
Performance Times:
7:00 PM, Wednesdays-Sundays
Theatre:
Special Events
Content Advisory:
The Playhouse does not rate subject matter as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have questions about content, age appropriateness, or other aspects of the show please contact executive director David Kilpatrick, 515-974-5353.

In the News

David Kilpatrick on Iowa Live, KCWI 23
May 26, 2020

Company

  • Steve Berry

    Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, Love Letters

    Steve Berry
  • Dani Boal

    Melissa Gardner, Love Letters

    Dani Boal
  • Micheal Davenport

    Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, Love Letters

    Micheal Davenport
  • Chris Ennis

    Don, Rounding Third

    Chris Ennis
  • Gina Gedler

    Melissa Gardner, Love Letters

    Gina Gedler
  • Jodi Jinks

    Robyn, The Roommate

    Jodi Jinks
  • Nathan Jorgensen

    Michael, Rounding Third

    Nathan Jorgensen
  • Kellie Kramer

    Melissa Gardner, Love Letters

    Kellie Kramer
  • Bobby Nalean

    Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, Love Letters

    Bobby Nalean
  • Laura Sparks

    Sharon, The Roommate

    Laura Sparks
  • Katy Merriman

    Director, Love Letters, The Roommate

    Katy Merriman
  • David Kilpatrick

    Director, Rounding Third

    David Kilpatrick

Press Release

Des Moines Playhouse Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kill Date: Aug. 15, 2020
Subject: Des Moines Playhouse Presents Live Theatre – Drive-in Style
Contact: Lee Ann Bakros, Playhouse Marketing & Public Relations Director, 515.974.5358

The Des Moines Playhouse is keeping theatre LIVE in Des Moines with a unique new initiative: Live Theatre Drive-in. Starting June 12 and continuing nearly every weekend through Aug. 15, The Playhouse will present three, two-person cast plays in its parking lot, with audiences remaining safely in their cars listening via a radio frequency, just like at state-opened drive-in movie theatres. Tickets are pay-what-you-can, but reservations are required as space is limited.

June’s title is Love Letters, in which a lifelong friendship unfolds through the exchange of letters. Rounding Third, whose characters are a Little League coach and his assistant, will be presented in July. In August, two middle-aged women from different walks of life share a home in The Roommate. David Kilpatrick, Playhouse executive director, said, “Theatre is a communal event. This summer we want to come together and celebrate live performances, yet remain safe and physically distant.”  Playhouse artistic director Katy Merriman added, “I know so many of us feel like we’ve been at home waiting to jump on any chance to create something and spend time with others. I’m excited to provide our community with an outlet for expression, whether on the stage or as a viewer, in a safe environment. And we get to be outside!”

Keeping the audience safe

  • The Playhouse parking lot will accommodate 20 cars with six-plus feet between cars. Audiences can sit in their cars or, remaining physically distanced, sit in lawn chairs in their parking space.
  • Pay-what-you-can donations will be collected via texting software. A tip jar will also be available for those without the ability to text a donation.
  • Restrooms will be available with staff doing a thorough cleaning after each use.
  • Stam Chocolate will be available for sale from theatre staff and guests are welcome to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages with them.

About the shows

  • Love Letters, 7:00 PM, Fridays and Saturdays, June 12-13, 19-20, and 26-27, centers on two characters, Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III. The actors sit side-by-side at tables and read the notes, letters, and cards that span a 50-year friendship. As time progresses, Melissa and Andrew discuss their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, victories and defeats. Three pairs of actors will perform as scheduled: Dani Boal and Bobby Nalean, June 12 & 20; Gina Gedler and Steve Berry, June 13 & 26; and Kellie Kramer and Micheal Davenport, June 19 & 27. Love Letters is by A.R. Gurney.
  • Rounding Third by Richard Dresser will be presented at 7:00 PM, Friday and Saturday, July 10-11, and Thursdays-Saturdays, July 16-18 and July 23-25. Don (Chris Ennis) is a coach who believes that winning is what is most important in baseball, and he is all about the game. Michael (Nathan Jorgensen) is his assistant coach and a businessman who believes that kids should have fun when they play baseball. Don’s kid is the team’s star pitcher. Michael’s kid can barely remember to keep his shoelaces tied. These conflicting personalities instantly clash.
  • The summer season ends with Jen Silverman’s play The Roommate, 7:00 PM, Friday and Saturday, July 31-Aug. 1, and Thursdays through Saturdays, Aug. 6-8 and Aug. 13-15. Sharon (Laura Sparks), in her mid-fifties, is recently divorced and needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn (Jodi Jinks), also in her mid-fifties, needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets, they encourage her own deep-seated desire to transform her life completely. The Roommate is a dark comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.

The Playhouse decided, for the safety of audiences and volunteers, which include actors and backstage crews, to cancel all shows through Aug. 31, 2020. This includes Singin’ in the Rain, Pippi Longstocking, Leaving Iowa, and Roald Dahl’s Matilda. In addition, The Playhouse will be adjusting its 2020-21 season from what was originally announced. The new season will be determined by June.

The Playhouse is one of the oldest and largest community theatres in the US. Located at the 42nd Street exit of I-235, the theatre has presented a season of shows since 1919 and also offers a wide variety of educational experiences including classes for ages 4 to adult, theatre trips to New York, and volunteer opportunities onstage and backstage.

For more information about The Playhouse and Live Theatre Drive-in, contact Playhouse executive director, David Kilpatrick, at 515-974-5353.

Live Theatre Drive-in Performances: June 12-Aug. 15, 2020
All performances 7:00 PM
Friday & Saturday, June 12-13, June 19-20, June 26-27, July 10-11, July 31-Aug. 1
Thursday-Saturday, July 16-18, July 23-25, Aug. 6-8, Aug. 13-15
June: Love Letters
July: Rounding Third
August: The Roommate

Live Theatre Drive-in Style Tickets
Reservations required.
Tickets will be on a pay-what-you-can basis using texting donation software with a tip jar also available.

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Show Credits

Love Letters by A.R. Gurney

Rounding Third by Richard Dresser

The Roommate by Jen Silverman

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