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 has small cast plays in its parking lot, with audiences remaining safely in their cars listening via a radio frequency. Tickets are free, but reservations are required as space is limited. If you have a reservation, please watch for your email from Debbie Jacobson, typically arriving 48-72 hours prior to your show date, with important details on your visit.
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 to be added to the standby list. By 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.
Rain cancellations in most instances will be determined close to curtain time. If a show is canceled, those with reservations will be called. Please make sure we have a current phone number.
About the shows
By A.R. Gurney
7:00 PM, Wednesdays-Sundays, June 12-28, 2020
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 21, June 26, and June 28; and Kellie Kramer and Micheal Davenport, June 14, 19, June 25, and June 27. The show contains some adult language. The show is 90 minutes and performed without intermission.
By Richard Dresser
7:00 PM, Wednesdays-Sundays, July 10-26, 2020
ADDED SHOW: 7:00 PM, Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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 show is 90 minutes and performed without intermission.
By Jen Silverman
7:00 PM, Thursdays-Sundays, July 31-Aug. 16, 2020
ADDED SHOW: 7:00 PM, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020
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. The show contains some adult language and situations. The show is 90 minutes and performed without intermission.
CHILDREN’S THEATRE SHOW ADDED
By Kathryn Walat
10:00 AM, Saturdays, July 11, July 25-Aug. 15, 2020
Ten-year-old Violet is determined to show the world, not to mention the cool kids at school, just how special she is. With the help of her assistant Freddy, she sets out to break a world record but becomes accidentally extraordinary when she’s struck by lightning, twice, and gains control over all things electric. Under the name Miss Electricity, Violet zaps her way through circuits, bullies, and tests, but could lose everything when the power goes to her head. The cast includes Peter Dean, Gbomi Kayode, Hudson Pulver, and Jada Smith. The show is 50 minutes and performed without intermission.
Youths ages 5 and up and their families can come early to Miss Electricity for 45 minutes of fun, outdoor theatre games starting at 9:15 AM. Playhouse classroom favorites like Frogger, Join the Scene, and more have all been adapted to accommodate physical distancing. The focus will be on games that use bodies rather than voices for those who wish to wear a mask. The workshop is free but donations are accepted; no pre-registration required.
IOWA STAGE THEATRE COMPANY SHOW ADDED
By Bekah Brunstetter
7:00 PM, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2020
Jen returns to her North Carolina hometown to ask her deceased mother’s best friend, Della, to bake her wedding cake. But Della refuses because Jen is marrying a woman. This play contains adult language and sexual content. Like the rest of the Live Theatre Drive-In series, The Cake is free. Donations are accepted and will be shared equally between Iowa Stage Theatre Company and The Des Moines Playhouse.
Keeping the audience protected
- The Playhouse parking lot will accommodate 24 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 free event. We accept donations. 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 $29,000. Now your donation can make twice the impact. If you want to increase the amount of the matching funds, please contact Chris Andersen, firstname.lastname@example.org 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. Shows are 90 minutes and performed without intermission.
- Candy and beverages will be available for free from theatre staff. We do accept donations for these as well.
- Performance Times:
- 7:00 PM, Wednesdays-Sundays; 10:00 AM Saturdays for family show
- Livestream & On-Demand
- 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 the ticket office, 515.277.6261
- Download Playbill