Plan your visit
John Viars Theatre (formerly Mainstage)
Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre
Free parking is available in The Playhouse lots and on streets surrounding the theatre. After 5:00 PM daily, free parking is available in the Shops at Roosevelt’s east/back parking lot. Parking in the west/front Shops parking lot is restricted to Shops customers at all times. The Playhouse is not responsible for loss of any personal property left in vehicles.
The Playhouse strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all guests.
- Theatres are wheelchair accessible.
- Service animals are welcome.
- Assisted listening devices are available at the ticket office for shows in the John Viars Theatre. If your hearing aid has a T-coil, toggle to that setting to receive the audio signal directly without any headset or other equipment needed.
- Large-print programs are available at all performances.
- ASL interpreted performances and audio description are regularly scheduled for most productions and available upon request.
Please call the ticket office at 515.277.6261 with specific service requests.
Looking for some pre- or post- show dining? The Playhouse recommends these great local bites:
Louie’s Wine Dive
4051 University Ave, Suite A, Des Moines
0.7 miles from Playhouse
Reservations: (515) 777-3416
Mon 4 PM-9 PM / Tues – Thur 11 AM-9 PM/ Fri 11 AM-10 PM / Sat 10 AM-10 PM / Sun 10 AM-8:30 PM
American – $$
Being so close in proximity, there has been a long relationship between Louie’s and the Playhouse. With a large selection of beer and wines, Louie’s Wine Dive presents high-quality comfort American food in a homey and local-featured ambiance.
Crème Cupcake + Dessert
543 28th Street, Des Moines
1.7 miles from Playhouse
Tues-Thur 11 AM-5 PM / Fri 11 AM-12 AM / Sat 10 AM-12 AM
Dessert – $
An elegant bakery offering freshly baked cupcakes, cookies and cake truffle, plus a nighttime lounge for desserts including cheesecake, lava cake and bread pudding. We also have a bar offering craft cocktails, beer, wine, and espresso drinks. A great place to stop in for a sweet treat before or after the show!
2301 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines
2.3 miles from Playhouse
Reservations: (515) 244-8786
Sun-Thur 11 AM-10 PM / Fri-Sat 11 AM-11 PM
Italian – $$
With an authentic and warm atmosphere, Gusto Pizza offers an eclectic and wide variety of made-from-scratch pizzas. Not feeling pizza? Gusto also offers sandwiches, salads, pastas, and delicious desserts made fresh daily.
Gilroy’s Kitchen + Pub + Patio
1238 8th Street, West Des Moines
3.2 miles from Playhouse
Reservations: (515) 809-1727
Mon-Thur 11 AM-10 PM / Fri 11 AM-10 PM / Sat-Sun 9 AM-10 PM
American – $$
Gilroy’s is a quick trip west from the Playhouse on West Des Moines’ historic 8th street, offering a comfortable and vibrant atmosphere perfect for a night out with friends and family. Serving up stylish American comfort food with a little something for everyone! Enjoy craft beers, our famous Moscow Mules or specialty cocktails on our spacious covered patio. We look forward to serving you before or after the show!
Looking for something more?
We recommend these sites to find the best places to eat in Des Moines:
Coming to town to see a friend or family member in a show?
Hilton Des Moines Downtown
435 Park St
Des Moines, IA 50309
Book the Des Moines Playhouse rate at the Hilton Des Moines Downtown and receive a 15% discount off their Best Flexible Rate.
Click here for more details.
Click here to book your room.
When do shows start?
John Viars Theatre show times are 7:30 PM Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2:00 PM Sundays. Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre show times are 7:00 PM Fridays, and 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM Saturdays and Sundays. The Family Holiday Classic times are 7:00 PM Fridays (some shows have performances Wednesdays and Thursdays) and 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM Saturdays and Sundays.
Will there be an intermission?
Virtually every show has a 15-minute intermission.
What time will the show be over?
John Viars Theatre musicals typically last 2-1/2 hours, while non-musicals are 2 hours. Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre shows are typically 90 minutes. Show times are available online and by calling The Playhouse ticket office at 515.277.6261.
What should I wear?
You will see a range of clothing styles from shorts to cocktail dresses. Wear what makes you comfortable.
Is the Playhouse handicap accessible?
Handicap-accessible parking is available in both the 41st Street (east) and 42nd Street (west) parking lots. An elevator provides access between the two levels of the building. Handicap seating, including wheelchair positions, are available in both the John Viars Theatre and Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre. These are indicated online on the seating map. The Playhouse ticket office is also happy to assist. Contact them at 515.277.6261.
Do you have interpreted performances?
ASL interpreted performances, audio description, and other services may be available with advance notice. Please let the Playhouse ticket office know of your needs by calling 515.277.6261.
I have a hearing problem. Do you have devices to help?
Assisted listening devices are available at every John Viars Theatre performance. You may pick them up at the ticket office. You will need to leave your photo ID when checking them out. If your hearing aid has a T-coil, toggle to that setting to receive the audio signal directly without any headset or other equipment needed.
Is it possible to read the script before I come to the show?
Of course. Contact The Playhouse ticket office at 515.277.6261 to confirm script availability.
Are there any discussions or events related to the show?
Artistic staff share background information on each John Viars Theatre season show. These preshow talks begin 30 minutes prior to show time, and are held in the west lobby. Some shows may have post-show discussions. These will be publicized on The Playhouse website.
May I take photos?
You are welcome to take photos of your family in the lobby and in your seats. Photographing or recording shows is not permitted.
I have flowers for a cast member. Can I take them to him/her/them?
An usher or other Playhouse volunteer can take your flowers to your friend.
I know someone in the show. Can I see him/her/them before or after the show?
You can visit your friend after the show. Ask any volunteer or Playhouse staff member to let your friend know you are here so they can meet you in the lower lobby after they have changed out of their costume.
Do you sell concessions? May I take them into the theatre?
We sell Coca-Cola products, including water, and Chocolaterie Stam candy and nuts. In the John Viars Theatre, we also offer beer, wine, and mixed drinks. Prices range from $2-4 for non-alcoholic beverages and candy. Prices range from $4-8 for alcoholic beverages. You may take all food, bottled water, and beverages in containers with lids into the theatre.