2016 Summer Theatre Guide 4 Kids in Des Moines

2016 Summer Theatre Guide 4 Kids in Des Moines

Find 2019 summer theater shows here.

Summer doesn’t just have to be lazy days by the pool and baseball games. Treat the kids to something new and introduce them to the magic of the stage. Here are our picks for the best places in Des Moines to catch a show with the soon to be theater buffs in your life. 


June 3rd-12th, 2016: Shrek the Musical Jr. presented by Class Act Productions. It’s a “big bright beautiful world” for everyone’s favorite ogre in Shrek The Musical JR., based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film. Adapted for young performers and featuring a host of over-the-top roles for an expandable cast, there’s a part for everyone in this dazzling adventure story. Tickets are $12 Adults, $10 Senior and $8 Child and can be purchased on-line.

June 3rd – 19th, 2016: You Can’t Take it With You at the Des Moines Playhouse. Meet the Sycamores, the original “Modern Family.” The eccentric Sycamore family allows each member to pursue his or her own ambition at home, from dance and the xylophone to the manufacturing of fireworks. But their routine is disrupted when Alice brings her fiancé and his proper Wall Street family to dinner. Recommended for ages 13 and up.  Tickets are $25.00 to $45.00 and can be purchased at the ticket office, on the website or by calling 515-277-626.

June 3rd-5th, 2016: 35mm a student directed play by Des Moines Young Artist’s Theatre. A picture is worth 1,000 words–what about a song? Can a picture inspire a song or fifteen? In 35mm, each photo creates a unique song, moments frozen in time; a glimmer of a life unfolding, a glimpse of something happening. A stunning new multimedia musical which explores a groundbreaking new concept in musical theatre. Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased at the door of Des Moines Onstage.

June 6th, 2016: 2016 High School Musical Theater Awards at the Des Moines Civic Center. The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards Showcase is an unmatched celebration of the achievements of Iowa students involved in their high school musical productions. This evening of entertainment will feature more than 400 student-performers on the Des Moines Civic Center stage, representing 34 schools. Based on adjudicator recommendations, schools are invited to perform excerpts from their musical productions. Tickets are $15 and $45.

June 10th- 26th, 2016: A Tree With Arms presented by Ankeny Community Theatre. Corky’s tree house is nestled peacefully in the back of his suburban yard.  One morning he discovers that a bigger, fancier tree house has been constructed next door by his enemy Joel.  War is declared and tensions mount as each enlists the help of friends to help win the battle to outdo each other.  As things get out of control, members of both teams work together to bring an end to the conflict. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2 PM. Ticket Prices: Adult $15, Senior (60+) $12, Child (grades K-12) $10.

June 16th-19th, 2016: King Lear presented by Shakespeare On The Lawn At Salisbury House & Gardens with the Repertory Theater of Iowa.  An aging monarch obscured resolves to retire and divide his kingdom among his three daughters. The unexpected consequence of losing everything that defines him is devastating. King Lear is Shakespeare at his most profound, an ancient tale of a king and his offspring that has become the most powerful drama in Western literature. Both an intimate family drama and explosive political commentary, King Lear explores the most basic questions of human existence: love and duty; friendship and betrayal; leadership and loyalty; destiny and the overwhelming inevitability of a life nearing its end. This RTI production will capture both the epic grandeur and intimacy of this Shakespeare masterpiece.  Tickets are $25 Standard Admission, $15 Students and $22.50 Members and can be purchased at http://salisburyhouse.org/.


July 1st-10th, 2016: Des Moines Young Artist’s Theatre Presents: The Hobbit at the Kum & Go Theatre. Join Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Thorin Oakenshield and his band of merry dwarves to destroy Smaug, the evil dragon! Along the journey, we will encounter trolls, goblins, elves and the riddling Gollum. J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved classic comes to life with magic, puppets, and epic sword fights! Tickets are $20 Adults, $18 Students/Seniors and $12 Children; and can be purchased at http://www.midwestix.com/.

July 15th – August 7th, 2016: Rock of Ages at the Des Moines Playhouse. Drew is a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit. Sherrie is a small-town girl. Both are in L.A. to chase their dreams of making it big. But the rock ‘n’ roll fairy-tale is about to end when German developers sweep into town with plans to turn the fabled Sunset Strip into a strip mall. Can Drew, Sherri, and the gang save the Strip – and themselves – before it’s too late? Only the music of hit ’80s bands hold the answer. Recommended for ages 13 and up.  Tickets are $25.00 to $45.00 and can be purchased at the ticket office, on the website or by calling 515-277-626.

July 15th-24th, 2016: Godspell presented by Carousel Theatre of Indianola.  Based on the Gospel according to St Matthew it deals with the last days of Jesus, and includes dramatized versions of several well-known parables. The show features a comedic troupe of eccentric players who team up with Jesus to teach his lessons in a new age through parables, games, and tomfoolery. Even after the haunting crucifixion, Jesus’ message of kindness, tolerance and love lives vibrantly on.

July 19th, 2016: Final Act Ensemble Summer Showcase at the Des Moines Playhouse.  The Final Act Ensemble is a troupe of performers ages 60 and older that perform classic and original radio plays, including commercials and sound effects. Programs are available for youth, adult, and multi-generational audiences and shows are approximately 50 minutes in length.  The show starts at 7:00 pm and tickets are $10.00.

July 22nd-July 31st, 2016: Ray Bradbury ‘s Fahrenheit 451 presented by Adolescent Anarchy. This powerful drama is about the inner struggle of Guy Montag, a fireman. Montag has worked as a civil servant for ten years burning books, but lately he has become increasingly unsure about what he is doing and about his vegetable-like existence. It is not until he meets 16-year-old Clarisse, who is filled with strange ideas, that he is led into a dangerous and highly combustible situation. Now he must choose between continuing his nonexistent existence and risking everything for the right to think.

July 22nd – 31st, 2016: Disney’s Beauty And The Beast presented by Urbandale Community Theatre.  The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. The show is at the Urbandale Performing Arts Center and tickets are $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for children (K-12).


August 5th-6th, 2016: Disney’s Camp Rock: The Musical at the Des Moines Playhouse. Performed by the Playhouse’s summer Performance Academy, Disney’s Camp Rock: The Musical is a 70 minute adaptation of both popular Camp Rock movies. It opens with Mitchie and her friends arriving at Camp Rock ready to spend another summer jamming out and having the time of their lives. But the new, flashy Camp Star across the lake now theatrens Camp Rock’s very existence. to keep the doors open, Mitchie steps up, rallies her fellow Camp Rockers, and gets them into top shape for the ultimate showdown!  Tickets are $10.

August 4th-7th: The Tempest presented by Class Act Productions.  Magician Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, and his daughter, Miranda, have been stranded for twelve years on a remote island after Prospero’s jealous brother Antonio (aided by Alonso, the King of Naples) deposed him and set him adrift. Upon this remote island, Prospero plots to restore Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation. Here he conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. This production is performed outdoors at Haines Park in Altoona, IA. In the event of inclement weather, performances will be moved to CAP Theatre. Tickets are $5.00, available online and at the park. Tickets available at the park will be cash only!

Do you plan on attending a theatre production this summer? Let us know where you go and what you see!

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