"We are such stuff as Dreams are made on..." The Tempest
Authentic Shakespeare and the Classics - - intriguingly presented!
Updated on the Bard's Birthday: April 23 2013
WHAT'S NEW IN THE SHAKESPHERE?
IT'S ALMOST HERE!
IOWA'S AMAZING FREE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL IS ALMOST HERE!!!
(so is our new website!)
Happy Milestone Anniveraries and Birthday to ISE!
10 years of producing Shakespeare al fresco
5 years of producing al fresco Shakespeare - - for FREE!
Here's the lastest news for Summer Festival 2013:
(Wow -are we ever cast- its Star Studded!)
We're E X P A N D ING!
Wow- are we ever expanding! TWICE as many repertory shows as we've ever done in a single summer season before (FOUR different shows this summer!) wonderful new partners - and we'll be annuncing an extraordinary new residency at the same time!
We're even kicking Summer Season 2013 off
with futher website improvements!
Watch for new Web features - -and watch for the Season to be formally announced- - on or near Memorial Day weekend - along with our terrific cast line up - scores of wonderful new Sponsors (-Welcome aboard Iowa Public Radio!)
- -and a full breakout of
GREAT SUMMMER SHOWS AND SPECIALS!
Meanwhile: SAVE THE DATES -
Check out a few Sneak Previews!
As always, ISE Festival Season kicked off on the Bard's April Birthday with our Spring Break Youth Camp....
and as always, the entire Festival Season will run April - July with many activities all over the community thru late Spring and early summer....
BUT IF YOU ARE WANTING TO MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR OUR MAINSTAGE SUMMER SHOWS (it IS the Best Night of Summer after all -- and yes, we are doing the incomparable Othello - so you'll NOT want to miss this!)
THEN BLOCK OFF THE FOLLOWING TIMEFRAME FOR THE
MAINSTAGE SUMMER SEASON :
July 11 - July 23
We promise: it will be quite a line up!
CHECK BACK IN JUNE FOR FULL CONFIRMATION OF DATES - -
AND FOR ALL THE GREAT SCOOP!
A huzzah welcome to ISE's inaugural State-wide Talent Kick-off...
as we welcome MFA students from the acclaimed University of Iowa Theatre program!
A hearty welcome to ISE's inaugural Special Guest Director program:
The program kicks off summer 2013 with Co-Director James Serpento!
"We're a HIT! A very palpable HIT!" (Hamlet) A winner of fully 16 stringently competitive Awards (and a QUADRUPLE Iowa Arts Council winner) by merely our 4th Season, we've already far exceeded attendance projections (in our first year alone, by a whopping 66%!) Between our "Shakespeare on Aire" radio shows, street theatre and traveling shows, youth and educational programs and our great live theatre festival, about 25,000 people each year from 107++Zipcodes,are Shakesperienced! Thank you to the City of Des Moines, our Grant Funders including Bravo Greater Des Moines, The Principal Financial Foundation, and the Community Foundation, thank you Corporate Sponsors including especially the Davis Brown Law Firm and the Principal, and thank you to ALL our wonderful Donors, Reviewers and huge Audiences! Much more below!
ABOUT OUR UPCOMING NEW WEBSITE AND A NEW WAY TO LOCATE ISE INFORMATION: HOW DO YOU DO WEB?
If you are a ""just gimme the facts" kind of person, you're gonna LOVE our new website's upcoming "one click" features! In a single click, you'll be able to whiz to dedicated websites which contain JUST our festival info or JUST our year-round show info! All info will be incredibly mobile friendly: self optimization for use on all sorts of different mobile devices, and the works! HUGE THANKS to the many dedicated volunteers who for years, have been steadily making this robust custome site happen!
Those interested in ISE's youth programs and those who want to sample our videos will also find a dedicated website one click link for those items, too!
BUT if you are a "true Shakespearean" and want the whole glorious line up of festival information, scads of details about the current play, behind the scenes stuff -and all the latest insider ISE happenings, you'll still be able to easily find all the good stuff - from ISE news to hot news from the Shakesphere and across the pond! Festival info will be in new dedicated Festival website section - - but- - yes, you'll still be able do the "Elizabethan Scroll" down this great homepage and enjoy a leisurely tour as an ISE insider - at your own pace. You'll still find a wide vareity of items of interest - including hip "Insider Info" plus "Hot Tips" that will make your ISE experience the best ever! But the new information will be better organized, will more easily provide quick access to show information - - and all be more clearly separated into various Bard and classical author special interest areas! Huzzah!
INFORMATION WHICH WILL REMAIN ON THIS HOMEPAGE:
- BARD 'N BUZZ: ISE Hot Topics and BREAKING NEWS!
- ABOUT ISE (all sorts of ISE backstory, from Board and mission info to policies for Actors)
- HORATIO'S CORNER ("more things heaven and earth"!) Today's Feature: Adaptation and Education!
- GOOD WILL AND A DUCAT: Credits and "thanks, thanks and ever thanks!"
- MINI-SCRAPBOOK of PHOTOS FROM OUR EARLY DAYS
INFORMATION WHICH WILL MOVE TO THE NEW DEDICATED WEBSITES:
YEAR ROUND SHOW INFORMATION, YOUTH PROGRAM INFO, "SAMPLE US" Videos and photos
SUMMER FESTIVAL DETAILS: Festival Fan Fare including:
- Quick Festival Info: Shows, Casts & Concerts!
- FESTIVAL SCHEDULE: A MINI Version of our highly detailed Schedule pages available in our Media Pages and our Festival Chapter on our Site Map, but a bit more detail than on our Fast Facts Page!
- ISE INSIDERS - Behind the Scenes - -Did you know? Who's who and What's what
- WILL OF THE PEOPLE: Quick "Quotes 'n Notes" from our Fans!
- R U Shakesperienced? Festival Fun Facts
- ONCE MORE ONTO THE BEACH: Rites of Free Will - "TOP TEN" hints to create the "Best Night of Summer" at our Riverside site!
- BARDAPALOOZA: Dem's Da Rules: How to have a Regal Evening!
- OUR SALAD DAYS: Picnic, wine and vendor info
- Today's Feature: Adaptation and Education!
WHAT WE SAY FAREWELL TO - - OR ARE CHANGING:
You'll no longer find our trusty old "Blue Weather Box" - instead, you'll find a direct link to the latest weather updates!
You'll find our Site Menu still nicely visible but condensed, with all festival specific information moving to the Festival specific website areas!
BARD 'N BUZZ: ISE Hot Topics/Breaking News!
ISE HOT TOPICS: GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER STACY KEACH SAYS: "What Iowa Shakespeare is doing is great"! [PHOTO: Mayor Cownie, ISE's Lorenzo Sandoval and Stacy Keach chat Shakespeare! 2011]
Now in our fourth season of FREE summer Shakespeare plays "under the stars" (and AMAZING year-round indoor experiential theatre such as our Christmas-time Holiday Play inside the splendor of Iowa's incomparable Governor's Mansion), ISE continues its outstanding tradition of fostering world-class theatre for Iowa's Capital! As THE leading Shakespearean Actor in America today, our 2011 Special Guest Mr. Stacy Keach proclaimed in the Des Moines Business Record when in town for his hit presentation created specially to support us: "What the Iowa Shakespeare Experience is doing is great!" (See more on our Stacy Keach event in ISE's News and Announcements chapter of our Site Menu.) Mr. Keach was a luminary in ISE's tradition of annual involvement with outstanding national Shakespeare groups such as our 2010 local production of National Players
(America's oldest national traveling Shakespeare troupe) and our 2010 Scholarly Introduction to the Iowa appearance of the internationally-recognized Shakespeare group Aquilla
. So, how do we continue in this vein in 2012? With the fantastic Spring collaboration with our colleagues at the Des Moines Civic Center to create our special 2012 "Evening with the Cultural Cognoscenti" party where ISE welcomed Chicago's extraordinary Improvised Shakespeare
group! The evening drew cultural leaders and ISE actors alike to a special presentation of this outstanding troupe name as Best Improv group on both the New York and Chicago theatre scenes. And the gorgeous party afterwards raised funds to help keep the Festival free - while starting conversations with Improv Shakespeare about a possible return visit to ISE that will really knock your socks off! Stay tuned!
MORE HOT TOPICS: FESTIVALS ARE IMPORTANT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT TOOL! Your support matters -new national study proves Festivals are of high value to the community! A first-of-its-kind study by the NEA finds festivals are notably strong contributors to the growth of an area arts scene, as well as important creators of jobs and tourism. Our local Shakesperience data backs this up - - we create up to about 50 part-time seasonal arts jobs annually - -and by only our first year, already showed tourism draw from a minimum of 35 outlying cities in an average 90 mile radius of Des Moines. At the 2011 Festival alone, we recorded attendance from over 75 zip codes- and counting! For more about how ISE boosts tourism as well as the area job market and other community development outcomes, on our NEWS pages in our Site Menu, see the Business Record editorial under our Stacy Keach page and also a May 2011 Des Moines Register Editorial by Rekha Basu.
HOT TOPIC: I THINK IOWA SHAKESPEARE SHOULD... (fill in the blank!!) We probably agree with you! We are THRILLED to have captured the interest and input of a wide range of well-wishers, and as a teensy company, at a loss as to how to say a genuine THANKS to everyone who has cared enough to write or call in with excited ideas, suggestions, and feedback! This is SUCH an exciting time for a new non-profit. We really are becoming YOUR homestate Shakespeare Festival! So, here's the bottom line: We are moving in SO many directions that we think SO many of you will appreciate- please know that the only issue we really have is time (or in some cases, funding) to get it all accomplished! Our key challenge is having ZERO full time staff, so you can imagine! At any rate, with patience, with enthusiasm like what we see out there about all this every day, we will ALL get where we ALL want this wonderful project to go! Hang on to your hats!
HOT TOPIC: THE LOCAL COMMUNITY STRONGLY SUPPORTS ISE! ISE's type of cultural contributions rank extremely high in local survey! The 2010 major area Intercept Survey conducted by Bravo Greater Des Moines finds the type of activities ISE produces (such as Shakesperience Festival and our youth programs) to be among THE top approval and "requests" categories of the general Metro public. See the website for Bravo Greater Des Moines, under its cultural planning section.
HOT TOPIC: ISE MUSICIANS CONTINUE TO RECIEVE HONORS! Did you know Shakespeare himself regularly put live music and dance into his shows? Well, just like Shakespeare's own productions, an ISE hallmark is the infusion of curated or live professional music and original dance into our great shows. We are thrilled to note that fully 100% of our Mainstage musicians have had the high distinction of having been selected not only for our Festival, but also for featured appearances at the Des Moines Arts Festival! Quite a testament to the strength of our trademark musical components! And in 2012, we kick off a very exciting upgrade to our musical elements: our first season of the Davis Brown A.J. Greffenius Memorial Fellowship in Music! We are so pleased to announce that our first Fellowship Guest Artist in music will be Renée J. Schwarz, a coloratura operatic soprano seen most recently on stage with the Cedar Rapids Opera. She will join longtime festival music Diva Tina Haase Findlay, a local legend, to ensure that our audiences continue to be moved and excited by ISE's many different festival music components. Don't forget: Pre-show weekend concerts with Tina start at 7:15!
ONGOING NEWS: Donations to ISE have always been fully tax deductible thanks to our Fiscal Agents. But in May of 2011, the ISE received FULL independent 501 (c) 3 status -and is now independently a registered tax-deductible organization! In fact, we were granted status dating all the way back to our founding in May of 2008! It is notable that the IRS had ZERO questions for us- our advisors call how smooth the process went for us a very rare occurance - a real testament to our use of Industry Best Practices - -and to our thorough fiscal responsibility from Day One as a new non-profit! Congratulations, ISE!
BREAKING NEWS: WE'RE 4 for 4!
While 2012 Bravo Grants continue to support ISE (thank you Bravo!) in 2012, ISE wins our FOURTH "Top Ten" recognition across the state of Iowa with our fourth Award from the Department of Cultural Affairs! This new one marks already TWICE in our 4 seasons that we've won the state's very largest arts Award, too!
HOT TOPIC: Our hit Art Fair component continues! Our amazing Jenny Henderson from The Jenny Store, who coordinates our Art Market (usually held on Young Professionals Night), returns in 2012 for her 4th presentation of her curated show of Up and Comers of the local Art Market and Grey Market scene! Watch for the colorful booths and beautifully presented objects d'art to be scattered across many different festival nights this year! Thank you Jenny, for all you do for local arts and for the ISE!
FUN RECAP: ISE has grown by leaps and bounds this year! Already in 2012, we have QUADRUPLED the size and scope of our extraordinary youth programs, including a week-long Spring Break camp and an 8 week long intensive in-school seminar. Both programs served some of our community's highest risk youth! As licensed teachers with special national-level Shakespeare teaching credentials, ISE youth programs remain highly in demand! And on top of that, our Artistic Director, Lorenzo Sandoval, received his college's highest teaching award this year for Excellence in Teaching at the college level - an award which must be voted on by peer professors AND students alike. All this came off of our excitement about the unprecendented success of our reprise of our acclaimed Holiday show, a sell-out hit we custom - crafted for the Iowa Governor's Mansion at the personal request of Iowa's First Lady. Added to Lorenzo's recent starring role in a new Short Film already being shown in Film Festivals across the country, it has been one heck of an exciting year already - and were not even counting the Festival yet!
R U Shakesperienced? Festival Fun Facts!
Shakesperience by the Numbers: In only our first 4 years...
-TERRIFIC ATTENDANCE! We've drawn the better part of 1000 to almost every live Mainstage Festival Show! Typically about 600-800 attend, with some nights bringing in nearly 900!
-WONDERFUL AWARDS: We've won won fully 8 Bravo Awards, and have FOUR TIMES placed among the "Top Ten" Arts Awards across Iowa! Including TWO "Arts Excellence" awards!
-MEANINGFUL TOURISM PART I: Research shows Shakespeare Festivals tend to draw tourism from a 90 mile radius, and in only our first year, we well proved our tourism draw! Although due to extraordinary attendance we actually ran out of registration forms with merely 1/3 of the crowd registered, minimally, people from 29 different cities OUTSIDE the golden Circle (from Oskaloosa and Newton to Atlantic, the Quads and beyond!) have already formally registered as Mainstage show attendees! Folks from another 6 outlying cities registered electronically, too!
-MEANINGFUL TOURISM PART II: By 2011 we DOUBLED the number of zip codes registered at the Festival to 76!
- ISE CREATES JOBS: We've created part-time seasonal jobs for 30-50 Independent Contractors each year, both on-stage and off!
-ISE CREATES JOBS: In addition to our creation of part time jobs, each year we create sales opportunities for about 20-30 visual artists at our Annual Art Market night!
-ISE DRAWS TOP TALENT!: Since we began producing in 2004, both on state and back stage, our stages have showcased the talents of an average of 3 MFA Artists and 6 BFA artists each year!
-3: Number of independent artist rostering agencies who have competitively rostered our founding Artistic Director, Lorenzo Sandoval.
-51: Number of different national Shakespeare Festivals we've personally visited on-site across America since our founding - and this summer, we're set to visit several more: And heading off again to the famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival to catch their "Merry Wives of Windsor Iowa" show, of course! (See below)
-1: Page Number for placement of ISE quotes for an Oregon newspaper story involving among other things, our last visit to the largest Shakespeare Festival in America, the venerated Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
-2: Number of Magazine Cover Pages (with full photo) we've had to date: Waukee Living in 2010 and PEO International in 2008.
-8: (and counting) Number of Library educational workshops we've provided to date! 100: (Approx) Largest number of attendees at a single Library workshop to date!
-600 (approx.) Largest number of youth served in a single year to date (2010) through Workshops, our year-round annual educational programs, and special family night activities at the Festival and in special family-focused traveling shows!
-2 Months: Most intensive youth workshop to date; our 8 week school-based youth seminar in 2012
-Most number of youth to date participating in one of our Youth Shakespeare shows: 22 at our YESS peer-to-peer Highlights production of A Midsummer Nights Dream in 2012
-58,135 and counting ...: Number of times our Actors have said the word "ZOUNDS!" (Ok, you're right: we are TOTALLY making that up!)
DEPARTMENT OF HUZZAH: Awards! Funding! Huzzah! Hooray!
LOOK UP! OUR MANY FUNDERS ARE OUR TRUE STARS! Keep in mind that our grant support, terrific tho it is, provides for only about 60% of our festival's needs. So individual donations are extremely important- we value your contribution and can provide full tax deduction receipts.
But our grant funding shows that so many professional experts rank the Festival high! Our records with grants assures the public that their donations to us are professionally validated. So we are proud that the ISE is already a proud winner of 7 Bravo Awards -and in only the first two years of our existence, we thrice placed among the top ten arts projects across the entire state of Iowa - - funded by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs AND the Iowa Arts Council! And our inaugural Prairie Meadows grant came in year 3!
Be sure to thank these funders plus our special sponsor, the City of Des Moines, and also: the Scottish Rite Consistory, The Mickle Center AND the following extraordinary supporters who are all the TRUE stars of our shows.
GRANT FUNDS: The ISE is thrilled to announce that during the past year, in stringent competition, we were the recipient of one of Iowa'svery largest arts grants, the prestigious Iowa Community Cultural Grant Award. Additional thanks to special support from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. And as ever, we simply could NOT do this work without the deeply meaningful support of Bravo Greater Des Moines and The City of Des Moines. This level of Bravo and City leadership is absolutely foundational to our efforts.
CORPORATE SUPPORT! In terms of corporate support for Shakesperience Fest, 2011 was our "Kick off" year when the wider community began wrapping its arms around the Shakesperience Fest tradition in an increasingly broad way! And for our exciting fifth anniversary in 2013, we are already planning a a major new corporate sponsorship campaign! So in the meantime, HUGE THANKS to The Principal for their now multi-year support, as well as to the following stellar area corporations, great community citizens all: Bankers Trust plus (in alpha sequence) Allied Nationwide, American Equity, Atlantic Coca Cola Bottling, AVIVA, Business Publications, Cityview/Big Green Media, Pioneer Hybred, Flynn Wright, The Graham Group, Iowa Health, Knapp Properties, Lint Van Lines, McGladrey Inc, Mercy Medical Center, Meredith, NCMIC Group, One Source Events, US Bank, and Willis Auto Campus!!!!
ANNOUNCING INAUGURAL ARTISTIC FELLOWSHIP SPONSOR! In addition to the great funders above, in a "Saving the Most Fun for Last" storyline, extra-special thanks go to our new Festival Sponsors at Davis Brown Law Firm!! In a delightful surprise announcement by Suku Radia (to a huge burst of Bravo-laden applause at ISE's 2011 April Stacy Keach event) community leaders learned that Davis Brown not only strongly supported ISE for Fest year 2011, but stepped up to the plate in a wonderful new way: to inaugurate the Festival's first Artistic Fellowship Chair -which kicks of THIS year here in 2012! And what's more, Davis Brown graciously honors ISE Founding Board Member Al Greffinius in doing so. The A.J. Greffinius Memorial Chair in Music will support the Festival's hallmark musical components, and ISE is so proud to announce our first guest artist under this program: Coloratura Operatic Soprano Renee J. Schwarz, as seen on stage with the Cedar Rapids Opera, will be the featured guest musical artist for 2012's Romeo and Juliet! We can't wait to hear Renee work her magic on this season's classic Renaissance-themed musical selections! Huzzah, Davis Brown! To Thee No Star Be Dark!
Be sure to thank ALL of these special supporters, as they are the "Light Through Which Yonder Window Breaks" in developing a free community festival tradition. Think about it: the community has a wonderful plethora of free outdoor concerts and arts fairs – but truly few places where we can access free professional theatre. Shakesperience Fest is one precious exception. Rumor hath it we may be the ONLY regularly-produced professional free local theatre in the Metro surviving the Recession! And it is these leading corporate citizens, who, along with a wonderful group of private donors (with a special thanks to Dr. Bruce Hughes and Mr. Jim Collier), have been setting the banquet table that is Shakesperience Fest- a FREE cultural community banquet of theatre, music and dance- free for EVERYONE to enjoy!
GOOD WILL AND A DUCAT: Credits and "thanks, thanks and ever thanks!"
A free theatre Festival in any community is ALWAYS a community-wide effort. We can never thank our supporters enough.
So a special closing shout-out to our major grant funders who have so strongly supported us here in our early years: The City of Des Moines, Bravo Greater Des Moines, the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the Iowa Arts Council, and Prairie Meadows.
A special closing bow to our leading Corporate Supporters who have also supported us in our early years: Davis Brown Law Firm, The Principal Financial Group Foundation, Banker's Trust, and Mercy Hospital. Extra special thanks to the Des Moines Scottish Rite Consistory and McLellan Marketing Group.
And a special closing round of applause to some of our key private donors who have supported us in so many ways as we have gotten this terrific initiative off the ground: Mr. Jim Collier, Dr. Bruce Hughes, Mr. Suku Radia, Mr. John Taylor, Ms. Bobbie Mathes, Ms. Irma Hughes, Mr. David Hurd, Ms. Joan Burke, Ms. Liz Nelson, Mr. Chuck Fuller, Ms. Karrie Weinhardt, Ms. Kendra Daly, Mr. Stuant Alexander and Mr. Scott McDonald.
And potentially- thanks to YOU! Keep in mind that your donation would be very important to the ISE and to keeping both the festival AND our top-notch youth programming free! That's because grant support, which vitally important and a key indicator of quality, only covers about 60% of the costs of FREE Festival Theater or FREE Theatre Youth programs! Your donation COUNTS! Check out our new Donation button at the top of the homepage- or just toss a few "coins of the realm" into the Bard Basket when it makes the rounds at the festival- it matters!
PHOTO 2010: "Blow Blow Thou Winds!" During the floods and windstorms of 2010, the City of Des Moines was absolutely heroic in helping us move the Festival to the adjacent high ground of the historic Locust Street bridge - where the Capital rises majestically to create another memorable Iowa Shakespeare Experience scene. Here, Executive Producer Robin Heinemann thanks our funders before a fast-growing early crowd, just as the City of Des Moines prepares to shut off "our" bridge to traffic!
"There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the Flood, leads on to fortune!"
William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
Shakesperience Fest 2013
NO TICKETS REQUIRED!
Mid July, Exact Dates tba
Beautiful Simon Estes Riverside Amphitheater
(Or other premiere area stages)
Our 201e featured full length production:
PHOTO 2010: The Fairy Kingdom, Ballet Des Moines II Corps under the direction of choreographer Karina Barone; in "A Midsummer Night's Dream Extravaganza"
MINI PHOTO SCRAPBOOK
As our Volunteer-led organization works to update and upgrade our website more and more each year, watch for a full complement of Scrapbook pages - and yes, more You Tube video is coming soon as well!
Meanwhile, enjoy these delightful photos from Season's past, check out our nifty new Video pages (hit the "Sample us" buttons above)- and as always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
2010: A Midsummer Night's Dream Extravaganza! Opening musical sequence from this acclaimed adaptation which told the famous story of magical young love through all 3 of the artistic disciplines the story has historically been most associated with: theatre, music AND dance. Set in the era of the Silver Screen, the tuxedoed and ball gown clad cast opens the show with a choreographed sequence of "Puttin on the Ritz!"
Don't forget our terrific traveling shows ...here, a 2010 "Sneak Preview" show of "Shakespeare Shorts" in one of the first shows held on the lovely new Colby Park stage (Windsor Heights.)
Mini Scrapbook 2004-2008
"SUCH STUFF AS DREAMS ARE MADE ON" The Tempest
The Iowa Shakespeare Experience:
Shakespeare like nobody else's business – because it IS our business:
Shakespeare is our middle name!
Contact us at 515 274 8989 or Robin@IowaShakespeare.org
PHOTO: Inaugural Full Company, A Midsummer Night's Dream, July 2006
Lorenzo Sandoval and Robin Heinemann, Producers
PHOTO CREDITS THROUGHOUT THIS WEBSITE INCLUDE
Bill Gentsche and NorthStar Photography
Matt Wiggins Entertainment; Photography by Ava
with special thanks to Bill Nellans