Distinguished Initiatives of the

Iowa Shakespeare Experience


What distinguishes the Iowa Shakespeare Experience from other small theatre companies:


The ISE distinguishes itself from many other theatre and arts non-profits through its use of research-based, outcome-focused educational programming and also through its expertise and experience with “found space theatre”- the presentation of theatre in spaces not normally used as a stage. Additionally, the ISE has received state, regional and national recognition for its innovative multi-cultural programs such as “Shakesper’ese!”™ (Shakespeare in Spanish.)


As do most Shakespeare companies, the ISE produces the works of other classic playwrights in addition to the works of William Shakespeare. Recent productions associated with the ISE or its staff include productions featuring the works of Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton, and Oscar Wilde.


The ISE further distinguishes itself by bringing a strong multi-disciplinary orientation to its theatre work. Dance and music are routinely found in ISE shows, original theatrical works take the stage along with classics, and


Still another distinguishing characteristic of the ISE is its approach to its artists and the multi-disciplinary strength of its professional staff. The ISE was one of the earliest Des Moines area theatre non-profits to pioneer policies of recognizing theatre artists with paid stipends and/or honorarium, helping to elevate Des Moines theatre to increasingly high levels of professionalism.


The professional leadership staff of the ISE features nationally-recognized. award-winning leaders who bring an uncommonly multi-disciplinary approach to their work- offering a blend not only of artistic and educational disciplines but additionally, the type of managerial and executive expertise often all too rarely found in small arts non-profits.


The caliber of actors and other artists who appear on the ISE stage is also very high. Many ISE or ISE-related shows have averaged 4-5 MFA or conservatory artists among a typical cast, with an equal number of otherwise degreed theatre or musical artists also appearing on the stage.


And as an organization, the ISE holds itself to the highest standards of professional achievement and accountability. Whether as a signatory to various standards of best practice, or as an awardee of public funds (ISE grants are often ranked in the top ten scoring outcomes and have frequently tied for number one positions), the ISE is a quality organization that despite its small size and notably lean budget, significantly contributes to the cultural life of the Capital City of the state of Iowa.