Brief History of Iowa Shakespeare Experience


The ISE was established in 2007 under the name of The Center for Shakespeare of Greater Des Moines, but its roots extend to the year 2002 when the private for-profit consulting firm of Heinemann-Sandoval Associates began to be contracted by several historic house museums to develop and found innovative new theatre programs which continue to this day.


In 2007, due to substantial public and private donor interest in growing the theatre initiatives that had been started to such great success, a Board of Directors was formed, comprised of significantly experienced community, corporate, governmental and arts leaders representing a wide variety of sectors from all across the metropolitan area of Iowa’s Capital City. In 2008, the Board renamed the organization The Iowa Shakespeare Experience.


A YEAR ROUND CULTURAL INITIATIVE: The Iowa Shakespeare Experience is now a year-round cultural non-profit which has received substantial public grant funding and which offers as its signature event an annual outdoor summer Shakespeare Festival known as “Shakesperience™ Fest”.


In addition to its summer festival, the ISE also offers a wide variety of cultural and educational programming, ranging from a year-round radio show to various indoor winter classic theatre programs and plays to a virtual “Institute” which provides school, library, multi-cultural and Senior College programming as well as various types of consulting services.