“Action is eloquence.” Coriolanus

What’s new at The 

Iowa Shakespeare Experience?


Explore the webpages within (especially our "Special News/Events" page) for more details about the following 

popourii of terrific announcements!

Currently, most of our exciting announcements can be found on our recently redesigned

Home Page!


Popourii of Past Announcements:

March 2 2011:  The ISE is excited to announce that we are racing forward with our mission of providing a wide variety of free, classic theatre shows to the entire Metro!

Due to a unique opportunity, the ISE is postponing our production of Romeo and Juliet to the summer of 2012.  At that time, we will perform Romeo and Juliet, plus as many more shows as funding allows:  watch for Hamlet, Othello, The Tempest and/or The Winter's Tale to come as early as Season 2012!

During 2011, we are excited to have the unexpected opportunity to resume our two-weekend, true Repertory format for the Festival a format we pioneered in 2009 prior to the Recession.

Thus, in 2010, we will host 2 Mainstage shows over the following two Festival weekends:

July 22, 23, 24 AND July 29,30 and 31.  The following Mondays will be Rain Date shows, although additionally as always, in the event of inclement weather, we will also provide the show in our terrific indoor location on any scheduled show night.

Our show titles will be announced shortly, as will our Preview Weekend line up of traveling shows.

But the big news is this:

In 2011, ahead of our iniital Strategic Plan , we will be offering

TWO distinct Mainstage show series:

Our standard "Shakespeare Under the Stars" series


our newest series:  "Classics Along the Skyline"

We are so pleased to be able to provide audiences with this expanding variety of FREE, classic theatre which will delight, intrigue and - - unfailingly- - entertain!



January 2011:  The ISE thanks Prairie Meadows for its strong support of our family and youth programs! $8,000 in funding!  

Fall 2011:  The ISE gratefully thanks The Principal for their inaugural support of Shakesperience Festival!  We are proud to be located on the lovely Principal Riverwalk!

 July 2010: On the very day of Midsummer, The Iowa Arts Council announced that The Iowa Shakespeare Experience is the recipient of one of the Art's Council's largest funding awards - over $21,000!  The award is to ensure the success of our upcoming 2011 season and to support the ISE as we make an impact on the Metro's creative economy and on tourism for our state's Capital city. Thank you Iowa Arts Council!  We were in THE highest dollar award category and one of merely 17 projects across the entire state (out of 61 applicants!) to recieve funding!




ANNOUNCING:: Iowa Shakespeare Experience thanks the following national Shakespeare, Theatre ad Arts Festivals for hosting ISE staff members Robin Heinemann and Lorenzo Sandoval during the 2011 Season:  Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Sundance Theatre Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Sun Valley Theatre Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and Ravinia Classical Music Festival. 


ANNOUNCING:  Iowa Shakespeare Experience makes Oregon Shakespeare Festival headlines!  In 2010, the ISE was fortunate to attend one of the largest costume sales ever held by the lauded Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.  And, we were surprised and honored to find our attendance at the sale merited headlines and photos and quotes in the story done on the sale by the Ashland press.- front page, no less!  Many thanks go out to our growing group of new friends in Oregon! 

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience thanks the following national Shakespeare, Theatre and Arts Festivals for hosting ISE staff members Robin Heinemann and Lorenzo Sandoval during the 2010-2011 Season:

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Sundance Theatre Festival

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Idaho Shakespeare Festival

Ravinia Classic Musical Festival

ANNOUNCING:  ISE makes Oregon Shakespeare Festival headlines!  The ISE was fortunate enough to attend one of the largest Shakespeare Costume sales ever held by the lauded Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.  We were also surprised and honored to find that our participation in the Costume Sale was featured on the front page of the Ashland press! 



A review of the staging direction of THE most successful Shakespeare Festival in America- as it relates to the directions being taken by The Iowa Shakespeare Experience
Excerpted from the article "Oregon Festival Announces Slate of Plays"
By Marty Huey, The Oregonian, March 11 2011

One of the pillars of success for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has been its continued commitment to theater's classic plays, especially those by its great namesake. At the same time, the festival has shown a keen interest in the creation of new works. The festival's 2012 season, scheduled to run from Feb. 24 through Nov. 4, will see it strongly pursuing both agendas.

At first glance, the (season) is well balanced, including the obligatory four works by Shakespeare and four productions billed as world premieres.

But look into the descriptions and it's quickly that the line between the classic and the new might get blurred more than ever.

Take, for instance, one of the three summer offerings on the Elizabethan Stage, served up under the title "The Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa." It's an adaptation of a Shakespearean comedy, of course, but the altered title tips us off to an updated sensibility and a "contemporary setting that includes a failed presidential candidate, gay marriage, and the Iowa State Fair."

Even more intriguing is the title "Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella," described in the season announcement as a "long bridge through Western culture" in which "Euripides', Shakespeare's, and Rodgers and Hammerstein's classics of populist theater are performed on one stage simultaneously, three-ring circus-style." "Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella" initially was Rauch's brainchild during his college days at Harvard.

(Playing off Shakespeare's own history cycle plays), Rauch's ( own ) history cycle (productions) - -arguably the most significant initiative so far of Rauch's tenure as Artistic Director- - kicks into high gear with two productions in the season. Pulitzer-winner Robert Schenkkan's "All the Way" looks at the productive early years of Lyndon Johnson's presidency. "Party People," by the multi-disciplinary performance troupe Universes, takes on the stories of the Black Panther and Puerto Rican Young Lords movements of the 1960s and '70s.

If somehow all this doesn't seem like enough variety, how about a tasty comedy classic immortalized by the Marx Brothers? "Animal Crackers" should present some delicious opportunities for OSF's cadre of comic actors.
And, oh yes, of course -- Shakespeare.

In addition to the adaptation of "Merry Wives," OSF will stage "Romeo and Juliet" for the 13th time, and "Troilus and Cressida" for just the fifth. "Henry V" will complete a historical arc started fruitfully last summer with "Henry IV, Part One" and continuing in "Henry IV, Part Two" later this season.

With such a promising balance between the classic and the contemporary, the familiar and the adventurous, plenty of theater fans are likely to stick around for another season too.


ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience announces full City of Des Moines Sponsorship for “Shakesperience™ Fest!”  THANK YOU CITY OF DES MOINES! 

ANNOUNCING:  TERRIFIC NEW ISE COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS:  Among our wonderful new community collaborative partners (which also include the Des Moines Symphony this past Spring, as well as the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation and Bravo Greater Des Moines, are the following fantastic community-minded folk who are explictly supporting Festival 2010:

  • Cityview (presenting sponsor)
  • Metro Arts Alliance and Jazz in July
  • Des Moines Metro Opera
  • Des Moines Civic Music and the Belin String Quartet
  • Ballet Des Moines
  • Des Moines Masonic Consistory
  • Downtown Community Alliance
  • Des Moines East Village Association
  • Des Moines Public Library
  • Employee and Family Resources
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Iowa
  • Audio Art
  • Radio Garage
  • Des Moines Rental
  • Chocolaterie Stams

ANNOUNCING:  EXCITING LINE UP OF PRE-SHOW FESTIVAL CONCERTS - Every single night!  That's right- this year the Festival grows by leaps and bounds from the already-fast growth of our first year!  This year, Festival-goers will be entertained by wonderful pre-show concerts EVERY night!  The terrific line up is as follows:

ANNOUNCING: AMAZING LINE UP OF NIGHTLY INTERMISSION TREATS - Every single night! Yep- you will not want to miss what our extraordinary musical director, the legendary Tina Haase Findlay, has in store for our audiences each and every night during intermission! In keeping with the "Classic Black and White Movie" feeling of this incredibly classic show, Tina will be presenting a line up of THE most famous "Crooners" in the Metro.  Mr. Max Wellman, taking the Metro by storm, and the incredible Fred Gazzo (of 12 years with the famed Bally's orchestra in Las Vegas!) will be crooning a special "Moonlight Medly" of THE "moonlight-y-est!" songs EVER! (Moonlight-y-est? Hey, Shakespeare coined new words all the time- and this set truly deserves its own adjective!) 

ANNOUNCING:  EXCITING EXCLUSIVE FAMILY NIGHT APPEARANCES AND ACTIVITIES!  Our "Friends and Family Night" on Monday, July 19 promises to hold multiple rare -even exclusive- experiences for kids of all ages, brought to you by The Iowa Shakespeare Experience- the Experience experts!

On Monday, July 19, the line up is as follows:

  • EXCLUSIVE appearance by nationally-published Iowa Author Cynthia Mercati, reading from her newest children's book: "Shakespeare and Me"
  • RARE evening appearance by the venerated Belin String Quartet, thanks to a terrific new collaboration with Des Moines Civic Music.  The Quartet will be playing selections from Romeo and Juliet and will offer a special interactive segment for kids.
  • WONDERFUL opportunity for kids (of all ages!) to come on stage and dance along with the beat of The Social Groove Community Drummers.  We will summon the Fairy Kingdom in style!


ANNOUNCING:  MAYOR FRANK COWNIE HOSTS VIP NIGHT AT THE FESTIVAL!  We are grateful to Mayor Cownie, Chris Hensley, and the entire Des Moines City Council for their support of Shakesperience Fest and our aims and mission!  And a special shout out to Kandi Reindl, Doug Romig, Don Tripp, Robin Leaper and all the folks at Des Moines Parks and Recs- we are naming our first-born Shakesperean Actors after you guys!  City of Des Moines, you are fantastic!

ANNOUNCING:  ANOTHER TERRIFIC INDOOR RAIN VENUE FOR SHAKESPERIENCE 2010!  We get SO excited about our amazing indoor rain venues- once again, we have the best indoor venue imaginable for Shakespeare!  Again as in 2010, the Des Moines Masonic Consistory is collaborating with us so that we can offer audiences a simply fantastic place to catch the show even if it rains. Complete with huge old stone fireplaces, rare Elizabethan-themed Abusson tapestries from France dating to 1690 , and just oozing with "old castle" atmosphere, if it has to rain, this is THE place to be! And yes- you can STILL bring your wine and picnics- quite the romantic evening after all, we promise!   ).



ANNOUNCING: This past Spring, ISE Artistic Director Lorenzo Sandoval, and Curriculum Director/Lead Administrator Robin Heinemann, each received formal certification from the Nation’s leading Shakespearean Teaching organization (The Folger Library in Washington, DC) for teaching Shakepeare to youth. 

ANNOUNCING: Hundreds upon hundreds of central Iowans are now Shakesperienced – our inaugural year exceeded attendance expectations a whopping 66%!)

ANNOUNCING: ACCOLADES FROM THE DES MOINES MUSIC COALITION:  The Iowa Shakespeare Experience was specifically recommended to the Des Moines City Council as a festival which should be continued by members of the Des Moines Music Coalition, in recognition for our expert, meaningful infusion of music into our shows. 

ANNOUNCING: As in 20009, in summer 2010, Iowa Shakespeare Experience and Artistic Director Lorenzo Sandoval, Executive Director Robin Heinemann, will be hosted guests at the lauded Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.   

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience Artistic Director Lorenzo Sandoval and Robin Heinemann were participants in the 2010 Convocation and annual Seminar Series of the Shakespeare Association of America!  (Part of the Shakespeare World Congress.) 

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience proudly announces our non-profit has now been registered on the Iowa Non-Profit Registry of Non-Profit Accountably (housed at the Waterman Iowa Non Profit Resource Center at the University of Iowa) as being specifically trained in -and committing to- the Iowa Principles & Practices for Charitable Nonprofit Excellence (a compendium of Non-profit Best managerial Practices)

ANNOUNCING: A new video on dsm.com, in association with a major glossy magazine story in the 2010 Spring issue, features The Iowa Shakespeare Experience.  Log in and enjoy a sample of Lorenzo’s acting! 

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience is to be featured in a glossy magazine story in The Iowan magazine- watch for the July-August 2010 issue and be sure to pick one up!






ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience and Artistic Director Lorenzo Sandoval was nationally featured on the Library Association of America’s innovative “I Geek” campaign!  The Library sent out a special professional film crew to our rehearsals and also filmed some of Lorenzo’s aesthetic philosophies. To catch a peek of rehearsals in action (and hear Lorenzo’s comments about Shakespeare), check out the film at http://geekthelibrary.org/latest/video.html?page=6#entries  (You likely must cut and paste address into your browser {on the address line} to see the film clip.}

ANNOUNCING: In 2010, Iowa Shakespeare Experience Artistic Director Lorenzo Sandoval was again the featured Theatre judge at the state of Iowa’s massive Speech Association Convocation, held in Ames, Iowa.. 

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience Artistic Director Lorenzo Sandoval, MFA, was featured as Stephens Auditorium Pre-show Guest Artist for Aquilla, America’s traveling national Shakespeare troupe (-of Carnegie Hall and The White House fame!) Lorenzo gave a very well received talk about Shakespeare and the play that was to be presented. 



ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience announces it is joining the prestigious IFEA (the International Festival and Events accreditation Association), helping ensure top notch festival implementation, management and ongoing festival development!

ANNOUNCING: Still more from the national scene: Iowa Shakespeare Experience announces it has joined the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America!




ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience announces it is the recipient of TWO Iowa Arts Council awards- in just one year, twice putting our projects among the top ten artistic projects in the entire state of Iowa!

ANNOUNCING: The Iowa Shakespeare Experience is so very pleased and grateful to announce it is the recipient of a special directed 2010 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines This represents a 50% increase over a similar grant last year provided by the Foundation! 

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience announces it is one of only two first-ever local cultural non-profits to win not just one, but TWO simultaneous Bravo awards! 

And speaking of funding…


The Iowa Shakespeare Experience gratefully announces

that Festival 2010 offers the second

“Jim Collier Season”

of the Shakesperience™ Festival


 – and that also for a second year in a row, we will be featuring

“The Irma Hughes ShakesperiencePlayers”!


Thank you to our very special Festival Friends Jim Collier and Dr. Bruce Hughes,

who make all this possible!



ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience is kicking off our new traveling stage program with a GREAT traveling show premiere exclusively for the spendid new community stage in Colby Park in Windsor Heights!  On July 11, we will perform an exclusive preview of our summer 2010 show called "Shakespeare Shorts!" FREE - the program starts at 6:30 pm.  Additionally, we expect to be announcing additional new traveling stage community outreach programs soon!  Contact us to have us bring Shakespeare to YOUR town!


  •  Attendance OutcomesMainstage exceeded attendance expectations by 66%; total served in 2009-2010 reached approximately 25,000, special services to youth reached nearly 350!
  •  Service reach and tourism development;  At minimum, Mainstage Festival served Iowans from 29 diferent central Iowan towns, ranging from Pella to Atlantic to Oskaloosa to Grinnell, with roughly 30% of the crowd hailing from communities other than Des Moines/West Des Moines.   
  •  Growth in Iowan involvement in the arts: 34% of Mainstage Festival attendees self-described as being brand new to Shakespeare!  
  •  Service to Iowans hungry for Shakespeare:  26% of Mainstage Festival attendees self-described as having Expert Familiarity with Shakespeare- and 40% as having “some” familiarity!

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience founds unique new special events series: “Legends of the Iowa Shakespeare Stage” (Featuring THE most legendary Shakespearean Actors from Des Moines –and from all across Iowa!)  A “Home is Where the Art is” series of Sunday Afternoons With Friends, attendees experience some of the most luxurious private homes in the state –while relishing the richest presentations of Shakespearean work in Iowa!   This series is set to close with a HUGE legend of the national Shakespeare stage- so check back for the latest updates you will NOT want to miss!

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience announces:  We will produce “Double Falsehood”- Shakespeare’s FIRST “new” play discovered in 300 year!  In the Spring of 2010, various world Shakespeare authorities have confirmed that Double Falsehood appears to be a play legitimately in the Shakespearean Canon!  The ISE is already moving on this: we can’t wait to bring this exciting new development to Des Moines!

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience and Shakesperience™ Fest announce a very special Shakesperience™ Fest exclusive:  On family night, 2010 Shakesperience™ Fest will feature an exclusive book reading and autograph session with nationally-published Iowa Author Cynthia Mercati, who will read from her latest children’s book: “Shakespeare and Me”.  (now available at Amazon.com)

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience will be producing a special show of The National Players- the nation’s oldest traveling Shakespeare troupe!  We will be working in association with the Players to provide an exciting series of youth educational workshops both before and after the show, which will arrive in Des Moines in late April. More info to come! 

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience announces the return of our popular monthly radio series “Shakespeare on the Aire”, with the Utopian Theatre on DesMoinesLocalLove.com!



ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience announces exciting new partnership with Metro Arts Alliance to allow us to bring our original youth curriculum featuring proven, measurable outcomes (Midsummer Day Dreams™) to Libraries all across the Metro and outlying suburbs!

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience announces ongoig development of various forms of collaboration with the Des Moines Metro Opera!  We are so excited to be finding many ways to work with this great organization, and are delighted by the opportunities for mutual support. 

ANNOUNCING: The Iowa Shakespeare Experience thanks Des Moines Civic Music Association and Ballet Des Moines for its special support towards Shakesperience 2010!

ANNOUNCING: The Iowa Shakespeare Experience also thanks the Des Moines Symphony for a terrific collaborative approach to the Romeo and Juliet Concert – what a wonderful weekend at the Civic Center!

ANNOUNCING: The Iowa Shakespeare Experience thanks the Downtown Community Alliance and Embassy Suites Hotel for their invaluable support. 



ANNOUNCING A 2010 FESTIVAL EXCLUSIVE:  Family Night will feature an exclusive engagement of nationally-published Iowa Author Cynthia Mercati, who will be reading from her latest children’s book: “Shakespeare and Me”

ANNOUNCING: Iowa Shakespeare Experience announces the 2010 return of Tina Haase Findlay, Des Moines’ own iconic musical treasure, to her inaugural role as the Festival’s Music Director! Headliner for virtually every major area musical Festival from Winefest to the Arts Fest to Jazz In July, five original songs were written for our 2009 shows- you simply won’t want to miss  “Tina unplugged” at Festival 2010! 

ANNOUNCING:  Iowa Shakespeare Experience announces the nightly appearance of special guests Max Wellman and Fred Gazzo, crooners extraordinaire- along with the incomparable Jim Oatts Big Band!  We will swing on stars, indeed!


Already a leader in volunteering to help non-profits grow, Drake University student James Hamilton is also an emerging leader in the world of original artistic graphic design.  A whiz in multiple fields from database management to the world of law and a veteran of work in the banking industry as well as in the peace and justice movement, James has studied a variety of different languages (including American Sign Language) and 3D Computer Modeling before studying art history and Graphic Design at Drake.  He is currently at Drake to wrap up a degree in the latter, where he has consistently made the Dean’s list despite his many community activities.  The Iowa Shakespeare Experience is grateful to be a beneficiary of James’ multi-disciplinary skills, and thanks noted designer Connie Wilson for directing James our way!  



ANNOUNCING: Performances from a select team of crackerjack Iowa Shakespeare Experience Actors were hosted by the Des Moines Symphony in conjunction with the Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theatre Romeo and Juliet performance, held as part of the Symphony’s Masterworks concert’s of Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Prokof'ev and their works of Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet.  

  • As part of this exciting appearance, we were able to offer special discount Symphony tickets to our supporters, a part of a delightful partnership with the Des Moines Symphony!  


ANNOUNCING: Performances from a select team of crackerjack Iowa Shakespeare Experience Actors were hosted by Cityview Newspaper in conjunction with Great Home Show at Veteran’s Auditorium and HyVee Hall.  One of the single largest events in Des Moines annually, this spectacular occasion found our Actors portraying segments from Romeo and Juliet- on Valentine’s Day!