“What light through yonder window breaks?”


1.) Flights of Angels: Chris Hade and Jason Larche Dedication


“…And flights of angels sing thee…”  Hamlet, Act V


ISE youth educational programming is dedicated to the memories of Chris Hade and Jason Larche, two amazing local young giants of theatre and the arts who permanently touched many lives - -despite their own being far too short.   “Flights of angels”, Chris and Jason…



Christopher Jon Hade (---- 2009)

Adapted from the article: “Chris Hade memorial service” Feb 6th, 2009 | By Rachel Fields | Section: News 

Everyone seems to have a story about Chris Hade ’09, and in fact, stories about the way in which Chris touched lives come from points all around the world.  At Grinnell college, this weekend people will have a chance to gather and share their tales. 

To honor Mr. Hade, who passed away Nov 14 after a three-year long battle with cancer, the the Grinnel Chaplain’s Office held in Herrick Chapel.. The service included performances of live music Hade enjoyed—notably a cappella, Broadway showtunes and big band jazz—as well as photo and media displays of his time at Grinnell.

Samantha Worzalla ’07 met Hade in the early days of his first year, on the Grinnell Outdoor Orientation Program (GOOP). They were canoeing and it was raining steadily. When they eventually found the dock, it was falling apart, and the boards were submerged and unstable. Worzalla said that Chris helped everyone else to the trail until the two of them were left with a canoe and some equipment bags. She helped him get the canoe onto his shoulders, then watched in amazement as he teetered and hopped along 100 feet of submerged boards to the trail. 

“I kept asking him if he was alright and needed help,” Worzalla said. “He said, in his genuinely cheerful, positive way, ‘Don’t worry about me! I’m a ninja!’”

When Harry Krejsa ’10, who met Hade while they were both attending Indianola High School, heard Worzalla’s story, he laughed. “He did the same thing when we were backpacking in Utah,” he said. “He would make ninja noises as he kicked scorpions out of the tent. He never took himself too seriously to not act like a ninja.”

Stories like this are everywhere. Two years ago, Amanda Gotera ’09 was frustrated with the administration’s treatment of disability awareness and accessibility on campus. Chris was her SGA senator, so she sent him an e-mail to complain. Within 15 minutes, he had responded with a two-page plan to make the campus more disability accessible.
“I was sold,” she said.

Even among those who barely knew him, there seems to be a consensus that Chris brought a certain light to the Grinnell campus. His smile, his voice, the graceful way he dismounted his bike—it was all filled with an easy, genuine charm for those who knew him. As strange as it seems, his friends said that as his cancer worsened, he got better. 

“His positivity was always astounding,” friend Mairead O’Grady ’10 said. “I’ll never forget when he told me, ‘Cancer is great! They give you your own room on the same floor as your girlfriend when you’re a second-year, no problem at all!’”

Chris Hade lived most of his life in Indianola. He was a 2005 graduate of Indianola High School and was a student of Grinnell College.

Chris was an avid hiker, accomplished musician, and world traveler. He wished to pursue a career in politics and law. As a child, he was a member of the Des Moines Children's Chorus and was a boy tenor and principal actor in the Des Moines Metro Opera. He was a High School Student Body President, was a National Merit Scholar finalist, had been a three-year All-State Honor Choir singer, and won many other academic and musical awards throughout his High School career. At Grinnell College he was a member of the Student Senate, the Grinnell Singers and the G-Tones a cappella group. He also fostered a love of the outdoors and was a leader in the Grinnell Outdoor Orientation Program, guiding incoming students on hiking trips through Wisconsin, Utah and Arkansas

A prominent Des Moines Register article by columnist John Carlson noted from Dec 2008 noted that shortly before his death, Mr. Hade had been was excited about, and had planned to attend, a benefit concert that was scheduled for Saturday night at the Indianola High School auditorium. The column also noted that Dr. Robert Larsen, artistic director of the Des Moines Metro Opera, had commended Chris as being one of the very best combination singer-performers he'd ever worked with

Mr. Hade was diagnosed with sacral chordoma, a rare and inoperable cancer, in the spring of his first year at Grinnell. Shortly after his high school graduation, Mr. Hade fell at a graduation party and injured his tailbone. When his mother noticed how much pain medication he had been taking to deal with the long healing process, she set up an appointment with a radiologist. The scans revealed the cancer that had gone undetected for nearly a year.

Mr. Hade established a treatment regimen at the MD Cancer Center in Houston, then underwent chemotherapy and radiation at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. But by his third year, the cancer had spread from Hade’s tailbone to other parts of his body. Forced to drop out of Grinnell due to his physical condition, Hade spent the last year in Indianola, Iowa, with his family and the “love of his life”, Natti Tipayamongkol ’08.

Mr. Hade died of complications on Friday, Nov 14, 2009 on his way to the hospital. Within hours of receiving the news, the Grinnell campus was overflowing with conversations about him. It was said that he knew no strangers, and he inspired others to reach for more than they had thought was possible in their own lives. In the wake of some deaths, communities are stunned into silence; after Mr. Hade’s, it seemed, Grinnell was moved to praise.


Mr. Jason Douglas Larche (1972-2009)

Mr. Larche was born in Wichita, Kan. Oct. 18, 1972. He died at 36 years of age in Iowa, in 2009.

He was the son of Cheryl McCloskey of Aurora, Ill., and Doug Larche of  Menominee, Mich.  He was an early and lifetime prodigy in the arts. He composed, notated and published his first song, “I Love Jesus” in the Herald House book, “Children: Of Such is the Kingdom”, in the International Year of the Child at age six.

Mr. Larche graduated from Indianola High School, attended Millikin University and Grand View College on Performing Arts scholarships, then graduated with honors from Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. 

Mr. Larche’s life was spent writing, composing, directing, performing, studying and teaching, culminating in recording of 13 of his original songs just one week before his death. He was an author of plays, the composer of musicals, a prolific songwriter and the adapter of classics. His musical Angels in the Snow was performed at the United Nations in New York City, in Eastern Europe and at International Perestroika and Theatre Festivals. At the time of his death, he had written all the music for, sketched a scenography and developed characters for a new musical. He asked his father to continue the project

He got his start at Carousel Theatre of Indianola, directing scores of plays across London and middle America and served as Artistic Director of the International Danish Immigrant Outdoor Museum Theatre, Theatre on the Bay Children’s Theatre and was the co-founder of Bohemian Renaissance Theatre Company. He was best known publicly for his more than 200 performances as an actor and singer, playing Shakespeare, musical theatre, farce and many other genres. His well-known and revered roles read like a Who’s Who’s of great theatre. A tall, strong and physical man, he was known on two continents for his huge and beautiful bass-baritone voice.

He graduated from Indianola High School, attended Millikin University and Grand View College on Performing Arts scholarships, then graduated with honors from Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Upon his return to America, he earned a Master’s Degree in Theatre from Minnesota State University and had finished one year of study toward his Ph.D. in Directing from Wayne State University in Detroit. At the time of his passing, he was Director of Theatre at Eastern Iowa Community College in Muscatine. Earlier in his career, he taught at Central Michigan University, UW-Marinette and Catholic Central High School in Marinette.

Upon his return to America, he earned a master’s in theatre from Minnesota State University and had finished one year of study toward his Ph.D. in directing from Wayne State University in Detroit.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Larche was director of theatre and an instructor of speech and theatre at Muscatine Community College in Muscatine. 

A short tribute to the life and work of Jason Larche can be found at


“I know myself now; and I feel within me. 

A peace above all earthly dignities

A still and quiet conscience.”

Henry VIII


2.) ISE Staff Teaching Credentials –

Harvard Graduate School of Ed.,

Iowa Department of Education

US Department of Education, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 


US Center for Substance Abuse Prevention


  •  Folger Library National Shakespeare Center Certification
  •  Iowa Arts Council Rostered Teaching Artist Certification
  •  State of Iowa licensed Teaching Credentials
  •  State of Iowa accredited College Teaching Certifications and Expertise: 
  •  Bio Sketches
  •  Curriculum Vitae
  •  National Publications, Textbooks authors, Journal articles

3.) ISE Measurable Outcomes 


  •  Asset creation (youth)
  •  Risk reduction percentages (at risk youth)

4.) ISE Educational philosophy

"My salad days, when I was green in judgment." - (Ant and Cleao, Act I, Scene V).


5.) ISE Youth Development/Prevention philosophy/Assesment

“Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie”


OVERVIEW: The ISE utilizes staff nationally certified in a wide variety of prevention and public health strategies related to youth development.  Our staff are typically certified at the “Trainer of Trainers” level and have provided consultation on multiple aspects of youth development internationally.  


The ISE is particularly expert in the area of prevention and early intervention and in these areas, relies on the following theories of youth prevention: 


Asset-building model (As exemplified by the Search Institute of Minneapolis, MN)

Pro-Social bonding models (As exemplified by the Communities That Care model)


Regarding assessment of effectiveness and outcomes related to the strategies above, the ISE is trained or otherwise certified to use all assessment tools typically associated with these strategic models, and is particularly expert in Logic Model applications related to these models.


Additionally, among other assessment tools, the ISE is also specially trained in the use of the Wikert Youth PQA Assesement tool and program.  


Read about our areas of expertise in more detail, below.




Designed, supervised and implemented by certified, licensed teachers who consult in the areas below on a national scale, the ISE’s after-school programs are like few others available in the Metro.  These programs are explicitly researched based, and utilize clearly articulated philosophies of both youth development and education/learning theory, along with explicit, research validated tools which measure validated markers of change.


Due to the state of the art in educational assessment and youth development assessment, although implementing strategies related to each discipline simultaneously, the ISE measures fidelity to best practice strategies separately.  


See separate pages for ISE approached to educational teaching and learning strategies.  This section provides information on ISE approaches to positive youth development theory and practice.  


SHAKESPEARE SPECIFIC PROGRAMMING: Note that while utilizing principles of both educational learning theory and youth development theory in our work with young people, the ISE simultaneously uses the principles and strategies of the National Folger Shakespeare Library in working with explicitly Shakespearean subject matter.  Both lead ISE teaching staff have been formally certified to teach Shakespearean subject matter by the National Folger Shakespeare Library of Washington, DC.  




What is youth development?


While certainly interrelated, youth development programming is broader in scope than educational programming.  While educational programming fosters learning and learning outcomes, youth development programming fosters healthy youth who can learn as well as possible.  Youth development programming fosters key public health outcomes such as prevention and early intervention in the following public health areas: youth drug and alcohol use, youth gang involvement, youth suicide, teen pregnancy, and school drop out.   


The ISE utilizes three main approaches to youth development:


1.) Asset-building approached, as exemplified by the Search Institute


2. ) Pro-social bonding approaches, as exemplified by the Communities that Care model and the work of J. David Hawkins and Richard Catalano.


3. )Alcohol-Drug specific prevention theories and strategies, as manifested by the Reconnecting Youth In Iowa program of Iowa State University (an offshoot of Reconnecting Youth of the University of Washington), and programming from the Prevention Research Institute of Kentucky.  





To measure program outcomes, practice and fidelity to best practices, the ISE utilizes the following tools:


  •  Reconnecting Youth In Iowa (RYII) Tool (Heinemann, Iowa State University 2000-2005): a tool which measures the presence of 3 essential elements of youth pro-social bonding, the increase of asset based on dose, and various types of fidelity related to the Reconnecting Youth program and to the programs of the Prevention Research Institute.  




PROGRAM PRACTICE AND FIDELITY II: To ensure quality is measured and that program fidelity is consistent with best practices, the ISE uses program process assessment tools (fidelity tools) based on the tools validated by the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality.  These tools are based in positive youth development research, and the desire to create a safe, supportive, and productive environment for youth. Per the Weikart Center website, this approach is “premised on the belief that it is a youth worker’s job to set up an environment for youth in which needs are met and learning is encouraged—to create a space in which youth can thrive.” 

Elements which describe the WeiKart assessment approach are:

  •  Voice & ChoiceProviding young people with authentic, meaningful choices is a hallmark of truly engaging environments. 
  •  Planning and ReflectionProviding young people with a planning and reflection process
  •  Cooperative Learning Fostering youth’s interaction in groups—both by creating a cooperative learning environment and also leadership opportunities.
  •  Active Learning –  Youth actively explore materials and Idea. 


ISE programs use several techniques and strategies in implementing these approaches, among them:


For reflective learning:

  •  Transactional Analysis
  •  Belief-Antecedent Analysis
  •  Reframing (See Heinemann 1999-1007 publications


Quality Control Tools and Assessment:  About the Weikart Center Program Quality tools:


The Youth Program Quality Intervention is a research-validated process for improving program quality. In a randomized control trial, researchers found that staff in afterschool programs exposed to the intervention were more likely to 1) engage in continuous improvement practices and 2) deliver high quality instruction to youth than those in non-intervention programs. 

iii This learning approach is the basis for both the Youth Program Quality Assessment, and a set of ten Youth Worker Methods training workshops. 


The Youth PQA is a research-validated instrument designed to assess point of service quality in out-of-school time programs. It is both an evaluation and a learning tool: robust enough for research and high stakes accountability, and user-friendly enough for program self-assessment. For validation information see Smith, C., & Hohmann, C. (2005). Full findings from the Youth PQA Validation Study. Ypsilanti: High/Scope Press. 


Content of the Youth PQA Tool:


The Weikart Youth PQA tool measures the degree to which the following elements are present in youth after-school programming, and allows staff to engage in a continual feedback loop towards specific, measurable self-improvement in mastery of teaching strategies:



I. Safe Environment

V. Youth-Centered Policies and Practices

A. Psychological and emotional safety are promoted. A

  •  Staff qualifications support a positive youth development  focus.
  •  The physical environment is safe and healthy for youth. B. Offerings tap youth content interests to build multiple skills
  •  Appropriate emergency procedures and supplies are present.
  •  Youth have influence on setting and activities in the organization.
  •  Rooms and furniture accommodate activities. 
  •  Youth have influence on structure and policy in theorganization.
  •  Healthy food and drinks are provided.


II. Supportive Environment: High Expectations for Youth and Staff

  •  Staff provides a welcoming atmosphere.
  •  Organization promotes staff development.
  •  Session flow is planned, presented, and paced for youth. 
  •  Organization promotes supportive social norms.
  •  Activities support active engagement.
  •  Organization promotes high expectations for youth.
  •  Staff support youth to build new skills.
  •  Organization is committed to ongoing programimprovement.
  •  Staff support youth with encouragement.
  •  Staff use youth-centered approaches to reframe conflict.

III. Interaction/Access

  •  Youth have opportunities to develop a sense of belonging.
  •  Staff availability and longevity support youth-staff relationships.
  •  Youth have opportunities to participate in small groups.
  •  Schedules are in effect.
  •  Youth have opportunities to act as group facilitators and mentors. 
  •  Barriers to participation are addressed.
  •  Youth have opportunities for adult-youth partnership.
  •  Organization communicates with families, schools, and organizations.

IV. Engagement

  •  Youth have opportunities to set goals and make plans.
  •  Youth have opportunities to make choices based on
  •  interests.
  •  Youth have opportunities to reflect.


Narrative Overview of the Wiekart YPQA (Quotations are from the YPQA website):


Executive Summary: Building an effective after-school program:


The YPQA provides a “framework for understanding and improving quality. From an empirical perspective, assessments using the YPQA thus far follow a distinct pattern – most programs score highest in safety and then progressively lower as you move up the levels of the service ladder through support, interaction and engagement.”


Key finding: “Programs that score high in engagement and interaction appear most able to influence positive youth outcomes. 


Narrative: (Excerpted from:  Getting to Engagement – building an effective after school program, by Tom Akiva, 5/1/2007, published by High/Scope Educational Research Foundation)


“When it comes to designing an after-school program where young people feel safe and want to show up, and where genuine learning occurs, point-of-service (POS) quality matters most.


What is POS as applied to after school programming? Simply put, it is where youth, adults, and resources come together.

It’s the stuff you measure with the Youth Program Quality Assessment (PQA), Form A (e.g., environment, policies and practices, interaction, and engagement). 


The ISE notes that good POS programming “has a little to do with the physical setting and organizational

structures, and a lot to do with the interaction of adults and youth—with each other and with program resources. When POS quality becomes the unifying focus for program leaders, it informs everything: hiring; staff roles, orientation, and development; what to offer; when to offer it; and how to build continuous program improvement.



Maslow and Program Quality

Research suggests that POS quality tends to follow a pyramid shape.1 The pyramid suggests two things. First, most youth programs tend to score high marks for safety and achieve progressively lower scores as they move up the pyramid. Few programs score well in Engagement and Interaction.


Second, engagement and interaction are the key indicators of high quality: the youth programs with high engagement and interaction scores are among the highest rated by youth


For those … familiar with psychological studies, this pyramid may look familiar. It is, in fact, quite similar to Maslow’s hierarchy

of needs.2 In Maslow’s theory, a person only focuses on meeting higher needs when basic needs like safety have already been

met. The program quality pyramid works just like Maslow’s; the basic need for a safe environment must be met for learning or positive experience to occur — you can’t learn if you don’t feel safe — but interaction and engagementare the keys to learning and participation.



Participatory Leadership

It doesn’t quite work to mandate engagement. You can no more force staff to engage than you can force engagement from youth. You can’t force your staff to embrace a particular youth development philosophy, no matter how great you think it is. Instead, you need to use participatory leadership techniques to build conditions for your program staff to move in that direction.

Management guru Jim Collins calls this concept legislative leadership — an alternative to authoritative or executive leadership.

He states, “Legislative leadership relies more upon persuasion, political currency, and shared interests to create the conditions fo important decision-making with staff, providing clear goals, support, and avenues for feedback, promoting collaboration — all these things allow staff to engage and do their jobs better. Sound like good youth development? The basic tenets of good practices for working with youth are parallel to those of working with staff.



Proponents in the business sector suggest that participatory leadership is the way

organizations must survive in an accelerated world. In The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman

argues that the top-down hierarchal model is not optimal and that the secret to

success in the 21st century is the idea of horizontal value creation.4 Friedman argues

that the new world brought about by technology, geopolitical changes, and globalization,

“naturally fostered and demanded new business practices, which were less about command

and control and more about connecting and collaborating horizontally.”


Your Program Schedule

Though there are some differences, the basic structural elements are the same for younger and older youth programs/ Opportunities to steer the program content and activities are key for older youth, but not as important for those who are younger. As young people enter adolescence and acquire greater abstract and logical thinking skills, they thrive when offered real, substantial opportunities to make decisions that matter. The highest-quality programs for older youth use the program itself as an opportunity for youth to make meaningful decisions.


Special attention to greeting time and other transition times is important for younger youth, but not as critical for older ones.

Successful after-school programs provide a structure that allows youth to decide how they spend their time. Youth may exercise choice, for example, by signing up for workshops and deciding which activities to participate in.

High-quality programs also build choice into activities and program routine. Some offer “choice time,” others offer “clubs”

that youth can sign up for or select from. Whether engaged in structured time, informal time, or school support time, youth

in high-quality programs get to make decisions about how they spend their time as a regular part of the routine. 


Continuous Program Improvement


Results-based accountability is good for everyone (despite the nail-biting and guttightening the terminology may evoke).

Helping staff set clear, measurable goals for improvement and then acknowledging successes helps make job roles clear and

staff engagement and success more likely. It’s important to distinguish results-based accountability from compliance-based accountability. You don’t want to demand compliance with your vision — you want to help staff clearly see their role and path

for improvement. A self-assessment methodology is best for avoiding defensiveness and for empowering your staff to be effective. 8 We have found that self-assessment,combined with outside assessment, can provide the strongest assessment-based improvement model.

Getting to Engagement

Building an engaging youth program is not easy, but it is possible. It starts with a focus on the point of service. It requires

vision, participatory leadership, and strong, qualified staff. Add in a healthy dose of youth voice and you’re on your way!


End Notes

1 For more information about the Youth PQA and the pyramid of program quality, visit and click on the link for

Youth Program Quality Assessment.







The Effects of Theatre Education


The use of the arts in youth education is correlated to many positive effects, but many studies are unclear about cause and effect or vague on exactly how to replicate positive effects –especially in the real world.  There are no worries about that with Iowa Shakespeare!  


Because it is important to know: Not just any youth program can reliably effect outcomes with youth – much less measurable outcomes.


However, The ISE has national experts on staff who among the national leaders in the field regarding exactly how to design and implement programming that will produce these types of outcomes with drugs, gangs, school drop out, suicide, teen violence.  As noted above, the ISE relies upon key research-based strategies such as those articulated by the work of Institute for Social and Behavioral Research at Iowa State University, the research of Hawkins and Catalano (Communities That Care) the work of the Search Institute of Minneapolis, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, and the work of the Prevention Research Institute of Lexington, Kentucky.  More information gladly provided upon request.  

Meanwhile Find below facts and figures about the positive effects of theatre education, and read quotes from students to learn about what it means to them to have theatre in their lives!



(see source list below) 

- Students involved in drama performance coursework or experience outscored non-arts students on the 2005 SAT by an average of 65 points in the verbal component and 34 points in the math component(1)?

- Drama activities improve reading comprehension, and both verbal and non-verbal communication skills?

- Drama helps to improve school attendance and reduce high school dropout rates(2)?

- A 2005 Harris Poll revealed that 93% of the public believes that arts, including theatre, are vital to a well-rounded education (3)?

- Drama can improve skills and academic performance in children and youth with learning disabilities?

Numerous studies have demonstrated a correlation between drama involvement and academic achievement. In addition to having higher standardized test scores than their peers who do not experience the arts, student who participate in drama often experience improved reading comprehension, maintain better attendance records, and stay generally more engaged in school than their non-arts counterparts. Schools with arts-integrated programs, even in low-income areas, report high academic achievement.

The College Entrance Examination Board reported student scores from 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005 using data from the Student Description Questionnaire indicating student involvement in various activities, including the arts. As compared to their peers with no arts coursework or involvement:

Students involved in drama performance scored an average of 65.5 points higher on the verbal component and 35.5 points higher in the math component of the SAT

Students who took courses in drama study or appreciation scored, on average, 55 points higher on verbal and 26 points higher on math than their non-arts classmates.

In 2005, students involved in drama performance outscored the national average SAT score by 35 points on the verbal portion and 24 points on the math section. 

Research indicates that involvement in the arts increases student engagement and encourages consistent attendance, and that drop-out rates correlate with student levels of involvement in the arts .

- Students considered to be at high risk for dropping out of high school cite drama and other arts classes as their motivations for staying in school.

- Students who participate in the arts are 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance than those who do not.

From learning to read to the in-depth study of Shakespearean literature, drama can play a significant role in the continual development of students’ reading comprehension skills. Studies indicate that not only do the performance of a story and a number of other drama activities in the classroom contribute to a student’s understanding of the work performed, but these experiences also help them to develop a better understanding of other works and of language and expression in general.  The results below were gleaned from studies where educators and students alike noticed a difference when drama played a part in their classrooms,

- A series of studies on the arts and education revealed a consistent causal link between performing texts in the classroom and the improvement of a variety of verbal skills, including especially significant increases in story recall and understanding of written material.

- Performance of Shakespeare texts helps to improve students’ understanding of other complex texts including science and math material .

- Drama can improve reading skills and comprehension better than other activities, including discussion .

In addition to building social and communication skills overall, involvement in drama courses and performance has been shown to improve students’ self-esteem as well as their confidence in their academic abilities.

- High school students who are highly involved in drama demonstrate an elevated self-concept over those who are not involved .

- Playwriting original works and dramatic presentation of existing works can help to build the self-esteem and communication skills of high school students.

- The act of performing can help students and youth recognize their potential for success and improve their confidence .

Since the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, there has been a national focus on closing the “achievement gap” between students of varying abilities, socioeconomic status, and geographies among other factors that may directly or indirectly affect a student’s academic success.  The arts, including drama, address this issue by catering to different styles of learning, and engaging students who might not otherwise take significant interest in academics.  Additionally, research indicates that drama courses and performance have a particularly positive effect on at-risk youth and students with learning disabilities.

- A study published in Champions of Change (1999) cites theatre arts, including performance, classes, and participation in a drama club, as a source for “gains in reading proficiency, gains in self-concept and motivation, and higher levels of empathy and tolerance towards others” among youth of low socio-economic status .

- Drama activities can improve and help to maintain social and language skills of students with learning disabilities and remedial readers .

- Improvisational drama contributes to improved reading achievement and attitude in disadvantaged students .

What does the average American think of drama?  The statistics from the studies below show that most of the public feels the performing arts play a significant role in our culture and communities and are important to America’s youth. 

In 2002, the Performing Arts Research Coalition (PARC) conducted surveys in 10 major metropolitan areas regarding the role of Performing Arts in their lives and communities . They discovered that:

  1. At least 90 percent of respondents from each metropolitan area agreed or strongly agreed that the performing arts contribute to the education and development of children. 
  2. More than 60 percent of respondents in each location who had children aged 13 and older strongly agreed that the performing arts contribute to the education and development of children. 
  3. On average, just over half of respondents had attended a live theatre performance in the past year.  According the to surveys in all 10 cities, live theatre is the most commonly attended type of performance. 

According to a May 2005 Harris Poll :

- 93 percent of Americans believe that the arts are essential to a complete education
- 79 percent feel that the arts should be a priority in education reform 
- 79 percent consider the issues facing arts education to be significant enough to merit their personally taking action.


Please visit the following sites and sources for additional information and complete studies:

(1) Data for these reports were gathered by the Student Descriptive Questionnaire, a self-reported component of the SAT that gathers information about students' academic preparation, and reported by the College Entrance Examination Board. A table of average scores for arts involved students can be found at:

(2) N. Barry, J. Taylor, and Kwalls, “The Role of the Fine and Performing Arts in High School Dropout Prevention,” Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development, ed. Richard Deasy (Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership, 2002) 74-75.

(3) Sandra S. Ruppert and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement (Washington, DC: National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the Arts Education Partnership, 2006) 5.

Critical Links and Critical Evidence are among publications of the Arts Education Partnership and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. Please visit their websites for more information and to purchase publications. 

James S. Catterall, Richard Chapleau, and John Iwanaga, “Involvement in the Arts and Human Development: General Involvement and Intensive Involvement in Music and Theater Arts,” Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning, ed. Edward B. Fiske (Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, 1999) 1-18.

Edward B. Fiske, ed., Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning (Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, 1999) 1-18.

The Reviewing Education and the Arts Project [REAP] executive summary of The Arts and Academic Achievement: What the Evidence Shows can be found on the web at

Steve Seidel, “Stand and Unfold Yourself": A Monograph of the Shakespeare & Company Research Study (Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, 1999) 79-90.

L. Carlton and R.H. Moore, “The Effects of Self-Directive Dramatization on Reading Achievement and Self-Concept of Culturally Disadvantaged Children,” The Reading Teacher 6 (1966): 125-30.

A.D. Pellegrini and L. Galda, “The Effects of Thematic-Fantasy Play Training on the Development of Children’s Story Comprehension,” American Educational Research Journal 19 (1982): 443-52.

James S. Catterall, Richard Chapleau, and John Iwanaga, “Involvement in the Arts and Human Development: General Involvement and Intensive Involvement in Music and Theater Arts,” Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning, ed. Edward B. Fiske (Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, 1999) 1-18.

Jeanette Horn, “An Exploration into the Writing of Original Scripts by Inner-City High School Drama Students,” Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development, ed. Richard Deasy (Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership, 2002) 28-29.

Larry Kassab, “A Poetic/Dramatic Approach to Facilitate Oral Communication,” Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development, ed. Richard Deasy (Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership, 2002) 30-31.

John Roy Kennedy, “The Effects of Musical Performance, Rational Emotive Therapy and Vicarious Experience on the Self-Efficacy and Self-Esteem of Juvenile Delinquents and Disadvantaged Children,” Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development, ed. Richard Deasy (Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership, 2002) 119-120.

Rey E. de la Cruz, “The Effects of Creative Drama on the Social and Oral Language Skills of Children with Learning Disabilities,” Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development, ed. Richard Deasy (Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership, 2002) 20-21.

Sherry DuPont, “The Effectiveness of Creative Drama as an Instructional Strategy to Enhance the Reading Comprehension Skills of Fifth-Grade Remedial Readers,” Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development, ed. Richard Deasy (Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership, 2002) 22-23.

 A. Gourgey, J. Bosseau, and J. Delgado, “The Impact of an Improvisational Dramatics Program on Student Attitudes and Achievement,” Children’s Theatre Review 34 (1985): 9-14.

Performing Arts Research Coalition
The Value of Performing Arts in Five Communities: A Comparison of 2002 Household Survey Data, and The Value of Performing Arts in Five Communities 2: A comparison of 2002 Household Survey Data 2 18 August 2007
Sandra S. Ruppert and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement (Washington, DC: National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the Arts Education Partnership, 2006)





6.) ISE Curriculum and Assessement: 

6.) ISE Curriculum: SAMPLES



Folger Library Currivulum:

The two lead ISE staff Educators are both formally certified by the Folger National Shakespeare Library in working with Shakespeare materials during educational programming with youth.  The following describes some of the wealth of curricula resources available to us through the Folger Library. 

Folger Education Partners with PBS on “King Lear” from Mr. Shakespeare’s Blog

This from the Folger in partnership with PBS:

The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, partners with PBS this month to provide educational resources on teaching Shakespeare in the 21st century. Experts from Folger Education are sharing innovative ways to incorporate Shakespeare’s King Lear, and other literary works, into history, social studies, English, and language art through:

  •  contributing to PBS’s Media Infusion, an online forum for sharing ideas on using multimedia resources in the classroom; 
  •  moderating a webinar in the PBS Teachers LIVE! Series; 
  •  providing online lesson plans and demonstrations for using digital media and the web. 

Gail Kern Paster, director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, will be a special guest contributor on PBS’s Engage blog and answer “5 Good Questions” on the play. PBS airs the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of King Lear, with Sir Ian McKellen in the title role, later this month.
“We believe that Shakespeare is for everyone, and new technologies such as remixes, social media and other tools for creative interpretation allow students to discover and rediscover Shakespeare in ways that are timeless and relevant. We are excited to partner with PBS to bring teachers new ideas that they can immediately apply in their classrooms,” said Robert Young, head of Folger Education. 

A panel of Folger Education experts, drawn from schools across the country, will present and demonstrate methods for teaching Shakespeare using digital media during a webinar on March 18. All of the presenters are alumni of the Folger’s nationally-known Teaching Shakespeare Institute, and include Robert Young, head of Folger Education; Michael LoMonico, Senior Consultant on National Education for Folger Shakespeare Library and a lecturer at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y;  Christopher Shamburg, Associate Professor of Educational Technology for New Jersey City University in Jersey City, N.J.; Amy Ulen of Tumwater High School in Tumwater W.A. and founder of; Mary Ellen Dakin of Revere High School in Revere, M.A. and Josh Cabat, an English teacher at Roslyn High School in Roslyn, N.Y. 

In addition to presenting in the PBS Teachers LIVE! Webinar, Michael LoMonico is a guest expert for PBS’s Media Infusion. In “Mashups, Remixes, and Web 2.0: Playing Fast and Loose with Shakespeare,” LoMonico suggests practical strategies on how to use multimedia resources to approach King Lear in the classroom. 

“Today, advances in technology have given Shakespeare teachers excellent tools to help students explore the texts more closely,” LoMonico explains.” These Web 2.0 tools empower students and give them real-world tasks that they can post for the whole world to see.”

To learn more about PBS’s Media Infusion, please visit  

To read Gail Kern Paster’s response to “5 Good Questions” please visit on April 2.  

Learn more about Folger Education’s partnership with PBS and its resources for teachers at  

Posted at 10:15 AM in Shakespeare_in_Education | Permalink | Comments (2) 


The following great ISE curriculum is significantly indebted to the work of the fine folks at 2010 Make Mine A Shakesperience!
Hosted by (Edublogs Campus is used by leading institutions around the World to provide blogs for teachers, students, researchers and administrators.

Refer also to the various publications of R. Heinemann, Iowa State University, 2009-2005.  


Teaching Theatre for Life Skills:


The ISE maintains strong professional ties with all the latest research and information related to teaching the theatrical arts – and also related to using the arts as a vehicle to achieve enhanced public health outcomes related to the prevention of the following social ills:

School Drop out, Youth Drug/Alcohol use, youth gang involvement, teen pregnancy.

In the youth development field, the above issues are often broadly discussed under the rubric of “life skills” – and the ISE staff are nationally certified in many areas related to using arts and other strategies to help youth gain positive life skills which positively affect youth decision making in these critical areas.

ISE certification and expertise in these areas is at the national level- including at the “Trainer of Trainer” level for such agencies as the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the US Department of Education.  ISE staff have additional subspecialty certifications in extremely specific elements of this work, including certifications by such agencies as the Iowa Department of Public Health and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.  ISE staff nationally consult for agencies like Boys and Girls Clubs of America, various state public health and education divisions across America,  and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. 

Research proves that theatre is a medium for teaching many important life skills- from teamwork to textual and literacy interpretation.  

Research also proves that theatre can be structured to become a powerful public health prevention tool, not only provide key development assets, but also providing essential elements of pro-social bonding, particularly for at-risk populations.  (See the Hawkins-Catelano University of Washington/Communities That Care Prevention Model). And theatre is one of the all-time great social “levelers”.  

Like sports, the arts are a medium in which prejudice or one’s past has a much lessened power – the arts reward talent in ways which typically have much less room to be affected by bias.  And, Shakespeare in particular offers many unique benefits- performed in all cultures of the world, Shakespeare can serve as a bridge across cultures while it focuses on enduring human truths common to us all.  

Moreover, youth who emerge as “Shakespearean actors” see themselves- and are seen by their communities – in a whole new light.

The ISE supports all of the above reasons for teaching Shakespeare- and indeed, actively involves itself in research-validated methodologies for creating measurable development asset growth. 

However, an additional key goal of ISE Shakespeare Curriculum is the illumination of issues of theatrical choice, and the relationship of choice not only to theatre, but to human existence itself.  Plays are porous- they change in terms of how they are staged and how they are experienced- and in doing so, they can teach us much about how we stage and experience our own lives.  Indeed, the “perceptual screens” we use to filter and process our lives are porous in the same way that plays are. 

Thus, the ISE believes that the concept of theatrical choice – in all of its numerous incarnations- can have significant meaning in the lives of students of all ages, because that concept is at the heart of life-skills such as “Reframing” (a technique which involves teaching people in various difficult situations to “see more” of what is there- thereby enabling people to change the way they experience a situation – even if they can do nothing to change the situation itself.)  This work is strongly related to the seminal work of Albert Ellis who was inspired by many of the teachings of Asian, Greek, Roman and modern philosophers.  Albert Ellis’s work is explored and further developed by multiple practitioners today, and often goes by the name of “ABC” therapy.




From “Make Mine a Shakesperience”, here is a cogent discussion of choice that directors and Actors face in portrary the famous Banquet scene of MacBeth: 

Scene performances involve a great deal of preparation and planning; especially when the scene is as complex and pivotal as 3.4. Directors and actors alike must sit down long before rehearsal even begins to address some of the delightfully open ended issues present in the scene, such as:

-How should Macbeth’s discussion with the murderer be staged? If it does take place at the feast, how should the lords and Lady Macbeth react to that side conversation?
-How should Banquo’s ghost be portrayed? Who sees it? How will these decisions affect the mood of the performance and the emotions or sympathies of the audience?
-How should Lady Macbeth/the lords react to Macbeth’s fit? What will the audience conclude from these reactions?



1. Why do you think the witches chose Macbeth and Duncan to tell them their futures?

2. Why couldn’t Macbeth kill Banquo and his son (personally) even though he’s so eager for them to die?

3. Being a wise man, does Duncan ever suspect Macbeth’s treachery?

4. When lady Macbeth says she can’t kill Duncan because he looks like her father do you think she is being honest or not? Why?

——additional thoughts: Why does the line exist at all? What are we to gather about the character of Lady Macbeth from this seemingly simple utterance? How would your answer for this question shape your interpretation of LM as a director/performer?




Once a company comes to an agreement on these important questions, work can then begin on bringing their particular vision of the banquet and its participants to life through blocking, staging of set elements and acting choices. 

“Make mine a Shakesperience” suggests the following fun ways to prepare to answer these questions: 

A. Watch the three video clips of 3.4 paying close attention to how the director of each interpretation deals with the aforementioned issues.
B. How did the directors use camera angles, close-ups and other techniques to influence their viewing audience? How would  YOU like to explore staging the scene differently?

Macbeth 3.4 Clips
-version 1.0 (Roman Polanski) <>
-version 2.0 (Trevor Nunn) <>
-version 3.0 (Animated Shakespeare, 4:50-6:56)



60 Second Shakespeare!

Often found as a component of various Shakespeare Festivals, the SSS approach to Shakespeare is also a beloved teaching tool. Involving the use of improv, pantomime, in-jokes, and manic fast “hamming it up” activity in combination with short “Twitter” type text, any number of different Shakespeare scenes can be done as SSS – in fact, so can entire plays!  This is an extremely fun, “inside joke” way to approach the beloved Bard!

In the classroom or workshop, 60 second Shakespeare assignments can be made to either individuals or pairs. However, when in pairs, both members need to be active at an equal level.

An especially fun way to do SSS is similar to charades- have a pool of famous scenes, and have groups vie to tell the story quickly- in some cases, you may wish to NOT allow certain famous cheats (like Lady Mc.Beth wringing her hands).  

One way to start approaching SSS is through Edit-o-rama: otherwise known as “Where’s the Beef”

Take key scenes from text, and edit the scene to half its size. As the blog “Make Mine a Shakesperience” notes: “One way directors, educators and other keepers of the Bardic flame streamline these sometimes overwhelming Shakesperiences is through selective editing. As you have doubtless discovered while reading these plays, Shakespeare’s wonderfully dense language can sometimes obscure a character’s feelings or action. In these cases, some choose to  shorten the work or quicken its pace through editing so as to get to the very core of a story or scene with a minimum of fuss”.

In this assignment, students should attempt to ruthlessly edit passages to half their size, while retaining the “meat”. 

Here are samples of what some students on “Make Mine a Shakesperience” have done with text from MacBeth:

60 Second Shakespeare Samplees: MacBethAct 1.5-7 

Asks “Make Mine a Shakesperience”: “How often have you found yourself in serious need of some Shakespeare but depressingly short on time? Here are bite sized bits of the Bard courtesy of Keystone Montessori, ready to sustain a play hungry populace until the full text can be given due consideration. 

Sample student SSS Macbeth:

Act 1. 5. Inverness. Macbeth’s Castle
Enter Lady Macbeth, reading a letter
Macbeth (by letter): Dear Honey, awesome stuff happened! Some witches said I’m gonna be king and I’ve been made the thane of Cawdor; so let’s kill the king!
Lady Macbeth: You don’t have the evilness to do this!
Enter Servant
Servant: The king’s coming.
Lady McB: That’s crazy.
Servant: Nuh-uh, he sent a guy ahead.
Lady McB: Spirits give me strength and make me more like a man for this evil deed I’ll do tonight! Don’t let heaven stop me! Macbeth will be great!
Enter Macbeth
Macbeth: Duncan’s coming and will leave tomorrow.
Lady McB: He’ll never leave. You have to not look so guilty. I’ll handle the rest.

Act 1.6 Before Macbeth’s Castle
Enter Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Banquo, Lennox, Macduff, Ross, Angus and Attendents
Duncan: Nice castle.
Banquo: I agree.
Enter Lady Macbeth
Duncan: Here comes our hostess! Sorry for the inconvenience.
Lady McB: No trouble at all; you honor us.
Duncan: Where’s Macbeth? He go here fast.
Lady McB: Glad to have you here.
Duncan: Take me to Macbeth. He’s awesome.

Act 1.7. Macbeth’s Castle
Enter Macbeth
Macbeth: I’m not certain I wanna kill Duncan.
Enter Lady Macbeth
Lady McB: Have you punked out?
Macbeth: No! Doing it is unmanly though.
Lady McB: Not doing what you said you would is unmanly. If I was breast feeding a baby, I’d pluck my breast out of his mouth and smash his brains out if I said I would.
Macbeth: What if we fail?
Lady McB: We won’t! I’ll get his servants drunk and then we’ll kill Duncan.
Macbeth: I hope you don’t have daughters because they won’t be anything feminine. Won’t people think the servants did it?
Lady McB: Duh!
Macbeth: OK, let’s do it! Let’s go act like we don’t wanna kill him.

Act 1.5. Inverness. Macbeth’s Castle
Enter Lady Macbeth, reading a letter
Lady Macbeth (reading): ‘…these weird sisters saluted me, and referred
me to the coming time, with ‘Hail, king that shall be!’
Enter Macbeth
Macbeth: Duncan comes tonight.
Lady M: And when goes hence?
M: Tomorrow as he purposes.
Lady M: O, never
Shall sun that morrow see!
…bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under’t.

Act 1.6. Before Macbeth’s Castle

Enter Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Banquo, Lennox, Macduff, Ross, Angus and Attendents
Duncan: This castle has a pleasant seat.

Act 1.7. Macbeth’s Castle
Enter Macbeth
M: If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here…
He’s (Duncan) here in double trust;
First, as I am his his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself.
Enter Lady Macbeth
Lady M: What beast was’t, then,
That made you break this enterprise to me?
…you were a man… and you would
Be much more than a man.
When Duncan is asleep,
What cannot you and I perform upon the unguarded Duncan?
What not put upon
His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quell?
M: Will it not be received,
When we have mark’d with blood those sleepy two
Of his own chamber and used their very daggers,
That they have done’t?





-A little bit of a modernized Pyramus and Thisby for younger audiences:

MacB the Rapper:  Hip Hop meets Hip Bard
(OF COURSE there’s more than one)
-”Take the Crown” <

-”Sound and Fury” <>

For the more scholarly among us:

-Says “Make Mine a Shakesperience”: “Premier Shakespearean scholar Marjorie Garber argues for the Bard as the father of modern culture and chats about how contemporary critics use the character of  Lady Macbeth “cut down” modern female politicians…”Shakespeare makes modern culture”


Fun Shakespeare Lesson Plans: Webhunt Questions for Shakespeare Online

Article by Trent Lorcher (33,424 ptspastedGraphic.pdf )
Edited & published by Bookworm (371 pts
pastedGraphic_1.pdf) on Apr 2, 2009 

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There are numerous Shakespeare websites. Add these web research questions to your fun Shakespeare lesson plans and brag to your friends that your students actually know Shakespeare was not born in 1986.

MORE Fun Shakespeare Lesson Plans to the Rescue

The ISE is indebted to the teachers who created many terrific lesson plans which either have gone before us, or to which we have added our own special touches while building on their terrific work.  Read more:

Here is a sample of some of the wit and innovation of one of our terrific fellow Shakespeare teacher colleagues found at the address above. The sample provides hints of the way in which the ISE approaches many of the challenges of contemporary teaching.

“ The interview was going badly. Mr. Nohire at Bootlick high refused to smile, not even when I told him about the time I let students throw plastic Easter Eggs at me every time I pronounced Machiavelli. I had nothing to lose. I stood up and removed the fun Shakespeare lesson plans I had stored inside my pants, waved them in his face and shouted, "Listen here Mr. Nohire. I have in my hands the (all time best list ever )

of fun Shakespeare lesson plans. My favorite includes web research questions for the William Shakespeare of William Shakespeare websites, and I won't tell you the name of the William Shakespeare of William Shakespeare websites unless you hire me." 

Mr. Nohire never found out about my Shakespeare Online lesson plans.”

Read more:




7.) ISE Educational Evaluation 

8.) Educational Programming FAQs


A.) Your “Mid-Summer Day Dreams”™ youth programs are impressive! What do you mean when you explain they are “outcome-oriented”?

Under our new reorganization as the ISE, our popular “Mid-Summer Day Dreams”™ youth programs - featuring original curriculum we developed and field tested for years- are now able to be implemented using national best-practice “Logic Model” methods which ensure both optimal and measurable outcomes.

Our staff are nationally-published experts in creating optimal outcomes for youth using arts-based strategies. They are certified in multiple areas of education- from multi-cultural efforts to working with gifted and talented youth - - to working with the most vulnerable, high-risk youth populations. Our methodology allows us to measure our youth program outcomes using statistically measurable change markers in various risk characteristics, such as risk of school drop-out, drug/alcohol/gang involvement, teen suicide and teen pregnancy.

We have a full set of professional evaluation criteria for youth and artistic programming, and many other professional tools that we routinely use. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information, and watch for much more as we develop this website- and further develop much more enhanced versions of our programs.

B.) The Iowa Shakespeare Experience “Shakeper’ese!” (Shakespeare in Spanish) and other “English as a Second Language Shakespeare and multi-cultural programs are amazing. Tell me more!

Yes, we are frequently asked about this very unique programming- programming that we are uniquely qualified to create! This program garners us statewide, regional and even national notice among a select few artists around the country doing this type of work. Watch for further information on this website- but for now, suffice it to say that we don’t just offer “color-blind” casting or merely translate Shakespeare into other languages for ESL speakers. Instead, we also work with emerging or professional artists from the ESL community to involve them directly in the production of ESL-oriented shows- both on stage and back stage!

C.) Does the Iowa Shakespeare Experience do anything special for Seniors?

Of course! We are active instructors with several of the area’s “Senior Colleges” – to rave reviews! Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more!




9.) Shakesperience ™ Youth Programs Parental Permission/Info Packet


Youth Programs- Parent’s informed consent form and youth participant registration – 2010 Version

The Iowa Shakespeare Experience

Underage Student Dancer Involvement 

General Information Packet and

Permission and Contact Form


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakesperience Fest 2010


Dear Parent or Legal Representative of underage dancers or actors who will be participating in A Midsummer Night’s Dream Extravaganza show at the 2010 Shakesperience Festival!


Welcome!  We are delighted to have your child’s participation in our exciting outdoor theatre show!


The following information will:


  1. Apprise you of key dates, parameters and benefits which this opportunity provides to your child
  2. Register your child to be a part of the Festival 
  3. Allow you to submit bio –sketch information for your child so he or she can be listed in our program
  4. Request that you sign a standard “Informed Consent” agreement regarding our mutual interest in ensuring the safety, health and well-being of your child.


Again, thank you SO much for your commitment to the show and to the success of The Iowa Shakespeare Experience and Shakesperience Festival.  You may wish to know that the ISE is staffed almost 100% by Unpaid volunteers who are working together to try to create a special cultural legacy for Metro Des Moines. Be advised that the ISE has NO full time paid staff, and that only with a team effort can this terrific initiative be accomplished.  Your support of the ISE is truly a gift to the community – and we believe, a gift that can be a lasting memory and treasured experience for you and your child.  


Key dates for dancers and basic parameters:


Dancers will be under the direction, teaching and general supervision of Karina Barone.  Ms. Barone will arrange for all choreography, all dance rehearsals, and all performance related needs for your child.  Ms. Barone will also be the primary line of communication between you and your child and Festival producers, though the contact information for the Producers is below, and they will always be happy to help you with any questions.


In addition to the dance rehearsals that will be arranged by Ms. Barone at a time and place of her responsibility, Dancers are required to participate in several important rehearsals with the rest of the cast and crew for the Shakesperience Festival.  




While subject to change, at this time, the dates of the key 2010 rehearsals are:



There are THREE vital Merge rehearsal Dates:

  • 9 am (10am for dancers) to about 4:30 pm (lunch is provided) AND about 7:30 to 11pm

on the following dates: 

  • Saturday June 26, 
  • Sunday June 27, and 
  • Saturday July 10.  
  • Due to heat, from 9 to 4:30, rehearsals are INDOORS.  We got outdoors for the evening component. 


(Merge Rehearsals are all day PLUS evening Major rehearsals when all the different components of the show – acting, dance and music- MERGE together rather than being rehearsed separately.  All –team meetings are also held at this time to go over rain plans, final costume and set change information, and countless other details.  These are truly CRITICAL rehearsals not to miss.)  



Tech Week Dates: Vitally important rehearsals when we work with costumes, props and lights and sound.  Because we are finalizing lights and sound, EXPECT there to be lots of starts and stops, and rather late nights.   

July 9 – July 15 approx 4:30 – 11pm each day, outdoors...  



Performance Dates:  We perform Rain or shine, approx 4:30 – 11pm each day.

  • Friday July 16, 
  • Saturday July 17, 
  • Sunday July 18,
  • Monday July 19th, with 
  • Tuesday July 20 as a Rain Date performance HOLD.  


Start times and particularly, end times are approximate.  


Flexibility:  Keep in mind that with an outdoor show, flexibility is the name of the game. We go up in an indoor location in the case of rain.  We will have a walk through of that location but may or may not have had a chance to practice there.  Thus, performers will need to be mentally prepared to switch performance venues fairly suddenly, if weather mandates.  





  • The theatre term “Call” signifies the time when the performer is “called” to be present- call on a performance night is 4:30 pm unless you have made special arrangements with us for your child to arrive at an alternative time.  
  • Dress: you CAN dress at home if you prefer
  • Make up/hair:  Due to funding limitations, we have only very VERY limited assistance we can offer with hair and makeup – you will need to be prepared to do your own or to work with another cast mate to do each other’s.  We provide LIMITED access to mirrors- you may wish to bring your own
  • Set up load in and load out:  

EVERYONE in the cast AND crew is expected to:

  • Carry in and carry out their own supplies such as makeup, shoes, personal items


  • Do Daily strike activities as assigned.  “Strike” is a time-honored theatre tradition where actors and crew help set u and break down the set.  Because ISE shows are outdoors, we have a daily Strike procedure. The basics of “Strike” in an ISE show involves Carry In (and Carry Out) of at least TWO trips (-typically 3 or 4)of performance items - - carrying in from the Truck on the bridge where we store items overnight (OR from backstage storage if applicable) into the amphitheater or down to the stage - - -and carrying items back to these areas after a show ends for the night.  Items will be assigned to ALL cast and crew and will be assigned with an eye to appropriateness- i.e. to not having our youngsters lift heavy items, or overly difficult to manage items.  Instead, your child may be responsible for helping carry in and/or set up (and tearing down) simple, lightweight and manageable items such as helping carry minor props, a box of light costumes, banners, etc.  In sum, participating in “Strike” is simply a part of being in a theatre show.  Parents ARE welcome to help with set up and load in, and this is ALWAYS appreciated, but certainly you do not have to do so. 



Daily performance schedule – this is a SAMPLE schedule- schedule is subject to change:


  • Call: 4:30 pm
  • Load in: 4:30 – 5:00
  • Time allowed to get into costume and do make up: 5:00 – 5:30 ( may also use “personal focus time” to finish up with costuming, makeup or hair needs.)
  • Sound check for actors, stretch and warm up exercises for dancers 5:30 – 6pm
  • Gates open and the general public starts to arrive:  6:00
  • Dance practice 6:00 – 6:30
  • Nightly all team meeting for coordination and “Notes” about the performance 6:30 – 7:00
  • Focus time and personal preparation time, (may eat dinner on site, etc – but do NOT leave the grounds unless you have first cleared this with the Stage manager) 7:00 – 8:00
  • Places: 8:00
  • Opening remarks 8:00
  • Curtain: 8:15 (In case of rain: 8:30 subject to a house hold if we move to our indoor location)
  • Intermission ROUGHLY one hour after opening “curtain”, for ROUGHLY 15 -20 minutes, 25 minutes if audience is especially –length varies with crowd size due to “kybo” line length
  • Curtain call ROUGHLY 75 minutes after Intermission
  • Nightly break down and load out (you carry out the same items you brought in)  - concludes ROUGHLY 20-30 minutes after final curtain.
  • Note: on the last night of the show, strike takes a little longer, and we divide the “Bard Basket” cash honorariums on site, which does require ROUGHLY an additional 30 minutes.  






  1. Professional commitment:  The ISE is funded by a number of prominent state and community funders who are supporting the growth of a Festival which strives at all times for top professional quality despite limited budget and resources.  We do expect a professional commitment from those who join us in participating as an actor, dancer or other artists.  This means that there is an expectation of regular, committed, and fully engaged attendance at rehearsals, and in particular, an expectation of timely participation in ALL performance dates and on rain performance dates. Attendance is CRITICAL.  
  2. Attendance, Timeliness and advance notice:  To reiterate, attendance, timeliness, and readiness to perform is absolutely critical – attendance is THE pivotal responsibility of any performance team member.  While we don’t want people to perform under conditions that might jeopardize health or make a condition worse, at the same time, the general rule is that those involved with a show will push themselves to go on despite all but the most major illnesses or injuries.  If for any reason you are seriously ill or otherwise genuinely unable to make a given performance, it is one of THE most important responsibilities you have to notify both Karina AND either Lorenzo or Robin as soon as humanly possible.  
  3. Working as a TEAM to solve any problems- with a special commitment to working proactively and courteously to prevent problems.  We count on all the member of our team, parents and children included, to work with Festival leaders and administrators to increase awareness of mutual concerns or potential problems, and to – in an atmosphere of mutual respect- work together to devise solutions to problems in a proactive, positive manner.  Festival administration requests that you alert us as far in advance of a concern as possible, and as a community of volunteers, the ISE requests your assistance in working to jointly solve any problems which may arise.  
  4. We don’t air “dirty laundry” in public.  Shows put each of us in the public eye.  We must maintain a public face accordingly.  The ISE expects any and all issues and concerns to be handled privately, behind the scenes, out of view of the public.  In particular, we will NOT tolerate the use of social media to air complaints or issues.  Instead, we invite and expect dealing with problems behind the scenes and in a courteous, face to face manner which seeks to create “win win”.  In turn, the  ISE will do its part to maintain your own public persona and reputation. 
  5. Safety and security: While the Festival provides a police officer at all times when the general public is present, and while the Festival takes place in a relatively sheltered and protected location,  the Festival takes place in an outdoor downtown location adjacent to inherent risks of an urban area and also adjacent to the Des Moines River.  Only a parent can know the degree to which his or her child is safe in that kind of an environment, so you should know that although Festival administrators are quite skilled in terms of working with children (we are certified trained teachers and experienced youth workers) we do not provide supervision of underage minors.  Thus, parents should plan to supervise your child.  We highly recommend a parent be on site with their child at all times during performances and performance rehearsals.  To facilitate this, we will provide you with your choice of nightly VIP seating area accommodations or backstage seating areas, but the Amphitheatre is a non-seated, grassy-floor facility, so you should bring your own chairs, blankets, etc.  
  6. Alcohol/Drugs: Parents should be advised that alcohol is present within the park during shows, but that at no time will underage drinking be knowingly tolerated on the grounds, nor any illegal drug use.  
  7. Images and Photographs:  The images of any artist or student appearing on the ISE stage may be used in newspapers, magazines, website, newsletters or on promotional items.


Things to keep in mind for the best possible experience: 

    • Keep in mind that the worlds of theater and dance, while complimentary to one another, often have differing traditions, standards and expectations.  Theatre rehearsals and performances may be quite different from dance recitals, and outdoor theatre performances different from anything else in either genre.  
    • Parents should keep in mind that the outdoor nature of this event means that much flexibility will be involved in planning for and executing rehearsals or shows.  Sudden rains may mean that your child will need to be transported to our offsite, indoor show location a few blocks from the festival.  We encourage parents to be responsible to transport your child should inclement weather move us to our indoor stage.  Also, sunny, hot or cool or windy weather will require that you and your child come prepared to deal with the elements – note we particularly recommend that you work EARLY with your child to become acclimated to being outdoors in hot weather (there are many good helpful hints on how to acclimate to heat available on the internet or at libraries.)  
    • Use of time: Be prepared for rehearsals to involve the traditional “hurry up and wait” process so common to performance events.  There is nothing intended as “disrespectful” to your time to find yourself not constantly busy during the context of a show or a rehearsal- rather, it is the nature of a show that there are often gaps in when you are needed- yet you ARE needed to be on site at this time.  This phenomenon means that you may wish to come prepared to keep your child or yourself occupied while waiting for your child to perform.  We recommend bringing books, homework or QUIET electronic games or other quiet pastimes.
    • Cast and Crew interaction:  If this is a first time you have been involved in a theatrical performance, be advised that many Actors require a certain amount of “space” and “personal focus time” to prepare for a show.  Starting about an hour away from curtain, and continuing all through the show and through intermission, many Actors internally “retreat” into themselves, or prepare in other ways such as through doing preparation rituals, yoga, personal exercises, or working on lines with colleagues. This time of personal focus is necessary for actors to manage their line memorization and related duties.  PLEASE do not be offended if Actors seem unsociable or stand-off-ish during these times, and please be aware that Actors will be unlikely to be able to play or interact much with children during these times.  Even if an actor does not seem outwardly busy, he or she is often inwardly VERY busy going over lines or otherwise deep in preparations in the hours before and during a show.  


About the Facilities:  

  • Restrooms and basic amentias: Simon Estes Amphitheater is a public park run by the city of Des Moines and amenities are limited.  There are no convenient restroom facilities directly within the park, although the Festival supplies kybos on performance dates- - and the hotel is often very gracious to let us use their indoor restroom facilities.  
  • Changing Tents: We have limited changing areas (Tents) and males and females use these areas at segregated times.  
  • Personal belongings: We do NOT have lockers, but recommend that personal items be kept in a suitcase (suitcases on wheels work particularly well).  These suitcases can in effect, become your “locker”.  If you wish, you may padlock the suitcase to certain (out of sight areas) on the stone wall or along the handrails, but we generally have not found that type of extreme to be necessary.  However, it should go without saying that you or your child should leave particular valuables either at home or in your vehicle.  
  • Food/Sundries: While the hotel is not associated with the Festival, for your convenience, it can be helpful to know that the adjacent Embassy Suites hotel has a full service restaurant with take out capacity sho9uld you or your child be hungry on site, and that the hotel also has a serviceable gift shop where first aid items, juices, and sundries can be purchased.  
  • Parking: Ample free parking is available in city lots adjacent to the Amphitheater. 
  • Smoking:  By city law, and also for the comfort of actors and audiences, smoking is NOT permitted inside the amphitheatre:
  • Pets:  Except for service animals, Pets are not permitted inside the amphitheater during shows, and are highly discouraged during rehearsals.  


Youth Participant Registration and Bio Information for Program:

Directions: If you would like your child’s name listed in our program, please provide the following information via email to our Executive Director, Robin Heinemann, at by June 10:


Child’s name: ________________________________________________________

Up to 10 lines of bio information such as how long/where the child has been studying dance, other key roles the child has performed in either theatre or dance, or general bio info such as your child’s school, hobbies or interests.  Note that not all information will necessarily be used in print.  


Contact information:  

Parent’s name(s):


Phone numbers;

Email addresses:


Child’s email address

Child’s phone number:


While your child’s safety is YOUR responsibility ( we CANNOT be responsible for the ultimate safety of your child) it is certainly our desire and intent to work with parents just as much as possible towards your child’s health and safety.  To that end, if your child has any particular allergies, chronic health issues, medical needs, or special limitations, please note them here:  




By submitting this form, you are registering your child as a member of the company and cast of the Iowa Shakespeare Experience and you are acknowledging that you are aware that there are various inherent risks in outdoor activities, in urban public parks, and in the activity of youth dance and/or theatrical performance, and that fully aware of these risks, you have given your child permission to perform in the Iowa Shakespeare Experience Midsummer Night’s Dream Extravaganza show and rehearsals, and to take normal and reasonable direction from ISE authorities such as the ISE Artistic Director, Choreographer, administrator, or appropriate backstage personnel, including such elements of being in the performance which are specifically listed above.  


Benefits to your child and our thanks to you:

Upon registering your child as a participant in Shakesperience 2010, your child will be entitled to:

  • Provision of pair of appropriate dance shoes as selected by Karina Barone (work with Karina to get shoes ordered and the ISE will pay for these shoes)
  • Cash honoraria: A proportional split of the Bard Basket (free will offering) as determined by standard ISE policy.  The Festival takes a standard percentage of the Bard Basket, following which by standard ISE policy, the Bard Basket is shared exactly evenly by each and every person on the set who helped on a DAILY regular basis with Strike duties.  The share of the Basket is determined based on whether or not we have an overnight security officer (which lessens strike duties but also lessens the share of the basket.) Bard Basket funds are not distributed until after final strike is completed on the final night of the show.  
  • Cash thank you stipend:  A proportional split of the Choreography budget as determined by Karina Barone based on attendance, attitude, and engagement with reaching for high standards.  Stipends are sent out by Metro Arts Alliance and require us to set up special bookkeeping to see that everyone receives a check from the appropriate public fund, a complex proposition for a mostly volunteer organization- so do NOT expect stipend to arrive before early to mid fall.  
  • Recognition in our program and as applicable, on our website
  • As applicable, and with reasonable advance notice,  the ISE is also always happy to provide letters of reference for children for job or school applications, upon request.


10.) Shakespeare in Spanish FAQS

“ A feast of Languages”


11.) Senior College Programs

“Age cannot whither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety”
Ant & Cleo, Act ii, Sc.2 

12.) Selected VIDEOS from ISE Educational programs (NEED TO ADD THIS PAGE




We will soon be mounting video shorts taken from our remarkable project:

The “Backyard Bards” of 

Moulton Elementary


A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

“The Mechanicals”


A Recent 




P’ARTners UnLimited


(Much gratitude to P’ARTners and to Kelly Boone)


The P’ARTners Project


allowed us to develop and test-drive a new segment of our original Shakespeare-based

curriculum for at-risk youth.