As we grow, the ISE knows that serving the needs and interests of Metro area families will always be a big part of our mission.  On our horizons are all the traditional Shakespeare offerings so popular in other communities- everything from enhanced family night activities at our summer Festival to terrific day camp experiences for kids. 


And, we are proud to say that ISE staff has exceptional credentials for working with kids- our staff are formally certified teachers with national-level expertise in working with youth and families.  Rest assured: we have family and youth programming that is off the charts fun and dynamic! We are even certified by the National Folger Shakespeare Library (a world-renowned facility located in Washington, DC) to teach their incredible Shakespeare programs! 


And of course, kids are always welcome at the Festival.  While naturally the Festival is not the place for children to run around unsupervised (too many dangers with all the lights and sound equipment – and of course, during the plays our audience must always be mindful of not creating distractions for others), any child of any age who is able to sit quietly and marvel at the wonder of live theatre is always welcome!  (Hint: sound carries a great distance in the festival. Should your child get fussy or restless, you will want to take them to the far reaches of the top plaza area – others will appreciate your courtesy during the shows!) 


In fact, kids are often welcome IN our festival!  Shakespeare often created roles for children, and if your child was “born to the stage” don’t hesitate to send us resume information!  We work with students from some of the finest arts schools in the region! 


Watch this space over time, as we continue to raise funds to expand our youth and family initiatives over time- especially, as we gear up to start to offer family Festival memberships - - plus the kind of summer and after-school Youthsperience camps that so many are clamoring for.


These are initiatives which will add so much to the Metro cultural scene. 

  • And let us know if you want to volunteer or donate to help us get there!


Meanwhile, check out our existing FREE family night activities at the Festival – such as our terrific and exclusive presentations from nationally-published Iowa Author Cindy Mercatti, who presents Children’s Circle readings for us on her works from her children’s series, such as from her newly published book “Shakespeare and Me”.   


And don’t miss our great FREE family-oriented summer offerings provided all through the summer, whether at the Des Moines Arts Festival or at area libraries, or at area schools or youth clubs like the Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa.  


Also, feel free to contact us at to let us know of your interests!  We look forward to hearing from you!