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 OUR 2013 SUMMER FESTIVAL SEASON - our exciting FIFTH ANNIVERSARY of FREE summer Shakespeare!   

Shakespeare Under the Stars: Summer 2013 FREE Festival Dates and Times:

2013 DATES:

Thursdays- Sundays July 11-July 21.

See "Shows" for which shows appear on which dates.


TIMES: Gates for all shows open at 6pm for picnics, Mainstage Curtain 8pm nightly.  Show runs about 2 1/2 hrs + 20 min. intermission.

THE BASICS:  All shows at Simon Estes Amphitheater on the downtown Des Moines Riverwalk EXCEPT traveling "Will Call" show at the Historic Jordan House Mansion in West Des Moines.  That show is "Shakespeare on our Lawn" (a highlights show at 7pm; visit  All other shows are Othello.

Click Here for Nightly specials such as Young Professionals night, VIP night, and for Preshow Concert Schedule featuring the love songs of Tina Haase Findlay...



Shakesscenes and Sonnets, July 11-12, Rollins Mansion Rose Garden, Buty Tickets at Gate or at


Sarry Starry Night:  Ballet, Belin and the Bard:  July 13 ONE NIGHT ONLY, Simon Estes Amphitheatre, FREE


Shakespeare Shorts:  Jordan House Matiness, July 14 ONE DAY ONLY


ISE's The Passion of Othello, July 18-21, Simon Estes Amphitheatre, FREE



DRIVING DIRECTIONS: ISE's SUMMER Mainstage at Simon Estes Riverside Amphitheatre is on the downtown Des Moines Riverwalk in the East Village.  Take any downtown exit from I-235 and head south to East First and Locust on the East Side of the River near City Hall and Embassy Suites hotel.  Look for the Arch!

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Historic Rolllins Mansion:  From I-235 go south on MLK (which turns into Fleur Drive.  Follow Airport signs.  Mansion is past Grey's Lake, just after Bell avenue (up a hill on your left or East sde of Fleur) - across from AIB College. 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: "Will Call" Traveling Show to the suburbs on Sunday, July 14 at Historic Jordan House Mansion, West Des Moines Iowa.  From I-235, exit 63rd St. south to Railroad, R (W) on Railroad to 3rd left (Fuller.) Follow Fuller to House on right hand side.


Tickets, Amenities, & Summer Picnics   About ISE and the Cast!    Weather Updates



2012 SUMMER TICKETS:  You don't need any tickets at the ISE Summer Mainstage - the Mainstage "Romeo and Juliet" show is FREE

At Rollins Mansion and at Jordan House, the following ticket prices apply:

Rollins Mansion Rose Garden: $10-$15 at Gate or buy in advance (reccommended) throu

Jordan House:  A nominal charge at the gate Abou $5) for the July 19 traveling show at Jordan House includes an ice cream social. 

SEATING: BYO blankets or lawn chairs for general lawn seating, OR for reserved VIP seating, support the festival with an affordable purchase of a Tent or cafe table at the door OR with discounts.

PICNICS:  Guests are welcome to bring their own picnics (including wine!) to ISE's Summer Festival and ENCOURAGED to make picnics festive.  See our "Picnic with Panache" info on our Homepage, including our dsm article there!


Limited exclusive gourmet vendors and wine tent for Simon Estes Shows and other locations.  Bringing Picnics and your own wine is encouraged!



The Iowa Shakespeare Experience is a best-practice 501 (c)3 non profit which produces the only outdoor FREE theatre festival in Iowa's capital PLUS year round shows, with a focus on creating a unique theatrical experience, such as Shakespeare-under-the-Stars conducted "picnic style".  We specialize in "found space" or "immersive' theatre- you'll seldom just sit in a seat at an ISE show! Our annual Holiday show for Christmas typifies this unique style: its produced INSIDE the beaturiful Iowa Governor's Mansion in 7 different rooms - an annual sell out!  ( )

2012 SUMMER CAST: Access a complete cast list off the Summer Festival Fast Button from our Main Website Home Page.    

When Applicable


GENERAL WEATHER POLICIES FOR ALL ISE SHOWS (For specific info, scroll down to Blue Weather Box directions!):


ISE SUMMER SHOWS go up in ALL hot weather and run thru light drizzle. In hard Rain, cold or very high winds, some nights offer picnic friendly indoor shows. We also offer Rain Date shows - in 2012 on Monday July 22 at Simon Estes outdoors. 

ISE WINTER SHOWS go up in all weather if at all possible, but may hold start times in the ase of slowed travel conditions.

IN ALL SEASONS: If weather concerns are active, more info about ISE weather plans appears on our Weather pages - access off the main Website Hole page. Decisions to "call" or move a show indoors for weather not made until day of show - -after 3pm at the earliest.