CURRENT FESTIVAL PRESS INFO FOR 2012  (June 2011:  This page is continually being updated, and more information may be added.  However, all info posted is current at this time, and is now available for 2012 immediate release)

For further information, contact:

Robin Heinemann, Executive Director for The Iowa Shakespeare Experience, at; 515-274-8989




Press Colleagues: For your convenience, the ISE provides press information in a wide variety of useful styles and formatting.  So that you can suit our material to your needs, space allotment and interests, you will find press information formated below in the following different ways:

A "Basic" Release which includes detailed nightly schedule and show information; INCLUDING Short Description of Each Show


  1. A "Composed Story" style with narrative and quotes
  2. A list of possible story ideas and various "unique slants" on the basic story
  3. "Sound Bytes" for short blurbs  or captions or sidebars are also provided in the following shortie formats: "Blurbs" run from 70-270 word options -plus one 730 word mini-story. (find these by scrolling towards the bottom of this page.)



High Quality current and "evergreen" JPEG photos are available for immediate download (along with an additional series of press releases which are distributed statewide) at our account with LinkLine.

QUICKLINK TO GET IMMEDIATE PHOTOS  The quick link below should take you immediately to a selection of about 10 festival photos featuring day and night stage shots of actors, picnics, the crowd and other scenes.  All photos are labeled with suggested captions and identification of people:

SPECIAL NOTE RE GETTING PHOTOS:  The internet can be touchy sometimes, and we know you may be on deadline.  In the rare event you have trouble with the click, simply follow the easy alternative steps below to get to the photos:

  1. Go to http//  The Link.  (There are a few organizations which pop up as "The Link" - scroll down to The Link). 
  2. Enter Iowa Shakespeare Experience in the search function
  3. Find photos and suggested captions with our Link Line material
  4. Any further  problems, call 1-800-373-1713 and ask for Deanna. 
  5. Or call Robin Heinemann and 515 274 8989 and we can send j-pegs via email.




BASIC Festival Schedule for 2012

(includes Mainstage Show Description)

For Immediate Release

June 23, 2012

Contact information:

Robin Heinemann

Executive Director

The Iowa Shakespeare Experience



Overview: HUZZAH! The Iowa Shakespeare Experience presents “R U Shakesperienced? “ 2011 annual FREE Professional Shakesperience Festival: Shakesperience Fest!

Basic Event Description and Hot News:  It’s the Best Night of Summer! R U Shakesperienced?  Thousands are – so in 2012, central Iowa’s premiere FREE outdoor theatre festival is presenting the Metro's first locally produced, professional presentation of one of Shakespeare's tragedies in nearly two decades! 

The non-profit The Iowa Shakespeare Experience (ISE) has produced the free festival since 2009, and the 2012 Festival line-up presents the blockbuster that has been a hit for over 400 years: Romeo and Juliet!   The producers have selected a classic, "traditionally Renaissance" style for the show this year, but as is ISE's hallmark, shows still feature live music and dance, just like Shakespeare put into his own plays in his days.  So as one of the festival taglines goes: this ain’t “yer Grandma’s Shakespeare” – shows come alive with professional actors,  live music, sizzling choreography, and special effects.

Also in 2012, the Festiva continues its highly successful presntation of traveling shows to outlying suburbs, and this year will take a show to the historical Jordan House Mansion in West Des Moines for a "Best of the Bard" show and an ice cream social event.  

The 2012 Festival takes place Wednesday, July 18 - Sunday, July 22 with Monday July 23 as a Rain Date if applicable. There are nightly Indoor Rain Locations as well.   Mainstage Gates open at 6pm for picnics, weekend pre-show concerts 7-7:30, with plays starting at 8:15 pm.  Traveling show curtain is at 7pm.

Location: Mainstage shows are held at the gorgeous waterside location of the Des Moines Riverwalk, in the professional Simon Estes Amphitheatre where in Producers Lorenzo Sandoval and Robin Heinemann bring these lush, magical shows to the community absolutely FREE! 

Event Timeline:  The Festival takes place March - July featuring a wide range of educational programs, Directors' talks, special events and parties, and radio, street theatre and other appearances - - all culminating in the Mainstage show in the Amphitheater in a Eurpean-style millieu. .of Schedule, below.  Gates open at 6 for picnics and pre-show activities, and shows start at 8:15 pm.


  • No Tickets Required for general seating for Mainstage Shows and pre-show concerts- event is FREE! 
  • For VIP seating areas, for private party tents, and for select parties and activities, tickets are sold at a range of prices through Midwestix at or directly through our offices as listed below.   More infomation at FAQ pages and below.

Inclement Weather:  Shows go up rain or shine!  Rain location will be confirmed on Home Page and on the weather pages if applicable, but generally the typical rain location is the Des Moines Scottish Rite Consistory at 519 Park Street in downtown Des Moines.

Picnics: Picnics are welcome at Shakesperience Fest -Mainstage - and usually at our traveling venues, too!  At the Mainstage, gates open at 6 to accomodate picnics. Attendees may even bring their own wine, altough there are also great vendors and a special wine garden for wine tasting and purchases.  and gourmet picnics to our gorgeous waterside location in Simon Estes Amphitheatre.

Amenities and Food Vendors: Ample easy, FREE parking after 5 in adjacent City of Des Moines Lots and on street.  Mosquito-free grounds and refreshing river breezes!  Special concessionaires like Pizza Gusto and Stam’s Gelato will foster an Italian theme for the 2012 gourmet food court area that corresponds to the way in which Shakespeare himself set Romeo and Juliet in old Italy.  Jasper Winer provides a terrific Wine Garden. New in 2012, The Cheese Shop from the shops of Roosevelt is the official festival picnic provider - creating custom picnics you can order to pick up to take to the festival.  There are also terrific pre-show concerts and festival parties leave attendees "swinging on a star"! 

Traditions and Contests: From floppy hats and frocks to seersucker and white bucks, elegant picnic attire, candelabras or Renaissance costumes are encouraged at Shakesperience Fest - - but certainly not required!  An informal nightly "Picnic with Panache" contest takes place to honor those who get exceptionally into the spirit with costumes or a decorative picnic spread (think candles, fresh flowers, vintage picnic baskets, china plates and good linens!)  Don’t miss joining us in this “best of summer” tradition enjoyed all over the world!

Taglines: Shakesperience Fest provides “all the Classics you remember… so freshly told, you will never forget!”  "This Night speaks to you!"; This ain't yer Grandma's Shakepeare - and -"Its the best night of Summer!"

Mainstage show description:  The 2012 Mainstage show is one of Shakespeare's most beloved: Romeo and Juliet, a story of young lovers who defy years of hatred and enmity with their love to tragic end.  Considered by many to be one of the most famous love stories of all time, the story is mythic in its proportions and passionate in its presentation.  The ISE presents this year's telling of the tale in full, rich Renaissance-inspired spledor, complete with live madrigal-based music, authentically-reproduced Rapier- style swordfighting, and lush period costumes plus special effects.


For immediate release

Contact: Robin Heinemann, Executive Director/Co-producer

515 274 8989


Legends of the Iowa Shakespeare Stage: A “Sunday Afternoon with Friends” event from the Iowa Shakespeare Experience, featuring some of Iowa’s most legendary Shakespearean Actors appearing at various house parties throughout June or July.  To purchase tickets or for exact times and locations, contact  

Bard-in-the-Yard:Midsummer Day Dreams in the Garden”:  
Enjoy the Sonnets of Summer -and sip champagne- in the private garden established by one of the world’s leading Hosta growers. To purchase tickets or for exact date and location, contact  

Strolling Shakespeare:  “Shakespeare is our Middle Name”: The Iowa Shakespeare Experience presents strolling Street Theatre at various locations through town, including at various Farmers Markets and Arts Festivals. 

The Bill’s-on-Will: East Village Promotional events (spontaneous street theatre in the East Village throughout June and July - for exact details, contact

Shakespeare-on-the-Aire Radio:  “Five Babes and a Bard”: with the Culture Buzz on KFMG Radio; schedule tba.

Bard-in-the-Books: FREE Shakesperience Library events for Youth, Families and Seniors:  at the Downtown Des Moines Central Library or other area library locations.  For up to the minute schedule, contact

Shakesperience Youth camps, programs, and Institutes;  ISE provides a wide variety of youth programs ranging from day camps during Spring break to family programs at the festival, from March-July.

PRE-FEST and Concurrent Festival EVENTS IN JULY:

Will-on-the-Wander:  Traveling “Shakespeare Shorts” shows highly the "Best of the Bard" as the festival travels to various suburbs in our "Will Call" series.  In 2012, this program travels to historical Jordan House Mansion in West Des Moines on Thursday, July 19.  Jordan House will accept a small donation of $5 at the gate, which includes the show plus an ice cream social on their shady lawn.  The event is titled "Shakespeare on our Lawn".   



The Main Event:

The Iowa Shakespeare Experience presents 2012 annual

FREE Professional Shakesperience Festival 







Including Concert and Special Event line up



The Iowa Shakespeare Experience presents Shakesperience Fest 2012 featuring one full length play and one traveling Shakespeare Shorts show in true Repertory:

SHOW A: “Shakespeare-Under-The-Stars”: Romeo and Juliet, often referred to as the most famous love story of all time, presents the tale of star crossed lovers who try to fight prejudice and hatred with their union but to tragic end.  Featuring live and curated music plus original dance choreography by Sara Lyons of Dance-A-Cross studios.

SHOW B: “Best of the Bard”:  Our 2012 Traveling show features highlights of some of the most famous passages of Shakespeare, this year featuring gems from Romeo and Juliet, along with a taste of period music and live dance.  

FEATURING SCENES FROM:  Mark Twain's Extracts from Adam's Diary, Eve's Diary, The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and essays and lectures.



View Info Here

Pre-Show Activities

About The Theatre Shows

About Classic Art Shows



To be added soon



Story Ideas for 2012:

    1. Story idea:  INTERVIEW with Romeo and Juliet couple - Real life Boyfriend and Girlfriend!:  Learn how preparing to become the onstage embodiment of the most famous lovers of all time presents special challenges as well as special joys- particularly  for a couple who will be saying goodbye to one another this fall as one leaves the area to go to school.
    2. Story idea:  INTERVIEW WITH SWORDFIGHTERS:  For every minute of swordfighting on stage, a full month of rehearsal is required!  All the more so with Rapiers, the antique style swords authentic to the era of Romeo and Juliet which are used in this show.  Learn a few of the insider tricks for presenting exciting and authentic stage combat (complete with blood as required!) without actually hurting real flesh and blood actors. 



(Blurbs range from about 200 - 70 words, plus one 600 word mini-story.  Shortest blurbs at bottom.)


Mini-Story - About 630 words.

      Organizers say: “Bring your best bottles of wine, gourmet picnics, and friends or family to downtown Des Moines annual Shakesperience™ Fest on the Riverwalk (and other great stages) for live, FREE professional theatre under- the-stars! An evening of friends, family and outdoor theatre is a magical summertime tradition enjoyed all around the world!

     This “best of summer” event is the place to “picnic with panache” (Candlelabra welcome!), to roar with laugher at some of the world’s most famous comedies– or be moved to tears by the most famous love stories of all time.  The Iowa Shakespeare Experience specializes in shows you can relate to.  Organizers say   “its all the classics you remember- so freshly told, you’ll never forget!”  Each features lush period costumes and extravagant special effects.

  • This year, Festival organizers Robin Heinemann and Lorenzo Sandoval note they are presenting the first professional Shakespearean tragedy produced locally on a featured area stage in almost two decades!  The 2012 Mainstage show is Romeo and Juliet, perhaps the greatest love story of all time and a bona fide blockbuster that's been a hit for over 400 years.  The story speaks of the mysterious and overwhelming passion of young love in the face of hatred and enmity, and ISE's version of the play expands on Shakespeare's character of Chorus to postulate Chorus as a timeless community experiencing the tragic loss of two of its young people. 


  • This year, the Festival features a traditional Renaissance theme, which includes authentically-reproduced Rapier fighting in the show as well as historically-represenative music and costumes.  Organizers note that staged Rapier swordfighting is an exciting and carefully calibrated process which requires a full month of rehearsals for every minute that swordfighting takes place on stage - and in Romeo and Juliet, there are 3 stage combat scenes. 


  • The show this year, featuing one of the most famous pairs of lovers of all time, is also intruiguingly couples-oriented behind the scenes as well.  Fully THREE couples are involved in making this year's festival happen:  the Romeo and Juliet show stars are real-life boyfriend and girlfriend, the show's Executive Producers are life partners, and another couple also appears together on the stage!  Love is in the air!


  • A special touch at this year's Festival will be a small symbolic gesture that will be made at the end of each show in honor of Iowa's youth, particularly in memory of teens who have committed suicide, which is one of the tragic themes of this particular play.  The actors who play the two tragic young lovers will in a simple gesture and without words lay a wreath on the stage at the very end of the Curtain call segment before leaving the stage.  A note in the Festival's program notes that Festival organizers dedicate this particular show to the community's youth "That each may know they are irreplacable".

Organizers note that the Festival’s Riverside grounds features bug-free breezes, a twinkling skyline view, plus a wine garden and gourmet food vendors for those who don’t want to bring their own picnics, Especially stylish picnics or costumed groups may win on-the-spot premiere seating passes!  And again this year, these free shows don’t require tickets. Free Director’s Talks, an art market, a Family Night and a variety of pre/post show parties round out the fun, along with a terrific roster of free pre-show concerts who organizers identify as some of the biggest names in Metro music.  The Festival also offer affordable VIP tents for private gatherings, as well as reserved premiere seating available for purchase through Midwestix.” VIP seating sales help support the festival to keep it free. Suburban traveling shows on select night offer other unique atmospheres.

Gates open at 5:30 or 6 for pre-show concerts, Directors talks, art exhibits and picnics, Showtime at 8:15 nightly. Full schedule and related free youth activities found at  Fridays-Mondays, July 22-31.  FREE, but reserved VIP seats and private party tents are available at 

About 179 words:  Cool Breezes, a twinkling skyline -  and an even cooler deal:  premier FREE Theatre "Under-the-Stars in spendid, elegant waterside environment with European-style festivities, wine tasting - and an amazing show!  Yes, downtown Des Moines’ FREE 2011 “Shakesperience™ Festival” returns to riverside Simon Estes Amphitheater and travels to other special venues with the play that has been a blockbuster hit for over 400 years: Romeo and Juliet! The greatest love story of all time- you'll fall in love all over again! The evening features top local actors and is richly underscored with Renaissance-style music and dance.  Lush period costumes and special effects. Treat yourself to “all the classics you remember- told so freshly you’ll never forget!” Gates open at 6:00 pm for picnics  (your own wine and candlelabras welcome!) 8:15 Curtain.  For show schedule, list of gourmet vendors, weekend pre-show concerts, parties and rain locations:  visit  Wednesday July 18 - Sunday July 22, Monday July 23 is Raindate.FREE, but for a regal evening, reserved VIP seats and private VIP tents are sold through  This Night speaks to you!

About 85 words: Bring wine and picnics to the breezy downtown Des Moines Riverwalk or other designated suburban stages: catch FREE professional Theatre-Under-the-Stars at Shakesperience Fest. Presenting "Romeo and Juliet" in full Rennaisance splendor –richly underscored with live music, dance, elegant period costumes, special effects. Great weekend pre-show concerts, art markets, and gourmet vendors.  Gates open for picnics at 6pm (8:15 Curtain). Wednesday July 18 - Sunday July 22, Raindate Monday July 23.   ALL FREE; along with free parking, but ticketed reserved seats/private tents available at See


Bring wine and picnics to the breezy downtown Des Moines Riverwalk or other designated suburban stages: catch FREE professional Theatre-Under-the-Stars at Shakesperience Fest. Presenting two different shows featuring Shakespeare and other classics –richly underscored with live music, dance, lush period costumes, special effects.  Mainstage has nightly pre-show concerts, parties and activities starting at 6:00 (8:15 Curtain).  Fridays - Mondays, July 22-31. FREE; but ticketed reserved seats/private tents available.






Blurbs presented in 3 formats:

480 words, 154 words, and 94 words

For immediate Release:


Mini-Story - About 480 words:

Organizers say: “Bring wine, your fanciest “old school” gourmet picnics (candlelabras welcome!), and friends or family to downtown Des Moines annual Shakesperience™ Festival of the Classic Arts for a great line up of 4 different professional shows presented in mid July with “under the stars” outdoor style. In honor of its 5th Anniversary of free shows, the 2013 Festival expands: doubling its free Repertory offerings and announcing a new “Shakespeare at the Historic Mansions” ticketed series on the lawns of several area Estates.  This year the festival involves 2 weekends, 3 stages, 4 shows, and 8 nights of performances.

Outdoor summer theatre is “best of summer” tradition enjoyed all over the world.  Shakesperience Fest shines with European-style amenities and is the place to “picnic with panache” (Candlelabra, and your best linens, or even come in Themed Costumes!).  Festival Organizers Robin Heinemann and Lorenzo Sandoval invite attendees to roar with laugher at some of the world’s most famous comedic lines– or be moved to tears by the most famous love stories of all time. These stories have been a hit for over 400 years- and the Iowa Shakespeare Experience specializes in presenting these works in ways you can relate to.  This fine arts festival presents “all the classics you remember- so freshly told, you’ll never forget!” Shows features lush period costumes and often extravagant special effects.

All shows feature varied special amenities, ranging from Wine Tents, Art Markets,  and pre-show Concerts to ice-cream socials or strawberries and scone treats.  Most Gates open at 6pm for picnics, with showtime aound sunset at 8pm.  (Historic Jordan House event is a late afternoon Twilight show.  More detail on all festival elements at the new website underway at


  • 2 FREE Mainstage shows will be again presented at breezy Simon Estes Amphitheatre on the Riverwalk

  • Full length play:  ISE's “The Passion of Othello; telling one of Shakespeare's most famous stories of love on the edge of madness, complete with live music and dance.  Thursday-Sunday July 18-21.  FREE but Special discounts on VIP seating to celebrate the following themes: July 18:  Casual family-friendly preview Night.  July 19: Date Night!  July 20:  Young Professionals Night. July 21: Friends and Family Night.

  • 5th Anniversary Show Spectacular:Starry Starry Nite: Ballet, Belin and the Bard; with this show, the festival expands into offering other areas of the classic arts in a one-night-only show of Ballet and string quartet music laced together with famous Shakespeare scenes.  Saturday July 13.  FREE!

  • No tickets required, but VIP reserved seating, cabaret tables and private tents sold at


  • 2 different al fresco shows held on the lawns and gardens of area historic estates

  • Tudor Rollins Mansion: Best of the Bard:  Shakescenes and Sonnets, a picnic-friendly show in  the style of Old England, professionally erformed by torch-light in the rose garden. Thursday-Friday July 11 and 12

  • Victorian Jordan House: hosting Shakespeare on our Lawn, a family-friendlyTwilight Soiree and Ice Cream Social featuring an Othello sneak peek.  Sunday, July 14.

  • Tickets $5-$15, sold at the Gate or at 



MIDSIZE BLURB (approx 154 words):Bring wine and picnics to the breezy downtown Des Moines Riverwalk or special stages at area Historic Mansions for the 5th Anniversary celebration of Shakesperience Festival of the Classic Arts, an al-fresco summer celebration. At downtown's Simon Estes Amphitheatre, catch FREE professional Theatre-Under-the-Stars plus Ballet and String Quartet shows. Mainstage show is "The Passion of Othello" –richly underscored with live music, dance, elegant period costumes, special effects. Great pre-show concerts, art markets, and gourmet vendors. At the Metro's historic Rollins Mansion or historic Jordan House, catch various “Best of the Bard” specials. Most Gates open for picnics at 6 pm (8pm Curtain), but the Jordan House is a late-afternoon Twilight Ice Cream Social. Festival runs Thursday July 11 - Sunday July 21, Raindate Monday July 22. Free shows require no tickets but reserved seats/private tents available at  Mansion show tickets sold at Gate or at See for full schedule.



Bring wine and picnics to the breezy downtown Des Moines Riverwalk or other designated stages at area Historic Mansions: catch FREE professional Theatre-Under-the-Stars at Shakesperience Festival of the Classic Arts. Presenting 4 different outdoor shows featuring Shakespeare, Ballet and other classics –richly underscored with live music, dance, lush period costumes, special effects. Mainstage has nightly pre-show concerts, parties and activities starting at 6 pm(8 pmCurtain). Two weekends July  11-22.  MANY SHOWS FREE; but ticketed reserved seats/private tents available; shows at the Mansions require $5-$15 tickets.  Tickets at gate or, Schedule at

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