About ISE's notably credentialed Youth Programs -and other educational programs for Adults, Seniors, and special populations (plus 3 minute slide show)

Spring 2016 NOTE:

ISE's 2 Visiting Youth Guest Artists for Shakesperience Festival 2016 have now been cast. Our high school "up and comer" hails from Valley High School and our Cross-Iowa collegiate Guest Youth Artist is a Junior in the University of Iowa Drama program. See our Home Page for the full announcement!  

Additional Note: We usually update our information about ISE's various youth camp classes  schedule each year in Spring, on or following Shakespeare's April Birthday. 

However, due to ISE's significant and imminent expansion into first, our new Terrace Hill venue, and also, into our ALL NEW Statewide Traveling Tour program that will be taking place summer 2017, while our Youth Immersion Program continues unabated, in 2016 we anticipate postponing some of our traditional Youth Camp activities to allow our dynamically growing agency to properly prepare for all our growth!

And, again due to our signficant opportunity for new statewide growth, note that we anticipate that in 2017, a good proportion of our Youth Camp and Class offerings will take place in Sioux City Iowa, where a robust Camp and Youth Program offering is currently being planned.  However, as always, ISE's youth offerings will be most certainly be continuing in Des Moines. 


Accordingly, please check back at a later date for more Youth Program, Camp and Class information.  Meanwhile, enjoy the review below of activities from prior years! 

When a student can say s/he's been involved in theatre,

everyone knows that's great for the resume!

It stands for great teamwork skills, literacy skills ...and thinking on your feet!


But when a student can say s/he's been a Shakespearean Actor

an interviewer can't help but look at that young person in a whole new way.

Better yet- that young person looks at him/r self  in a whole new way too...

They've taken a Bow... and have come up Taller!


OVERVIEW: Youth programs utilizing Shakespeare have long been recognized as an evidence-based effective approach to generating measurable growth in at-risk youth populations and with gifted/talented youth alike.  Indeed, the youth programs which commonly accompany a to-scale Shakespeare Festival are one of the many reasons why communities across America typically clamor for these festivals.

Accordingly, as ISE has grown, so has demand for our extraordinarily credentialed Youth Programs, which have grown right along with us. 

A SNEAK PEEK AT ISE's GROWING EDUCATIONAL SERVICES: ISE now maintains a credentialed and certifed curriculum of fully 13 youth programs,  conducted bi-lingually in Spanish as appropriate, 11 of which are specifically targeted to at-risk youth.  An additional program provides meaninful Internships to exceptional Iowa high school and college graduates in theatre; of our 4 interns to date, all have gone on to advanced study.

Known collectively as ISE's "Page to Stage", ISE educational programs are designed and supervised by a award winning duo comprised of an "Exemplary in the Nation" nationally-lauded fully liscensed teacher with the State of Iowa and a "Teacher of the Year" college professor with extensive credits at 8 instiutions of higher education all over the midwest; together bringing 4 decades of experience as educators to the table- along with national publications and international credentials in their fields.  Credentials of this caliber greatly distinguish ISE educational programming in the region. More information is available inside the other pages in this section.


  • We are proud to note that ISE programs serve youth across all levels: we have special programs designed for gifted and talented youth, for graduating youth seeking meaninful internships, and especially for Iowa's most fragile youth - our "at risk" youth populations.
  • Of the at-risk youth we serve, approximately 85% or more of these young people manifest federally determined poverty indicators, or other manfestation of risk - -and the vast majority meet community qualifications for free or reduced price lunch.  In some of our programs, as many as 100% of the students are bi-lingual in Spanish - making our specialty areas with bi-lingual serices and Latino culture a must.
  • Starting in 2014, ISE additionally looks forward to new expanded programming for a wide range of area youth to be conducted in collaboration with the City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation programs. 
  • Additionally, ISE also provides a wide range of top notch prgrams for adults and seniors. And here's another exciting 2014 announcement: our Senior College program will be expanded this year!

So corresponding to ISE's rapid growth in our educational services and the importance of these services to the Community, ISE has created these new Youth Pages on our website.  (And with correlated adult and senior citizen community education programs also a popular ISE program as well, more information on these adult programs will be coming soon.) 

Meanwhile: enjoy a quick peek at some fun slides above and inside these pages, which represent a few of our year-round and festival season youth programs, taken from 2008-2014 at programs for:

Upward Bound, Des Moines Public Library, Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Iowa, Gateway Dance Theatre, and SmART Camp. 

And enjoy our exciting news:  Thanks to meaningful and prestigious support from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, we've been able to

DOUBLE our SmART Camp initiative!  Now serving up TWO full week-long camps!


Be aware that given ISE's expertise with extremely high risk youth, some additional youth we work with are residents of programs which serve the community's most fragile and highest risk youth like Youth Emergency Services and Shelter (YESS), where we are especially proud that ISE programs have been accepted under Heartland AEA (Area Education Association) extremely rigorous standards.  However,  to protect the confidentiality of these young people, be aware that photographs of the youth who participate in these programs is not allowed. Those photos are NOT represented on our webpages.


So while their photos may not be represented here, we are proud that other ISE youth programs during the 2008-2014 period have further served youth from Urban Dreams, P'ARTners Unlimited, Moulton Elementary, Scavo, Bridges Project, the Des Moines Art Center, VSA Iowa, Metro Arts Alliance Workshops, Ballet Des Moines, and projects across the state such as signficant residencies with the Marshalltown Public Schools District.  But as it is possible for us to do so, various unattributed photographs from these projects can be found across our youth pages.

© 2018 Iowa Shakespeare Experience