Applause Series

The Applause Series delivers 60 matinee performances each year for students from preschool to high school. The cost of a ticket is just $1. That means more classrooms in more communities are discovering the power of the arts to inform and inspire.

Student Impact.  

  • More than 55,000 students each year attend an Applause Series performance. For many, it’s their first experience of live theater.
  • The change in learning environment is dramatic, as the Des Moines Civic Center or Temple Theater becomes the classroom.
  • One-hour matinees energize young imaginations and invite new thinking about creative expression, cultural diversity, and even career options.

Teaching Tools.

  • Each performance includes a specially designed curriculum guide to help teachers find creative ways to connect the event with larger academic objectives.
  • Pre-show lessons prepare students to better appreciate the nuances of a live performance.
  • Students return to school able to explore art’s connection to history, math, science, literature, and other topics. The shared experience of the performance  gives everyone a voice in the conversation.

World-Class Talent.

  • The Applause Series brings the world to Iowa’s school children, opening their eyes to new cultures, customs, and ideas.
  • Many productions have received the prestigious Victor Award, which recognizes top shows for young audiences from around the world.


You Make The Difference

“My favorite part was everything!”

- Des Moines second-grader, after attending Applause Series performance

Learn More

2017-18 Applause Series

Mr. Popper's Penguins

January 11 - 12, 2018 Learn More

Snapshots: Hubbard Street at 40

January 25, 2018 Get Tickets

Petra and the Wolf

January 29, 2018 Learn More

Creole for Kidz and the History of Zydeco

February 12 - 13, 2018 Get Tickets

Air Play

February 15 - 16, 2018 Learn More


February 27, 2018 Get Tickets

Opus Cactus

March 2, 2018 Get Tickets

Shh! We Have a Plan

March 23 - 29, 2018 Get Tickets

Guess How Much I Love You

March 26, 2018 Learn More

Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic

April 12 - 13, 2018 Get Tickets

Manxmouse: The Mouse Who Knew No Fear

April 30 - May 1, 2018 Get Tickets

Viva La Danza!

May 4, 2018 Get Tickets


May 7 - 11, 2018 Learn More
Des Moines Performing Arts Partnerships: