Frequently Asked Questions

Check out our most Frequently Asked Questions regarding Applause Series reservations, payment arrangements and performance day details. You may also view our Reservation Guidelines and Payment/Cancellation Policies in full.

Reserving Applause Series Tickets

Who can attend Applause Series shows?

Performances in the Applause Series occur during the school day and are open to educators (chaperones, aides, bus drivers) and students ages 3 and above in public, private, and home school groups. All seats are $1.00, and tickets must be purchased online prior to the event date.

Applause performances are not open to the general public, and tickets are not available through the Ticket Office. Chaperone tickets must be included in the total number of tickets for the group; parents who contact Des Moines Performing Arts directly will not be able to purchase additional tickets and will be directed back to their child's school. (See also: ADJUSTING YOUR ORDER)

How do I order tickets?

Applause Series tickets may be purchased online. Groups are welcome to contact the Education staff via phone (515.246.2355) for troubleshooting. Ticket requests submitted via email will not be accepted.

When purchasing tickets for your group, be sure to include all the students and adults that will be in your group. Adults include teachers, aides, chaperones, and bus drivers who will be attending the performance with your group. Everyone who watches the performance must have a seat and all seats are $1.00. Anyone who plans to accompany the group but chooses to sit in the lobby during the performance does not need to purchase a ticket. As a reminder, children must be at least three years old to attend Applause Series performances unless otherwise noted.

How/when do I pay for tickets?

Groups of 20 people or more: 

Groups of 20 people or more have the option to pay at a later date, if they choose. When ordering tickets online, select the 'Applause Series Invoice' payment plan when checking out to pay later. Then apply this payment plan to your order. All orders, whether being paid up front or paid later, will require a valid credit card to be submitted so that the tickets can be secured and placed onto your account (much like a hotel reservation). This credit card will NOT be charged if the payment plan has been applied.

After an order has been placed, there are three options for payment (each option due 4 weeks before the show date): 

1) Credit Card - call Education Staff at 515.246.2355
2) Purchase Order - fax to 515.246.3205 or email education@dmpa.org
         *Business Office must cut us a check within 10 school days following the show. 
3) Check (please include invoice) - mail to: Des Moines Performing Arts
                                                                     c/o Applause Series Ticketing
                                                                     221 Walnut St.
                                                                     Des Moines, IA 50309  

Groups under 20 people: 

Payment can be made with a credit card via the secure website at time of order. Purchase orders are not accepted for groups under 20 people.

 

 

Is there a deadline to order tickets?

Order your tickets as soon as possible, as many shows sell out months in advance!

Tickets may be ordered up until a week prior to the performance date. Once a performance is less than a week away, please call Education staff to ensure that your group’s name will be included on the check-in list upon arrival at the theater. If you place your order less than a week before the performance, we cannot guarantee that your name will be included on the check-in list the day of the performance. 

What if I am uncertain about funding?

For groups bringing more than 20 people, payment is not needed up front. Many of our shows will sell out, so we recommend you order your tickets and confirm the funding source later, as you have until 6 weeks before the first date of the run of the show to cancel your tickets with no penalty. If funding falls through, all you need to do is let us know at least 6 weeks prior to the show that you will not be attending. Payment or purchase order is not due until 4 weeks before the show.   

Are discounts available for eligible students?

We do not offer a discounted or free ticket for students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch. All tickets are $1.00. In 2008-09, we made tickets more accessible to everyone by reducing the price from $4.00 to $1.00. 

Will I receive tickets for my group?

Tickets are not printed for Applause Series performances.

You will receive a confirmation email that your order has been placed immediately following your submission. Then, within a few days of placing your order, you will receive an invoice via email from Des Moines Performing Arts. This invoice serves as confirmation of your group’s "ticket". 

Though you may not need to hand this invoice to anyone the day of the performance, we do encourage you to have the invoice available on the day of the performance as proof of your purchase, should there be a question when you check in. 

How do I obtain my account password?

To obtain the password for your account, click here and then follow the prompts via email.

If you are still having problems getting into your account, please call 515.246.2355.

After I order tickets, what do I need to do?

When you place an Applause Series order, you become Des Moines Performing Arts’ sole contact for your group. You are the reserving teacher and most communications will come to you via email. This includes, but is not limited to, payment information, performance day details and logistics, special "add on" opportunities, show location and invoices. This information will be sent to the email address used when placing your order online. If your email address has changed, it is important that you inform us as soon as possible so that we can continue to communicate with you.

To help ensure that your group has a safe, enjoyable and educational experience, your responsibilities include:

  • Communicating all special needs seating requests to Des Moines Performing Arts in a timely manner;
  • Making all adjustments to your group's order with Des Moines Performing Arts by the adjustment deadline;
  • Reviewing all performance day logistic information and sharing with the other adults in your group;
  • Passing along study guide materials (once received) to any other teacher attending the performance with you;
  • Turning the invoice for your tickets in to your school business office if using a purchase order; and
  • Ensuring that payment for your group's tickets is submitted by the payment deadline.
  • Sharing the post-show survey link with other adults who attended the performance. 

Please make sure all communication to Des Moines Performing Arts is done by the reserving teacher whose email address was provided on the ticket order form. This ensures accuracy of information and will streamline the ticketing process. 

How are grade levels determined for each show?

Grade level recommendations are jointly determined by each touring production company and Des Moines Performing Arts education staff. Factors considered when making each grade level recommendation include the academic content level, the show style and needed attention span, as well as appropriateness of themes for different age groups.

If you have questions about the grade level recommendations, or wish to bring students outside the recommended grade levels, please contact Education staff at 515.246.2355. 

What does it mean to be on a waiting list?

Once a performance is listed as “sold out” on the website, you may add yourself to the waiting list by clicking "WAIT LIST" and filling out an online form (via Wufoo). Groups will be added to the waitlist in the order in which they are submitted. 

Then, if seats should open up for a previously sold-out performance, groups will be notified ASAP (via email) and moved from the waitlist. Groups will typically have 3-5 business days to respond to the email whether you would still like the seats. After that, seats will be released and offered to the next group on the waitlist. We will not book tickets or process any payments until we have confirmed that you are able to take the open seats.

Requests will be filled in the order in which they were received. There is no guarantee if or when seats may become available. 

How do I receive a Study Guide?

Professionally-written study guide materials are available for all shows in the Applause Series. All school groups with reservations for a show will receive an email notification when the study guide is posted on Des Moines Performing Arts' website, approximately 4-6 weeks prior to the performance day. Study guides are only printed and mailed upon request.

It is the responsibility of the Reserving Teacher to distribute the study guide to all of the teachers in the group.  

How is seating determined in the theater?

Temple/Stoner Theater - seating is general admission and is first-come, first-served. Seats will be filled from the front of the theater to the back. 

Des Moines Civic Center - seating is assigned by Education Staff and you will be directed to your seats upon arrival. Each school group will be assigned their own row(s) in the theater. These rows are determined by various factors such as size of group, special need seating accommodations and sight lines for the particular performance, to name just a few. By assigning seats, it allows our staff to know where each school is located in the theater for safety and security reasons. It also allows for a more efficient, higher quality experience for the audience as a whole. Groups that are smaller in size (generally under 20 people), will be assigned a section of seats. It will be general admission within this section, filling front to back.

We do our best to see that school groups coming to multilple shows in a season are not always seated in the same place. It is our goal in seating to make sure that the collective audience is as close to the stage as possible. 

What happens if a performance is cancelled?

In the very rare circumstance that Des Moines Performing Arts must cancel an Applause Series performance due to inclement weather or other reasons, all groups will have the option to exchange for another Applause Series performance within the same season, receive credit for a performance in the following season, or receive a refund. A cancelled event is the only circumstance under which a refund will be issued.


Accessibility and Special Needs

Can buses drop students off in front of theater?

Persons with limited mobility may be dropped off in front of the theater if prior arrangements have been made with Education staff. For special accommodations for individuals with limited mobility, please contact Education staff at 515-246-2355. 

In general circumstances, buses are not permitted to drop off or unload students who have note made prior arrangements with Education staff per directions from the Des Moines Police Department. 

Is American Sign Language interpretation provided?

ASL interpretation is provided for Applause Series performances upon request. Please indicate your need for ASL interpretation when ordering tickets online, in the section about special seating needs (ADA/Accessible Seating). By requesting ASL interpretation, you are asking Des Moines Performing Arts to hire a professional ASL interpreter. Please note that at least five weeks advance notice is typically needed for the service to be arranged.

If you need to request interperter services and you have already placed your order, please contact Education staff at 515-246-2355 as soon as possible. 

How do I make a special needs seating request?

If you require special seating accommodations, please indicate it when you place your online order. If you become aware of special seating need after placing your order, please notify the Education staff at 515-246-2355 as soon as possible. If this information is not shared with us prior to the show date, we may not be able to accommodate your request at short notice or the day of the performance. 

Please make sure to indicate how many guests need to be accommodated (including "companion" seats) and what the special needs are when you are ordering your tickets online. We need this information for every separate show you are attending. You may find it necessary to contact us to talk through your particular needs, so that we can make sure your group is accommodated appropriately. Often times, we cannot seat entire groups together in special reserved seating, due to a group's size or other needs being accommodated at the same show. Please be as detailed as possible when giving us information and we will always do our best to make these accommodations a top priority.


Payment and Cancellation

When is payment due?

Groups of 20 people or more:

Payment is due four weeks prior to the first day of the performance run.

Des Moines Performing Arts reserves the right to cancel unpaid orders after the payment due date. In the event that an order is cancelled, the group will be notified and subject to a cancellation fee equal to 50% of the total for the group order.

Groups under 20 people: 

In order to improve efficiency and better serve all of our guests, payment for groups under 20 people is due at the time of ticket order. Payment can be made with a credit card via the secure website.

 

Education Staff will always try to send reminders via email weeks prior to the due date. Reminders are sent to the person who booked the tickets (to the email address on the ticket holder's account). Ultimately, ticket holders are resposible to get the payment to Des Moines Performing Arts in a timely manner. The payment due date can also be found on the invoice that you receive via email after the order is placed online. Please be sure to notify Education Staff if your email has changed. You may contact us at 515.246.2355 or education@desmoinesperformingarts.org.

What if I order tickets after payment deadline?

The payment deadline for reservations made between four weeks and one week prior to the performance will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Are refunds issued?

Once an invoice is paid, a refund will not be issued for seats unused due to scheduling conflicts, student or adult illness, absence, or transfer, or for dislike of a performance.

What payment methods are accepted?

Groups of 20 people or more: 

Acceptable payment methods include credit card (single charge), and personal or business check. Credit cards can be used to pay up front when placing your ticket order online, or they can be processed over the phone for ticket orders over 20 people by calling 515.246.2355. There is not a way to pay online for tickets that have been submitted at an earlier date/time.

All payments sent via mail must include a copy of the invoice. Checks should be made payable to Des Moines Performing Arts and can be sent to the following address:

Des Moines Performing Arts
c/o Applause Series Ticketing
221 Walnut St.
Des Moines, IA 50309

Purchase orders are accepted as promise of payment for groups of 20 or more. A copy of the purchase order must be faxed to the Education staff (515.246.2305) or emailed to education@dmpa.org at least four weeks prior to the day of the performance. It is the responsibility of the reserving teacher to ensure that the school business office cuts a check to fulfill the terms of the purchase order no later than 10 business days after the performance.

Groups under 20 people: 

Payment can be made with a credit card via the secure website at time of order. Purchase orders are not accepted for groups under 20 people.

What happens if I need to cancel my order?

Groups of 20 people or more: 

Cancellations of tickets must be submitted in writing no later than six weeks prior to the performance. Any cancellation after this deadline will be subject to a cancellation fee equal to 50% of the total for the group order, if the invoice is unpaid. If the invoice has already been paid, the cancellation fee will be waived, but no refund will be issued.

If a school does not show up for a performance and fails to notify Des Moines Performing Arts Education Staff prior to the performance, the group will be held responsible for the full dollar amount shown on the invoice since the seats were reserved and a cancellation was never made. 

Note: If a school employee places an order on the school's behalf during employment, the school will still be held responsible for the cost of the tickets should they go unused. This includes, but is not limited to, cases where the employee is no longer working at the school, does not communicate the ticket order or performance details with necessary school officials/administrators, does not get transportation reserved, or does not cancel within the 6 week deadline prior to the show. 

Groups under 20 people: 

The ticket number cannot be decreased for groups under 20 people and cancellations are not accepted. If your group is unable to attend the performance, no refund will be issued. You are welcome to give your seats to friends, if you'd like and they should bring with them your printed invoice(s). 

What is the inclement weather policy?

Applause Series performances usually go on as planned. If your school is officially closed or delayed on the day of the performance the Des Moines Performing Arts Education staff will allow you to exchange for another Applause Series performance within the same season or receive credit for a performance in the following season. An official request for an exchange or credit must be made by the school’s contact to the Education staff no later than the first day that school is back in session.

Note: If the school district in which a home school group is located closes or delays due to inclement weather on the performance day, the group is entitled to the exchange or credit options described above.

In the rare circumstance that Des Moines Performing Arts must cancel an Applause Series performance due to inclement weather or other reasons, all groups will have the option to exchange for another Applause Series performance within the same season, receive credit for a performance in the following season, or receive a refund. A cancelled event is the only circumstance under which a refund will be issued.

What happens if a performance is cancelled?

In the very rare circumstance that Des Moines Performing Arts must cancel an Applause Series performance due to inclement weather or other reasons, all groups will have the option to exchange for another Applause Series performance within the same season, receive credit for a performance in the following season, or receive a refund. A cancelled event is the only circumstance under which a refund will be issued.


Adjusting Your Order

Can parents buy additional chaperone tickets?

All parent and chaperone tickets must be arranged through the reserving teacher at the time of order. The reserving teacher may order additional chaperone tickets up to four weeks before the performance.

Parents who contact Des Moines Performing Arts about Applause Series tickets will be directed to their student's reserving teacher. In addition, Applause Series tickets are not available at the Civic Center ticket office. Parents who are not included in the group's reservation will not be able to purchase a ticket the day of the show.

How do I add tickets to my order?

Groups of 20 or more
Seats can be added based on availability by contacting Education staff up to the payment due date (four weeks prior to the performance). If there is no availability, additional seats may be placed on the waitlist. 

If you are using a purchase order to pay for your tickets, please turn your final invoice into your school business office to ensure that they are also aware of the change to the amount due.

Note: If a new student joins your group after the payment due date, please contact the Education staff as soon as possible. A seat may be added to the reservation based on availability. Payment for the additional seat will be due at the time it is requested.

Groups under 20 people 
Seats can be added online, based on availability, up to four weeks before the performance. Payment for additional seats is due at the time they are requested. If there is no availability, additional seats may be placed on the waitlist.

Can I decrease the number of tickets in my order?

Groups of 20 or more
You may decrease the number of tickets you have reserved up to the payment due date by contacting Education staff. Please note that on the payment due date (four weeks prior to the day of the performance) the number of seats included in the reservation is final, as is the amount due on the invoice. The cost for seats unused on the day of the performance due to student or adult absence, illness, or transfer cannot be refunded or subtracted from the total due.

Groups Under 20 people
The reservation number cannot be decreased for groups under 20 people. The cost for seats unused on the day of the performance due to student or adult absence, illness, or transfer cannot be refunded.

Can I 'interchange' student and adult tickets?

Your total number of tickets can be used however you wish. If it ends up that you are bringing less students than you anticipated and would rather bring more adults in their place, that is just fine. You may contact us and let us know of these changes, so that we can update the student ticket number on your account. We use this information in our year-end reports.


Field Trip Logistics

How many adults should we bring?

We recommend there be one adult for every ten students. You may find it necessary to include more adults/chaperones with your group, depending on the age and need of the students. You will likely be seated in long rows in the theater, so it may be beneficial to have adults spread throughout the group. 

Will I receive tickets for my group?

Tickets are not printed for Applause Series performances.

You will receive a confirmation email that your order has been placed immediately following your submission. Then, within a few days of placing your order, you will receive an invoice via email from Des Moines Performing Arts. This invoice serves as confirmation of your group’s "ticket". 

Though you may not need to hand this invoice to anyone the day of the performance, we do encourage you to have the invoice available on the day of the performance as proof of your purchase, should there be a question when you check in. 

What time should we arrive at the theater?

Please schedule buses to arrive in downtown Des Moines at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the performance. This will allow time to park, walk to the theater, be seated and make stops in the restroom, if needed before the show begins.

All school groups are responsible for securing their own transportation to and from the theater. Due to limited bus availability in many school districts, it is recommended that transportation is arranged as soon as your ticket order is confirmed. 

Where is the Des Moines Civic Center located?

The Des Moines Civic Center is conveniently located in the heart of downtown at Third and Locust Streets. 
View map

Directions
From I-235 Westbound: Take the Third Street exit then travel south approximately six blocks to the Civic Center.

From I-235 Eastbound: Take the 5th Avenue/Third Street exit then travel south approximately six blocks.

Where do we park? (Civic Center)

School Buses and Marked School Vehicles
Police officers stationed at the corner of Third and Locust Streets will direct buses to parking areas with hooded meters near the Civic Center. Your group may be asked to walk the equivalent of 3-4 blocks from where your bus is parked to reach the theater.

Please be advised that buses will remain parked for the duration of the show. At the conclusion of the performance, bus drivers must be available immediately to move their bus if necessary.

Personal Vehicles
Groups traveling in personal vehicles are responsible for locating their own parking in ramps or metered (non-hooded) locations downtown. The following garages are connected to the Civic Center via the skywalk system:

Fourth and Grand Parking Garage: You may enter this parking garage from Grand Avenue, just east of Fourth Street or you may enter the garage from Fourth Street, just north of Locust Street.

Third and Court Parking GarageYou may enter this parking garage directly from Third Street, just south of Walnut Avenue.

Where is the Temple Theater located?

Des Moines Performing Arts’ Temple Theater is located in The Temple for Performing Arts located at Tenth and Locust Streets in the downtown Western Gateway.
View map

Directions
From I-235 Westbound: Take the Seventh Street exit then travel south approximately six blocks to Grand Avenue. Turn west on Grand Avenue and travel to Tenth Street. Turn south to Locust St.

From I-235 Eastbound: Take the Third Street exit then travel south approximately six blocks to Grand Avenue. Turn west on Grand Avenue and travel to Tenth Street. Turn south to Locust St.

Where do we park? (Temple Theater)

Buses and Marked School Vehicles

Police officers stationed at the corner of Tenth and Locust Streets will direct buses and marked school vehicles to parking areas with hooded meters near the theater (typically in front of the Nationwide building).

Buses will remain parked for the duration of the show.

Personal Vehicles

Groups traveling in personal vehicles are responsible for locating their own parking in ramps or metered (non-hooded) locations downtown. Nearby ramps with hourly parking include:


Ninth and Locust Parking Garage: You may enter this parking garage from Locust Street, just east of Ninth Street.

Can buses drop students off in front of theater?

In general, buses are not permitted to drop off students in front of the theater per directions of the Des Moines Police Department. For special accommodations for individuals with limited mobility, please contact Education staff at 515-246-2355.

How is seating determined in the theater?

Temple/Stoner Theater - seating is general admission and is first-come, first-served.

Des Moines Civic Center - seating is assigned by Education Staff and you will be directed to your seats upon arrival. Each school group will have their own area of seats in the theater, which is determined by various factors such as size of group, special need seating accommodations and sight lines for the particular performance, to name just a few. By assigning seats, it allows our staff to know where each school is located in the theater for safety and security reasons. It also allows for a very efficient, higher quality experience for everyone. Groups that are smaller in size (generally under 20 people), will be seated together in a section or sections. We do our best to see that school groups coming to multilple shows in a season are not always seated in the same place. It is our goal in seating to make sure that the collective audience is as close to the stage as possible. 

Where is the Stoner Theater located?

The Stoner Theater is located inside the Des Moines Civic Center building, at Third and Locust Streets. 
View map

Directions
From I-235 Westbound: Take the Third Street exit then travel south approximately six blocks to the Civic Center.

From I-235 Eastbound: Take the 5th Avenue/Third Street exit then travel south approximately six blocks.

Can our group take a tour of the theater?

We are generally not able to provide a tour on Applause Series show days due to limited staff capacity and building availability. Tours are available upon request for students in Grades 3 and above on non-performance days at the Des Moines Civic Center location.

Please contact Education Staff at education@dmpa.org to request such a tour and we will consider possible dates. 

Can our group eat lunch at the theater?

Please contact Education Staff at 515-246-2355 or at education@dmpa.org if you are coming to a performance at the Des Moines Civic Center and are in need of lunch space. We will try to accommodate you based on availability. 

Lunch space is not available at the Temple Theater location, in the Temple for Performing Arts. 

Pending weather and time of year, you are always welcome to eat outside in our beautiful Cowles Commons (just across 3rd Street from the Des Moines Civic Center). Reservations are not necessary to eat at Cowles Commons.

Will I be reminded of upcoming shows?

As the show approaches, you will be sent important performance day information about the show you are scheduled to attend. This information will be sent to the email used when the order was placed, usually a couple of weeks before the show. It is necessary for the reserving teacher who receives the communication to make sure and pass the information along to every adult in the group, to ensure a successful field trip.

Please make sure to contact Education Staff at 515.246.2355 or education@dmpa.org if an email address has changed.

Des Moines Performing Arts Partnerships: