Performances in the Applause Series occur during the school day and are open to public, private and home educating school groups. All seats are $1.00 and require advance registration.

Applause performances are not open to the general public, and tickets are not available through the Ticket Office. All parent/chaperone tickets must be arranged through the reserving teacher at the time of order. Parents who contact Des Moines Performing Arts will be directed to the school group's reserving teacher.

Recommended grade levels

Recommendations regarding appropriate grade levels for each performance are made by the performance companies in conjunction with Des Moines Performing Arts Education staff. If you wish to bring students outside the recommended grade levels, please contact the Education staff to discuss the performance content. (515-246-2355)

Infants and young children

Applause Series performances are intended for school-age audiences. For this reason, children and infants under the age of three will not be permitted in the theater. In keeping with the grade level recommendations, some performances may not be appropriate for very young children.

Reservations and confirmation

Beginning May 1, 2019, educators may order tickets for the 2019-20 Applause Series through our website. Groups are welcome to contact the Education staff via phone (515-246-2355) to ask questions relating to the ordering process or the shows on the 2019-20 season, but all ticket orders must be made online. You will be prompted to register for a new account if you do not already have an account. Please note that the email address used when placing the order online will be the email that all related Applause Series communications will go to. Ticket orders submitted via email and/or phone will not be accepted.

When ordering 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 watching the performance with your group. You may want to estimate high, as it is not always possible to add a ticket if a show sells out. Everyone who plans to watch the performance inside the theater must be included in the reservation. If an adult accompanies the group but chooses to sit in the lobby during the performance, he or she does not need to be included in the total ticket number.

Your ticket order will be processed in real time (immediately) online. You will receive an invoice via email within five business days of placing your ticket order. The invoice serves not only as your payment notice, but also as confirmation of your group’s tickets. Physical tickets for Applause Series performances are not issued. We encourage you to bring your invoice with you on the performance day to serve as your group’s “ticket”, should we need to reference it.

Wait Lists

Once a performance is listed as “sold out” on the website, you may submit a wait list request online. Groups will be added to the wait list in the order in which they submit a request and will be sent a wait list confirmation via email. 

If seats should open up for a sold-out performance, groups on the wait list will be notified. Requests will be filled in the order in which they were received. There is no guarantee if or when availability may become available. Once you receive notice regarding availability for your group, you will have three business days (unless otherwise noted) to inform the Education staff whether or not you would like the seats. After that, your seats will be released and offered to the next group on the wait list. We will not book tickets or process any payments until we have confirmed that you are able to take the open seats.  


If you require special seating accommodations, please select the type of accommodation needed when placing your ticket order online. If you become aware of special needs seating accommodations after placing your order, please notify the Education staff by phone or email as soon as possible. If addtional information is necessary for us to accommodate your group properly, please call 515-246-2355 with specific information so that we can ensure the best experience for you and your student(s).

Please note that professional ASL interpretation is provided upon request and requires at least five weeks advance notice for us to arrange. 


We are generally not able to provide tours 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 only. Please contact Education Staff at to request such a tour and we will consider possible dates. 

At this time, Des Moines Performing Arts is not able to provide lunch space for groups. Please contact Education Staff with questions, or to seek out alternative spaces nearby the theater. 

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

Study guides

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.

Photography and Video Disclaimer

Photos and/or video taken of attendees during Applause Series events may be used for documentation and future promotional and fundraising purposes.

Des Moines Performing Arts Partnerships: