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 August 20, 2021, educators may order tickets for the 2021-2022 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 2021-2022 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. (We typically recommend at least one adult for every ten students.) You may want to estimate high for your total ticket numbers, 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, they do 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, the 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.  


Seating and Other Accommodations

If you require special seating or other accommodations (including wheelchair, difficulty with stairs, and sight impairment), please select the type of accommodation needed when placing your ticket order online. If you become aware of special needs seating or other accommodations after placing your order, please notify the Education staff by phone or email as soon as possible. If additional 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).

Hearing Devices and ASL Interpretation

With our induction loop technology, guests at the Civic Center with hearing devices containing a T-Coil or telecoil can have sound transmitted directly to their hearing aid or cochlear implant. If your hearing device does not have t-coil technology or you do not have hearing aids but would like to experience the amplified sound provided by the induction loop system, visit the Guest Services Counter located in both lobbies for an assisted listening device.

Professional ASL interpretation is provided for Applause Series performances upon request. Please note, requested ASL interpretation typically requires at least five weeks advance notice for us to arrange.

Communication, Medical or Other Devices

If you have a student or guest in your group that uses a tablet, phone or similar-looking device as an adaptive communication tool, for a medical need, etc. you may wish to disclose to Education staff or the usher closest to your seats. Many live shows prohibit audience members from taking photos or videos of the performance. Advance notice will help our front of house team know that the device is for a needed accommodation and avoid any confusion about it being used as a camera or recording device.


We are generally not able to provide tours on Applause Series show days due to limited staff capacity and building availability. Private tours may be 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. 

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

Curriculum Guides

Professionally-written curriculum 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 guide is posted on Des Moines Performing Arts' website, approximately 4-6 weeks prior to the performance day.

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.

Upcoming Applause Series Events



October 4 - 22, 2021 Get Tickets

Puppets in Paper

January 3 - April 5, 2022 Get Tickets
Rules at Play Pilobolus


January 10 - 28, 2022 Get Tickets
Des Moines Performing Arts Partnerships: