Inside the Production

Here you will find articles, interviews, and information about the people and shows coming up in central Iowa.

  • Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

    Baskerville castCertain staples of literature are so well known, a single name is all you need to conjure up images and ideas. So when the Des Moines Playhouse went looking for a non-musical show for this season, Sherlock Holmes was an easy selling point. But Baskerville (opening January 25) is a little bit different from what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may have envisioned when he first wrote the classic mystery novel.

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  • Ordinary Days

    Ordinary Days PosterWhenever anyone over the last few months has asked me what “can’t miss” show is coming up, my reply has been “You HAVE to see Ordinary Days!” This year’s Dream Project production from Tallgrass Theatre Company is one of the best musicals most people have never heard of. And with a stellar cast and production team, there’s absolutely nothing ordinary about Ordinary Days.

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  • IHSSA Speech Contest

    IHSSA SpeechEvery year, thousands of Iowa students take part in the Iowa High School Speech Association (IHSSA) Individual and Large Group speech contests. Beginning in January, these events challenge the best of the best performers in various disciplines, many related to theatrical pursuits. One of the veterans of this process is Stacy Hansen, currently in charge of the Speech and Drama departments at Valley High School in West Des Moines, and also a “Coach-at-Large” for the IHSSA.

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  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

    Edward Tulane castThe first show of the new year is from the Des Moines Playhouse, specifically part of the Family series at the Kate Goldman Theatre. Opening Friday January 4 is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo, this wondrous story has a cast of four playing over 30 characters, all of whom interact with a small toy china rabbit named Edward.

    Four EdwardsEdward really is a toy rabbit in this show, and DM Playhouse costume designer Angela Lampe has built multiple copies of Edward from scratch for use in the play. “He is adorable, and we’re all quite taken with him!” says the narrator of the piece, Laura Sparks. “While the rest of us play multiple parts, the actor playing the Musician (Craig Petersen) is solely the voice of Edward. Music communicates directly to people’s hearts without the need for any words. And Edward communicates heart-to-heart with those he encounters.”

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  • HOPE! Drama Troupe

    Hope logoWhether you are religious or not, the holidays are a great time for family, friends, and feeling loved. But unfortunately that’s not true for everyone, even the youngest amongst us. There are children right here in Central Iowa who deal with abuse and violence, even under the guise of love and care. It’s a confusing time to be growing up, and identifying those troublesome situations is hard when you’re actually involved. The HOPE Drama Troupe is bringing a bit more light to a dark world, and a bit more understanding to all.

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  • Jingles & Dragons

    Jingles & Dragons logoOk, here’s an upcoming event that’s a bit different from the usual theatre stuff covered on the Gentle Guide. While there is a story and the outline of a script here, anything can happen when local role-playing game podcasters Des Moines & Dragons presents Jingles & Dragons, live at the Basement Bar on December 21. What you can be sure of is a raucous crowd and audience participation in a wild adventure fit for the yuletide season… with a twist.

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  • Winter Dozen for 2019

    SnowflakeWinter is upon us, and for Iowa that typically means much colder weather. Some people love it, some hate it, and the rest of it just try to get through it. But one of the things that warms my heart is the incredible slate of theatre we all have to look forward to in the coming three months, and the wonderfully satisfying shows opening up where we can settle in, warm up, and enjoy. With that in mind, here’s a dozen shows (and a bonus event) you might want to check out soon.

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  • You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

    Charlie Brown book reportGood Grief!! Ankeny Community Theatre is presenting the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown beginning Friday, December 7. All the familiar characters are here, singing and dancing their way through their eternally young and innocent world. Whether it’s Snoopy extolling the virtues of Suppertime or Schroeder spreading the word about Beethoven Day, everyone can find Happiness with the Peanuts gang.

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