The Des Moines Community Playhouse was founded in 1919 and has operated continuously, under various names and in various homes, since its founding. With almost 100 years of uninterrupted service (it recently announced its 100th season – 2019-20), the Playhouse is among the six oldest continuously-operating community theatres in the U.S. It is also the second largest community theatre in the U.S.
In 1952, the Playhouse purchased their current home. Built in 1934, the building originally housed the Roosevelt Movie Theatre and has undergone several major renovations since — with additions that supported the Playhouse functions in both 1952 and 1969. In 1995 a renovation added the Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre and in 2012 the last major renovation was made to add additional space to expand the lobby, add classroom space, and improve back-of-house functions in addition to rejuvenating the Main Stage Theatre and related administrative and support spaces.
More than 55,000 people attend an average of 12 productions each season, produced by a professional staff of 10, plus more than 1,400 volunteers. The Playhouse education department serves more than 30,000 people annually and consists of a year-round program of classes and camps.
Other Mainstage Theatre shows this season include Mamma Mia!, Elf – The Musical, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Catch Me If You Can, Silent Sky, and Disney’s Newsies.
The Des Moines Playhouse production of BETM will be presented over 18 performances, October 5-28, 2018. Two young men, new to role of Billy, will lead a 32 member cast in the Des Moines production. They are Asher Ekhardt and Uzay Hasunusta.
The following video shows some excerpts from the dress rehearsal, featuring Asher as Billy:
Credit: Video by DMPlayhouse
To see a complete listing of the rest of the Des Moines Playhouse cast, just click on the Cast Information button.
Note: Publicity photos in this article by Brent Isenberger