Des Moines Spotlight Series: Meet Kim Haymes of THE CAKE at Iowa Stage

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Des Moines Spotlight Series: Meet Kim Haymes of THE CAKE at Iowa Stage
Kim Haymes

While we've been stuck inside for the last few weeks, I have enjoyed getting a peek behind the curtain of our local theatres, with each artist who has shared their experiences with their productions being shutting down. Each show at a different part of the rehearsal process. I appreciate each artist who has shared their experiences, and I look forward to continuing to hear from more artists.

One of the first productions we heard was being delayed was Iowa Stage's production of "The Cake." This week I reached out to "The Cake" cast member Kim Haymes to hear her experience with the production's closing.

DC Felton (DF): What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background?

Kim Haymes (KH): I have a BA in Performing Arts from Iowa State University. When I graduated, I moved to Chicago and performed on with equity and non-equity companies for seven years before moving to Des Moines with my husband ( a Drake graduate). Since living in Des Moines, I've performed at Stagewest, RTI, Iowa Stage (Company Member and newly elected Company Manager), Tallgrass, The Playhouse, and Pyramid Theatre. I've had two Cloris nominations, and one Cloris win.

(DF): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?

(KH): I was involved in Iowa Stage's production of The Cake.

(DF): How was the shutdown communicated with the cast and production team?

(KH): I work for a company that has been deemed an essential business. At my day job, we were way ahead of the curve in terms of our response to the pandemic. I brought up my concerns with the production team and asked that the board of directors to be consulted on whether the show would move forward. Initially, the response was that Iowa Stage will follow the Des Moines Civic Center's recommendation on show cancellations. About a week before we went into tech, a decision was made that we would

(DF): Are plans in place to present that production at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent?

(KH): At this point, I believe we will try and incorporate the same show with the same cast into Iowa Stage's 2020-2021 season.

(DF): What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown?

(KH): I'm not involved as an actor in any future productions (other than The Cake), but Iowa Stage is having to rearrange their entire planned next season to accommodate the cancellations.

(DF): How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?

(KH): I have actually been doing Zoom play readings with a group of other Iowa State Theatre grads that I haven't talked with in a long time. In some ways, I'm thankful for the situation because I've been able to reconnect with old friends. As the mother of an eight-month-old baby, it is a lot easier to get together with friends via online platforms than to go out and meet in person. I'm thankful for some technological ways to stay connected.

(DF): What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the Des Moines Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return to the stage soon?

(KH): If anyone is suffering from mental health struggles, I want them to know they are not alone. This period of time has been incredibly draining. The ambiguity of the situation is especially taxing. I don't have any answers, but I'd like people to know they are not alone.

(DF): What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the Des Moines Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return to the stage soon?

(KH): If anyone is suffering from mental health struggles, I want them to know they are not alone. This period of time has been incredibly draining. The ambiguity of the situation is especially taxing. I don't have any answers, but I'd like people to know they are not alone.

Kim also shares, "I can't wait to see you all in person someday soon!"

After this interview was complete Iowa Stage shared that they have rescheduled "The Cake" for February 5-14, 2021. If you would like to find out more about the work being done with Iowa stage visit https://www.iowastage.org/

If you are an artist in Des Moines or the surrounding communities and would be willing to answer a few questions about how this shutdown has affected you, please reach out to us.

Interview by DC Felton

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