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LEAVING IOWA and STUART LITTLE Come to Des Moines Playhouse

Leaving Iowa and Stuart Little in-person performances will be presented in repertory, alternating shows by the week.

The Des Moines Playhouse follows its successful fall and holiday performances with two shows this winter, Leaving Iowa, Feb. 19-Mar. 21, 2021, and, for families, Stuart Little, Feb. 26-Mar. 14, 2021. Leaving Iowa and Stuart Little in-person performances will be presented in repertory, alternating shows by the week, in the John Viars Theatre. Opening night livestream and two weekends of video-on-demand will also be offered for both shows. Leaving Iowa and Stuart Little are performed without intermission.
Tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 515.277.6261.

An outlandish take on the classic family road trip, Leaving Iowa is the story of writer Don who returns home to find a final resting place for his father's ashes. When he discovers his grandmother's house is now a grocery store, Don travels across Iowa searching for a proper resting place for his father. This father and son road-trip transitions smoothly between Don's present predicament and his memories of the torturous but hilarious annual family vacations with Mom, Dad, and Sis. With his father's help, Don realizes that the journey really is as important as the destination. The cast, under the direction of Peter Dean and David R. Kilpatrick, features Debra Garner, Elysa Koss, Greg Millar, Josh Sampson, Sam Sides, and Hope Walker. Iowa PBS is media sponsor for Leaving Iowa.

For Stuart Little, being a mouse in a house full of humans is an adventure waiting to happen. Stuart has plenty of little mishaps, like getting caught in a window-blind, participating in a boat race, and getting trapped in a garbage can. When his friend, the bird Margalo, disappears, this heroic mouse travels in search of her. It's a great big world out there, and Stuart is ready to explore it. Stuart Little is based on the book by E.B. White. The cast features Brad D. Church, Julie Howland, Michael Howland, Will C. Johnson, and Lexus Theissen and is directed by Katy Merriman. Stuart Little is presented by Nationwide and media sponsor Iowa PBS.

To promote safety, The Playhouse has drawn upon the guidelines suggested by local, state, and federal agencies, experts, and associations. Full safety guidelines are posted on the theatre's website, Protocols for audiences, volunteers, and staff include:

  • A longstanding policy that asks guests, volunteers, and staff to stay home if feeling unwell. The theatre further requests individuals stay home that have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19 or are awaiting a COVID-19 test result. The Playhouse will refund tickets.
  • Masks are required at all times for all guests, volunteers, and staff.
  • Seating capacity is 35%.
  • Seating is assigned, based upon when tickets were purchased and the size of groups, with at least 6 feet distance between parties.
  • Shows are presented without intermission.
  • Playbills are entirely digital.
  • A limited array of prepackaged concessions is offered with credit/debit cards preferred for contactless payments.
  • Restrooms and elevator are single use so staff can sanitize after each use.

The Playhouse is Iowa's oldest and largest producing theatre. Located at the 42nd Street exit of I-235, the theatre has presented a season of shows every year since 1919 and also offers a wide variety of educational experiences including classes for ages 4 to adult and volunteer opportunities onstage and backstage.

For more information about The Playhouse, Leaving Iowa, and Stuart Little, visit The Playhouse website at or contact The Playhouse at 515.277.6261. Ticket office hours are Noon-3:00 PM, Tuesdays-Fridays.

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