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Iowa Stage Theatre Company transforms Iowa, its citizens, and its arts community by producing truthful, relevant, and intimate theatre that inspires, enlightens, and entertains.

As central Iowa’s professional theatre company, we:​

  • Present the best stories told onstage, both classic and cutting-edge

  • House, support, and rely on a Resident Artist Company

  • Set and maintain production standards

  • Pay artists for their work

  • Foster a local creative community

  • Elevate Iowa's artistic profile

  • Expand the theatre experience for our audience, and

  • Lead social discourse within the community

Iowa Stage's heritage goes back 70 years, to the start of The Drama Workshop, formed in the 1940s as Des Moines's 2nd community theatre. Its purpose was to provide patrons more cutting-edge productions (such as Arthur Miller) than other local work at the time.
Over the years, members of The Drama Workshop felt play selection had become too "mainstream," so they created an even more progressive company: StageWest. When the Workshop closed, assets were gifted to another new company: The Repertory Theater of Iowa, focused on presenting the best classic plays in the dramatic canon.
In early 2015, The Repertory Theater and StageWest began exploring a merger, each realizing they could accomplish more together than apart. In 2017, they united to form Iowa Stage Theatre Company. We take seriously the mission of our forebearers to share both edgy contemporary writing and the greatest dramatic classics. Our company, its artists, and our dedicated supporters appreciate the important role that theatre plays in the lives and social fabric of our community.

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