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Shakespeare on the Lawn Presents King Lear

King Lear

This article includes information from the following local organizations:

King Lear divides his kingdom among the two oldest daughters who flatter him and banishes the third one, Cordelia, who loves him. His eldest daughters both then reject him at their homes, so Lear goes mad and wanders through a storm. When Cordelia returns with an army, will their family start a civil war or find peace?

Shakespeare on the Lawn is back for its 18th year at Salisbury House & Gardens after a two-year hiatus! For the first time this year, this beloved event will be a shared fundraising collaboration between Salisbury House Foundation and Iowa Stage Theatre Company. All proceeds from Shakespeare on the Lawn will benefit both nonprofit organizations and support the continuation of the event. “Shakespeare on the Lawn is a celebration of summer that our community has missed for two years,” said Keshia Meissner, Executive Director of Salisbury House Foundation. “Our organizations have collaborated on this event for more than a decade, and we could not be more excited to bring it back for the community.”King Lear

William Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, King Lear, was chosen as this year’s play to coincide with Des Moines Metro Opera’s premiere of a new opera, based on Jane Smiley’s novel A Thousand Acres, which is an Iowa farm retelling of the story of King Lear. “We are particularly excited to do this great play in conjunction with DMMO’s world premiere,” said Matthew McIver, Artistic Director of ISTC. “Central Iowa audiences will have some amazing experiences with new and classic works of art.” King Lear was last performed at Shakespeare on the Lawn in 2016, and we’re so excited to bring actor Richard Maynard back to Salisbury House to reprise the lead role. Longtime Shakespeare on the Lawn Director Brad Dell is returning to lead the production.

Salisbury House is the perfect backdrop for King Lear, as the early 16th century beams in the Great Hall of the house came from New Sarum (now Salisbury), England, where William Shakespeare is known to have stayed during the summer of 1603. It is very likely he performed under these beams and by fate they came to be preserved at Salisbury House!Audience

See A Performance

Nightly performances of Shakespeare on the Lawn will take place at Des Moines’ most beloved Shakespearean setting, July 13-17. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. each night on the South Terrace, with gates opening at 6 p.m. for seating. Bring your blankets, bag chairs and picnics! Beer and wine are available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased here, along with charcuterie boxes that will be available for pickup before the performance. Advanced ticket purchase is required for all performances and charcuterie boxes. Quantities are limited.

Fundraising events like these wouldn’t be possible without our generous sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring Shakespeare on the Lawn, please reach out for additional information. It also takes a team of dedicated volunteers to make this event a success. If you are interested in being a volunteer (and receive a complimentary ticket to a performance), please sign up here.

Salisbury House & Gardens

Salisbury House Foundation owns and operates Salisbury House & Gardens, a historic house museum. Built by cosmetics magnate Carl Weeks and his wife Edith between 1923 and 1928, the estate was modeled after King’s House in Salisbury, England, and still houses the Weeks family’s historic and significant collections.

Iowa Stage Theatre Company

Iowa Stage Theatre Company is a resident theater ensemble based in and serving Central Iowa. Iowa Stage Theatre Company transforms Iowa, its citizens, and arts community by producing truthful, relevant, and intimate theater that inspires, enlightens and entertains.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses or events specific to Downtown DSM.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.