Des Moines Performing Arts: Wellmark Family Series 2017-18

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Check out when we attended a show last season here.


This year’s Wellmark Family Series consists of:

Phantoms of the Orchestra: Des Moines Symphony Family Concert

October 29, 2017 at 1 p.m.

Every Halloween the “phantoms of the orchestra” return to haunt the concert hall. The maestro and his terrified assistant must use the power of the baton to control this ghoulish orchestra of the undead and lead them in concert. The story of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice is brought vividly to life in this eye-catching Family or Pops concert program. Conductor Joseph Giunta and the Des Moines Symphony will collaborate with Magic Circle Mime Company to bring PHANTOMS OF THE ORCHESTRA to life on the stage.
For additional fun, children are encouraged to dress up in costume an come to the Discovery party that starts at noon.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

January 13, 2018 at 1 p.m.
Painter and decorator by day, Mr. Popper spends his time dreaming of Antarctic adventures. He is astounded when one day a packing crate arrives on his doorstep and a penguin waddles out! Wit original songs and performing penguin puppets, this delightful, action packed musical adaptation of Richard and Florence Atwater’s popular book is the perfect family treat.

Air Play

February 17, 2018 at 1 p.m.
Sensory Friendly Performance at 10 a.m.
Ride the wind and dream with AIR PLAY, a modern spectacle that brings to life the very air we breathe. Flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, giant kites floating over the audience, and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen will make you gasp in wonder and laugh until it hurts.
AIR PLAY is a circus-style adventure of two siblings journeying through a surreal land of air, transforming the ordinary into objects of uncommon beauty. Fabrics dance in the wind, balloons have a mind of their own, confetti turns into the night sky, and an enormous canopy of hovering silk forever alters their future.

SHH! We Have a Plan

March 24, 2018 at 1 p.m.
Sensory Friendly Performance 11 a.m.
Based on the delightful Chris Haughton book of the same title, this show follows the journey of some madcap characters each of whom has a plan-they all want to capture a beautiful bird perched high in a tree! Sounds simple, but the quest becomes an obsession and the obsession becomes the absurd! Where will it all end? Join us as we follow the characters’ exploits, meet an elusive and magical little birdie and discover that perhaps freedom and kindness are more important than getting what you want at any cost.

Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic

April 14, 2018 at 1 p.m.
Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic is a visually breathtaking cinematic shadow play for all ages, created by Hamid Rahmanian, a 2014 Guggenheim fellowship-winning filmmaker/visual artist. The play unfolds an action-packed magical tale of star-crossed lovers from the 10th-century Persian epic Shahnameh (‘The Book of Kings’), – Zaul and Rudabeh, who triumph at the end against all odds. Rahmanian’s graphics, derived from the visual tradition of the region, will be rendered as puppets, costumes, masks, scenography and digital animation, all of which will come to life in a “live animation” shadow casting technique perfected by shadow master Larry Reed on a cinema-size screen. The play also features an original score by the acclaimed musical team, Loga Ramin Torkian & Azam Ali.


May 12, 2018 at 1 p.m.
Sensory Friendly Performance 11 a.m.
Inspired by the game Tetris the dancers dance with the walls, the hall. This extremely physical dance quartet explores how we connect with one another, building a private language to communicate, and then invite others to enter into our world. The village will come alive.
It is for the who cant sit still, for the one who like to climb the walls, and those who can imagine further than they can see.


Purchase tickets here!

All shows are also listed on our event calendar.

**Sensory-friendly performances are geared towards those on the autism spectrum, individuals with other sensory sensitivities and their families. These dedicated performances will contain all the joy of a typical theater setting with a few adjustments to help those in attendance feel more comfortable. This will include alterations to light and sound, a variety of seating options, an environment that will encourage movement and breaks when needed, ASL interpretation, and inclusive staff that will welcome guests from the moment they arrive. Families who do not require these accommodations are still welcome to attend.


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

2 thoughts on “Des Moines Performing Arts: Wellmark Family Series 2017-18

  1. Avatar Barbara Porter Martin says:

    When will this be updated? I’d like the 2019 schedule for the Family Music Series.

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