The 10 Best Places for Live Theater in Iowa!

Whether you are aiming for more of an intimate experience in the community theater, or you want to catch the latest and greatest touring Broadway plays, Iowa has just the ticket for you. To explore the many different avenues that live theater can take you, a good place to begin looking for your next favorite show is by checking out these 10 best places for live theater in Iowa. 

1. Old Creamery Theatre, Amana, IA

The Old Creamery Theatre in the historic Amana Colonies of Iowa has been providing the surrounding community and beyond with live, professional theatre performances since 1971, and within their cozy, 300-seat auditorium, there's no bad seat in the house. Featuring a long list of dedicated performances and special shows, the Old Creamery Theatre has something on stage for the whole family to enjoy, and with the Amana Colonies surrounding this community staple, the fun doesn’t have to stop at the end of the stage. 

2. Des Moines Community Playhouse, Des Moines, IA

While the Des Moines Community Playhouse on 42nd Street in Des Moines is perhaps the most catering, kid-friendly theatre space in the nation, don’t be fooled if the adult in you finds something to enjoy at the Des Moines Playhouse as well. Featuring the best children’s theater performances money can buy, the Des Moines Playhouse also features adult-orientated productions and monthly workshops to bring your children to or take part in yourself. 

3. The Riverside Theatre, Iowa City, IA

For a rich taste of the Iowa City culture, the Riverside Theatre located on South Gilbert Street is an intimate venue with a list of performances you’ll see in few other spaces. Featuring local theatre productions, the Riverside Theatre is a resident professional theater with seats for just over 100 people, providing more of a personal feel to the rotating shows found on stage. Operating for over 30 years, Riverside Theatre sets the bar high on professional, local theatre productions, and through all those years of experience, the Riverside Theatre guarantees a live performance that you are going to enjoy. 

4. Theatre Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids, IA

Located just blocks from the Paramount Theatre in downtown Cedar Rapids, Theatre Cedar Rapids is another big venue dedicated solely to live theatre arts, or more specifically, community theatre arts. That’s because not only can you catch the latest performances of local and touring plays and shows at Theatre Cedar Rapids, but with an active mission of community involvement, Theatre Cedar Rapids encourages the community to come take part in the fun. Whether it’s backstage, front of house or in the spotlight, the Theatre Cedar Rapids relies on the community to enjoy and participate in all of their performances. 

5. StageWest Theatre Company, Des Moines, IA

The StageWest Theatre Company has been providing cutting-edge, local performances to the Des Moines community since 1996, and as of recently, you can catch their social commentary and engaging performances in the Kum & Go Theater, located within the Des Moines Social Club on Mulberry Street. You’ll find something you’ll never see elsewhere with the StageWest Theatre Company, and that is members of the community sharing a unique story with everyone in the audience of this cozy performance space. Check it out yourself, and be part of the story with StageWest Theatre Company. 

6. Adler Theatre, Davenport, IA

One of the main destinations in the Quad Cities for performing arts, the Adler Theatre of Davenport brings to town the latest and greatest Broadway performances and touring acts. Featuring musicals, symphonies and fun shows for the whole family, the Adler Theatre provides a comfortable atmosphere to enjoy professional shows throughout the year in their beautifully restored theater. Whether it’s a monthly outing or a once-a-year special event, make sure to find the time to catch a live performance and great time at the Adler Theatre in Cedar Rapids. 

7. Mason City Community Theatre, Mason City, IA

The Mason City Community Theatre is a great place to either catch a live show or be a part of the magic that puts on one. Welcoming all levels of actors and stagehands, even if you’re not interested in being a part of the action, the Mason City Community Theatre has enough shows and live performances to keep you engaged in your seat the entire year. If you do want to be a part of the action that happens outside of the aisles, all you have to do is show up and express your interest, because the community that makes the Mason City Theatre what it is, they will be happy to have the extra hand. 

8. Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, Des Moines, IA

The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, located on Walnut Street, is Iowa’s premier venue for nationally touring Broadway performances and other intimate live theater productions. Featuring the latest and greatest performances, a trip to the Des Moines Civic Center is a real treat for theatre goers of all ages, and with a wide variety of performances happening throughout the year, don’t be surprised by the many times you will enjoy catching a show at the Civic Center. 

9. The Englert Theatre, Iowa City, IA

A cultural staple of Iowa City and the surrounding University of Iowa, the Englert Theatre is a historic, renovated building that houses some of the most culturally significant performances in the city and state. With heavy ties to the literary and cultural scene found in Iowa City, the Englert Theatre hosts a wide variety of live theater performances, from acoustic music sets to stand-up comedians, and a whole host of other unique live acts and appearances, the Englert Theatre in Iowa City is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat for many shows to come. 

10. The Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids, IA

Built amongst all the extravagance of the 1920s, the Paramount Theatre on Third Avenue in Cedar Rapids is not only listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but is also treats audience members to the most current cultural performances of our present times. Once a decadent motion picture movie theater, this renovated live performance space is an enchanting place to catch Broadway musicals, nationally touring musical acts and all sorts of live theater performances to keep you entertained throughout the year. 

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