Destination Iowa: Shakespeare on the Lawn: ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Thursday, June 7, 2018

DES MOINES — The world of William Shakespeare is brought to life at the Salisbury House in Des Moines on June 13-17. The Salisbury House and Gardens is the backdrop for the play, “Romeo and Juliet.”

Experience the world of William Shakespeare June 13-17 at the Salisbury House in Des Moines.
Photo submitted

“Salisbury House and Gardens has been a mainstay for outdoor Shakespeare for many years,” company manager Shawn Wilson said. “The backdrop of the Salisbury House is beautifully suited to Shakespeare and has been a long tradition going back many years with Repertory Theater of Iowa.”

The Salisbury House is home to many of Shakespeare’s First Folio Prints and the actors will utilize the house in many ways, including the balcony for the famous scene between Romeo and Juliet.

“This show will be one of our most action packed with at least four choreographed fights and one battle royale that uses swords, daggers and quarterstaffs,” Wilson said.

The shows take place outside, with the lawn opening up to guests at 6 p.m. and the performance starting at 7:30 p.m. Guests may bring blankets, chairs, food and drink of their own. There will also be venders selling food and drinks there.

Ticket prices are $30 and there are discounts for students and Salisbury House members. Guests may buy general admission seats. The money raised from the tickets go toward the management and preservation of the historical Salisbury House.

“There is nothing like bringing a blanket, spreading out on the lawn with food and drinks and watching one of the greatest stories ever told emerge as the light of the moon peaks out overhead,” Wilson said. “It’s a really unique experience that only comes around once a year.”

The actors of the performance are a mix of resident artist company members of Iowa Stage Theatre Company and local guest artists. Three members of the performance have won the Cloris Award, an award named after Cloris Leachman, a Des Moines native and Oscar winner and Broadway star.

“We want our audience to enjoy and celebrate not only this beautiful house, but one of the best loved stories of all time,” Wilson said. “For Iowa Stage, this is one of our actors’ favorite times. To be out on the lawn, to be so close to our audience, to perform outside, it’s really a great experience.”

Tickets can be purchased at

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