New Show, New Team at Iowa Stage

Above: Kurt Rachwitz recently moved to Des Moines to join Iowa Stage Theatre Company as executive director.


When the folks from Iowa Stage Theatre Company stopped by dsm’s office recently, they had all sorts of news to share.

For starters, the company will open its newest show, “A View From the Bridge,” this Friday, Feb. 23. Set in the 1950s in New York, the Arthur Miller tragedy centers on a close-knit Italian immigrant community. It follows the story of Eddie Carbone and his wife, Beatrice, who are happy to take in two of Beatrice’s cousins who just arrived from Italy—until Beatrice’s niece falls for one of them. Immigration, unsanctioned love affairs and the freedom to pursue happiness are threatened in this still-timely tale. The show, staged at the Des Moines Social Club’s Kum & Go Theater, begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday and runs through March 4 (dates and times vary). Tickets are $20-$35, available through Midwesttix.

In other news, Iowa Stage has a new executive director. Kurt Rachwitz moved to Des Moines in January to lead the organization. Rachwitz has 20 years’ experience as a professional fundraiser, working in various locations in the Midwest and East. Board President Dave Miglin told us Rachwitz is the perfect fit for Iowa Stage: “The board is more committed than ever to financial security and being [good stewards] of donors’ dollars.”

What’s more, Matthew McIver, who’s directing “A View From the Bridge,” will become Iowa Stage’s artistic director April 1. The current artistic director, Brad Dell, an associate professor of theater at Iowa State, will focus on his work in Ames.

Iowa Stage formed last year through a merger of the Repertory Theater of Iowa and StageWest Theatre Company. Miglin notes that for the company’s first three productions this season, an average of 70 percent of the seats were sold, compared with 38 percent for the last season of RTI and 52 percent for Stagewest. Miglin, Rachwitz and McIver agree the company’s success so far reflects the strong commitment of the company’s members as well as the city’s embrace of theater and the arts.

“There was a real desire to keep a downtown theater company in Des Moines,” Miglin says. “The passion among the people involved is genuine.”

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