Diamond Crown Award

Diamond Crown Organization
Recognizes longevity & vitality of an AACT-member theatre

This award recognizes longevity and vitality of AACT-member theatres that have expanded programming and/or facilities in the past ten years and have the administrative leadership to remain vital to their communities for the next ten years. Recipients must have been in continuous operation for 75 years and organizational members of AACT for the past 10n years.

2019 Honoree

Des Moines Community Playhouse (Des Moines, Iowa) serves people of all ages and abilities with seven main stage and four children’s shows per season, year-round education classes, volunteer opportunities, community-focused events, and local partnerships. Annually, volunteers fill approximately 1,750 positions, giving more than 75,000 hours in support of Playhouse programs. Celebrating 100 years of continuous operation, the Playhouse has produced over 1,100 productions. Over the last 10 years, Playhouse leadership has concentrated on completing strategic planning, major facility renovation, and a transition of leadership.

The Playhouse is a charter member of AACT, hosted AACT’s International Festival in 1990, and served as the first national office for AACT. In 2008, Playhouse embarked on a strategic plan. A 10-year capital fundraising campaign was implemented that resulted in a community investment of $9 million, so that virtually all of the theatre’s 1934-era section was renovated and a new multi-purpose lobby was built.  Auditorium seats were replaced. Production improvements included new light and sound booths, a grid with two catwalks, a replaced and leveled stage floor, new lighting instruments, and new sound and light control systems. Another challenge for the Playhouse was a change in leadership. The retirement of senior leader John Viars led to David R. Kilpatrick’s hiring as Executive Director.

The Des Moines Community Playhouse lives up to its motto: “More Than a Theatre,” in the many ways it touches lives in its community, state, and the nation through the American Association of Community Theatre.

Previous Honorees

2018   Richmond Civic Theatre (Richmond, Indiana)
2017   Bay City Players, Inc. (Bay City, Michigan)
2016   Bellingham Theatre Guild (Bellingham, Washington)
2015   Grand Rapids Civic Theatre & School of Theatre Arts (Grand Rapids, Michigan)


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