Health & Safety

April 23, 2021

We will be updating this page regularly with our latest plans for the safe reopening of our venue. The date of the most recent update appears at the top of the page.

2021 Festival FAQs >

2021 Festival Calendar >

General Information

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Blank Performing Arts Center for live performances! We know you share our enthusiasm for the performing arts safely returning to theatres after a long hiatus. All live performances rely on everyone playing their part. This season, DMMO’s reopening relies on you, our audience members, to do your part, too!

Our safety strategy includes five basic mitigation strategies, developed in conjunction with our Medical Advisory Panel, that apply to all company and audience members:

  • Vaccination and Testing: Des Moines Metro Opera requires either proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test completed within 72 hours of attendance at any DMMO performance or in-person event. We need you to join us in this important safety measure. All DMMO artists and company members will have been vaccinated prior to their arrival in Iowa.
  • Masking: Everyone on Des Moines Metro Opera property and at DMMO events will be required to wear a face mask at all times. We strongly recommend N95/KN95 masks or double-masking. Single layer masks, gators or masks with visible exhalation valves or vents will not be permitted in the venue. 
  • Ventilation: DMMO has partnered with Waldinger Corporation and Simpson College to install supplemental air exchange systems that will provide increased ventilation air into the building at more than 3 times industry minimum requirements. This system will both improve the occupant thermal comfort during performances, as well as ease current pandemic concerns by limiting recirculation of air throughout the performance and lobby spaces.
  • Distancing: We ask that you always maintain a safe distance by following posted guidelines. Assigned seats in the Pote Theatre and at all DMMO events will reflect recommendations regarding appropriate spacing between attendees.
  • Environmental Cleaning: Wash your hands frequently and use the hand sanitizer dispensers located throughout the performance facility. We will regularly sanitize our stairway railings, bathrooms, elevators, and other high touch surfaces.

DMMO will monitor changes in guidelines closely and continue to adjust decisions to prioritize everyone’s safety and enjoyment. Please check this page frequently for updates.

Medical Advisory Panel

At DMMO, these past many months have been busy meeting with our Medical Advisory Panel. This group includes an infectious disease specialist with Mercy Medical Systems as well as three other doctors and a nurse from the UnityPoint Systems. They are:

  • Dr. Daniel H. Gervich, MD, Infectious Disease; MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center; (retired)
  • Dr. Craig Shadur, MD, UnityPoint Health: DMMO Board Member
  • Dr. Steve Stephenson, MD; Pediatric Oncology; UnityPoint Health; DMMO Board Member
  • Dr. Robert Shreck, MD; Oncology and Hematology
  • Evelyn Schnoor, RN; UnityPoint Health

Prior to Your Arrival

Iowa COVID-19 Information
Please visit the Iowa Department of Public Health page for information on COVID-19 in Iowa and the CDC Travel Page for best practices while in transit.

Visitors from Outside of Iowa
As of April 16, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Iowa. Anyone 2 and older is encouraged to wear a face covering in indoor public settings. Visit the Iowa Tourism page for detailed information.

What types of face masks are required at the opera?
Des Moines Metro Opera requires all patrons to wear a face mask while within the Blank Performing Arts Center and while attending any DMMO special events. We strongly recommend N95/KN95 masks or double-masking for the duration of your visit to our facility. If you need one, we will be happy to provide a mask for you. Your face mask should:

  • Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric.
  • Completely cover your nose and mouth.
  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don’t have gaps.
  • Have a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask.

Single layer masks, gators or masks with visible exhalation valves or vents are not acceptable.

Ticket orders are accepted via phone or online. No walk-up orders will be taken by the Box Office.

Tickets will be delivered as print-at-home or mobile tickets only approximately two weeks prior to your performance and after you have fulfilled the qualification of proof of vaccine. If you prefer to show proof of vaccination or a negative test on the date of your event, your ticket can be claimed at will-call.

Negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination procedure
All attendees at DMMO events this summer must provide proof of either a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event or proof of vaccination.

To provide proof of vaccination:

  • It is only necessary to provide your proof of vaccination one time this season, and we ask that you supply it as soon as possible so we can update your record.
  • Once you have your vaccination card following your complete vaccination*, you may:
    • Send a photo via text to 515-209-3251
    • Send an image via email to
    • Mail a copy of your vaccine card to 106 W Boston Ave, Indianola IA 50125
    • Stop by the administrative office at DMMO, 106 W Boston Ave, Indianola IA 50125 before the date of the event you will attend.
    • Bring your proof of vaccination with you to the event that you will attend (arrive at least 45 minutes before the beginning of the event, please)**

*Please ensure that you redact or block out any private information on the card (if your card includes any personal medical information).

**To avoid congestion at will-call or the possibility of forgetting your card, we strongly recommend providing proof of vaccination BEFORE the event that you are attending if possible.

To provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test:

  • Please ensure that your text was administered no more than 72 hours prior to the event you will attend (ie: a test administered not earlier than 2 p.m. on Thursday, 7/1, if attending the performance on Sunday, 7/4).
  • Once you have your negative test result*, you may:
    • Send a photo or forward your text notification via text to 515-209-3251
    • Send an image or forward your email notification via email to
    • Stop by the administrative office at DMMO, 106 W Boston Ave, Indianola IA 50125 before the date of the event you will attend and show our box office staff proof of a negative test.
    • Bring a copy of your negative test result with you the event you will attend (arrive at least 30 minutes before the beginning of the event, please)**

*Please ensure that you redact or block out any private information on the test result (if your result includes any personal medical information).

**To avoid congestion at will-call or the possibility of forgetting your proof of a negative test, we strongly recommend providing your negative test result BEFORE the event you are attending if possible.

What will DMMO do with my proof of vaccination or negative test result?
DMMO takes your privacy seriously. We will not retain your personal information or any document regarding your vaccination record or negative test result for longer than 24 hours. 

Staff will update our patron database upon seeing your proof of vaccination or negative test result to qualify you for entry to appropriate DMMO events.

DMMO will purge any physical copy, email, or text with personally identifying information within 24 hours of its receipt.

Not feeling well? Please stay home.
We encourage anyone who is feeling unwell not to attend a performance. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please call the Box Office prior to your performance to discuss your ticket options. If you are feeling unwell, please stay home. We pledge to work with patrons on a case-by-case basis if you become unable to attend. We expect there will be a sizeable waiting list for seats filled with eager potential ticket buyers to purchase even last-minute seats.

Contact Tracing
To support contact tracing, when you purchase your tickets, you will be asked to provide your name and contact details. You will also be asked to provide contact information for each attendee in your party.
If you give a ticket to another attendee in your place, please be sure to note the name and contact information of the person who receives your ticket(s).

When You Arrive

  • Masks are required as a condition of entry and attendance, regardless of vaccination status. Each attendee will be asked to provide either a proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
  • In response to current social distancing guidelines and to ensure the safety of our patrons, staff and artists, DMMO’s current seating capacity is significantly reduced. As guidelines change and if conditions improve as we approach July, we may be able to increase our capacity.

  • Maintain social distancing in the parking lot and wear a face mask upon exiting your vehicle. Please be aware that your face mask must follow CDC guidelines.

  • Please look for Des Moines Metro Opera staff and signage as you approach the theater. Ushers will help direct you to the correct entrance gate indicated on your ticket and will be able to answer questions. Ushers will also be working to maintain our COVID Safe Practices, including social distancing and wearing of face masks.

  • Have your ticket ready for scanning before you get to the entrance. However, we highly recommend taking a screenshot of your ticket before you arrive at the opera.

  • Frequent hand washing and/or hand sanitization is recommended of all patrons. Convenient hand sanitizer stations with at least 60% alcohol content will be located throughout campus for use by patrons, staff, and artists.

  • Interactions with staff will be limited. Acrylic shields will be placed between staff and audience members at points of contact when possible. If a shield is not in place, please maintain six feet of distance between yourself and the staff member assisting you.

  • Audience members will remain socially distant from all those not a part of their immediate ticket group including staff and other patrons. Social distance markers will be placed where guests and audience queues may form.

  • Please enjoy extended intermissions during each of our operas in the 2021 Summer Festival Season. We encourage all patrons to leave their seats at intermission to allow the supplemental air exchange system to clean and cycle through the air in the theatre.