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November 13, 2017

DES MOINES, IA — As part of the organization’s mission to support and foster inclusion, Wellmark is partnering with Des Moines Metro Opera to sponsor a complimentary performance of As One — a one act opera portraying the journey to self-discovery and truth — for area LGBTQ youth and members of the transgender community. The special event takes place Nov. 16 at the Des Moines Civic Center’s Stoner Theater and includes a talk-back session facilitated by One Iowa and Transformations Iowa, featuring reflections from LGBTQ Iowans and members of the cast and creative team.

“At Wellmark, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to who we are and what we do — a pillar of our core values,” said Rona Berinobis, Wellmark’s vice president, inclusion and organizational development. “As the national Transgender Day of Remembrance approaches, this performance provides a unique opportunity for central Iowans to come together to learn from, support and celebrate the LGBTQ and transgender communities. Wellmark is honored to play a role in encouraging inclusion through the arts.”

Created in 2014, As One tells the story of a transgender woman named Hannah. Over the course of 15 songs, audiences will experience Hannah’s youthful challenges growing up in a small town, her struggles with family, discovery of a larger LGBTQ community and her inspiring journey of becoming true to herself.

“We are exceptionally grateful to Wellmark for providing an opportunity to experience this powerful performance to LGBTQ and transgender audiences,” said Michael Egel, Des Moines Metro Opera general and artistic director. “As One has become the most-often produced new opera in America today. Its creators use humor, empathy and wit to convey the arc of transgender life, and the quality and depth of musical storytelling instantly make the work a very relatable, human story for anyone.”

Tickets for all public performances of As One, which runs from Nov. 17 – 19, can be purchased online at or by calling the Des Moines Metro Box Office at 515-961-6221.