History of Broadway Class

How did a rough, Dutch frontier trading post, where stage performances were forbidden, develop into the theatrical capital of the world? It is a rare soul who doesn’t know something about the Great White Way, but very few know more about how Broadway came to be than John Viars, artistic director emeritus of the Des Moines Community Playhouse. In addition to his charming, insightful lecture, John has assembled an impressive multi-media presentation that highlights Broadway history with song, pictures, and juicy tidbits of gossip!

This class is held online using Zoom technology.

Want to take the class but not available for the live zoom, 10:00 AM-Noon on Tuesdays? Contact Robin Spahr, education director, at 515.974.5365 to purchase the weekly recording.

John Viars, Playhouse artistic director emeritus, holds a B.A. and M.A. in theatre from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. Active in national organizations, John is a past president of the American Association of Community Theater and group leader of the Professional Community Theater Directors Conference. In 1990, he received the Eleanor Robson Award from the Council for International Understanding for contributions to international understanding.

Performance Times:
10:00 AM-Noon, Tuesdays
Winter Classes
Content Advisory:


  • John Viars

    Instructor / Playhouse Artistic Director Emeritus

    John Viars