Recent Media

Mormon Pageants and the Performance of Whiteness

Op-Ed in Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 11, 2018.

“As the church expands into other parts of the world, its one-time affinity for musical theater may be becoming a liability. This offers one explanation for the church’s sudden disavowal of its pageant tradition. Systematically removing musical theater from its brand may distance the church from the racial implications of the genre, yet ideological roots can’t be entirely yanked out. The entwining branches of musicals and Mormonism will surely continue growing someplace further up the tree.”

The Cultural Hall Podcast

Podcast interview with The Cultural Hall Podcast, Nov. 23, 2018.

Thirty-minute discussion of how the Mormon Church used musical theater to become “white” in the middle of the twentieth century.

America Needs a Revolution in Listening

Op-Ed in The Oklahoman, Oct. 5, 2018.

“A character in a fake world sings with strength only because a woman in the real world learns how and decides she likes the feeling of being heard and trusted. Yet giving voice to her truth is only half of the equation. Performers on stage make sounds believable because listeners in the audience have come to the theater prepared to believe. The ultimate conviction of such moments relies not just on the sounds the woman makes, but the way the listener hears.”