Dancing for God and Country: Performing Politics in "A Perfect American Town"


ACLS Fellowship Program


Performing Arts


Branson, Missouri seems an unlikely place to bill itself as the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World,” given that many people outside of the Midwest have never heard of it. In 2017, however, more US tourists watched live performance in this Ozark Mountain town than on Broadway. The theatrical performances in Branson promote a worldview that focuses on faith, flag, and family, a triumvirate linked to the rise of the modern conservative movement in America. “Dancing for God and Country” analyzes the influence of Branson’s live performance industry from its start in 1959 to the present. The book will reorient the understanding of the relationship between theatrical performance and conservative politics.