Kelli Morrill

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In his humorous book about Mormons, Orson Scott Card describes a roadshow as "a ten-minute musical play in which as many teenagers as possible are crammed onto a tiny stage where they sing silly songs while swaying back and forth with their arms raised above their heads. This is done in order to acquaint Mormon youth with Shakespeare's art." Some Mormon leaders argue the roadshow is a uniquely LDS art form which developed in the 1920s and grew to its highest levels of popularity in the 1950s and 1960s before drastically reducing its reach in the 1990s. This paper argues roadshows are an important element of Utah's art and cultural history and offer an interesting way to research LDS childhood, culture and theater. Roadshows are an example of the LDS church's commitment to acquainting their members with, and cultivating, the arts.



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