1st Edition

Performing for the Don Theaters of Faith in the Trump Era

By Hank Willenbrink Copyright 2023
    260 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume examines the intersection of political power and religion during the presidency of Donald Trump through an examination of performance.

    This study begins with an examination of white evangelical Christian support for Trump through readings of the 2018 film The Trump Prophecy, based on a book of the same name, and The Faith of Donald J. Trump, a "spiritual biography" of the former president by veteran Christian reporters David Brody and Scott Lamb. White evangelicals Christianized Trump during his run for office in 2016 and Trump’s ascension to the presidency broke down barriers between church and state in service of dominionistic Christian aims. This exploration then looks at the conservative Catholicism through an exploration of Heroes of the Fourth Turning, a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama by Will Arbery, and Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option. While Trump’s connection to evangelicals is well documented, conservative Catholics like Attorney General Bill Barr and Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett took on pivotal roles during the Trump administration demonstrating the significance of conservative Catholicism to his presidency. The author finally examines the "cult" of Trump on the internet by interrogating the performance of spirituality in pro-Trump conspiracy theories like QAnon.

    This book will be of great interest not only to theatre and performance studies scholars but also scholars with interests in political and religious studies.

    Introduction: The Hands on His Back

    Chapter 1: Two Corinthians

    Threshold: Angels from Africa and South America

    Chapter 2: Trump Prophecies

    Threshold: The Fall of Falwell Jr

    Chapter 3: The Wyoming Option

    Threshold: Steve Bannon’s Monastery

    Chapter 4: The God Emperor and the Infinite Scroll

    Conclusion: The Flag in the Senate Chamber



    Hank Willenbrink is an Associate Professor at the University of Scranton, USA.