Church Becomes Theatre
The widespread adoption of the neomedieval auditorium church style by evangelicals after the Civil War attests to the strength and hegemony of evangelical consensus and community during the period. On the basis of the amphitheater, the auditorium sanctuary featured a sloped floor, curvilinear pews, and a prominent stage housing a pulpit, choir seating, and organ case. Echoing the opera houses and theaters that the middle classes were increasingly patronizing, this plan facilitated the infusion of professionally performed music into worship services and suggested an equality among audience members, all of whom could readily see and hear the service.
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