Special Opportunity for Arts Presenters

Participate in a National Research Study

Fellow Arts Presenters,

We all believe the performing arts are capable of amazing things. Specifically, theatre is a universal phenomenon that cuts across cultures and societies. Theatre teaches us lessons about:

  • expression
  • ourselves
  • history
  • people from cultures other than our own
  • social change and how society can be self-reflective
  • creativity

And most importantly:

  • theatre is an excellent way to learn

Enchantment Theatre Company Presents "My Father's Dragon" based on the beloved stories by Ruth Stiles GannettEven though we believe theatre is a powerful tool, arts organizations have done little to understand the impact live performances have. I invite you to help change that. Based on a small study discussed in the article Learning from Live Theater authored by Greene, Hitt, Kraybill, and Bogulski, I have developed a plan for a larger study to examine the impact of a live performance of Enchantment Theatre Company’s My Father’s Dragon on the literacy skills of some of our youngest patrons. This type of research is minimal in the field and your participation will help us all to build a case for the performing arts as a necessary part of every child’s education.

Please join me in this potentially field-defining work. All participating arts organizations will be recognized in all publications resulting from this research.

I’ve rarely seen anything like it. Class after class of third graders sat there, jaws literally agape, as I read from [My Father’s Dragon] a book that was a good 60 years old. Doubt you the power of a great story? Look no further. This title has a hold on kids that most folks would kill to achieve. – ELIZABETH BIRD, from “School Library Journal, 100 Top Children’s Books.”

Illustration from "My Father's Dragon"Please note details of this research are emerging. At this time, the study does not have Institutional Review Board Approval (the application will happen in the late spring as arts presenters agree to participate), and I do not have consent forms that can be distributed at this time. You can ask schools if they would like to participate as they book the performance. In exchange for their participation, all of their students in attendance should be provided with a copy of the book. Younger students should have the book read to them and older students should read the book on their own. Schools are not required to participate in the research if they attend the performance, but we ideally want as many as possible to participate. I will post additional details as they become available. In the meantime, please contact me with any questions.


Amanda Mayes
Manager of Education
Purdue Convocations
(765) 494-2695

My Father’s Dragon White Paper Purdue Convocations School Matinee