September 18, 2018

‘Frankenstein’ production will address key morality question as part of Purdue’s Ideas Festival

Convos Frankenstein “Frankenstein” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2-3 in Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse. (Photo submitted) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –  The Aquila Theatre’s production of “Frankenstein” will be performed at Purdue University and address a key morality question: “Just because we can do it, should we do it?” 

Purdue faculty experts will lead a pre-show discussion on ethical questions posed about the nature of innovation and the continued relevance of “Frankenstein.” 

This is one of many events celebrating Purdue’s Sesquicentennial, 150 Years of Giant Leaps. These performances are part of Purdue University’s Ideas Festival and the theme “Health, Longevity and Quality of Life.” The Ideas Festival is the centerpiece of Purdue’s sesquicentennial campaign and will feature a series of events that connect world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise in a conversation on the most critical problems facing the world.  

“Frankenstein” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2-3 in Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse. The Oct. 2 pre-show discussion will be at Stewart Center, Room 214, and the Oct. 3 pre-show discussion will be in the Purdue Memorial Union’s Anniversary Drawing Room. A post-show meetup will occur in the Purdue Memorial Union’s 1869 Tap Room after each performance.   

Written 200 years ago, Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus” wrestled with fundamental questions of innovation. Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s creation of an artificial human simultaneously yields extraordinary and terrifying results — a remarkable living being and a host of unintended consequences for creature, creator, and society. Years ahead of its time, “Frankenstein” and its questions persist amid contemporary exploration of invention’s deep, pervasive promises as the story also debates ethical boundaries and human dilemmas. The lauded classicists at Aquila Theatre return to Purdue to deepen on-campus discussions about the promise and peril of technological advancement.​

These performances are presented by Purdue Convocations with support from the Office for the Vice Provost for Student Life, Krannert School of Management, College of Liberal Arts, Honors College, the Leonora and Harold Woodman Endowment for Theatre, Henry and Sharon Kraebber and Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts.  

In conjunction with the performances, Purdue Convocations will conduct an arts research study led by Amanda Mayes, manager of education; Melinda Zook, a professor of history and director of Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts; and Amy David, clinical assistant professor of management. 

Purdue Convocations, along with its collaborators Zook and David, will investigate the role of the performing arts in business ethics and ethics education. With pervasive questions of corporate, scientific and human responsibility filling our daily news, students need a sound basis for ethical reasoning throughout their careers. Preliminary research suggests that the arts can be a tool for teaching ethical decision-making. However, the literature remains nascent, with few controlled studies and little on the performing arts and the study will attempt to lend research in this area. 

The research will attempt to ask “Can students become more ethical, well-rounded future leaders because of the power of a live theatrical performance?”   

Tickets for the “Frankenstein” performances cost $28 for adults and $22 for children under the age of 18, Purdue students and Ivy Tech Lafayette students. Tickets are available at the Stewart Center box office at 765-494-3933 or 800-914-SHOW. Group tickets are also available to groups of 10 more. Call 765-496-1977 for more details or visit

Initiated in 1902, Purdue Convocations was one of the first professional performing arts presenters in the United States. Each year, Convocations offers the region 30-40 performances of widely varying genres: Broadway-style shows, theater, dance, children's theater, world music, jazz, and chamber music, along with rock, pop, country and comedy attractions. With a vision for connecting artists and audiences in artistic dialogue and for drawing in academic discourse, Purdue Convocations aims to promote frequent exposure to and familiarity with human cultural expression in a multitude of forms and media. 

Sources: Abby Eddy, Purdue Convocations director of marketing, 765-494-9712,

Amanda Mayes, Purdue Convocations manager of education, 765-494-9712,

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