Stages, Sights & Sounds: Evaluating Student Engagement with Live, Multimedia Arts Performance

  • Rekha S. Rajan
  • Jeanette E. Goddard


In 2014, the Chicago Humanities Festival implemented a pilot program geared towards engaging students with live performance. Built from the Stages, Sights & Sounds Festival, two teaching artists—one focused on theater and one focused on visual art—worked with two different grade levels and schools to independently design an arts-integrated project. The goal of the Stages Engagement Pilot program was to expand and explore students’ understandings of their experiences as an audience member in a live, multimedia production. With a short timeline of only two months to collect data, the evaluator and program manager collaborated to define student engagement and compare changes in students’ attitudes towards live performance. The limitations of a small-scale evaluation and implications of this work are also discussed.


Live performance Student engagement Arts integration 


  1. Barker, M. (2003). Crash, theatre audiences, and the idea of “liveness”. Studies in Theatre and Performance, 23(1), 21–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Burnaford, G., & Scripp, L. (2013). PAIR research summary. Retrieved from
  3. Kisida, B., Bowen, D. H., & Greene, J. P. (2014). The educational value of field trips. Education Next, 14(1), 78–86.Google Scholar
  4. Reason, M. (2004). Theatre audiences and perceptions of ‘liveness’ in performance. Particip@tions, 1(2), 1–24.Google Scholar
  5. Pitts, S. E. (2005a). What makes an audience? Investigating the roles and experiences of listeners at a chamber music festival. Music and Letters, 86(2), 257–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Pitts, S. E. (2005b). Valuing musical participation. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rekha S. Rajan
    • 1
  • Jeanette E. Goddard
    • 2
  2. 2.Trine UniversityAngolaUSA

Personalised recommendations