Convocations to lead “Call of the Wild” literacy/theatre project

Examining the Impact of a Live Performance of Call of the Wild: A Literacy/Theatre Project

My name is Dr. Amanda Mayes and I am the manager of education for Purdue Convocations. I am leading a nationwide study aimed at understanding the impact a live performance has on a student’s literacy skills. If you would be interested in participating in this study, each student in your class (or the teacher) would be provided with a free copy of the book. Based on reading level, I would ask that students read the book or have the book read to them in advance of the performance. Each student would complete a short, 20 question quiz, to assess their understanding of the book. Although participation in the study is not mandatory for those attending the performance, we would like to have as many schools participating as possible. If your school is interested in participating, please read the additional information below, and sign up for the study.

Participate in the Study

Contact Dr. Amanda Mayes at Purdue University via email at or via phone at (765) 494-2695.

Project Description

The primary goal of this study is to understand the academic/literacy impacts of a live performance. In order to meet this goal, schools will be recruited to have their students attend a live performance of Call of the Wild by Theatre Heroes. This show is based upon the book of the same name by Jack London. This book is appropriate for middle and high school students. Students can either read the traditional version of the novel or a graphic novel adaptation. All students who participate in the study will be provided with a copy of the book by their respective arts presenting organization.

Schools will be randomly assigned to either the treatment or control group. Schools assigned to the treatment group will attend the live performance after reading the book, then will complete a comprehension assessment within 48 hours of the live performance. Schools assigned to the control group will read the book, complete the comprehension assessment within 48 hours of reading the book, then attend the live performance. The evaluation tool will assess knowledge of the characters and plot, vocabulary, and higher order skills such as the author’s purpose.

This study will help to build the body of research examining the intrinsic benefits of a live performance and start to construct the body of knowledge on the academic impacts of the performing arts. This is a continuation of a line of inquiry started by Purdue Convocations in the 17-18 season examining the same phenomena with elementary students reading and attending a performance of My Father’s Dragon. All participating arts organizations will be recognized in all publications resulting from this research.

Program Assessment

  • 20 question assessment that is a combination of three different tests on Call of the Wild from Renaissance Learning

Study Approval

The study will be submitted for approval to Purdue’s Institutional Review Board. You may elect to receive a copy of the study approval form.

Further Questions

Please contact either your local arts presenting organization or Dr. Amanda Mayes at Purdue University with further questions via email at or via phone at (765) 494-2695.

Purdue Convocations school matinee of Call of the Wild

Call of the Wild

Call of the Wild

Author Jack London’s Call of the Wild is a thrilling tale of courage and survival that is now a beautiful, live multimedia adventure of performance and storytelling. Reserve your school field trip.

Monday, February 29, 2019
Loeb Playhouse