Extreme Plants Travelling Side Show Program Evaluation
The Extreme Plants Traveling Sideshow is a theatre piece performed at the Natural History Museum of Utah in relation to the special exhibition, The Power of Poison. While NHMU has a history of Museum Theatre performances, this was the first to be performed since its move to the Rio Tinto Center.
The goal of this evaluation was to understand the visitor experience with museum theater and museum theatre’s value in communicating science content, as well as to inform future productions at NHMU. With this in mind, we sought answer the following questions:
1. Did guests feel the performance added value to their museum visit?
2. Did guests find the performance engaging?
3. Do guests report an awareness of the four main ideas?
To answer these questions, Kari Ross Nelson, in collaboration with Paul Michael Maxfield, created two protocols: a child interview and an adult survey. 16 children were interviewed and 42 adults completed the survey.
Findings from both protocols suggest that the performance was engaging and added value to the subjects’ museum visit. Three of the four main ideas the producers hoped to convey were evidenced either explicitly or implicitly.