Term of Award

Summer 1988

Degree Name

Master of Recreation Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)


Department of Recreation and Leisure Services

Committee Chair

Paul S. Miko

Committee Member 1

Del Presley

Committee Member 2

Roger Branch


This study consisted of research conducted at The Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) and The Georgia Southern Museum (GSM). Research at SMM consisted of exploratory research involving an unobtrusive observation of interpretive theatre programs performed at that museum and the effect of interpretive theatre on museum visitors. Particular attention was paid to the influence of theatre on children as the sample population for continued research at GSM was children ages 8-12. Subjects for this study were selected at random from the entirety of the sample population visiting the museum during the times of observation. Data recorded at SMM was compiled, analyzed and incorporated into a more specific research design at GSM. The GSM study consisted of a control group pretest-posttest design combined with unobtrusive study. The collected data was analyzed using a student's t-test and other descriptive statistics. Research centered around two null hypotheses: 1) Children who view theatre interpretation experience no difference in post-visit attitudes or retention of information from children who experience docented interpretation. 2) Use of theatre has no effect on visitor movement through an exhibit area of interaction with an exhibit. Hypothesis #1 was operationalized into more specific claims which were tested utilizing a student's t-test. Results of the test were mixed with a subhypotheses which concerned cognitive learning being accepted and other attitudinal subhypotheses being accepted at the .05 level of significance. Hypothesis #2 was rejected based on data gathered at SMM which showed interpretive theatre having a significant effect on visitor movement and time spent with an exhibit.


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