Deadline Extended for Free HAMLET Student Tickets

Researchers at the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions announced today that the deadlines for teachers to apply for free tickets to TheatreSquared's upcoming production of Hamlet have been extended.

Dozens of applications by school groups from 15 Arkansas counties have been received, but TheatreSquared education staff also heard from teachers still working to prepare submissions. UA faculty researchers have adjusted their timeline and will continue accepting applications for Hamlet until February 17, 2014.

The application for school groups to obtain the free theater tickets, updated to reflect the new deadlines, is available on TheatreSquared's website (http://theatre2.org/school-performance-app).

The free tickets are available for student groups in grades 6-12 thanks to a research study sponsored by Dr. Jay Greene of the UA Department of Education Reform.

Greene plans to study how student understanding of the plays, interest in the arts, critical thinking skills, and values are affected by a culturally enriching school trip to the theater. Greene and his students have been conducting similar research on school field trips to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Walton Arts Center.

Greene expects the number of applications to exceed the number of seats available, so that researchers will use a lottery to determine which school groups get the tickets, creating a control group for the research. All students, including those not chosen for the treatment group, will get a free ticket to attend another performance next year, so that even those not chosen by lottery will be rewarded for completing a survey used in the research.

Culturally enriching field trips are in decline in the United States, Greene said. A survey by the American Association of School Administrators found that more than half of schools eliminated planned field trips in 2010-11. "We wanted to see what is being lost as a result of this shift away from enriching field trips," Greene said.

TheatreSquared, now in its eighth season, offers 130 annual performances at Walton Arts Center's Nadine Baum Studios. The company is Northwest Arkansas's only year-round, professional theatre company, and was honored in 2011 by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards, as one of the nation's ten most promising emerging theatres. To learn more about TheatreSquared's educational offerings, visit theatre2.org/learning. To learn more about Dr. Greene's research at the College of Education and Health Professions, visit www.uaedreform.org,

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