Assessing the Intrinsic Impacts of a Live Performance attempts to define and measure how audiences are transformed by a live performance. The study's research design consisted of a pair of questionnaires. One administered in-venue just prior to curtain, and the other sent home with the respondent and mailed back. The first questionnaire collected information about the audiences' mental and emotional preparedness for the performance. The second questionnaire, related to the first by a control number, investigated a range of reactions to the specific performance, including captivation, intellectual stimulation, emotional resonance, spiritual value, aesthetic growth and social bonding. Between January and May 2006, six presenters surveyed audiences at a total of 19 performances representing a cross-section of music, dance and theatre presentations. This report builds on recent literature to address several hypotheses:
1) that the intrinsic impacts derived from attending a live performance can be measured,
2) that different types of performances create different sets of impacts, and
3) that an audience members' 'readiness-to-receive' the art affects the impacts received.
The study develops a simple measurement tool to assess impact, provides an analytical framework for considering the results, and suggests how performing arts presenters might begin to use this information to select programs that create specific benefits for their constituents.