Written by Elizabeth Turner, Fall 2016 Operations Apprentice.
Every year the New Vic throws a Family Benefit to raise funds for the Give a Kid a Seat program, which helps over 40,000 New York City students see our shows. This year, Tony award winner Renée Elise Goldsberry joined our 300 guests as the Honorary Chair! Apprentices and Ushers transformed the entire lobby into a Bizarre Bazaar, full of games, food, circus acts, storytelling, face painting, music making and crafts inspired by Mother Africa: My Home. From preparing the decorations, to leading activities such as instrument making, I loved the opportunity to showcase my creativity in a fun and engaging hands-on experience. My favorite part of the Family Benefit was helping New Vic kids make their very own musical instruments! The kids enthusiastically jumped at the chance to make Tik-Tok Drums, a wooden drum with a hollow front and back and a string tied with a bead on each side. This instrument is very common among the children of Khayelitsha, the township that inspired Mother Africa: My Home.
The New Victory Theater has been ringing with the lively sounds and rhythms of African countries this December. With eight live band members performing on stage during this production, the music of Mother Africa: My Home from Circus der Sinne instantly makes you want to dance! Circus er Sinne creates unique musical accompaniment for each act with a wide range of percussion instruments, soulful guitars, electrifying horns and often encourages the audience to join in the music making.
There are over 2,000 languages spoken in the 54 countries that make up Africa. With a wide range of dialects and different writing systems, music plays an essential role in communication. Through music, people are able to come together and convey ideas and feelings, despite any language barriers. Some common African instruments are used in Mother Africa: My Home including the kora, the calabash gourd, the kalimba, the balafon, the djembe, the bass drum, the talking drum, the steel drum, the congas...and of course my favorite, rainsticks. Are you interested in learning more? There are still a few performances left to experience Mother Africa: My Home, so don't miss this truly captivating show!
||Elizabeth Turner is performer, writer and educator currently serving as New Victory Theater Operations Apprentice. She has a M.M and B.M from the Berklee College of Music and a certificate of Arts Administration from NYU. Elizabeth is passionate about bringing high quality children's entertainment to audiences around the world. She has performed with Disney and Nickelodeon in Europe and also served as a musical theater teaching artist in NYC for grades K-12 with Inside Broadway and the Brooklyn Council for the Arts. Busy starting her own production company for family audiences, her original musical Ciao Bambino just premiered at the Midtown International Theater Festival.
||Experience the excitement of Mother Africa: My Home and hear the sounds of this circus spectacular. Get your tickets here!