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New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.

Receive royal gifts, transform your home with theater magic and create your own game in this Family Activity for The Young King! For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. You can find all of our past posts on our blog and at Pinterest.com/NewVictory.
Royal Retrieval
In The Young King, a young man suddenly learns that he will become a king. Entranced by palace life, he demands expensive gifts like a robe of tissued gold, a pearled scepter and a ruby-studded crown. What do you think it would be like to be royalty?

Materials: Anything around your house

Step One: Together, create an outfit fit for royalty! Search your house and find or make a crown, cape and scepter. HINT: A pot could be a crown, a blanket could be a cape and a broom could be a scepter!

Step Two: Pick one family member to wear the outfit first—they are now The Royal. When The Royal says "go" everyone else searches around the house for the best gift to present to him or her. HINT: The goal is for your present to be their favorite, so consider what that person would like!

Step Three: When everyone has a gift, The Royal picks their favorite. The person who gave The Royal's favorite gift becomes royalty next. Now, everyone finds gifts for the new Royal. Keep playing until everyone has had a turn!

BONUS: Royalty can be very rich and powerful. If you were in charge and and could have anything, what would you want? Discuss as a family.

Make a World, Play a Game
The Young King is ruler of a large kingdom split into four sections. He learns about these factions throughout the show, and about how his demands affect them. As a family, design your own kingdom in a boardgame and learn how rules affect each other.

Materials: Board game template, card template, scissors, coloring materials, a coin, items to use as game pieces (a thimble, a small toy, a paper clip, a bottle cap, etc.) 

Set Up Your Game
Step One: Print out the board game and the card template

Step Two: Cut out the cards and put them into a deck.

Step Three: Get a coin to flip and find small items around the house to use as playing pieces.
Step Three
Decorate Your Game
Step One: Have each player pick a section—this is your kingdom! 

Step Two: Everyone picks a different color. Use your color to outline your section and rectangles.
Step Two
Step Three: Take a moment and consider what kind of kingdom you want to have. Draw elements of the world in your section. Consider the geography, temperature and the residents!
Step Three
The Rules of Your Game
Step One: Start the game by putting your piece on the edge of your section.
Step One
Step Two: Choose a player to go first. On your turn, flip the coin. If it's heads go forward one space; if it's tails go two.

Step Three: After you move, draw a card. Ask the question to the ruler of the section you are in. Once the card is answered, you move forward the number of spaces indicated on the card. If you preside over the section, go forward one space.
Step Three
Step Four: After you move forward, it's the next player's turn. Whoever first journeys in a complete circle around the board wins! 

Transform Your Home

Did you know The Young King is an interactive play based on a short story by Oscar Wilde? When plays are based on books or movies they are called adaptations. A good adaptation brings the world of the source material to life through costumes and sets. In this activity, set up your home to create an interactive dramatic experience based on your favorite book or movie!

Materials: An open area, furniture, blankets, boxes or anything else you can think of!  
 
Step One: Pick a favorite book or movie to act as your source material.
 
Step Two: Time to make a set! Create a world based on your source material with the items you collected from your home. For instance, you can throw blankets over furniture to create mountains, or make a mighty castle out of boxes and chairs.
 
Step Three: Choose two or three lines from the source material and act them out. Try using props from around the house to really set the scene.

Step Four: In The Young King, audience members travel throughout the theater before the show. Transform other rooms of your house into different settings and move between those spaces to act out multiple scenes!
 
The Young King  



Welcome both the Young King and our brand new lobby! Tickets to The Young King are available here
Posted by Beth Henderson

Courtney K. BoddieThis summer, New York University Steinhardt's Educational Theatre Program hosted a special roundtable event in conjunction with New Plays for Young Audiences' 20th Anniversary, to explore theater for young audiences in today's world.

Panelists included Laurie Brooks, award winning theater for young audiences (TYA) playwright, José Cruz González, a leading Latino voice in TYA, Cecily O'Neill, foremost drama-in-education authority, David Montgomery, Director of NYU's program and author of Theater for Change and Courtney J. Boddie, Director of Education/School Engagement at The New Victory Theater. The panel was moderated by Philip Taylor, NYU Educational Theatre professor. 

Below, Courtney takes us through where she thinks the future of TYA is headed. To hear from the rest of the panel, take a listen to the podcast!
 

Thank you so much for having me here today! I graduated from NYU Steinhardt's Educational Theatre Program in 2003 and I've worked at the New Vic ever since. This program really helped me find my home. At The New Victory Theater, I love to provide a place where kids are heard and where they can express themselves. TYA opened my eyes to this world because, prior to that, I only understood theater for adults. My parents took me to shows, but—for a long time—I didn't understand that shows could be made specifically for kids too. 

Courtney J. BoddieThe New Vic opened in 1995 and since we've been the premier theater for New York City kids and their families. My job mainly focuses on the 40,000 kids from 170 schools we welcome to our theater each year. The majority of these schools have a general education curriculum with amazing teachers who understand that it's important for kids to have theater in their lives from an early age. 

Due to testing and budget cuts, middle and high schoolers don't see a lot of theater. The New Vic is different because we serve pre-k through high school, but the majority of schools we work with are elementary schools. In order to showcase how affective theater is for kids of all ages, we are working on a longitudinal research study with WolfBrown. In two years, we'll be able to share our findings on topics like theater's intrinsic impact on elementary and middle school students with the public. We know that theater is good for all audiences, and we're hopeful that the results of our study will inspire schools and other theaters to invest in young audiences. 

I hope studies like this positively affect the future of TYA, because it's so important to make sure that provocative, sophisticated work continues being created. We want to truly represent our audiences. There are many kids coming to our theater who are Black or Latinx and they, sadly, don't often see themselves on stage. We aim to represent all kids so they all can grow up feeling represented by the characters that we, as creators of TYA, show them. The Panel

The thought that young people can't appreciate theater is ridiculous. Kids are the most honest audiences in the world. My favorite thing to do is to watch our education performances, because those kids are going to tell the actors right away what they really think. They'll let you know if they don't like the show, but, more importantly, they'll tell you if they love it. 

There is always a beautiful reciprocation that happens between artist and audience, but with kids there's this palpable energy that's so synergistic, it's difficult to describe. What we need to push for is a range of performing arts that kids are exposed to, as well, as the number of stories they can connect to. Being with these amazing artists today and seeing the incredible work created around the globe, I have hope that my goals for TYA will come true!

 

Courtney J. Boddie, New Victory Director of Education/School Engagement, oversees the New Victory Education Partnership program and professional development training in the performing arts for teachers. Ms. Boddie was President of the Association of Teaching Artists (ATA) from 2015 to 2017 and is currently on the Board of Directors. Additionally, she serves on the Teaching Artist Committee of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable, the editorial board for the Teaching Artist Journal and is a member of the National Teaching Artist Collective in association with the National Guild for Community Arts Education. She is an adjunct professor at New York University and The New School. Prior to joining The New Victory Theater in 2003, Ms. Boddie was Program Associate for Empire State Partnerships (NYSCA) and a teaching artist for Roundabout Theatre Company. She received her Master's degree from the Educational Theatre Graduate Program at New York University.
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