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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.

The New Victory Theater launched the New Victory Usher Corps the day the theater opened in 1995 to provide paid employment, job training, academic support, mentorship and an introduction to the performing arts for over 50 young New Yorkers each year. Since then, the program has provided over 400,000 hours of paid employment to over 500 NYC teens from across the city. Find out how teens ages 16-21 in your life can apply to be a part of this award-winning program here!

All season long, we'll be featuring young people from the Usher Corps in our New Vic Bills and here on the New Victory blog. Today we're talking to third-year usher Marcus Blaise from Jamaica, Queens.
 
 
Marcus BlaiseMy favorite show at The New Victory was…
Mother Africa! What made it enjoyable, in my opinion, was not only the performers, but how the music matched every scene of the performance.
 
The thing I like most about being an usher is…
Seeing how much patrons appreciate your work—especially when most of what you do is behind the scenes.
 
My favorite memory from working as an usher was... 
My favorite memory happened during my first year as an usher, right before a public show. My managers decided to make everyone come up with a creative catch phrase for the New Vic. Unfortunately, I embarrassed myself, but it's still one of my favorite memories! I learned (and laughed) a lot when they put us on the spot like that.
 
My dream job would be… 
To make music! Music has always had a huge impact on my life—what's better than expressing yourself in the art form you love most?
 
Who inspires you?
My pops, my sister and my mom inspire me every day. Also, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, J.Cole, Allen Iverson, KD, Steph Curry, Aaliyah, Lauryn Hill.....I can go on and on. Their will and their heart shine through their music. 
 
What is your favorite subject in school?
English, because I use it every day to learn new words and express myself better in conversations. Plus, I love rhyming!
 
What's your favorite thing to do when you're not at work?
Other than hanging out with my friends or playing on my game system, just sleeping.
 
What's your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?
Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica, Queens is my favorite place, I always go there to hangout and play basketball. For me, that park radiates nostalgia and family vibes. I like having an atmosphere where everyone can express themselves. 

 
New Victory Thumb Want to learn more about The New Victory Theater Usher Program? Take a look here!

Photo: Alexis Buatti-Ramos
Posted by Beth Henderson

This version of Beauty and the Beast might be unlike the one you are familiar with, but it tells the same story—one of magic, love and appreciating beauty of all kinds. In this Family Activity, create a storybook, learn some jokes and write a love poem!

At Home
In Beauty and the Beast, Isabella's family is starting a new life in a new home. In this activity, illustrate the prologue to help you imagine this new version of the story. What's a prologue? It's a part of the story that comes at the beginning of a play, often giving information about events that happened before the play began.

Materials: A printer, this story book template, coloring utensils

Step One: To get started, ask an adult to print out this story book template.

Book

Step Two: Illustrate the storybook. Remember to add color and emotion. Think about the following:
  • What color is the family's castle?
  • How do the twins dress? How does the third daughter, Isabella, dress?
  • How does Isabella feel about their castle?
  • What does their new cottage look like?
Step Three: Read your completed book to a friend or family member. Talk about what you think happens next in the story.

On the Way
The Beast may not seem friendly at first, but he has a great sense of humor. On your way to the theater, practice telling some monstrously funny jokes.

Here are some examples:

What do you get if you cross a frog with a rabbit?
A bunny ribbit.

Why are seagulls called seagulls?
Because if they flew over the bay, they'd be bagels!

How do you make a tissue dance?
You put a little boogie in it.

Kids, on the way to Beauty and the Beast try to get your grown-up to laugh! Keep telling jokes until you can get them to giggle, then switch. Are you looking for more comedic material? Find some more jokes here

Check out Beth trying to keep a straight face on her way to the New Vic!


After the Show
Here are some questions to think about on your way home from the New Vic:
  • When do you think the Beast is happiest? How about the twins? When is Isabella happiest?
  • Isabella says that "love feels like fireworks in her heart." What does love feel like to you?
  • What do you think the main themes of the show are? What lessons do the characters learn?
Love is a big part of this story. In this next activity, write your own love poem to someone you think is beautiful, inside and out! 

Materials: Paper, writing utensil

Step One: Rhyme schemes are the pattern of rhymes at the ends of the lines of a poem. Read these short love poems with two different rhyme schemes, ABAB and AABB:

ABAB
I love you dear with all my MIGHT.
More than the earth and SKY
You are my world, you are my LIGHT.
I'll never wonder WHY

AABB
The earth is big, the world is WIDE
But you I keep right by my SIDE
How lucky to love and how lucky to HOLD
A love like yours that never grows OLD. 

Step Two: Write your own love poem! Try using the ABAB or AABB rhyme scheme, or make up your own.

Step Three: Read it to the person you wrote it for, or perform the poem out loud to your family as if you are in a play. 

BONUS: Extend your poem beyond four lines. Also, try a haiku or a sonnet

And Beyond
Read the The Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm to see the origins of many classic stories. You may recognize certain parts of the show you just saw in "The Singing, Springing Lark!"

Check out the Children's Center at 42nd Street for more storytimes.
Posted by Beth Henderson
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