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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.

Discover your Chinese zodiac sign and imagine your very own adventure in this Family Activity for Panda's Home! 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.

Year of the You

In Panda's Home, dancers travel through the rich cultural landscape of China, encountering bamboo forests, ancient traditions and animals along the way! In Chinese astrology, each year is associated with a different animal. In this activity, develop a character based on one of these animals. 

Step One: There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. You can find your zodiac sign based on the year you were born! Use the chart below to discover the animal signs for each of your family members:
  • Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
  • Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
  • Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
  • Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
  • Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
  • Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
  • Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
  • Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
  • Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
  • Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
  • Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
  • Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971
Step Two: Now that you know your zodiac sign, it's time to get into character. Pretend you are that animal using the prompts below. Don't be afraid to get silly!
  • What noise does your animal make?
  • Does your animal run? Fly? Slither?
  • Is your animal furry? Feathery? Smooth?
  • How can you move like your animal?
Step Three: As a family, look here to find some of the qualities associated with your sign to find out what makes your animal special. Try to show your special qualities while acting like the animal. Are you any of the following?
  • A smart pig
  • A happy horse
  • A loyal dog
  • A proud rooster
  • A wild dragon
Color and Create

In the show, panda footprints are used to map out the journey. In this activity, create your own map with exciting stops along the way to imagine an epic adventure!

Materials: My Animal's Journey Sheet, crayons or colored pencils, pencils or pens

Step One: Adults, print out a copy of My Animal's Journey Sheet for each of your family members. 

My Animal's Journey
Step Two: First things first—find out where you're going. Adults, ask your kids what their favorite place in the whole world is, real or imagined. Is it grandma's house? The playground? Fairyland? Puppy palace? Pick one and fill in that answer on the sheet! Everyone in your family should do this for their own journey.

Now do the same for the rest of the blank categories. Here are some examples for the other stops on your journey, but there are no wrong answers!

Somewhere Outdoors:
  • A local park
  • The beach
  • A hiking trail
  • A street corner
  • A forest
Somewhere to Get a Snack
  • A pizzeria
  • An ice cream shop
  • The grocery store
  • Candy Land
  • Your favorite restaurant!
Somewhere Wild
  • The tallest tip of the tallest mountain
  • Under the deep blue sea
  • The far reaches of outer space
  • Superhero training headquarters
Step Three: It's time to color in your journey. Draw the locations you picked in the boxes on your map. Get creative with colors and shapes!

Choose Your Own Adventure

Every journey has a story and now it's time to tell yours! Explore all the details of your Journey Sheet and act out your adventure.

Step One: Tell your story, beginning, middle and end. Adults, help kids imagine why their characters traveled from place to place. Think about these questions to get into character.
  • Why does my character need to go to my favorite place?
  • What is something outdoors they need to do before they get there?
  • What happens along the way from their outdoor location that makes them a little hungry?
  • How does eating their snack make them feel?
  • Do they get lost? Do they know where they’re going?
  • When they get to their third location, are they tired? Happy? Scared?
  • Do they meet anyone along the way?
  • How do they finally get to their favorite place?
  • What do they do to celebrate when they get there?
Step Two: Now get into character! Practice the face your character might make when they get to each location on their journey. Rehearse your character with your family. Are they...
  • Excited to get there?
  • Nervous about travelling to the next place?
  • Surprised by someone they meet along the way?
Step Three: Tell your story again—only this time, act out the story as your character. Invite family members and friends to see your animal's journey. Good luck, and have fun on your trip!
 
Panda's Home Thumb Get your tickets today to venture into the depths of China's rich culture with Panda's Home!
Posted by Beth Henderson

The New Victory Theater launched the New Victory Usher Corps the day the theater opened 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 Anabel Rivera from Harlem, New York.
 
Anabel Rivera
My favorite show at The New Victory was…
I loved Cuba Vibra because it was a dance show. It was so much fun to watch people dance to songs that I connected with. Every time I watched the show, I would always dance along.
 
The thing I like most about being an usher is…
I like getting to interact with patrons from different cultures. I always learn something new from them!
 
My love of theater started...
It first started when I attended a performing arts high school.
 
Who inspires you?
My grandma inspires me because she's been through so much. She's a strong woman who overcame a multitude of obstacles to build a life for her family.
 
What was your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject in school was math class because it always felt easy for me. 
 
What's your favorite thing to do when you're not at work?
I really enjoy getting to spend my free time with my family.
 
What's your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?
Randall's Island is special to me. My family would always go there on Sundays to play soccer when I was little!
 
Describe the most challenging thing about being an usher.
The most challenging thing about being an usher is probably handling more than one role at a time. It always keeps you on your toes because you don't know what's coming next!
 
Describe your dream vacation.
My dream vacation would be to go to Puerto Rico. All I want to do is lay down in the sand, watch the palm trees and eat great food while listening to reggae.
 
What is your favorite childhood memory?
I always had the best time riding bikes with my cousins!

 
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
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