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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.

Learn magic, explore your memories and make a World War II-inspired poster in this Family Activity for Nivelli's War! For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. You can find all of our past Family Activities on our blog and at Pinterest.com/NewVictory.

How Does He Do It?

In Nivelli's War, the main character, Ernst, learns magic. Before you see the show, watch the two videos below and learn classic card tricks from New Victory Teaching Artist Steve Cuiffo.
 


I Want You...To Make a Poster
In the time of Nivelli's War there was no TV or internet to advertise or make announcements. Posters during WWII were often used to relay news or provide important information about what to do in case of emergency. Make your own WWII-inspired poster to share something exciting happening in your family this week!

Materials: Poster template, paper or poster board, art supplies (markers, crayons)

Step One: World War II posters, like the examples below, often contained a title, an imaginative picture and a catchy slogan. Look at the posters below and identify the title, the picture and the slogan
 
Poster Example Poster Example Poster Example

Step Two: Choose an upcoming family event or something you're proud of that happened this week (it could be about something you accomplished or something a family member has done). 

Step Three: Brainstorm a title, picture and slogan for the event or accomplishment you’ve chosen.  

For example, maybe your family plans to eat banana pancakes this weekend...
Title:  Banana Pancakes This Sunday 
Picture: Draw a picture of a monkey eating the pancakes with your family 
Slogan: "So good, we've got to share!"

Maybe your kitchen has gotten a bit messy....
Title: Dishes Overtake the Sink.
Picture: Draw a picture of a giant dish monster emerging from your sink. 
Slogan: "Pick up a sponge and get scrubbing!"


Poster Template
Step Four: Using your art supplies, color your poster and hang it where everyone can see!

Memory Lane
Nivelli's War is told through the perspective of Ernst, based on memories from his childhood. We all recall important memories differently. Remembering details like smell, sound and taste help bring a memory back to life. In this activity, choose one memory your whole family shares and compare and contrast the different details you each recall.
  
Materials: Memory Prompts template, a large piece of paper, writing utensils, art supplies (markers, crayons)

Memory Prompt Template
Step One: As a group, decide on a memory that you all share, like a family vacation or holiday celebration. Then, individually fill out the answers on your Memory Prompts.
  
Step Two: Once your Memory Prompts worksheet has been filled out, share them with one another. Were there any:
  • Similarities?
  • Differences?
  • Surprises?
Step Three: Create a Memory Mural together by using one piece of large paper (the bigger the better). Everyone draw a part of their shared memory. 

MemoryMural.jpg

Step Four: Once finished, look at the mural together and consider these questions:  
  • Does it feel like everyone’s memories are represented?
  • If not, what would you add?
  • How does your family collect and save memories?
  • Are there other memories that your family often refers back to? Why are these memories important to your family? 


Family Activities
We invite you to deepen your understanding of the performing arts with our Public Engagement Activites, Arts Express and Talk-Backs!
Twitter   How did your poster turn out?
Share with us on Instagram or Twitter, #NewVic.
Facebook   Did you show off your magic tricks?
Like us on Facebook and share with us.
Posted by Beth Henderson

Ciao! Prepare to be dazzled, surprised and awestruck as you witness Liberi Di... Physical Theatre, the incredible ensemble of Something. With no safety net, these stunning acrobats and dancers display extreme trust and fearless talent as they climb, leap and tumble. Are you ready to explore balance and shape in this Family Activity? For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. You can find all of our past Family Activities on our blog and at Pinterest.com/NewVictory.  



The Tallest Tower

In Liberi Di... Physical Theatre's production of Something, the company employs acrobatics and dance as a means of spectacle and storytelling. In their most recognizable act, the performers create a tower by climbing on top of each other! Compete to create your own towers with a twist.

Something Tower

Materials: One box of uncooked spaghetti, one bag of mini marshmallows

Step One: Divide the sticks of spaghetti and marshmallows evenly among whomever is brave enough to compete.

Step Two: Set a timer for five minutes.

Step Three: Once the timer starts, each person creates a structure using the spaghetti sticks and marshmallows. The goal is to make the structure as tall as possible.

Step Four: At the end of the five minutes, measure the heights of the towers. The player with the tallest tower wins!

Bust a Move

The seven-person ensemble in Something works as a team throughout the show. Each member of the group has a signature style when dancing, even though they may be dancing the same moves. What is your signature style?

Materials: Music player, music, piece of paper, writing utensil

Step One: As a family, brainstorm dance moves that you can do and write them down. Maybe your dad is great at disco or your grandmother can bust a move while breakdancing.

Step Two: One by one, teach each other a move that you consider to be your signature dance move. HINT: Keep it simple–your move can be anything!

Step Three: Play the music and experiment with transitioning from one move to the next with the beat of the music.

Step Four: You are starting to build your family dance! Work together to incorporate some of the following choreographic elements:
  • Repetition: Repeat some of your dance moves.
  • Style of movement: Vary how fast you move—try moving super fast and then try dancing in slow motion.
  • Synchronization: Choose a moment where you all move in unison.
  • Levels: Work together to lift one family member completely off the ground at least once during the dance.
Step Five: Choose a closing pose and then share your whole dance from the beginning.

Bonus: Capture your family dance on video so you can see how it all comes together!

Do Something

Challenge One: Balance Something

The performers in Something demonstrate extreme focus and balance in performing their tricks. Test your balance and see how much you can handle under the pressure of this challenge.

Materials: Timer, variety of household objects, such as books, fruit, toys, rolled up socks, plastic bowls—anything you can hold that won’t break if you drop it.

Step One: Challenge each other to balance one of the objects on a body part, trying to create the most exciting balancing act for your competitor (e.g. "I challenge you to balance that book on your knee!"). HINT: If you can balance it for more than ten seconds, the challenge might be too easy!

Step Three: Repeat with different body parts and objects.

Bonus: Can you balance more than one object at a time, or while standing on one foot?

Challenge Two: Recreate Something

Liberi Di... Physical Theatre comes to The New Victory all the way from Milan, Italy. Bring the spirit of Italy to your home!

Step One: Study the images of Italian landmarks below. Can you name any of them?*

Italian Landmarks

Step Two: Individually create the shape of each building with your body. Pay special attention to line and symmetry.

Step Three: Now, recreate the shape of each building as a pair or trio. If you're feeling adventurous, try creating the shape with only one person touching the ground.


 
(Clockwise: The Colosseum, The Milan Cathedral, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Trevi Fountain)
 

Family Activities
We invite you to deepen your understanding of the performing arts with our Public Engagement Activites, Arts Express and Talk-Backs!
Twitter   How tall was your tower?
Share with us on Instagram or Twitter, #NewVic.
Facebook   What were the best moves your family came up with?
Like us on Facebook and share with us.
Posted by Beth Henderson
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