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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.
January 25, 2018

Family Activity: Bromance


Design a card for your "bro," challenge your family to a competition and find your inner balance in this Family Activity! You can find all of our past Family Activities on our blog and at Pinterest.com/NewVictory.

Bromantine

There are loads of ways to tell someone you appreciate them. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, write a card to your favorite "bro."

Materials: Paper, coloring and writing utensils

Step One: Discuss what you think a bromance is. Is it a gendered term? Can two females have a bromance?

Step Two: Think of someone that you have a special relationship with. This could be anyone, a teacher, a sibling, a parent or a coach. Consider these questions:
  • What makes that person special?
  • What is one thing they do that you really appreciate?
  • How would you describe your relationship with them?

Step Three: Once you have chosen your person, think of a relationship in popular culture that reminds you of the relationship you have with that person. 

Examples:
Bert and Ernie
Bert and Ernie
 
Simone and Aly
Simone Biles and Aly Raisman

Joe Biden and Barack Obama
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Former President Barack Obama

Step Three: Using markers and crayons, write and decorate a card. HINT: Use the relationship you identified in Step Two as the text for your card. 

Example: You are the Bert to my Ernie, a true friendmance. Thank you for always making me laugh!

Example

Step Four: Once you have finished your card, don't forget to give it to the person and make their day! 

BONUS: Bromance is the combination of the two words "brother" and "romance." What other words can you smash together to create a new word for a type of relationship? For example if you are close to your cousin and think of them like a sibling, you could call them your "cousling!"

Anything you can do, I can do better!

The bros of Bromance are always one-upping each other. In this activity, see which family member can do these quirky challenges the best! 

Step One: Try out these challenges below.

Most Ambidextrous
Together, choose a word and then everyone try to write it with their left and right hand. Whoever writes both words best gets a point. 

Most Bendy Fingers
Bend your index finger back to your wrist. Whoever gets closest gets a point. 

Longest Tongue
Touch your nose with your tongue. Whoever can reach the furthest gets a point.

Most Likely to Tie Themselves in a Knot
Try to touch your tongue to your elbow. Whoever can do it gets a point.

Most Flexible
Touch the ground without bending your knees. Whoever can do it gets a point. 

Most Eye Control
Cross your eyes. Whoever can do it gets a point. 

Step Two: Once you finish the challenges, tally your points.

Step Three: Do you have any other hidden talents? Show your family. If you are the only one that can do it add a point to your tally. Whoever has the most points at the end, wins! 

All in the Balance

In Bromance, you will see jaw dropping tricks and physical feats, including those with a Cyr Wheel! To perform acrobatics with a Cyr wheel, you have to have excellent balance. In this activity, practice your balancing skills and see if you can be like the guys from Bromance

Cyr Wheel
Materials: Books of varying shapes and sizes, coins, masking tape 

Challenge One: Quarter Spin
  • Every person playing picks up a quarter.
  • At the same time, try spinning quarters on a table and see whose coin spins the longest.
  • Bonus: Try spinning the quarter and see if you can make it stop while keeping it standing up.
Quarter Spin

Challenge Two: Book Balance
  • Using masking tape, create a path on the floor.
  • Take turns balancing the books on your head and seeing if you can walk on the line.
  • Bonus: Add extra challenges like adding more books or trying to distract people while they are walking.

Challenge Three: Spin Doctors
  • Close your eyes and spin around three times.
  • See if you can walk on the tape line without falling.
  • Whoever can do it best, wins!
Photos: Chris Nash

 
Bromance Thumb In Bromance, the astonishing talent of these three mates from London will make a hopeless bromantic out of you. Get your tickets today!

 
Posted by Beth Henderson

 

Sara Zatz Ping Chong + Company's Sara Zatz Photo: Adam Nadel
In the rehearsal room are seven folding chairs with music stands in front of them, arranged in a semi-circle. A poster titled "Community Agreements" hangs on the wall. Seven young adult New Yorkers, in hoodies and caps, stand in the corner, waiting for the music for their entrance. Courtney, the stage manager, starts the sound cue, and one by one, Edwin, Syl, Monica, Porscha, De-Andra, Rafael and Mohammad walk onto the stage and take their seats. It's the opening of a run through of Undesirable Elements: Generation NYZ

"You're walking on stage for the very first time!" Sara Zatz, the co-director and co-writer says. "Take your time and really own the space. Don't rush it."

Owning the space, and owning your own story, is at the center of Ping Chong + Company's award-winning theatrical series, Undesirable Elements. Since 1992, the New York-based experimental theater company has created over 50 interview-based theater works that explore issues of culture and identity in specific communities. The basis of the script is in the participants' own words; stories gathered from intensive interviews are interwoven with historical research. While the form—the chairs in a semi-circle, the use of clapping as interludes—is in the same in each production, the results are always vastly different because of the nature of stories told. Sometimes the cast, who are non-professionals, are telling their stories for the very first time. 

For the 25th anniversary of Undesirable Elements, The New Victory Theater commissioned a show that tells the coming-of-age stories of New York City's diverse youth. The recruitment process took over a month: Sara Zatz and artistic collaborator Kirya Traber reached out to over 50 community organizations and schools in New York City, hoping to find 18-21 year olds from a wide range of backgrounds and neighborhoods, willing to share their experiences.

 

The Performers The performers of Generation NYZ, left to right: Edwin, Rafael, Mohammad, Monica, Porscha, De-Andra and Syl. Photo: Adam Nadel
Thirty people filled out the participant questionnaire, which included questions about personal background and reflections on living in New York. From these packets, Sara and Kirya invited 20 people in for individual two hour interviews. 

"We were thrilled to receive such an enthusiastic response to the call for participants," Sara said. "We knew we wanted the cast to reflect the kaleidoscope of experiences in New York City, and was especially mindful of finding stories across the five boroughs. Choosing the final ensemble was tough—we were originally thinking of a cast of five, but expanded to seven because we met so many amazing young people with important stories to tell." The company hopes to keep in touch with the young adults ultimately not selected, offering acting workshops and tickets to company performances. A few of their voices will also be included in a pre-show lobby installation that can be experienced during the show's run at The New Victory's smaller venue, The Duke on 42nd Street theater. 

There was excitement and some shyness when the cast of seven met each other for the first time. Between them, they know seven languages (including American Sign Language) and hail from all over the city, from East New York to the South Bronx. After a quick introduction excercise, Kirya sat everyone in a circle and asked the group to make a list of community agreements.

 

Ping Chong and the New Vic Ping Chong + Company in one of their first planning sessions with the New Vic
"Respect each other's boundaries," someone said. Sara wrote it on the poster in marker. 
"One voice, one mic."
"Be open, ask questions."

"Has anyone heard of the yellow zone?" Kirya said, after a pause. Everyone shook their head. She explained, "Green zone is those things you share easily with the world. Like your name, where you're from. Red zone is private stuff that you can't share with anyone. The yellow zone is a space with a bit of risk, things that you don't normally share that make you feel vulnerable." 

For a show that includes personal stories about serious issues like mental health, bullying, LGBTQ+ identity and homelessness, it was important to Kirya and Sara to form a safe, open environment. Before every rehearsal, they check in with the cast—how is everybody feeling? And the Community Agreement poster stays on the wall, which they review. Soon, the stories that the cast has shared with each other in intensive interviews and group conversations will be shared with the world at the Duke on 42nd Street.
 
Undesirable Elements Thumb From East New York to West Harlem and from the South Bronx to Far Rockaway, witness the jubilant victories, recent discord and distant dreams of coming of age in Undesirable Elements: Generation NYZ.

 
Posted by Beth Henderson
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