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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.

In A Sky for the Bears, Teatro Gioco Vita tells two moving stories through shadow puppetry, a unique and evocative art form with roots that go back further than you'd think. Get to know this world-class company with five quick facts!
  • Teatro Gioco Vita is nearly fifty-years-old! Founded in Piacenza, Italy, in 1971, they've performed all over the world in countries including Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Japan, China, Israel, Taiwan and Turkey. This multi-generational team of artists has a rich history of telling stories with illustration, light and puppetry. In their half-century existence, they've graced our stage once before in 1998 with their show Firebird
A Sky for the Bears
  • The director of A Sky for the Bears, Fabrizio Montecchi, has been with the company since they first started touring in 1978—when he was only 18-years-old! He started as a performer right out of high school, but soon realized that he longed to work as a director. Slowly, but surely, he became a leading figure in creating captivating shadow puppetry in Europe. He’s now the Artistic Director of shadow puppet productions at Teatro Gioco Vita!
  • The two stories from A Sky for the Bears are inspired by German stories Ein Himmel für den kleinen Bären and Das Bärenwunder from celebrated kids' lit authors Dolf Verroen and Wolf Erlbruch.
Fabrizio Montecchi Fabrizio Montecchi, Photo: Jože Suhadolnik
  • During the late 1970s in Italy, theatrical animation (or "animazione teatrale" in Italian)—the art of using theater games to help audiences connect with a sense of childlike play—began to gain prominence in the theater world. The then-young company, Teatro Gioco Vita, is credited as being one of the first to combine this engaging style of theater creation with shadow puppetry. 
  • Puppetry is an ancient art form with traditions from all over the world, but enthusiasts agree that modern European puppetry largely stems from Italy, home of marionettes and Commedia dell'arte. Shadow play or shadow puppetry—as seen in A Sky for the Bears—is traced back to India's Tholu Bommalata, a tradition from the 3rd century BCE. Though shadow play has South and East Asian origins, Italy was the gateway for its introduction to Europe.
This charming tale of discovering your hearts deepest desires runs at The New Victory Theater from October 28-November 5. Get your tickets today! 
 
Posted by Beth Henderson
October 27, 2017

Family Activity: Marmalade


In this Family Activity for Marmalade, dress up in a new way, explore texture and dance around the room! For each show in the season, we'll post a new Family Activity. You can find all of our past posts right here on our blog and at Pinterest.com/NewVictory.
 

Silly Dress-Up

The performers in Marmalade wear clothes in silly ways. Try dressing differently by following the steps below!

Materials: Clothing items for each family member

Step One: Think about unusual ways to wear clothing. Maybe you could wear a hat as a neck tie or a shoe as a hat?

Renata

Val

Step Two: Wear your clothing in a silly way, then have the rest of your family copy you. Each family member gets a turn to show off their different style of dressing. 

Step Three: As a family, vote who had the silliest outfit and whoever has the most votes wins! Now come up with another new way of dressing and vote again.

Mystery Box

It's all about texture! In Marmalade the performers encourage the audience to touch various items. Get ready for the show by making a texture mystery box.

Materials: Medium sized box (a shoe box or something of a similar size), scissors, textured items

Step One: Cut a hole in the side of your box big enough for a hand to go through, but small enough so you can't see inside.

Step Two: Find objects around your house with interesting textures like cloth, metal or toys and place them inside your mystery box. See if you can find something:
  • Rough
  • Slimy
  • Furry
  • Soft
  • Bumpy
BONUS: For an extra unique texture, make your own non-toxic slime by following this recipe.

Step Three: Put one item in the box at a time and have your family reach inside. Remind them to only touch it, not pull it out or peek at it!

Step Four: One at a time, each family member will reach in the mystery box and answer these questions:
  • Describe the object. What does it feel like?
  • What do you think is inside the box?

Body Shapes

In Marmalade the performers make a lot of different shapes with their bodies. Try making your own body shapes and dance moves.

Materials: Paper and a writing utensil

Step One: Look at the pictures below and try and match the poses of the performers.

Example 1Example 2
Example 3

Step Two: Have an adult draw three shapes on a piece of paper (circle, square, triangle, star, etc.) and make each shape with your body. 

BONUS: Come together as a family and make one shape together. How else can you make shapes using your bodies?

Step Three: Turn on some music and put each body shape together. You just made a dance! 
 
But, Wait! There's More: Have a sweet treat by making your own marmalade
 
 
Marmalade  



Gather 'round the ring and experience a gentle circus for the senses with Marmalade. Only a few tickets remain!
Posted by Beth Henderson
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