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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.
June 17, 2016

Celebrating the Different Parts of Fatherhood on Father's Day

Mr. Popper's Penguins
Mr. Popper finds himself a father to twelve penguins! Photo: Helen Murray

When you think of Father's Day, you might just wonder would  Dad will prefer a striped or polka dot tie this year. However, as times have changed, the traditional family has changed as well and ties may not be the thing to buy. This holiday isn't as cut and dried as it once was. With Father's Day this Sunday, let's take the time to really appreciate the ever evolving definition of 'fatherhood.' Whether families have one dad, two dads, adopted dads, or anything under the sun, their role deserves to be celebrated. 

Let's take a look (with minimal spoilers) at a few of our upcoming shows and the way they celebrate what makes a dad, a dad.

Celebrating Sacrifice
In Mr. Popper's Penguins, Mr. Popper comes into possession of one penguin, then two, and then TWELVE! What does he do in response? He rises to the occasion and raises the penguins as his own. While most fathers out there aren't raising penguins, it's safe to say that Mr. Popper is an outstanding caregiver. 

Many fathers out there have unexpectedly come into kids. Or, even if the kid(s) were expected, the responsibilities of fatherhood catches them off guard. Like Mr. Popper, they step up to the challenge admirably, sometimes even sacrificing their own health and wealth to ensure that their charges (be they penguin or human) are cared for and safe. Mr. Popper's displays the love that binds families together and the lengths that all parents will go to to protect their kids, even if it means letting them go when that time comes. 

 

Chotto Desh
A man and his father are at odds. Photo: Richard Haughton
Celebrating Culture
Chotto Desh, or Small Homeland, is an intimate portrayal of a young man's journey from childhood to adulthood in Bangladesh. In it, he struggles with the conflict between his own modern desire to be a professional dancer and his father's traditional values. 

The father has a deep attachment to his cultural past, while his son, who dreams of the stage, wants to find his place in the modern world. In families, there is often a disconnect between one generation and another. Many kids, like the boy in Chotto Desh, have an urge to fly, to be free, to be their own person, and it's tempting for parents to try to tame this urge. So, let's celebrate the fathers who succeed in bringing their rich cultural history to the table while respecting their kids' desire to strike off on their own.  


 

Oh Boy!
Balthasar unexpectedly becomes the guardian of his two half brothers. Photo: Christophe Raynaud De Lage
Celebrating Responsibility
In Oh Boy! Balthasar's life that of any typical 26-year-old, gay, young man—without a care in the world. But one day, his life is turned upside down when he discovers that he has two young half brothers for whom he is now solely responsible. Oh Boy! tells the story of Balthasar's coming to terms with his new responsibilities and stepping into the role of father figure. 

The world is a crazy place where the unexpected should always be expected. Even as a young adult, you look around and wonder "Where's the more adult-y adult to help me?" But what happens when that older, more responsible person isn't there? It could be time to buck up and get the job done yourself. Oh Boy! celebrates the transformation from a wholly unprepared young man to responsible adult. Wanting the two young boys to stay together, Balthasar builds a new family in the face of society's preconceived notions of what a 'normal' family should be. Let's hear it for those fathers who define and defend their own families when times are hard.

 

Nivelli's War
The mysterious Mr. H helps Ernst on a quest home. Photo: Carrie Davenport
Celebrating Wisdom
In Nivelli's War, Ernst never knew his father, he only has a photo and a few short memories. That is, until Mr. H steps into his life with a trick or two up his sleeve, and helps him on his quest to return home after WWII. On their journey, Mr. H teaches Ernst valuable life lessons and gives him a future to look forward to. 

In times of war, many young men are left without fathers or adult guidance. Mr. H knows this and saves Ernst from a lonely existence at great personal cost to himself. As in Mr. Popper's Penguins and Oh Boy! their father and son relationship was not born, it was made through mutual respect, love, and admiration. Many thanks to the father figures who give kids wisdom and perspective in times of uncertainty. 



 
 
The 2016-17 Season! Want to learn more about the rest of our season? Make sure to check out what's in store here!


 
Posted by Beth Henderson
Tags: 2016-17
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