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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.
October 5, 2018

Meet the New Ushers

Map of NYC with Welcome flag and greetings in nine languages
When performances of Machine de Cirque kicked off a brand new season last weekend at The New Victory, the curtain also rose on a new group of first-year Ushers. Part of the New 42nd Street Youth Corps, the New Victory Usher Corps provides paid employment, job training, academic support, mentorship and an introduction to the performing arts for 50 young New Yorkers each year.

Meet this new group of First Years, who hail from across New York City!

Pick your neighborhood: The Bronx | Brooklyn | Manhattan | Queens
 

THE BRONX

Amy C.
Amy C.

School: Long Island City High School

Route to Work: 6 to the N

Favorite Food: Beef tacos

Ananda D.
Ananda D.

School: Bronx High School for Medical Science

Route to Work: D to the A

Favorite Food: Fettuccine Alfredo

Cliff W.
Cliff W.

School: Careers in Sports High School

Route to Work: Bx5 to the 2

Favorite Food: Well-done steak

Dorian T.
Dorian T.

School: Hostos Community College

Route to Work: 4 train

Favorite Food: A chopped cheese

Maurice E.
Maurice E.

School: Borough of Manhattan Community College

Route to Work: 6 train

Favorite Food: Sesame chicken with pork fried rice

Qura D.
Qura D.

School: Smith YABC

Route to Work: 4 to the 2

Favorite Food: Mac and cheese

Ronnie C.
Ronnie C.

School: Bronx Community College

Route to Work: 4 train

Favorite Food: BBQ fried chicken

Veronica P.
Veronica P.

School: Borough of Manhattan Community College

Route to Work: 4 to the 2

Favorite Food: Fettuccine Alfredo

Yunis O.
Yunis O.

School: Pathways to Graduation

Route to Work: 2 train

Favorite Food: Double cheeseburgers

 

BROOKLYN

Angel O.
Angel O.

School: Fort Hamilton High School

Route to Work: N or R trains

Favorite Food: Pepperoni pizza

Annalisa D.
Annalisa D.

School: LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts

Route to Work: B train

Favorite Food: Chicken tenders

Dennorie G.
Dennorie G.

School: Urban Assembly Maker Academy

Route to Work: 4 train

Favorite Food: Cheeseburgers

Ishaga J.
Ishaga J.

School: High School for Youth and Community Development

Route to Work: L to the Q

Favorite Food: Anything with BBQ sauce

Kasim C.
Kasim C.

School: Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice

Route to Work: 2 train

Favorite Food: Mangoes

Melissa R.
Melissa R.

School: University Neighborhood High School

Route to Work: D or N trains

Favorite Food: Tacos al pastor

Xan B.
Xan B.

School: Saint Francis College

Route to Work: 2 or 3 trains

Favorite Food: Shake Shack french fries

 

MANHATTAN

Ashlie M.
Ashlie M.

School: Harlem Village Academies High School

Route to Work: 2 or 3 trains

Favorite Food: Shrimp

Bella D.
Bella D.

School: Saint Vincent Ferrer High School

Route to Work: Q train

Favorite Food: Chicken empanadas

Jessica C.
Jessica C.

School: High School of Economics and Finance

Route to Work: A/C or N/Q trains

Favorite Food: Everything!

Kyana J.
Kyana J.

School: Repertory Company High School for Theater Arts

Route to Work: 2 or 6 trains

Favorite Food: Baked potatoes with sour cream and cheese

 

QUEENS

Jeniya S.
Jeniya S.

School: Queens Metropolitan High School

Route to Work: J to the A

Favorite Food: Lasagna

Josh P.
Josh P.

School: Forest Hills High School

Route to Work: M train

Favorite Food: Plain pizza

Nowsin T.
Nowshin T.

School: Hillside Arts and Letters Academy

Route to Work: F to the E

Favorite Food: Ice cream!


If you're headed to the theater this weekend or anytime this year, look for these 23 young New Yorkers scanning tickets, helping you to your seats, selling concessions, leading activities in the Jack and Lew Rudin Lobby and keeping everyone in the the theater safe. 

For profiles of Ushers during their final year in the Youth Corps, return to this blog throughout the year for Third-Year Usher Spotlights. The program was also recently profiled on the Reduced Shakespeare Company podcast (duration: 20 minutes).

The New 42nd Street Youth Corps programs are made possible, in part, by grants from The Pinkerton Foundation, The Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation, The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and The Theater Subdistrict Council. To support this educational and job training initiative, make a gift to the New 42nd Street Annual Fund.
Posted by Jamie O'Brien
The New Victory Theater launched the New Victory Usher Corps the day the theater opened in 1995 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 Ashley Carchi from Spanish Harlem.
 

Ashley CarchiWhat has been your favorite show at the New Vic so far?
Mother Africa: My Home because it was full of energy. I loved the tricks they performed and the music they played in the show.
 
The thing I like most about being an usher is…
Getting to watch the patrons see a show for the first time. 
 
My dream job would be…
To be a pediatric nurse. I love kids!
 
Who inspires you?
My older sister because she's my best friend.
 
What is your favorite subject in school?
Math because I'm great with numbers and formulas.
 
What's your favorite thing to do when you're not at work?
I like hanging out with friends and discovering New York City.
 
What's your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?
Randall's Island because it has such a beautiful view.
 
What makes this place special to you?
It's a theater for everyone!
 
Describe your dream vacation.
I dream of being able to travel with my my mom and dad to their home country. They haven't had the chance to visit in a long time.
 
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Going to carnivals with my family.

 
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

This version of Beauty and the Beast might be unlike the one you are familiar with, but it tells the same story—one of magic, love and appreciating beauty of all kinds. In this Family Activity, create a storybook, learn some jokes and write a love poem!

At Home
In Beauty and the Beast, Isabella's family is starting a new life in a new home. In this activity, illustrate the prologue to help you imagine this new version of the story. What's a prologue? It's a part of the story that comes at the beginning of a play, often giving information about events that happened before the play began.

Materials: A printer, this story book template, coloring utensils

Step One: To get started, ask an adult to print out this story book template.

Book

Step Two: Illustrate the storybook. Remember to add color and emotion. Think about the following:
  • What color is the family's castle?
  • How do the twins dress? How does the third daughter, Isabella, dress?
  • How does Isabella feel about their castle?
  • What does their new cottage look like?
Step Three: Read your completed book to a friend or family member. Talk about what you think happens next in the story.

On the Way
The Beast may not seem friendly at first, but he has a great sense of humor. On your way to the theater, practice telling some monstrously funny jokes.

Here are some examples:

What do you get if you cross a frog with a rabbit?
A bunny ribbit.

Why are seagulls called seagulls?
Because if they flew over the bay, they'd be bagels!

How do you make a tissue dance?
You put a little boogie in it.

Kids, on the way to Beauty and the Beast try to get your grown-up to laugh! Keep telling jokes until you can get them to giggle, then switch. Are you looking for more comedic material? Find some more jokes here

Check out Beth trying to keep a straight face on her way to the New Vic!


After the Show
Here are some questions to think about on your way home from the New Vic:
  • When do you think the Beast is happiest? How about the twins? When is Isabella happiest?
  • Isabella says that "love feels like fireworks in her heart." What does love feel like to you?
  • What do you think the main themes of the show are? What lessons do the characters learn?
Love is a big part of this story. In this next activity, write your own love poem to someone you think is beautiful, inside and out! 

Materials: Paper, writing utensil

Step One: Rhyme schemes are the pattern of rhymes at the ends of the lines of a poem. Read these short love poems with two different rhyme schemes, ABAB and AABB:

ABAB
I love you dear with all my MIGHT.
More than the earth and SKY
You are my world, you are my LIGHT.
I'll never wonder WHY

AABB
The earth is big, the world is WIDE
But you I keep right by my SIDE
How lucky to love and how lucky to HOLD
A love like yours that never grows OLD. 

Step Two: Write your own love poem! Try using the ABAB or AABB rhyme scheme, or make up your own.

Step Three: Read it to the person you wrote it for, or perform the poem out loud to your family as if you are in a play. 

BONUS: Extend your poem beyond four lines. Also, try a haiku or a sonnet

And Beyond
Read the The Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm to see the origins of many classic stories. You may recognize certain parts of the show you just saw in "The Singing, Springing Lark!"

Check out the Children's Center at 42nd Street for more storytimes.
Posted by Beth Henderson

The New Victory Theater launched the New Victory Usher Corps the day the theater opened in 1995 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 Marcus Blaise from Jamaica, Queens.
 
 
Marcus BlaiseMy favorite show at The New Victory was…
Mother Africa! What made it enjoyable, in my opinion, was not only the performers, but how the music matched every scene of the performance.
 
The thing I like most about being an usher is…
Seeing how much patrons appreciate your work—especially when most of what you do is behind the scenes.
 
My favorite memory from working as an usher was... 
My favorite memory happened during my first year as an usher, right before a public show. My managers decided to make everyone come up with a creative catch phrase for the New Vic. Unfortunately, I embarrassed myself, but it's still one of my favorite memories! I learned (and laughed) a lot when they put us on the spot like that.
 
My dream job would be… 
To make music! Music has always had a huge impact on my life—what's better than expressing yourself in the art form you love most?
 
Who inspires you?
My pops, my sister and my mom inspire me every day. Also, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, J.Cole, Allen Iverson, KD, Steph Curry, Aaliyah, Lauryn Hill.....I can go on and on. Their will and their heart shine through their music. 
 
What is your favorite subject in school?
English, because I use it every day to learn new words and express myself better in conversations. Plus, I love rhyming!
 
What's your favorite thing to do when you're not at work?
Other than hanging out with my friends or playing on my game system, just sleeping.
 
What's your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?
Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica, Queens is my favorite place, I always go there to hangout and play basketball. For me, that park radiates nostalgia and family vibes. I like having an atmosphere where everyone can express themselves. 

 
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
November 7, 2018

Family Activity: Velocity


In Velocity, performers beat out rhythms, tap as fast as possible and break all the rules while honoring traditional Irish dancing. In this Family Activity, build your own tap shoes, invent your own rhythms and develop new family traditions.

At Home
In this activity, make your own tap shoes! Keep in mind however, homemade tap shoes are not always friendly to hardwood floors. If you and your family make this craft, consider tapping on linoleum or the sidewalk instead.

Materials: Shoes, coins, tape
 
Step One: Tear off four strips of tape and stick a row of coins onto the sticky side of each one.
 
Step Two: Attach the strips of pennies to the soles of your shoes—one strip on the ball and another on the heel. You might need to adjust the number of coins depending on the size of your shoe.

ALTERNATE: Do you have an old pair of shoes you want to get rid of? Glue the pennies to the bottom for a permanent pair! 

On Your Way
Get ready for some percussive rhythms and fast moving feet. In this activity, test out passing rhythms back and forth to a partner.

Step One: With your partner, pick a number from one to five. Once you have it, clap out your number in a particular pattern. For example, you can choose the number three and create the pattern, "Clap" (Pause) "Clap" "Clap." Then, have your partner repeat. Try it faster, then slower and as many ways as you can!

Step Two: With that same number, put yout rhythm into something else rather than your hands. Try the following:
  • Your feet
  • Your shoulders
  • Your hips
  • Your eyes
Step Three: See how many times you can pass the same rhythm back and forth to your partner using as many body parts as possible. Then, see how fast you can do it!

After the Show In Velocity, traditions are meant to be followed—and broken! In this activity, write about some of your family customs.

Materials: Family Code of Traditions, a writing utensil

Family Code of Traditions

Step One: With your family, talk about some traditions that you share and pick three to write down. Think about the following:
  • Do you have annual holiday traditions? Birthday traditions?
  • Do you share a nightly routine? A morning routine?
  • Do you have a special place where you celebrate after big events?
  • Do you have any school traditions?
Here's an example that we made!

Family Code of Traditions Example

Step Two: Now talk about a tradition you would like to start with your family this year. Will you bake a cake for breakfast on your birthday? Listen to new music every Sunday? Start a monthly family craft day? Write it down in the second box.

Step Three: Share a photo of your family taking part in your new tradition on social media—make sure to tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

And Beyond
Get involved in some of the numerous dance classes throughout the city.
Posted by Beth Henderson