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.

It's summertime, and here at The New Victory we're busy getting ready for our upcoming season. All summer long, we've offered fun Summer Field Guides for you to celebrate being a kid in New York. Get inspired by the activities below and start getting in the mood for the shows to come!

School will back in session soon, so we're rounding out summer with our biggest Field Guide yet. Make a hat, touch the sky and banish your fears—it's September!

September 3rd – Skyscraper Day

Empire State Building above the cloudsSeen a skyscraper lately? If you live in New York City, you see them all the time! Super tall buildings might seem old hat nowadays, but I encourage you to take off your jade-colored glasses and tilt your gaze skyward. All around you, there are beautiful buildings: combinations of perfect geometric shapes rooted in the ground like tremendous manmade trees, and from their concrete treetops you can see for miles.

Coming to the New Vic next May, CITÉ is a shadow puppetry and animation exploration of urban shapes that tells the story of a little man chasing the sun over city rooftops. Follow his example with a visit to one of New York City's famed observation decks, and feel a little awe. It's Skyscraper Day!

The Empire State Building: Made famous, or perhaps infamous, by Fay Wray and her simian beau, this is New York's best-known skyscraper, and its observation deck is equally renowned. It's least crowded late at night, but the views are spectacular at any hour.

Top of the Rock: The observation deck atop the Comcast Building (née 30 Rockefeller Center) offers amazing views in every direction, including of the Empire State Building, which you can't see at all when you're, you know, on top of it.

WTC Observation Deck: New York's newest observation deck is in New York's tallest building, and it offers unbeatable views of New York Harbor and the surrounding boroughs. The augmented reality elevator ride is an experience unto itself, and don't miss the New Vic cameo in the interactive City Pulse display.

The Statue of Liberty Crown: Though she's not a typical skyscraper, The Statue of Liberty is as tall as many famous NY buildings, and the windows in her crown offer an amazing view of New York Harbor and lower Manhattan. You may have to arrange your visit months in advance, but she's worth it.  

Share your rooftop view with us on Instagram @newvictorytheater, #NYCité, and tell us what shapes you espy from up high. Bonus points for extra geometric photos. Then, when you get home, use your favorite building materials to make a minature skyscraper of your own!
Cité icon   From Toulouse, France, Le Clan des Songes returns to the New Vic with CITÉ, the final chapter in their trilogy about exploration and discovery. When the New York winter seems never-ending, just remember that you have the magic of CITÉ to look forward to in May 2016!

September 13th - Defy Superstition Day

Kid looking under the bed with a flashlightThe number 13 is often considered unlucky. Poppycock! There's no such thing as bad luck, and Defy Superstition Day is the day to prove it to yourself. Just keep your wits about you, like the mouse in THE GRUFFALO does to evade danger in the deep dark wood, and you'll soon realize that there's nothing to fear.

Here are some easy ways to disregard the many silly superstitions you know and fear for no good reason:
  • Open an umbrella inside. – Seven years' bad luck? This one doesn't hold water.
  • Get off on the 13th floor. – It's no different from the 12th or 14th, after all.
  • Step on all the cracks. – No one's back will break. It's okay.
  • Stay in the tub while the water drains. – You won't get sucked in, I promise.
  • Rather than counting all the things, recite random numbers. – 12, ¼, 98.6, π, -653, 0!
  • Shine a flashlight under your bed. – The only monsters there are dustbunnies.
  • And for goodness' sake, wash those lucky socks. – They're disgusting!
I'll admit, I broke my leg on a Friday the 13th when I was seven years old. What are the odds, right? Actually, they were 1 in 365—the same as any other day that year. And, yes, I am still afraid of rollerskates.
The Gruffalo icon   Tall Stories returns to the New Vic with kid-favorite THE GRUFFALO in October. Don't miss the mouse's adventures in the deep dark wood. Now that you've overcome all these superstitions, you can show her a thing or two about facing your fears.

September 15th – Make a Hat Day

As September starts to wane and autumn approaches, you might need a hat to stay warm. Celebrate this month's 75th Anniversary of CAPS FOR SALE by making a hat of your own on September 15th—Make A Hat Day!

First try out this sailboat-inspired hat—simple and fun with easy-to-follow instructions:

Sailboat Hat Instructions
Click to download
a larger PDF of these instructions.

If you're feeling more adventurous, check out these crafty hat designs:
Newspaper Party Hat   Newspaper party hat with flowers from maya*made Paper Crown   Vintage-inspired paper crown from Rook No. 17
Paper Strip Beanie   Paper strip beanie from Scrumdilly Do Chef's Hat   Tissue paper chef's hat from The First Grade Project

Share your cap creations with us on Instagram @newvictorytheater or on Twitter @newvictory, #MakeAHat! And if your hat holds up over the winter, you can wear it to the theater when you come to see CAPS FOR SALE THE MUSICAL at the New Vic.
Caps for Sale Icon   Adventure Theatre MTC is bringing their musical adaptation of Caps for Sale to The New Victory in February 2016: CAPS FOR SALE THE MUSICAL! In the meantime, re-read the book, and get ready for the long-awaited sequel, More Caps for Sale, launching October 27th from Harper Collins.

That's it for our 2015 Summer Field Guides! We hope you've had a fun-filled summer here in New York, and we can't wait for you to see this season's upcoming shows. School may be back in session soon, but many of the activities from our Field Guides are great for after-school fun or weekend staycations. Here's a complete list of the Field Guides and their activities, all in one place. Enjoy!
Velveteen Rabbit Icon   Teddy Bear Picnic Day Pick a New York picnic spot, or pick your own and add it to our map. Then design an invitation and a menu for your favorite stuffed animal!
A Midsummer Night's Dream Icon   Pandemonium Day Write and recite a silly love poem, promote peculiar food pairings and turn heads with an eccentric ensemble of mismatched patterns.
The Star Keeper Icon   Moon Day Design a constellation, place a handmade star out in the world for people to wish on and visit a local planetarium!
The Pied Piper Icon   Ratcatcher's Day Make a rat marionette, write your rat's biography and design a family portrait for your extended family.
White Icon   Vanilla Ice Cream Day Try a recommended NYC ice cream spot or add your favorite to our map. Then make your own ice cream and enjoy it while decorating eggs.
Bello Icon Pedal Punk Icon   Family Fun Month Make the most of Coney Island with our BINGO card. Then go cycling as a family on various New York City island destinations.
Handa's Surprise Icon   Friendship Day Make one of many charming bracelets for your best buddy, and caption our silly photos of unlikely animal friends.
The Gruffalo Icon The Velveteen Rabbit Icon
Handa's Surprise Icon Caps for Sale Icon
  Book Lover's Day Check out some summer reading picks from NYC librarians. Then crack open the storybooks you'll see on our stage this season.
Museum of Memories Icon   Friendship Week Make a Friendship Yearbook full of silly superlatives and quirky quotes from your friends. Then snap a déjà vu selfie somewhere familiar!
Fly Icon   Aviation Day Make your own fast-moving paper airplane and compete with your friends. Then visit a local aviation museum and see the real thing.

Posted by Zack Ramadan

Father and son in the New Victory audienceThis season, The New Victory celebrates 20 years by bringing 16 shows from around the world (11 different countries!) to Times Square, showcasing a variety of theater, dance, puppetry, circus and more! With a season as varied as ours, it can be difficult to decide which shows to see. Which shows are right for my family? How can we experience the best variety?

New Victory Membership gives you our best discount on our best seats. You and your family can see three or more shows at up to 35% off, and Members receive invitations to special events, free exchanges and other great benefits

Take one of our colorful quizzes to help you choose the best three-show combo for your family. Since we literally have something for everyone, start by choosing the age range of the kid(s) you’re bringing to the theater, and have fun! Naturally, there are a lot of variables, but trust us—we have a knack for knowing what kids like.

2–4 years old 5–6 years old 7–9 years old 10+ years old

We’re looking forward to seeing you and your family on 42nd Street this season! For additional assistance, our Ticket Services representatives are prepped and ready to give recommendations based on your family's interests. You can reach them at 646.223.3010 during these hours, or chat with them online from any show page.
Posted by Zack Ramadan
New Victory Teaching Artist Spica Wobbe at a Puppetry Kids Week
This week is National Arts in Education Week, a week devoted to promoting the value of the arts—dance, music, theater, literature, design and visual arts—as core academic subjects in schools. At The New Victory, we believe that the performing arts have the power to spark young imaginations and give kids the tools for learning in all disciplines. As the largest provider of live performance to NYC schools and after-school programs, we partner with more than 160 schools and serve over 40,000 students each year. Our New Victory Education Partner schools enjoy $2 student tickets, free classroom workshops, and online resource guides and professional development for educators interested in incorporating the arts into their lesson plans.

We also provide opportunities for kids and their families to explore the performing arts by learning new art skills inspired by the performances they see on the New Victory stage. These public engagement activities—from at-home Family Activities and pre-show lobby activities to Family Workshops and Kids Weeks—enhance kids' experiences as both audience members and future patrons of the arts. And, of course, they have lots of fun!New Victory Teaching Artist Liz Bolick at a pre-show Arts Express

In honor of National Arts in Education Week, we wanted to share some thoughts and stories from our New Victory Teaching Artists—our "boots on the ground," as it were. This ensemble of 55 arts educators possesses a diverse range of skills, including acting, playwriting, music, puppetry, hip hop, street theater, circus arts and contemporary dance. Together they develop comprehensive explorations of the art forms and themes presented onstage. Our Teaching Artists work in classrooms as part of the Education Partnership Program, and they also lead many of our Public Engagement programs. If you've ever come early or stayed late at the New Vic to participate in a fun activity, you've probably met at least one of them.

So, why do our TAs do what they do? We asked what inspires them and what kind of impact they believe they have. Here are some of our favorite answers.

How do you share your art forms with students and families?

"My circus, clowning and physical comedy skills create excitement, fun and lots of laughter.  Kids are fascinated by my antics and tricks and want to play! They want to experience the skills they have seen in the theater, so I perform and demonstrate these skills up close and help them get hands-on experience."

"My primary art form is movement theater, though I work professionally in acting, directing, design and dance. I get to share this work with students and families through workshops, public performances and edu-taining at special events. There is nothing greater for me than watching a family learn, explore, and laugh through the arts."

Teaching Artist WT McRae at a Circus Kids Week; Teaching Artist Drew Petersen and Education Staffer Renata Melillo Townsend at a Theater Kids Week

What does your engagement with students and families add to their theatergoing experiences? Why is it important?

"Teaching young people and their families art form-based lessons offers them a frame of empathy for the work the performers are doing. We often hear families say, 'I had no idea how challenging this is!' I think this makes them feel more connected to the person they will be watching onstage." 

"Too many kids in too many schools are having their arts programs cut. Many kids learn more physically—they need to move and play. Music, circus, dance, theater and puppetry—all art forms—help reach students in different and deeper ways."

"Hands-on experience with the form gives students and families permission and the necessary language to confidently share their opinions. For instance, 'I loved that show, because they used this artistic principle we were learning about,' or, 'I am glad I saw it, but it wasn't for me because...' That discourse is important."

"Artistry needs to be passed down to younger generations. Allowing kids to experience live theater and to meet living, breathing artists shows them the possibilities that exist to become artists themselves." 

TA Josh Matthews at a pre-show Arts Express; TA Skyler Sullivan at the Family Benefit

What's your favorite memory of a kid you've taught?

"We were in a 2nd grade classroom facilitating a workshop in which kids played with marionettes and acted out fairytales. One kid exuberantly raised his hand and asked if the three little pigs would be in the show. We explained that the show was the story of Sleeping Beauty and that there were no pigs. Insistent, the kid told us that he had a pig puppet at home and would be happy to lend it out to Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company for their show." 

"In the middle of a workshop for The Light Princess last year, one little boy grabbed my arm during the first activity and said 'This is really fun!'  A few minutes later we were telling secrets when he told me 'people think I'm really smart…but I just listen.'"

"One very withdrawn 3rd grade boy almost never spoke. He barely looked anyone in the eye, and some of his teachers considered him a "trouble-maker" for being so distant. For a classroom performance, he chose to do a gymnastic streamer solo.  When I asked him what music he would like, he asked for rock 'n' roll. He choreographed and performed a totally amazing piece to a song by The Rolling Stones, which made the audience go wild. He focused, worked really hard on his steps and did a spectacular job. It was stunning and incredibly brave."
Teaching Artists Margot Fitzsimmons and Shelah Marie leading classroom workshops at an Education Partner school
Contributions from WT McRae, Liz Bolick and Renata Melillo Townsend
Posted by Zack Ramadan
September 21, 2015

What's in a Genre?

Artistic Range in Our 2015-16 Season

Written by Mary Rose Lloyd, Director of Artistic Programming and Olga Putilina, Artistic Programming Associate

Every season has its own sense of magic, and 2015-16 is particularly exciting for us. The New Victory Theater’s 20th anniversary season, which we’ve been planning for quite some time, becomes a reality this fall. To celebrate our 20th birthday, we’re honoring artists who have been part of our journey over the years. Each show this season is from a company that has been here in a past season and is now returning, either with the production we’ve previously presented or with a brand new show that will make its New Vic debut.

In the past two decades of bringing award-winning theater to the kids and families of New York City, the companies and artists we’ve presented on our stage have expanded our understanding of what performing arts for young audiences can be. Our seasons—and this one is no exception—are programmed to include shows that appeal to an array of age ranges and feature a variety of genres such as theater, puppetry, circus, dance and music. So, as we say cheers to 20 years, we want to take a moment to honor the diverse genres you’ll see in our 2015-16 season.

Artful Adaptations
Seeing a familiar tale brought to life on stage really resonates in the hearts of viewers who might already be on a first-name basis with the characters from many a bedtime story. Bringing a work from the page to the stage is also a special kind of collaboration with the book’s author, as layers are added to the story in the form of theatrical stagecraft, including the playwright’s translation of the book to theatrical form, the director’s interpretation of the text and the various design elements.

Tall Stories’ THE GRUFFALO, a show best for ages 4–7, is based on the beloved picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Since our last presentation of the show back in 2004, audiences have been pining for the Grr-Grr-Gruffalo and the courageous Mouse. The stage adaptation is true to the original story and is charmingly brought to life through physical theater, music and interactive storytelling.

Unicorn Theatre’s THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, for everyone ages 6+, exemplifies the kind of smart, sophisticated theater-making that we aim to bring to our audiences. Though the story centers on a rabbit, there is nary a fuzzy bunny costume in sight. THE VELVETEEN RABBIT comes to life through subtle acting and creative direction on a breathtaking set that’s full of surprises.

Adventure Theatre MTC’s CAPS FOR SALE THE MUSICAL, also a show best for ages 4–7, is an ingeniously adapted fusion of Esphyr Slobodkina’s acclaimed children’s books: Caps for Sale, Circus Caps for Sale and More Caps for Sale: Another Tale of Mischievous Monkeys, set to be published this year. Bright, fun and with a set that recalls Slobodkina’s inventive collaged illustrations, the books take on new life through original music, featuring big numbers and a Broadway feel.

Imaginative Puppetry
Perhaps we're so enamored with puppetry at the New Vic because, as puppeteer Marsian De Lellis notes in a recent article, puppetry allows people to "witness the artist...oozing raw creativity into a universe they have made with their own hands." Our 2015-16 season offers several opportunities to experience this enchanting genre in one of its myriad forms.

Little Angel Theatre’s HANDA'S SURPRISE (which is also an adaptation of a picture book of the same name by Eileen Brown), best for ages 6 months–4 years, uses puppetry as a way to transport our youngest theatergoers to a sunny day in a Kenyan village. Various animals from the original story are imbued with life as innovative hand puppets, allowing them to have one-on-one interactions with audience members, seated in a circle on the floor around the performers.

Théâtre de l'Œil's THE STAR KEEPER, for everyone ages 6+, visually tells the story of Pretzel, a charming worm with a mission to cross a house of dreams, a spider web and the ocean in his efforts to return a fallen star to the night sky. The company's use of a mix of puppetry styles—shadow puppets, marionettes, bunraku and flat puppets in a specially-constructed black box puppet theater set—lends the production an otherworldly and poetic feel. Pretzel encounters a multitude of offbeat and whimsical characters along the way, including the Bubble Charmer, Maggie Mischief and Cedrick the Centaur, all of whom are made more vivid through the use of puppetry, which as this production attests, offers limitless possibilities to build beguiling worlds.

Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company’s THE PIED PIPER, for everyone ages 7+, is a visual spectacle which tells the Brothers Grimm story of the Pied Piper with the help of the company’s signature intricately and elaborately constructed marionettes. Marionette puppetry, with its carefully controlled strings that must be manipulated just so, is the perfect medium to relay the saga of the town of Hamelin, which loses control when the mayor neglects to pay a mysterious stranger his dues for ridding the town of rats.

Le Clan Des Songes’ CITÉ, best for ages 3–5, uses shadow puppetry, one of the styles seen in THE STAR KEEPER, to wordlessly tell the story of a man on a sun-chasing adventure through a cityscape. Though the chosen art form used to tell the story might be familiar, the resulting show is strikingly unique. Shapes and colors are central to this playful piece, the inspiration for which came from the contemporary art of painter Evsa Model.

Incomparable CircusCircus exposes us to the boundaries of human limitations, defying our expectations and delighting us with the idea that anything is possible. The art form has come a long way since the days of animal circuses under a big striped tent. The two circuses in our 2015-16 are as different as can be from one another, yet they both exemplify the skill, artistry, and innovation of this awe-inspiring genre.

Cirque Mechanics’ PEDAL PUNK, for everyone ages 5+, offers an irresistible steampunk aesthetic that one wouldn’t normally think to connect with circus. There is no one on the circus scene quite like Cirque Mechanics, whose creative director, Chris Lashua, dreams up cool gadgets and then uses them as a springboard to create new shows. In this case, a Rube Goldberg-style mechanical marvel called “the gantry”—a 20-foot high pedal-powered set—serves as the production’s centerpiece. The show’s other elements, including the costumes, lighting and staging, also evoke the feeling of a vibrant technological fantasy world in which anything can happen.

BELLO MANIA, also for everyone ages 5+, returns for its third New Vic installment, this time with even more mania! We’re proud to be the New York home of daredevil and audience favorite Bello Nock, who creates and performs jaw-dropping stunts while managing to maintain his signature up-do. This production features his distinct brand of humor, signature acts (hello, sway pole!), a new cast of characters and an infusion of stage magic never seen in any of Bello’s previous shows.

Compelling Dance
Dance pioneer Isadora Duncan once said, “A dancer…can give to the people something that they can carry with them forever. They can never forget it, and it has changed them, though they may never know it.” Dance offers infinite possibilities for artistic expression. The dance productions in our 2015-16 season include cultural celebration, percussive dance and storytelling through dance.

Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba’s CUBA VIBRA!, for everyone ages 6+, is a vibrant cultural spectacle that is representative of the global scope of our programming. We’ve presented works from dozens of countries over the past twenty years, and delight in being able to honor different cultures on our stage. In light of the recent warming of relations between the U.S. and Cuba, we're thrilled to bring Cuba’s singular cultural flair back to the New Victory stage, as expressed through Afro-Cuban big band music and a medley of dance styles from the region, including rumba, cha-cha and salsa.

UNTAPPED!, for everyone ages 7+, is an upbeat dance production which blends different styles of footwork to uproarious effect. The company’s unexpected pairings of tap and other percussive dance styles with hip hop, rock and jazz music creates an infectious atmosphere and a show that’s just plain fun.

The Pasadena Playhouse & Crossroads Theatre Company’s FLY, for everyone ages 10+, is a theatrical piece; but it beautifully incorporates a contrasting use of tap dance, along with the actors, to tell the historically vital story of the Tuskegee Airmen. The show features a Tap Griot, a character who appears throughout the production and adds emotional weight to the story’s unfolding events through dance. 

Innovative Theater
Rounding out our 20th anniversary season are four theatrical productions which offer a world of variation in their approach to theater-making. First up in our season is Seattle Children’s Theater’s ROBIN HOOD, for everyone ages 7+, which tells the tale of the legendary hero, employing virtuosic fight choreography, humor, physical theater and featuring just four performers taking on every role. 

Isango Ensemble’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, for everyone ages 9+, is a vibrant spectacle which integrates South African culture and instrumentation into its take on Benjamin Britten’s original opera. 

Catherine Wheels Theatre Company’s WHITE, best for ages 2-5 years, is an innovative and charming piece of theater for our youngest audience members which, following its presentation at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe a few years back, had flocks of adults clamoring for tickets too. 

NIE Theatre’s MUSEUM OF MEMORIES, for everyone ages 13+, tells a beautiful and emotional story about a young man who took his own life yet lives on in the memories of others. After the performance, audiences are encouraged to explore the production’s set—an actual museum containing elements and mementos reminiscent of life.

We hope to see you again and again over the course of the 2015-16 New Victory Theater season to experience all of the cool shows in each of these unique genres. We’ll be there (possibly wearing birthday hats for the New Vic’s 20th year), cheering and clapping along in amazement at the boundless artistic expression of the artists and companies who join us for this most special season.
Mary Rose Lloyd   Mary Rose Lloyd is the Director of Artistic Programming at The New Victory Theater, curating each New Victory season as well as the Victory Dance summer series, and overseeing LabWorks, the New Victory's new work development program. A staff member since 1996, Mary spends much of her time traveling to see hundreds of shows each year and to attend conferences and festivals as a frequent speaker, panelist or juror. She has served on the Boards of Directors for both TYA/USA and International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) and is the recipient of IPAY's Mickey Miners Lifetime Achievement Award. She is passionate about books, family, friends and, most certainly, the performing arts.
Olga Putilina    Olga Putilina is the Artistic Programming Associate at The New Victory Theater, where she gets to live in the future by helping to plan New Victory seasons and Victory Dance. Olga holds an MSEd in Educational Theater from City College. She also once held a three-toed sloth, but that's entirely different.

As we celebrate The New Victory's twentieth birthday this season, we're highlighting some of the families who have been a part of our greater New Vic family for many years. For these parents and kids, seeing theatrical performances at the New Vic has become a tradition, and over the years they’ve shared their love of theater with their extended family and friends.

This week, we turn the spotlight on Sasha Grunberg and her parents, Frank Grunberg and Patty Enright, who have been attending shows here since the late 1990s. Sasha is now twenty years old, a college student, and she’s a New Vic kid through and through.

"The earliest memories I have of The New Victory are my birthday parties," Sasha tells us. "New Vic-wide, I'm known as Birthday Party Sasha." Indeed, Sasha celebrated her January birthday here on multiple occasions, inviting dozens of family members and friends to see a New Victory show—often a holiday circus spectacle. "Because we were here so much, New Vic staff kind of became part of the family, and that's made it so much more special."

These birthday party invitations, designed by Sasha's dad, Frank Grunberg, incorporated the artwork for the shows that friends and family would get to see before the party: Circus Oz (2004), Aga-Boom (2005) and New Shanghai Circus (2007).

Sasha's earliest memory of seeing a theatrical performance predates her birthday parties at the New Vic. It was The Wizard of Oz when she was only three years old. "I remember going in the little Dorothy dress with the little ruby slippers. And I remember being so enthralled by these characters that I once saw in a movie or in a book put on a stage. I think that's a great experience for anyone to see, no matter what age."

Sasha's love of theater only grew from there, and her exposure to the performing arts as a kid has had a definitive impact on her. Describing the New Vic as a gateway to stage experience, Sasha credits her personal involvement in middle and high school theater with teaching her lifelong skills in organization, time management and artistic collaboration. "Coming to the New Vic sparked my interest in theater, which ultimately made me a more confident person." 
Sasha celebrates her 7th birthday at the New Vic
Patty lights the candles at Sasha's 7th birthday party, here at the New Vic in 2002. Photo: Frank Grunberg

Even before Sasha was old enough to attend shows here, Patty and Frank got involved with The New Victory. Before the theater opened in 1995, they recall receiving a letter in the mail asking whether they'd be interested in supporting high-quality theater for young audiences. Their donation twenty years ago resulted in an ongoing relationship, and they've since joined us for over fifty performances.

"We look forward to helping to support The New Victory's continued good work," says Patty, for whom providing access to affordable, quality programming is an important, personal goal. "My parents made culture a real issue. They exposed me and my siblings to a variety of music, dance, theater and art. I enjoyed every chance I got to be a part of the cultural scene." One of Patty’s favorite memories is of bringing her parents to The New Victory alongside Sasha, expanding their family theatergoing tradition across three generations. They always aimed for Sunday matinees with a family meal afterwards, using theater "as the foundation for time together as a family."

Sasha echoes this sentiment. When she was younger, her parents both had very busy work schedules. "So a show at the New Vic, for us," she explains, "was always a time that the three of us could be together, do something together as a family and all get something out of it." The familial experience extended to friends and neighbors, too. Sasha fondly recalls an elderly neighbor who attended one of her birthday parties that featured a chair-stacking Chinese circus act. The two of them joked for years afterward about how many chairs they themselves could stack. "How many chairs are you up to? I'm on 12!"

Being able to inspire kids like Sasha is why we do what we do at The New Victory, and Sasha recognizes this herself. This past summer she attended Victory Dance, and she saw her own childhood experience reflected in the awestruck faces of kids in the audience. "You never know where that spark is, and you don't know where that kid is sitting in the house. Someone could have the same experience as me, and pick up on something and say, 'Oh, I really loved the Martha Graham performance. I want to do ballet.' Or, 'I loved the sound the tap dancing shoes made. Let me try that.' That's important for kids!"

Where did your #LoveOfTheater start? Let us know on Twitter @newvictory, or snap a selfie for Instagram and tag us @newvictorytheater the next time you're here!
Posted by Zack Ramadan