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.
"You must be very kind to him and teach him all he needs to know in Rabbit-land, for he is going to live with you for ever and ever!" — The Nursery Magic Fairy
Written by Margery Williams in 1922 and first illustrated by William Nicholson, The Velveteen Rabbit is a beloved and poignant classic. The National Education Association includes it on their teacher-compiled list of top books for kids, and our friends at Brightly dubbed the titular bunny one of the most lovable characters in all of kids' lit. (Though how could they not? The whole story turns on his lovability!)

The Velveteen Rabbit has been adapted many times in its 94 years. The latest interpretation, of course, in a season full of artful adaptations, is Unicorn Theatre's theatrical one, on the New Victory stage through the end of January. 

Before you come to see the performance, consider reading (or re-reading) the book as a family. Familiarity with the story can't hurt, as it does explore themes of loss and illness; and having it fresh in your minds will help you appreciate Unicorn's adaptation all the more—it really is wonderful! To help you get in a Velveteen mood, we've embedded the original illustrated version below, compiled by Free Kids Books. You can also download a PDF, visit your local NYPL branch or order a hard copy of the book—there are many editions.
If you know the story well, or if your family falls in love with it after seeing it onstage at the New Vic, then there are many more adaptations out there. Take a look at some video previews below:

Award-winning short film by Leonard Berman (1973), available on DVD.

Grammy-nominated storybook narrated by Meryl Streep (1985), available for download and streaming.

Enchanted Musical Playhouse version starring Marie Osmond (1984), available on VHS

Animated version narrated by Christopher Plummer (1985), available on DVD.
Do you have a favorite edition or adaptation of The Velveteen Rabbit? Let us know in the comments below, or with #TheVelveteenRabbit on Twitter and Instagram.
Posted by Zack Ramadan

The New Victory Theater launched the New Victory Usher Corps the day the theater opened 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 the young people in your life can apply to be a part of this award-winning program!

All season long, we'll be featuring young people from our Usher Corps in our New Vic Bills and here on the New Victory Blog. Today we’re talking to third-year usher Chelsea Guzman, who calls Brooklyn home.

Who inspires you?

Chelsea prepares for take-off in a rocketship made of New Vic booster seats!

I inspire myself! I don't mean for that to sound conceited—I believe in always being proud of my accomplishments. It's hard for many people to acknowledge how amazing they are, and I don't want to be like that.

What's your fondest childhood memory?
The day I learned to love books. As a kid I didn't enjoy reading, but I remember the day that my first grade teacher started reading us a Junie B. Jones book by Barbara Park, and after that day I completely fell in love with those books. It was the storylines that intrigued me, and how realistic and relatable the books were to me at that age. No one could get me away from books after that!

What are your favorite subjects in school?
My two favorite subjects are English and Math. As much as I love reading, I also love to write. Describing my life as if it were a book is a natural instinct to me. I actually didn't enjoy Math before high school, but once I began to understand the subject, it became really fun.

How would you describe your personal style?
I would say my personal style consists of a bit of everything. What I wear depends on the occasion, or on how I'm feeling that day. Lipstick, however, is never missing from my bag!

What's your favorite place to eat or grab food near the theater?
I always bring my own food—my mom's cooking is my favorite. The only thing I really do enjoy nearby are Crumbs' muffins, just a few doors down!

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not at work?
I like to go to the gym occasionally, or sit somewhere like Central Park to read a book.

What's your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?
Central Park is so beautiful and the perfect place to hang out. Greenwich Village is perhaps my favorite neighborhood, though, simply because it's one of Manhattan's calmer areas.

What's the most challenging thing about being an usher?
Sometimes it's hard to balance home life and school work with work at the theater. It can be hard to come in with a lot of energy. It gets easier, though, once I realize how excited families are to be here.

What's your dream job? 
I'm not sure. I have nothing concrete in mind, but being an OB/GYN sounds cool!

What's your dream vacation?
Ever since I came back from Disneyland, I've dreamt of going back! Therefore, two weeks in Disneyland and a trip to Universal Studios again would be the best thing ever.
Posted by Zack Ramadan
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