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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.

Welcome back! As the sun continues to shine, our Summer Field Guides continue with more fun-filled activities that are perfect for the whole family. In this guide, we get to know two upcoming shows that teach us the importance of family and companionship, A Sky for the Bears and Pss Pss

From inventive shadow puppetry to silly slapstick, these shows are not to be missed. Read on to discover crafty and unique activities that will leave you counting down the days until the 2017-18 Season begins!
 
Contributed by Caroline Dowden, Summer 2017 Communications Apprentice

A Sky for the Bears

In A Sky for the Bears, two heartfelt stories come to life through the use of shadow puppetry and physical theater. In the first, a handsome bear realizes what he wants most of all is a cub of his own. In the second story, a young bear is devastated by the death of his grandfather and wishes to join him in the sky. Both protagonists set out on different journeys, only to discover that the answers to their hearts' desires are closer than they think. 

Unleash your family's creative side by making your own simple shadow puppets in this Family Activity! All you'll need are these shadow puppet templates, a pencil, cardboard or cardstock, scissors, tape and a lamp or flashlight.

Once you've collected all of your tools, it's time to make your shadow puppet come to life!
  1. Use your templates to trace an outline onto the cardboard, and use your scissors to cut it out.
  2. Grab a few pieces of tape to attach your pencil to the back of each of your puppets.
  3. Place a lamp on the ground, or on a table. Point your lamp to the wall. Don't forget to turn it on! Turn off all other lights and close the curtains.  
  4. Hold your puppets between the light and wall. If you can spot a shadow on the wall, then you've succeeded! Try moving the puppets closer to the light or the wall to see what happens.
  5. Experiment with other household objects to see what kinds of shadows they cast. Try using your hands! What shapes can you make?
  6. Create your own performance with your new puppets. Make sure to use movement, just like the performers in A Sky for the Bears
Record a video of the story you create and make sure to tag us when you share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
Contributed by Ruthie Ostrow, Summer 2017 Communications Apprentice

Pss Pss

In Pss Pss, two clowns gracefully fumble through mishaps, tricks and acrobatics—all without saying a word! Inspired by silent films, this zany duo flaunts their friendship in a sweet, slapstick routine. 

Want to know a way you can tell your family you love them without making a peep? Try your hand at American Sign Language, a visual language used by the Deaf community throughout the United States. ASL uses your hands, face and body to communicate complex thoughts with vivid gestures. 

Be warned: ASL has a completely different set of grammar rules than English. But there's a sign for each letter of the English alphabet, so use this chart to S-P-E-L-L to your H-E-A-R-T'S content! Check out our favorite words below to show your family just how much you care.

I Love You: Place your middle and ring fingers flat against your palm and keep the others outstretched. This sign is a combination of the signs for the letters I, L and Y. 

Love

Love: Cross both arms over your chest (and close to the heart!) as if you were giving your best friend a tight hug. 

I love you

Friend: This sign looks like a chain—because you'll always be linked together! Hook your two pointer fingers together and then switch your linked fingers to complete the sign. 

Friend


Pss Pss FrameAre you interested in learning more about ASL? Check out our sign-interpreted performances throughout the 2017-18 Season!

Take your friend power to the next level by taking a picture! Grab a friend, strike your favorite sign and print it out. For an added kick, try a black and white filter. Your photo will look just like a still from a vintage silent film. 

To make your photo look extra special, make a frame! You'll just need cardstock, glue and 15 popsicle sticks. 
  1. Glue 11 standard-sized popsicle sticks side-by-side onto a piece of 4.5"x4.5" cardstock. 
  2. Glue two popsicle sticks on each side of the frame. 
  3. Glue your photo in the middle.
  4. Decorate with markers, paint or stickers! Attach ribbon or string to the back so you can hang your frame. 

 
A Sky for the BearsPss Pss Interested in joining us next season? Learn more about A Sky for the Bears and Pss Pss here!
Posted by Beth Henderson

Every summer, The New Victory Theater celebrates our #LoveofDance with Victory Dance, an exploration of movement, art and learning. New York City-based choreographers come together to perform for the public as well as for New York City summer camps, schools and youth programs.

Get to know the companies of Program B before they perform on July 27 and August 3. 
 

Contributed by Ruthie Ostrow, Summer 2017 Communications Apprentice. 

Preeti Vasudevan's Thresh is a performing arts collaborative founded in 2004 by choreographer Preeti Vasudevan. The company specializes in Bharatanatyam, the classical dance-theater of South India. In developing a contemporary movement language, Thresh explores a dialogue between traditional Indian dance and Western storytelling in a globalized, modern society. Thresh seeks to encourage a cross-cultural exchange of dance forms through their performances and arts education initiatives. 
 
Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE is a Brooklyn-based dance company founded by artistic director Ronald K. Brown in 1985. EVIDENCE works to integrate traditional African dance with contemporary choreography. Their mission is to expand the African American dance community by using music, movement and spoken word as a storytelling vehicle to express history and tradition.
 
Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD) is a modern dance company founded in 2001 by artistic director Heidi Latsky. HLD seeks to redefine notions of beauty and virtuosity by using performers with unique attributes to bring provocative, passionate dance to diverse audiences. The company openly advocates for disability rights. HLD partners with social service and humanitarian organizations, like the United Nations and the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities.
 
Program B Preeti Vasudevan's Thresh, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, Heidi Latsky Dance
Photos: Pavlos Mavridis, Ayodele Casel, Yi-Chun Wu  
 
 
Ruthie Ostrow Ruthie Ostrow is a junior studying arts administration and journalism at Baruch College. She is a director, stage manager and children's arts teacher, and is now enjoying her time as a communications apprentice with The New Victory Theater. The only thing that mirrors Ruthie's #LoveOfTheater is her enthusiasm for a good crafting project.
 
Posted by Beth Henderson
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