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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.

All season long, we've been asking you to tell us where your #LoveOfTheater started; and last week, we shared some of the many wonderful responses we've received via social media. A shared love of theater is what brings us all together at the New Vic, so this week, as 2015 comes to a close, we're turning the mirror around and sharing with you where our #LoveOfTheater started.
 
 
Where did my #LoveOfTheater start? I've wanted to be an actor for as long as I can remember. I started performing when I was seven. I remember even sitting in the dark in the wings of my local theater, listening to what was happening onstage before my entrance, knowing I never felt more at home. — Curt James, New Victory Teaching Artist

My #LoveOfTheater‬ actually started with a production of Robin Hood in 7th grade. I still remember my line, "Robin, you're so clever I could just kiss you," which of course elicited "ewwws" from kids and "awwws" from parents! — Lilaia Kairis, Director of Digital Services
 

My #LoveOfTheater started when I was cast in the coveted role of Women #4 in Les Misérables and befriended all of these crazy/wonderful people! — Lauren Hood, Artistic Programming Assistant


My #LoveOfTheater started in 1989 when I saw The Wizard of Oz at the Carousel Dinner Theatre. The Wicked Witch came flying overhead—surprise!—and Dorothy fell into the orchestra pit! — Zack Ramadan, Digital Content Producer


My #LoveOfTheater started early. I saw South Pacific on Broadway when I was five, and I sang along to every song in my seat. I've been hooked ever since! — Jono Waldman, New Victory Teaching Artist

My #LoveOfTheater started with The Muppet Show. Watching the Muppets struggle to put on their show every week made the joys and challenges of collaborating on a live performance very exciting to me. In middle school I became obsessed with the musical Sweeney Todd. I remember when my music teacher played the record for us in class. The sound of the opening whistle and the creepy music that followed made me want to know more. I went the library to check out the whole album and have loved it ever since. — Kevin Ray, New Victory Teaching Artist

The conductor handing three-year-old me his baton at Cathy Rigby's Peter Pan on Broadway started my #LoveOfTheater. — Lindsay Amer, Fall 2015 Communications Apprentice

I discovered my #LoveOfTheater in 1986. I was six years old, and my mom took me to see the national touring production of Annie. I loved every minute! — Christopher Ritz-Totten, Public Relations Associate

My mom would always take me to the theater—kids shows at arts festivals in the summer, touring productions of Broadway musicals, ballet and modern dance performances. Some of my most vivid memories are of sitting in dark theaters letting my mind wander and my imagination soar. — Patrick Ferreri, New Victory Teaching Artist

My ‪#‎LoveOfTheater‬ started with my Dad. He directed me in my first production of The Wind in the Willows at Knowlton Elementary School. I will never forget rehearsing in the school library and thinking, "This is the best thing ever!" — Renata Melillo Townsend, Education Programs Manager

My #LoveOfTheater started when I went on a school trip to see Sesame Street Live, and I loved the show so much that I called the theater to ask for an audition. I was seven! Surprisingly, I was given an opportunity, but my mom wasn't able to take me. All these years later, I'll never forget that experience. — Janet Onyenucheya, New Victory Teaching Artist

My #LoveOfTheater started when I was five years old. I saw a show where the actors entered through the audience. One of the actors crouched next to my chair and said hello before racing down the aisle and bounding onstage. It was so magical—I love the "liveness" of theater, the community experience. It is still pretty magical to me! — Julia Sirna-Frest, New Victory Teaching Artist

I would say my #LoveOfTheater started when I was five or six years old. We had the double-tape VHS edition of The Sound Of Music, and I would watch it every single day, on loop. I eventually moved on to Mary Poppins. To this day, I know all the lyrics and quips from both (incredibly long) Julie Andrews productions! — Katie Diamond, Graphic & Media Production Coordinator​

My #LoveOfTheater started at age eight in a production of The Wizard of Oz (Goes Improv).  The whole show was improvised, and we learned all the songs by listening to the soundtrack. I played the Tin Man, and I was so serious about it—I learned all of my lyrics. One lyric to the Tin Man's song is "...and awful sentimental regarding love and art." But I had only listened to the words, not read them on paper, so I thought the lyric was "an awful scent of metal regarding love and art." It made sense to me, given that it was about the Tin Man! I belted out that line, holding my nose, and everyone cracked up. I felt really liberated, and I've been doing theater ever since! — Arielle Lever, New Victory Teaching Artist
 
 
  From singing along with classic Broadway musicals to performing in low-tech elementary school productions, our #LoveOfTheater has brought us all together. Here's to 2016—may your love of theater grow and grow!

For so many kids and families, #LoveOfTheater starts here at The New Victory, and over the past 20 years, the shows on our stage have helped thousands of families make lasting memories and establish theatergoing as a family tradition. We asked a few of those families to share their favorite New Vic memories with us. Take a look!


We've also been asking you, our friends and fellow theatergoers, to tell us where your #LoveOfTheater started. A shared love of theater brings us all together here at the New Vic, but we've come from all over! Here are some of the stories and moments that you've shared with us so far this season.
 

When I was five years old, my life was changed forever. I fell in love with the theater. I saw a show for the first time, and that magical place with tall ceilings, long aisles and red seats made me feel like I was in world where everything was possible. Needless to say, when those amazingly tall curtains opened, a world of magic opened itself to me! Today, I'm a magic-maker. I'm a theater-maker. The New Victory Theater Season is open! I am thrilled for all those children who will have the same chance I had. It only takes one experience! — Gyana Mella

My grandmother, Joan Howard, was very into the great movie musicals. Her love of those inspired my mother to experiment in theater as a young adult. As a result of my mom's theater experiments, I grew up going to musicals. I got my degree in theater and now teach high school theater and direct locally. My own daughters, at only eleven and twelve, are already hooked (my husband is a music director!). They've already performed in close to 20 shows. It's a love that just binds our family. — April Fritts
 

It's the place I love to take my daughter to. It's pure magic, it's mystery, and it opens a world of possibilities. She has a great time and so do I. I love the theater and I hope my daughter grows up to love and support the theater, too. — Rachel White, The Digital Latina

My #LoveOfTheater started with my family. We used to watch old time musicals all the time and I would end up singing the songs from The Wizard of OzThe Sound of Music and Annie in the backyard. I would even sing in the tub! — Kate Weidenman

My parents took me to Painters Mill Theatre (no longer there) to see my favorite TV star, Barbara Eden, play Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun. They even took me to the back door of the theater after the show, and she autographed my program! — Angie Townsend

My love of the theater started at a very young age (six), singing and performing at church and at a small local theater. — Judy Cas

My love of theater started in fourth or fifth grade at the Burlington County Community College Summer Theater Series, watching The Glass Menagerie: "I'll rise, but I won't shine." — Jay Cuasay

Mine started when my parents took me to see Phantom of the Opera when I was nine. Every time it came back to Louisville, I was there watching. I fell in love all over again seeing The Lion King. — Kathy Schremp Dean

When I saw Cats for the first time and Victoria, the white cat, came over to my seat, licked her paws and brushed my hair back, I was hooked! — Erin Williams

I have loved musicals since I was very young. Seeing my older sister in her high school production of Mame was a biggy! And seeing the national tour of A Chorus Line in my sophomore year was an amazing thrill for me. It was so different from anything I had ever encountered before! — Phil Michels

Cirque Mechanics at The New Victory has revived my #LoveOfTheater! (And my secret desire to become a clown.) So much fun down on 42nd Street! — Hillary Reeves

I played the starring role of the runaway pancake in our Kindergarten class show. Still going strong. #LoveOfTheater — Francile Albright Mullen

So where did your ‪#‎LoveOfTheater‬ start? Mine started when I saw Oliver at the Des Moines Playhouse when I was a kid.— Justin Roberts, New Vic Alum (2014)

My #LoveOfTheater started when I was in the Army in Germany and took Natasha Braecklein to a local production of The Wizard of Oz. Just some locals, nothing major, but watching it with her on my shoulders was so special. There's something amazing about people sharing their talent with the audience, and as an audience member being honored with that gift. The connection that is shared when watching a live performance is beautiful, and the best part for me is knowing that those on stage are living their dreams, and sharing their love and passion with all in attendance. — Robert Braecklein

We even heard from a few families who credited The New Victory with sparking their love of theater:
 
     
Luca and Nat date at The New Victory Theater. Ready to see The Gruffalo. Our #LoveOfTheater started here in 2014. Best theater in NYC. — Nat Hookway    Starting our #LoveOfTheater with the show White at The New Victory Theater today. — Angeline Sheridan, Macaroni Kid    #LoveOfTheater starts at The New Victory with The Gruffalo. — Edie Demas
 
 
  Now it's your turn! Tell us, where did your #LoveOfTheater start? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or in the comments below. Next week, we'll be sharing some of our own #LoveOfTheater origin stories. Until then, have a theatrical holiday!
Posted by Zack Ramadan
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