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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.




Mary Rose Lloyd, the Director of Artistic Programming at The New Victory Theater, has spent the past twenty years curating work for the New Victory stage. Starting in 1996, Mary has crisscrossed the globe seeing shows, attending conferences and festivals and connecting with countless artists. 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.
 

​Mary has helped shape and define The New Victory Theater for the past 20 years. She has been trusted from the get-go with the responsibility of seeking out and bringing to the New Victory stage works for our young audiences that are beautiful, compelling, challenging and magical—always underpinned with the highest artistic and production values. It is no surprise that artists and colleagues from near and far have joined us to celebrate, with their musings and reminiscences, our beloved Director of Artistic Programming—the one and only—Mary Rose Lloyd. 
— Cora Cahan, President of The New Victory Theater
 



Mary is often described as a "tastemaker" in the international movement of theater for young audiences. I think "trailblazer" is a more appropriate badge of honour. She is a brave programmer who through dedicated commitment to this international community has developed a sense of what is coming next. She can pick trends, spot good ideas behind emerging companies and then find the right context in which to present that work. 
— Andy Packer, Slingsby Theatre Company​, Artistic Director

When I started in the Education Department of the New Vic in 2002, I didn't know Mary well… but she had already had a profound impact on me by what she had programmed the previous two years. As a grad student at NYU in Educational Theatre, I bought a season subscription and was forever changed by seeing work of the highest caliber at the New Vic. I have been lucky to cross paths often with Mary over the past dozen years and there's never enough time for us to catch up, laugh, gossip, dream and scheme about the future—all in an effort to continue to make the work better.
 
There are very few programmers on the planet who know more about the national and international landscape of theater for young audiences than Mary Rose Lloyd and who have made such a significant impact. I am lucky to call her a colleague and a friend. Happy 20 years, Mary!
— David Kilpatrick​​, Kennedy Center, Manager of Theater for Young Audiences

 

Mary Rose Lloyd
Mary and the New Vic's Director of Ticket Services, Robin Leeds, at the opening of the New 42nd Street Studios in 2000.
For someone who is clearly at the top of her game, respected by arts organizations around the world, and who has changed the face of performing arts for young people here in North America, Mary is a wonderful, warm, remarkably down to earth friend and colleague. The arts community of New York City is so lucky to claim her as one of our own and the young people of New York City are her greatest beneficiaries, as they should be. Congratulations on 20 years, Mary, and thank you, with love.
— Peg Schuler-Armstrong, Director of Programming and Production, Lincoln Center Education

How shocking. 20 years. This means we have worked together over two decades ago. Impossible.
I'm thrilled to be able to contribute my song to the large chorus of professionals singing in unison of your valiant artistic vision and astute programming. I send you a warm embrace from where I am working. Onward, dear friend. You have many more wonderful years ahead to make your artistic contribution to our society through your noble work.
— Joe Melillo​, Executive Producer, Brooklyn Academy of Music

Mary—your vision of and for the New Vic's artistic programming has taught me so much. I don't know how to thank you. Suffice it to say my life, my children's lives and the lives of thousands upon thousands of kids and their families would be much poorer, much more boring, much more insular and much less empathetic without the glorious, brave, life-affirming, boundary-breaking, myth-busting work you have put on the New Vic's stage.
— Edie Demas, Executive Director, Jacob Burns Film Center 

 

Mary Rose Lloyd
Mary reading in the Programming office.
We both started around the same time and we've been a lot of places and seen a lot of work together. And I mean a lot of work! She has been a mentor, the dearest of all colleagues, and more than all of that, a real true friend. I'm a lucky, better man for knowing her and I love her to bits. 
— Tony Reekie, Chief Executive, Imaginate

Mary—how is it possible that as you celebrate your 20th anniversary at the helm of the New Vic, Tall Stories celebrate our 20th year of existence? It's crazy to think back all those years ago to the first time we met you at IPAY 2002 in Philadelphia after our performance of Snow White. After booking the show, you invited us to New York to have a look at the New Vic and you walked us around the venue. We played it as calmly as we could. When you left the room for a moment—all five of us turned to each other and let out a little scream. Did you hear? We always wondered if you had…
— Olivia​ Jacobs​ and Toby​ Mitchell, Joint Artistic Directors, Tall Stories

 

Mary Rose Lloyd
Mary giving opening remarks at the Scottish Theater Forum in 2009. 
There are certain people that you meet in life that just feel like "home." The professional and the personal relationship is not "work." It just is. Mary is one of those people. I just want to hang out with her, eat a bucket of chicken and talk about hair dye. I simply adore her.
— Michael Bobbitt​, Artistic Director, Adventure Theatre MTC

Mary Rose, you have changed all of our lives, inspired the heck out of us and challenged us to be better! My life was forever changed by those weeks in that van as we bounced across the backroads of the Netherlands meeting incredible artists, seeing rehearsals, having dinners and getting to know all of those traveling in the van far too well. I remember laughing myself sick, eating far too much Dutch licorice and feeling like the luckiest guy on the planet to be hanging out with folks like Mary and Tony Reekie. Thanks for kicking our behinds. Thanks for traveling to the furthest corners of the planet to make us see with the eyes of kids and to know just how much we had to change in the USA. You can never stop, you are just getting warmed up. You have been the greatest friend, ally and guide that anyone could want. Thanks for bringing your heart, your critical eye and your fabulous laugh to every moment and for sharing it all so generously. U R DA BEST!
— Peter Brosius, Artistic Director, Children's Theatre Company

While at PennPAT, Mary served on our roster review panel and really provided a terrific lens for viewing traditional theater, physical theater and family programming. I had been contemplating more consulting work with artists, particularly those who created quality programming for young audiences, and Mary was a wonderful resource. She sat down with me that winter and really helped me get clear on my vision, trends in the field, artists to watch and how I could serve; and this ultimately guided me when I took my consulting in the direction of artist management and representation. Through the years she's continued to be a voice for quality family programming and a guide to so many of us who are looking to give this work more mainstream outlets. Congrats on 20 years, Mary! Thank you for all you do!
— Chrissie DiAngelus, Marketing Mentor, Piccadilly Arts
 

 

Mary Rose Lloyd
Mary with her artistic programming team!
I shared almost all my time on the board of IPAY with Mary. She was always generous with both her knowledge and her contacts whenever we were together and I always have appreciated that. She has introduced me to many companies and colleagues over the years; a value that is hard to calculate. Congratulations on 20 years, Mary. All the best form the wilds of New Jersey.
— Alan Liddell, Director of the Nash Theatre, Raritan Valley Community College

20 years! That is incredible. I suppose for me the thing I love about Mary is that she is really upfront about what she likes and what she doesn't. It's refreshingly straightforward. She will still manage to compliment the work, but if it doesn't work for her you know it. Oh, and she is always good for a restaurant tip, too, which is a tremendous skill in itself. Go Mary—here's to the next 20!
— Andy Manley, Creator and Performer, White 

20th Anniversary!?!? Already!?!? Wow I feel old… I remember attending a theater festival in Lyon that first year Mary was in her position at The New Victory. It was 10 days of seeing an excellent array of work along with food, wine and shopping. She became a treasured colleague and friend from that moment. Mary sets the bar as a curator and programmer for children’s performing arts; she personifies excellence both personally and professionally. I salute her and raise a toast to another 20 brilliant years!
— Leanne Tintori Wells, Dance Program Director, NYSCA
Written by Kali DiPippo, Assistant Director of Artistic Programming

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." — Winston Churchill

 

LabWorks
Photo: Alexis Buatti-Ramos
I can't help but think of these words when a season of New Victory LabWorks comes to a close. It is a time to debrief and reflect, but also ask: what next? Each year, The New Victory has the pleasure of supporting a handful of New York City-based artists creating work for young audiences as part of our LabWorks program. Taking place primarily at the New 42nd Street Studios, these artists hunker down over the course of a year—some with just the seed of an idea, others with a script, and many somewhere in between—to write, plan and experiment. These eclectic artists test out ideas, keep some, scrap others, and by the end, make great strides toward creating work for young audiences and families.

Over the past year, I've watched these artists develop these works (some from just the glimmer of an idea) into presentations for a live audience. The residencies are a vital and inspiring stop on each company's path to a full production. In fact, one of the reasons we started LabWorks was to increase the presence of work for young audiences by American artists. The idea that we could (and indeed are beginning to) see pieces developed by LabWorks Artists at national and international festivals, showcases and venues is thrilling. To come back to Churchill's words, LabWorks is only the beginning.

But before we leave this particular beginning, let's take a look back at some reflections from a few of the 2015-16 LabWorks Artists, in their own words:

    

LabWorks
The Village of Vale in the midst of an open rehearsal. Photo: Alexis Buatti-Ramos
"There is an unfortunate irony that the theater we make for adults (or anyone, really) is called a 'play,' and yet play is often the very thing that it is lacking. Allowing myself the freedom to work in a world that was more fun, that was high-spirited, but that also had to retain a sense of structure and a kind of rationality resonated deeply with me and is something I will not soon forget."
— Jason Gray Platt, Bird Brain

    

"The chance to be part of LabWorks really made us think of ourselves as an 'us'—as a company that has its own aesthetic and process and, we hope, trajectory—and I'm grateful for that."
— Jonathan Karpinos, The Village of Vale

"Within the program there are a range of opportunities to build and expand your network, learn and grow business skills to ensure sustainability, and receive artistic mentorship and feedback from some of the most respected people involved with theater for young audiences."
— Rachel Sullivan & Liz Parker, Layer the Walls

"The open rehearsals were incredibly helpful to us, especially at the place we found ourselves in developmentally at the end of our residency. We needed to get these ideas up and in front of eyes and ears and we have had such valuable feedback from those showings that it's reinvigorated our writing and given us such useful intel that will help guide our process going forward."
— Joseph Varca, The Village of Vale

"Artistically, we learned where the audiences are connecting to our stories and characters, where more information is needed, what is confusing, what is working with form and content, what is lacking and what people are craving. We've never opened up a show to share with an audience at this phase of development, and that in itself was a learning experience. While it was vulnerable to open the doors at this point in the process, it was ultimately rewarding and will allow us to create a stronger piece."
— Rachel Sullivan & Liz Parker, Layer the Walls

 

LabWorks
Layer the Walls in their open rehearsal. Photo: Alexis Buatti-Ramos
"My first instinct would be to keep [LabWorks] a secret so that no one else would find out about it and I'd be able to be part of it again and again ad infinitum. :) But, if pressed, I'd describe it as a fantastic opportunity to develop a show for young audiences, learn more about making theater for young audiences and become part of a community of people who make theater for young audiences."
— Jonathan Karpinos, The Village of Vale

"I had a blast. I felt fully supported by the theater and the staff throughout the process. Considering the program is only a few years into its life it already feels very smoothly run and well-organized. I'll miss you guys!"
— Jason Gray Platt, Bird Brain
 
 
Kali DiPippo ​Kali DiPippo, Assistant Director of Artistic Programming, oversees New Victory LabWorks, a program designed to foster the creation of new works for family audiences and provide New York City-based artists with professional development opportunities. Formerly a stage manager, Kali turned her sights to family audiences after a serendipitous stint in Education at Hampstead Theatre in London and has worked in varying capacities with Roundabout Theatre Company, MCC Theater Youth Company, Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre and the Kitchen Theatre Company. Kali received her BA in Drama from Ithaca College and her MA in Educational Theater from NYU. 

 
Posted by Beth Henderson
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