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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.

In 15 years, 389,000 New York City students have discovered the transformative magic of theater in their classrooms with the New Victory Teaching Artists. To celebrate the exciting anniversary of our Classroom Workshop Program, we reached out to a few teachers who have collaborated with us over the years!



The New Victory Theater has been special from the start. Not only do they provide high-quality kid's theater from around the world, but sign-interpreted performances are scheduled for every production. I do not know if any other theater provides such accessibility to their young patrons. 

That respect and care is carried over into the pre- and post-show classroom workshops, where Teaching Artists visit our classroom to deepen our students' experience and understanding of each show. For example, my class attended A Sky For The Bears this season, which explores the themes of death and acceptance through puppetry and shadows. Our in-class post-show workshop directed the students to create cardboard puppets and play with shadow and light to create their own story of what it means to "go away but remain in someone's heart." After the visit, we continued to tell stories using shadow and light by setting up a learning center. The workshop challenged both our teachers' and our students' thinking and creativity. 

Thank you to the New Vic for respecting students and collaborating with teachers!
—Gary Wellbrock, PS 347 in New York, New York
  


I'm a music teacher at a public school in the South Bronx, where all of our students are developmentally disabled, multi-handicapped, autistic and/or have emotional disabilities. The workshops provide a creative space where students can participate in exciting ways. The Teaching Artists accommodate all students, regardless of their limitations. With them, every student is a star. The creativity and wisdom of our students have wowed us—the staff—many times.

The pre-performance workshops really prepare our students for the show they will be seeing and the post-performance workshops expand upon what they've seen. It goes without saying, but everyone, including my principal, sees these workshops as crucial to our arts program.

I commend The New Victory Theater for offering these wonderful workshops that stretch the imagination. I also can't thank them enough for giving our students an opportunity to experience live performances in an atmosphere that makes them all feel comfortable. Their hard work is greatly appreciated!
—Rita Prince, P186X in The Bronx, New York
 

The Teaching Artists who prepare the students to see the performances, or follow up on the visit are always high quality. The activities are fun, well-structured and expertly delivered. I've even stolen some of their ideas for use in my own work! It always amazes me how much they are able to accomplish in a short period of time like creating musical numbers, teaching circus tricks and staging shadow puppet shows. 
—Ron Sopyla, PS 88 in Queens, New York
 

I've been a public school elementary Drama Teacher for 23 years. When the New Vic first opened, I was so happy to have a place that consistently offered real theater for my students. When the classroom workshops started, it brought our experience to an entirely different level. The Teaching Artists are always top-notch, engaging and flexible! They get my students to open up their thinking (before and often after) a performance in a way that no amount of simply discussing the piece could ever do.
—Cynthia Blackwell, PS 58 in Brooklyn, New York
 

My experience with The New Victory Theater's Classroom Workshops has been wonderful! The Teaching Artists are enthusiastic, positive, patient and they know just what it takes to work with the students. Even my quietest students are excited to participate in the engaging activities they offer! Having the classroom workshops before going to a performance has really helped my students connect more to the show itself. It makes them feel like insiders, and they appreciate the experience so much more!

At one particular pre­show workshop, I had a student tell the teaching artist that she would not be coming to see the show with her class because she had an appointment to get her cast removed for her broken arm. The teaching artist told me that if I contacted the theater, they could set her family up with tickets for one of the public performances. I did this and the family got to see the show later that week. We were all so grateful for the kindness and consideration that was shown by the Teaching Artist and by the theater!
—Joan Christou, Nest+m in New York, New York
 
 
Funkedified Thumb Interested in learning more about our Classroom Workshop Program? Find out more here!

Creativity SeminarWe at the New Vic believe in working closely with New York school teachers to cultivate their skills so they can bring the performing arts to their classrooms. New Victory Teaching Artists and Education staff provide multiple opportunities, like Creativity Seminars every summer, for educators to grow professionally through all types of art forms, including puppetry, circus, dance and theater.

Participants engage through art making, skill building and reflecting and discussing the practical strategies of art form-based teaching and learning. The ultimate goal of Creativity Seminars is to build a bridge between artistic experiences and academic curriculum.

This summer, over fifty teachers and education professionals took part in two Creativity Seminars—Theatrical Play in the Classroom and Puppetry in the Classroom. Check out what participants learned!

"I was very nervous coming into this course, as I've always been afraid of performing in front of any audience. At the same time, I know just how valuable theatrical play is for teaching all kinds of learners. With this in mind, I wanted to take this course in order to learn how to overcome my own fear of performing in front of others in order to better teach my own students.

This course has completely blown me away. I have never felt so comfortable performing with and for others. One of the most important aspects of this course was that the instructors created a safe and respectful environment where I felt free to be silly and play with my optimistic and positive colleagues.

I will never forget when Carolyn, the Teaching Artist, encouraged us to cheer for anyone who made an error. It completely changed the class' reaction to making mistakes, because all of the potential embarrassment that comes with making a mistake disappeared.

I had an absolute blast taking this course and can't wait to incorporate all that I have learned within my own classroom!" — Sarah

Puppetry

"We explored creative methods that could easily be brought to the classroom and adapted to many classes. Our instructors' enthusiasm was contagious. The bold and confident way they presented ideas and exercises helped to dispell any awkwardness that could ensue. I thoroughly enjoyed the class and have learned so much. It forced me to get out of my comfort zone and showed me I could be bolder as well." — Miao

"This was truly a fun, hands-on and engaging course. I learned new skills that I would definitely use in my classroom. Gaining new knowledge to bring to our students couldn't have been done without our amazing teaching artists. I learned so much and I feel extremely prepared to pass it on this school year. Thank you for making this the best summer ever!" — Darlene

Theatrical Play

"This seminar made performing really fun and non-intimidating. I went into the workshop really anxious about having to act in front of people. Usually, I don't like attention, but the Teaching Artists made me feel safe to take risks. I feel like I've discovered another side of my personality." —Meisi

"​As someone who has no background in any kind of theater, having the opportunity to work professional artists was beyond measure." —Susan

"I can't wait to apply what I learned in the workshop to my classroom! These lessons will teach my students collaborative skills and critical thinking strategies, as well as self respect and confidence." — Monique

 
 
The New Victory Theater Interested in learning more about our Professional Development Programs? Check out our resources here

 

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