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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

 

Holly and her family!
Holly and her family on one of their cultural excursions!

It has always been important to me to make culture a real part of our family life. When my kids were babies, I realized that I had to take a brief hiatus from most spectator activities. So I turned to the kinds of art projects and activities they could enjoy in the comfort of our own home: music classes, dance parties, art projects and watching classics like Parent Trap and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on TV. Whenever possible, we would attend outdoor art festivals where the kids could sample and participate to the extent they were able. I looked forward to the day when we could venture into theaters and museums, but we took baby steps. I knew the big day would come.

And indeed it did. Over the past few years, since my kids have ever so slightly matured, I have been bringing them to cultural events in New York City—all over the boroughs. Now we go into the city often. Here are a few strategies for integrating culture into your family life, based on my own experiences:

Less can be more 
  • Choose a hand full of theaters and museums that you know and trust, and focus on their offerings. The more you try to do, the less you'll actually do.

Plan ahead to save
  • Sign up for something like Cool Culture, which lets your family visit New York City’s best-loved cultural institutions!
  • Become a member of the organizations that you believe in so that you can schedule events in your calendar well in advance, as well as save money. At the New Vic, by ordering tickets for three or more productions at one time, you become a member and save 35% off your tickets.

Tap into what your children like
  • When my daughter was young, she was into the Disney princesses, so I took her to see The Little Mermaid on Broadway. This year she is into fairies and witches, so we went to see Wicked.
  • Go to museums that offer kids' tours or scavenger hunts, kids' sections or activities. It will make the art much more appealing to your children, and you'll have a better chance of being able to take in some of the exhibit yourself.
 
Holly's Daughter
Holly's daughter visiting the New Vic for The Enchanted Pig.
Introduce new things
  • We are actually regulars at The New Victory Theater, where we are amongst many moms, dads and kids eager for the special performances they present from around the world. For one of my daughter's first theaterical experiences, we went to see The Enchanted Pig at the New Vic. It was one of those "Aha!" moments for me about living near New York City and being able to introduce my children to the finest theatrical experiences in existence. My daughter was literally enchanted by the production.

Encourage their budding interests
  • When your kids are ready, start them on musical instruments—even toy instruments, until you feel they are old enough to start taking lessons. Going to a classical concert will take on a whole new meaning. We recently took our kids to Jazz at Lincoln CenterJazz for Young People. Now that my son is interested in playing the guitar and is taking piano lessons, his interest in these types of concerts is far greater than before.
  • The same goes for drama lessons! If your child seems to have a knack for acting, don't shy away from it. Nurture the passion and energy.

Know your family's limits
  • Space your events out. I know that my kids need to play too, so I never plan too much in a weekend. Going to one event and making it special goes a lot further than overwhelming your children and wearing them out.
  • Make sure your kids are well fed before the curtain rises to avoid any issues during the show.
  • If your child has a meltdown or can't make it through a show, take a step back and stop going until you see a change in behavior. Instead, read books, talk about plays and encourage music and theater at home.
Culture is important to my kids because it's important to their mom. I make it a part of our daily life, and using the tactics I mention above, they want it just as much as I do. Living in New York City, there are so many choices for a culture-loving family. It's important to take advantage of what we have on our doorstep.

This post was originally seen on our blog in 2011.
   
Holly Rosen Fink Holly Rosen Fink has a career that spans the world of television and publishing, including positions at Lifetime Television, Nickelodeon/MTV and John Wiley & Sons where she worked closely with Arthur and Pauline Frommer to promote their brand.  She is currently the founder and CEO of Pivoting Media, a marketing consultancy that focuses on mindful social media.

 
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