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.

"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." — T. S. Eliot


TXT Marks the Spot
Kids search the program for clues to Knee Deep's TXT Marks the Spot.
We at The New Victory are committed to exploration and discovery. We want our audience members to be excited and to discover something new every time you come to our theater—whether it's your first time or your fiftieth! This philosophy was the impetus for adding TXT Marks the Spot to our Public Engagement programming in 2011.  

TXT Marks the Spot combines digital gaming, scavenger hunts and the performing arts into unique experiences for families to enjoy together. Equipped with a map and a personal mobile device, participating families interact with staff as they roam all around the theater, learning more about the New Vic and the performance they have just seen—like what inspired this year’s adaption of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, or learning fun tricks from Mother Africa My Home, or discovering how many angels live on our theater's ceiling. 

For our 2016-17 Season, there will be some exciting changes to the TXT Marks the Spot program:
TXT Marks the Spot
Kids complete activities for The Magic Flute's TXT Marks the Spot.
  1. We will now be offering a new version of TXT Marks the Spot that will be available for families at EVERY show in the season. You read that right, TXT Marks the Spot will be available whether you come on a Friday night to see Chotto Desh or a Sunday matinee to see Water On Mars. Every production, every performance.
  2. You will now be able to play TXT Marks the Spot before or after the show. Don't want to stay later? Come early! Trains running slow and you made it just in time? Stay post-show to play! 
  3. TXT Marks the Spot is not just about the show anymore. Look for clues hidden throughout the building, learn something new about the artists' process and ask ushers specific questions to finish your journey. Families will discover new things about the theater and see the space in a new way each time they participate in TXT Marks the Spot.
  4. With each performance there will also be questions about that specific show. This means families will be able to participate in TXT Marks the Spot each time they visit the theater!

And some things will stay the same:
  1. TXT Marks the Spot is FREE for ticketholders. All you need is a phone that can send and receive text messages. Depending upon your plan, standard messaging rates may apply.  
  2. TXT Marks the Spot is created with your family in mind—each activity is for you and your kid(s) to participate in and enjoy together
  3. TXT Marks the Spot takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. Don't have 15 minutes? Play as much as you can!


TXT Marks the Spot
Audience members submit their guesses for Knee Deep's TXT Marks the Spot.
But don't take our word for it! Hear what others are saying:

— "My son enjoyed TXT Mark the Spot the most. It was a fun activity and we even got to go to places we've never seen before." — Yelena F.
— "The kids loved the mobile scavenger hunt, TXT Marks the Spot!" — Marjory I. 
— "Awesome. Thanks for showing the kids the theater in a terrific way." — Anne D.
— "It was so much fun! Thank you." — Sarah J. 
— "We had a great time, my son loved it!  It's a great addition to the theater going experience for him." — Marianne P.

What should you expect?
  1. Arrive at the theater early or stay after the show!
  2. Find your code to begin TXT Marks the Spot on well—marked signs around the theater.
  3. Start on the digital scavenger hunt by completing tasks and exploring the theater, while getting to know the New Vic and the show you're there to see. 

New Victory Thumb Want to get in on the fun? Join us for TXT Marks the Spot for any one of our shows during the 2016-17 Season
Posted by Beth Henderson
August 24, 2016

Growing Up New Vic

Written by Miranda Cornell, Summer 2016 Education Apprentice


Miranda and Mom
Miranda and her mom explore NYC in 2005!
In December of 2016, The New Victory Theater will turn twenty-one years old. This past June, I turned nineteen years old. And ten years into The New Victory’s life, in December of 2005, our paths intersected and I saw my first New Vic show, a holiday circus from the Golden Dragon Acrobats. Nearly eleven years later, I am sitting at my desk in the middle of the New Victory Education Department, writing this blog post. A lot has changed over the past decade—I have grown sixteen inches, can differentiate between b’s and d’s, started my college tenure and, perhaps most importantly, have begun my career in the theater. 

The arts have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Somewhere between dance classes, theater groups, piano lessons and trips to various performances around New York City, my #LoveOfTheater developed in full force. I don’t need to list the statistics on how exposure to the arts affects children; the studies have been done and the effect is a positive one. I can, however, explore my personal experiences with theater and the arts—from some of my earliest memories to rehearsals for the play I am currently directing—by interviewing my mom, a former actress, about our experiences at the New Vic, from 2005 to now.


Miranda this summer
Miranda during her summer as an Apprentice!
Miranda Cornell: Why The New Victory? What about this theater made you want to bring me (and friends) there?

Jill Cornell: The shows at The New Victory are marked by joy and wonder. The best theater has a magical quality: a sock becomes a puppet, a box can be a bed, a lavatory or a ship. I brought you to The New Victory to see great theater that happened to be created for kids, not because it was kid’s theater. Especially when you were in middle school, I just wanted you to see shows that would interest you that, I could enjoy as well.

MC: In your opinion, how did the performances that we saw at the New Vic strengthen a connection between us?

JC: I wanted to expand your world by going to the theater with you. The New Victory allowed me to do that by bringing in shows from all over the world at an affordable ticket price. There were also the workshops before the shows that were fun! Seeing shows together and being able to talk about the subject matter or the productions were the foundations for a lot of our communication. That was, and still is, very important to me as a parent.

MC: Do you think that taking me to see various shows around New York City (many at The New Vic) has shaped my view of theater or has influenced where I am today in my theatrical career?

JC: I think a lot of your taste in theater can be traced to The New Victory. As you begin to explore your Education major at school and your interest in this part of the field, I wholeheartedly believe that your passion for arts education was sparked by the acrobats, pigs and magic boxes we saw at The New Vic. 


Golden Dragon Acrobats
The first show Miranda saw at the New Vic, Cirque Ziva from the Golden Dragon Acrobats. Photo: Amitava Sarka
MC: Do you think that I would have discovered this passion of mine this early on if I had not been exposed to such high quality theater at such a young age?

JC: Your early arts education taught you so much more than how to move around on stage. Arts education laid the foundation for your emotional intelligence, your ability to reason and infer meaning from complicated material. It also provided a visceral, creative experience that went beyond basic learning. Children’s bodies and brains flourish with an arts curriculum, regardless if they become engineers or win Tony Awards. 

MC: What is it like for you, as a parent who once brought their child to The New Victory, to have that same child now working as a summer apprentice here? Additionally, we still talk about some of the shows we saw here. Considering that these shows are meant for children and families, why is it that a mother and her college-aged daughter still think about those shows?

JC: Being able to still enjoy The New Vic’s programming speaks to the breadth of their artistic vision, almost as a whole community approach. Their dedication to diversity is also a major strength and draw for us as a multicultural and multiracial family. Having you do an apprenticeship there is both exciting and gratifying as you explore who you want to be as a working adult in both theater and education. I’m excited that you continue to be nurtured by The New Victory’s artistic and education programming as an adult and that you’ve found a home there this summer. 

This summer has been a crazy whirlwind of running from the New Vic to rehearsal studios for FringeNYC, but I would not change a single thing even if I could. I think it is safe to say that The New Victory has laid the foundation for pretty much everything I want to do with my life, especially a career in the theater as an artist and as an educator. To be back here this summer is almost like returning back home—back to a place that holds dear memories from the past, as well as a place I hope to come back to in the future. 

Miranda Cornell Miranda Cornell is a rising sophomore at Vassar College where she is a double major in Drama and Education and a summer apprentice in the New Victory Education Department. In addition to her studies, she serves as the Artistic Director for Semicolon Theatre Company, a company dedicated to presenting the voices of theatre artists 21 and under Off and Off-Off Broadway. She is currently directing Semicolon’s most recent production, #Blessed at the New York International Fringe Festival. In her spare time, you can find her obsessively watching cooking shows and making theater with eight year olds, though not at the same time. 

Posted by Beth Henderson
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