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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.
The New Victory Theater launched the New Victory Usher Corps the day the theater opened to provide paid employment, job training, academic support, mentorship and an introduction to the performing arts for over 50 young New Yorkers each year. Since then, the program has provided over 400,000 hours of paid employment to over 500 NYC teens ages 16-22 from across the city. Find out how teens in your life can apply to be a part of this award-winning program here!

All season long, we'll be featuring young people from our Usher Corps in our New Vic Bills and here on the New Victory blog. Today we're talking to third-year usher Melissa Dutan from Corona, New York.

Melissa DutanMy favorite show at The New Victory was…
Museum of Memories. It was so intimate that you felt immersed in the actors' emotions. It was such an intense subject matter and how they portrayed it was really amazing. 

The show I'm most excited for this season is…
The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence because I studied Lawrence's paintings in my high school race studies class. I'm interested to see how they interpret his work with dance. 

My favorite memory from working as an usher was...
I can't pick just one, but all of the moments I cherish involve working with kids. Those little ones make me more open as an usher and as a person.

Who inspires you?
Chris Cerulli's long history in the music industry is inspiring. He shows that no matter how long it takes to achieve success, you can attain your goals with drive and passion.

What's your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?
Williamsburg, Dumbo and Astoria are all amazing places. Those neighborhoods are very open with a lot of scenery and beautiful sites to look at.

Describe your dream vacation. 
I've wanted to go to Hawaii since I was 4-years-old. 

What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory took place at the New Vic! My sister worked here as an usher when she was around my age. I was just 8-years-old at the time, but I remember visiting her at work, sitting in the balcony and watching all of the shows. It's surreal that I get to work here now.

 
New Victory Thumb Want to learn more about The New Victory Theater Usher Program? Take a look here!

 
Posted by Beth Henderson

The New Victory Theater launched the New Victory Usher Corps the day the theater opened to provide paid employment, job training, academic support, mentorship and an introduction to the performing arts for over 50 young New Yorkers each year. Since then, the program has provided over 400,000 hours of paid employment to over 500 NYC teens ages 16-22 from across the city. Find out how teens in your life can apply to be a part of this award-winning program here!

All season long, we'll be featuring young people from our Usher Corps in our New Vic Bills and here on the New Victory blog. Today we're talking to third-year usher Porscha Rippy from the Bronx, New York.    
Porscha Rippy

My favorite show at The New Victory has been…
Hands down, Fly, from the 2015-2016 season, was my favorite. It was so real and it didn't sugarcoat anything. We even had three Tuskegee Airmen come see the show and do a discussion panel after!

The show I'm most excited for this season is...
I can't wait for Jason Bishop: Believe in Magic. Because it's the holiday show, I'll get to work with a lot of tourists and families. It makes me feel great when I see new faces at the New Vic and hear them talk about coming back.

My favorite memory from working as an usher was... 
I'll always remember when I first decided to learn American Sign Language (ASL) at the show Museum of Memories. The show was so intimate, that I got to see the interpreter up close and watch how her hands just flowed. Picking up ASL has had a huge impact on my job because I'm able to better interact with patrons who are hearing-impaired. By learning ASL, I'm able to make EVERYONE feel welcomed.     

My dream job would be… 
I would LOVE to work with kids who are hearing-impaired. I'm overwhelmed when I see how surprised the kids are when I sign. The parents and teachers notice that the New Vic is a versatile place, where their kids can come to be themselves. That feeling is indescribable.

My love of theater started... 
When I was 16, I joined an acting program called Opening Act, where I not only saw plays, but learned about the hard work that goes into them.

What was your favorite story as a kid?
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, because it taught me about morals at a young age. Throughout the story, the King tests both of his daughters to see which one is worthy of inheriting his kingdom. It taught me to be kind because you never know who you're talking to when you interact with strangers.    

Describe the most challenging thing about being an usher.
One of the most challenging things is that not everyone will come to the New Vic happy. I've learned that bad moods are just something you have to deal with and all you can do is try to keep it light.

Describe your dream vacation.
I would LOVE to visit Africa so I could discover a little bit more about myself and my roots.    

What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is planting tomatoes and peppers with my grandfather in his garden.    

 
New Victory Thumb Want to learn more about The New Victory Theater Usher Program? Take a look here!

 
Posted by Beth Henderson
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