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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.

It's summertime, and here at The New Victory we're busy getting ready for our upcoming season. All summer long, we're offering fun Summer Field Guides for you to celebrate being a kid in New York. Get inspired by the activities below and start getting in the mood for the shows to come!

In this double issue, we celebrate Ratcatcher's Day on July 22nd and Vanilla Ice Cream Day on July 23rd.


July 22nd - Ratcatcher's Day

Like it or not, New York City has its fair share of rats. The famous Pied Piper was fabled to lead all the rats of Hamelin away from town with his irresistible fluting—a tactic that probably won't work in the five boroughs. Here are some activities that celebrate Ratcatcher's Day, in honor of Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company, who are bringing their performance of THE PIED PIPER to The New Victory next May.

Make a Rat Marionette

It's best to steer clear of real rats, so here are some instructions for making your own rat marionette. First, print out the rat design below, or design your own similar rat in the same number of pieces (head, body, legs, tail).

Rat marionette cut-out

Download a PDF
of this rat marionette design for printing. Page 2 shows an assembled version!

Cut out the pieces and attach them to one another with brads like so:
 
Materials: cut-out rat, brads, string, scissors Stabbing a brad through the cut out layers Opening brad on back side of paper Rat pieces all attached with four brads

Tape or tie string to the parts of the marionette that you want to manipulate. We recommend the head and the base of the tail:
 
Cutting two lengths of string, one for the head, another for the base of the tail Taping string to reverse side of rat layers  

Make an "airplane" control for your marionette out of popsicle sticks, pens or unsharpened pencils, using tape or glue to secure the bars together. Then tie your strings to each end:
 
Taping two bars of 'airplane' marionette control to one another in a T-shape Taping marionette strings to each end of the control Fully taped control Finished marionette

Rat in a comfy chair reading a rat biographyYou're done! Take your rat for a walk, but don’t frighten too many people.

Rat Biography

We often think of rats as being part of a crowd, but every rat is an individual! Now that you’ve made your own rat, start thinking about the following questions. Then share your rat’s biography with us on Facebook!
  • What's your rat's name?
  • Where does your rat live?
  • What did your rat get for its birthday?
  • What's your rat's favorite flavor of ice cream?
  • How does your rat like to spend summer vacation?
  • Which subway line does your rat like best? Why?
  • What do your rat's parents do for a living?
  • Who are your rat's heroes?

The Rodent Family

Rats have many rodent cousins, including mice, squirrels, hamsters, beavers and porcupines! Do you have cousins? Draw a portrait of your extended family in the family room frame below, and see how many distant relations you can think of.
 
Draw your own family portrait
Download a PDF
of this family room frame to print at home for portraiture.
 
THE PIED PIPER Icon   We can't wait for Carlo Colla & Sons to return to the New Vic next spring with THE PIED PIPER. Mark your calendars, and bring along your marionette to join in the puppeteering fun.
 


July 23rd – Vanilla Ice Cream Day

In November, Catherine Wheels Theatre Company returns to The New Victory with WHITE, which was last here in 2011. What better opportunity to prepare ourselves for the many shades and textures of WHITE than by celebrating Vanilla Ice Cream Day? It is summertime, after all.

Vanilla Variation

Vanilla ice cream has a bland reputation, but it’s not so boring as you might think! There’s black-speckled vanilla bean ice cream, custardy french vanilla, and even tangy vanilla frozen yogurt. Here’s a map of some of New York’s newest ice cream parlors. And here’s an article detailing some of New York’s more established confectionary greats citywide, from Forest Hills to Staten Island. 
 

Do you have a local favorite? Add it to our map!
 
French vanilla ice cream sundae Vanilla bean waffle cone New Vicberry vanilla frozen yogurt

The Ice Cream Makers

You don't need a fancy ice cream making machine to make your own delicious summer treats at home. You can make ice cream with things you already have in the kitchen! Just follow these easy steps—stirring is key:
  1. Find a recipe! There are lots out there. Here’s a good one with optional vanilla bean involved, and here’s a non-dairy vegan one.
  2. Freeze a pan or shallow bowl—you’ll need it later.
  3. Combine your ingredients in a large bowl according to the recipe.
  4. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator, or in an ice bath for a faster result (TIP: Fill your sink with ice water).
  5. Pour your chilled mixture into your pre-cooled pan, and return it to the freezer.
  6. Check it every 30 minutes. As the edges freeze, stir the mixture vigorously with a whisk, spatula or fork.
  7. Repeat this twice-hourly stirring action four or five times. Soften the mixture briefly in the refrigerator if it become too hard to stir.
  8. Once it’s creamy and consistent, you’re done! Cover it and return it to the freezer.
  9. Eat, eat, eat!
Ice cream mixture in a bowl Whisk or spatula for stirring Eating the finished ice cream

Egg Buddies

In anticipation of WHITE, Andy Manley of Catherine Wheels Theatre Company was joined by his co-star, Egg, in this video:
 
Egg decoration with glue, markers, hats and bow ties

As you can see, Egg is a bit shy. Let’s make him some little egg friends to cheer him up! Grab an egg and some markers, and start decorating (TIP: Hard-boiling your egg first will make it more durable). 

When your egg is ready, you can enjoy some vanilla ice cream together! Take a selfie with your egg and an ample serving of vanilla ice cream, and share it with us on Instagram @NewVictoryTheater or Twitter @NewVictory. We’ll be sure to pass it along to Andy and Egg.
 
WHITE Icon   Then, when summertime has ended and November’s chill is in the air, come along to the New Vic to experience the magical world of WHITE. It will be too cold for ice cream, but Egg will see you there.
Posted by Zack Ramadan

It's summertime, and here at The New Victory we're busy getting ready for our upcoming season. All summer long, we're offering fun Summer Field Guides for you to celebrate being a kid in New York. Get inspired by the activities below and start getting in the mood for the shows to come!

In this issue, we celebrate Moon Day on July 20th.

July 20th – Moon Day

It can be tricky to see the stars in the nighttime New York sky, but even the glow of our vibrant city can't blot out the Moon. We celebrate Moon Day in honor of the crew of Apollo 11, who were the first astronauts to set foot on Earth's nearest neighbor, 46 years ago, on July 20, 1969. Astronauts are some of the bravest explorers the world has ever known, but every one of them started out as a curious kid, staring at the sky like the rest of us, making wishes on the brightest stars and tracing constellations with inquisitive fingers. Let's turn our gazes upward and join them, shall we?

Design a Constellation

If you stargaze on a clear night, you might recognize some famous constellations: The Big Dipper, Orion, Leo. The identities of these shapes in the sky have been passed down for centuries. Let's find some new ones!

What shapes do you see in the starfield below? Perhaps the hard-to-spot Banana Minor, or the elusive Crabman…

Click to download a printable version of the starfield and connect the dots—er... stars!

Make a Star and Share It

In Théâtre de l'Œil's THE STAR KEEPER, coming to The New Victory next April, a star falls from the sky, and it's up to a chivalrous worm named Pretzel to return it to its rightful place in the firmament for all to enjoy. 

Follow the instructions below to make your own star out of paper. Decorate it however you like. Then, place it somewhere outside so your NYC neighbors can make a wish when they spot it!
 

As you explore the city this summer, keep an eye out for stars like yours. And if one should fall at your feet, return it to a high place for your fellow stargazers to observe.
 


Explore the Cosmos 

Did you know you can see the stars even when the sun is out? Just visit a planetarium! The New York metro area has several great planetariums and science museums where you can learn more about astronomy.

Hayden Planetarium, American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side – www.amnh.org
New York Hall of Science, Corona, Queens – www.nysci.org
Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City – www.cradleofaviation.org
Hudson River Museum, Yonkers – www.hrm.org
Liberty Science Center, Jersey City – www.lsc.org
Newark Museum, Newark – www.newarkmuseum.org



Share your Findings

Share your constellations and star designs with us on Instagram @newvictorytheater or on Twitter @newvictory, or take to Facebook and tell us what you learned from a recent museum or planetarium visit. Pretzel would be proud!
 
  Speaking of Pretzel, that cute little guy returns to The New Victory next April, when Théâtre de l'Œil brings THE STAR KEEPER back to New York. They were last here in 1999—let's welcome them back!
Posted by Zack Ramadan
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