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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 issue, we ring in the month of August—Family Fun Month—and celebrate Friendship Day on August 2nd.

August – Family Fun Month

It's hard to believe that June and July have already passed us by. In some parts of the country, school starts again in mid-August. Can you imagine? Here in New York, though, there's still one full month left of summer vacation—we call it Family Fun Month!

Island Vacation

Sure, four of the five boroughs are technically islands. But New York has some other great islands where you can have some family fun. First up, Coney Island (nowadays a peninsula).

Part amusement park, part boardwalk, part beach, it's easy to spend the whole day here—just be sure to pack enough sunscreen! You can also stop by the New York Aquarium at the eastern end of the boardwalk; or MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Keep track of all the things you spot on Coney Island with this BINGO card:

Coney Island Bingo Card, featuring the following squares: Wonder Wheel, The Cyclone, The Parachute Jump, Palm tree, Tropical bathing suit, Curly straw, Musician, Dizzy rollercoaster rider, Popsicle cart, Outdoor shower, Rollerblader, Tandem bicycle, Nathan’s hot dog, Airplane banner or Skywriting, Kite, Volleyball net, Radio-controlled aircraft, Sleeping seagull, Fireworks, Mermaid (or merman), Melted ice cream, Lifeguard, Surfboard or Boogieboard, Floaties, Megaphone
Download a PDF
of this BINGO card to print at home
before you head out on your Coney Island adventure!

While you're visiting Coney Island, stop by the Coney Island Museum and check out exhibits from Coney Island's good ol' days: funhouse mirrors, 3D models and vintage circus artwork, sure to get you in the mood for the upcoming return of BELLO MANIA.

Complete your #IslandBingo card? Share it with us on Instagram @NewVictoryTheater, or on Twitter @NewVictory, and win some New Vic swag!

Island Cycling

Get ready for the cranked up ingenuity of Cirque Mechanics’ PEDAL PUNK, and spend a summer weekend on wheels! You may have spotted a bike or two on Coney Island, but there are lots of places you and your family can safely cycle in the City. You can rent tandem bikes, beach cruisers, even pedal-driven surreys (fringe not guaranteed) at these outdoor destinations. 

Rockaway Park – Check out Wheel Fun Rentals at Jacob Riis Park for all manner of pedal-powered vehicles, including boats! They also have beach gear, if you’re more into sitting still in the sand.

Governor's Island – You can bring your own bike here on weekends via the East River Ferry or the Governor's Island Ferry, or you can rent from the Blazing Saddles near the ferry terminals. Either way, Governor's Island is a no-car zone, and it's small enough to easily to explore by bike. While you're there, keep an eye out for various art installations.

Roosevelt Island – Also free of cars, though not of busses, is Roosevelt Island, which sports amazing views of Manhattan, as well as its own peaceful parks and monuments. You can bring your bike on the aerial tramway; or you and your bike can take the F train to Roosevelt Island, then take the elevator to the surface. Starting in Queens, the Roosevelt Island Bridge has a bike lane, but the ramp may be a bit steep for little ones, and the narrow lane borders car traffic.

Bikes are photogenic, too. No matter where you decide to go, pull over for a group cycling selfie and share it with us, #FamilyFun!
 
Pedal Punk Icon Bello Mania Icon    Make the most out of summer while you can. Then head back to the island we call Manhattan for some family fun of the indoor variety—PEDAL PUNK in December and BELLO MANIA in April at The New Victory Theater!
 

August 2nd – Friendship Day

What makes a good friend? Friends listen without judgment, they make you feel like you can be yourself, and they lend a helping hand without you having to ask. HANDA'S SURPRISE, coming to the New Vic in February, tells the story of Handa, who has spent the day gathering various colorful fruits for her friend, Akeyo—a delicious surprise! In celebration of Friendship Day on August 2nd, here are some friendship-themed activities to share with your chums.

Bestie Bracelets

What better way to illustrate the importance of your friendship than by making a gift by hand? Friendship bracelets have a long history, and just like the pairings they represent, they come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Here are some ideas to get you started.
 
Braided Bracelet   Simple Braided Friendship Bracelet from The Red Kitchen Chevron Bracelet   Fast Chevron Friendship Bracelet from Hey Wanderer
Fishtail Bracelet   Fishtail Braid Friendship Bracelet from The Stripe Striped, Chevron and Diamond Bracelets   Stripe, Chevron and Diamond Friendship Bracelets from The Purl Bee

Have you made something for a friend before? Do you have a favorite gift that someone else made for you? Share it with us on Instagram @NewVictoryTheater or on Twitter @NewVictory, #FriendshipDay!

Funny Friends

HANDA'S SURPRISE also features some rascally animals, who—ahem—rearrange the fruit in Handa’s basket. Many animals in nature work together like this, but there are also those who, like you and your friends, hang out together just because they enjoy each other’s company! Check out these animal pairings, and think about how these friends like to spend their summer vacations. 

'Anjana the Chimp and Tiger Cub', photo by Bary Bland A giraffe and a zebra, 'Best Friends', photo by Raja Sambasivan 'White Rhino and Friend' (a bird), photo by Arno Meintjes
 
When you have an idea for a caption, share it with us on Instagram (click the photo to open the Instaversion)!
 
Handa's Surprise Icon   Come see HANDA'S SURPRISE at the New Vic in February, and find out what happens when those sneaky animals meddle with Handa's basket of fruit. Don't forget to bring your friends along!
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 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
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