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.

What words come to your mind when you think about theater? Spectacular? Colorful? Perhaps...magical? In this Summer Field Guide, get to know three shows from the 2017-18 Season that will make you and your family believe in magic...the magic of theater! Discover illusion with Jason Bishop: Believe in Magic, storytelling with Black Beauty and the thrill of air sculpture with Air Play!
Contributed by Caroline Dowden, Summer 2017 Communications Apprentice

Jason Bishop: Believe in Magic

Jason Bishop returns with extraordinary acts and witty one-liners that will leave kids and their families awestruck and amazed. From onstage disappearances to magical snowfall, this is one mystifying marvel that can’t be missed! 

Here in New York, the art of enchantment has a charm of its own. Here are some of a magician's best kept secrets in the city!

Tannen’s Magic Store

Tannen's Magic Store

Tannen's, the oldest New York City magic shop still in operation, can be found across the street from the Empire State Building on 34th Street. This place has every magical item you could imagine: card tricks, childrens' magic books, beginners' magic guides, escape magic and much more. Come for a visit and you might see staff members perform old and new tricks. 

Fantasma Magic Shop

Fantasma Magic
Frequented by the likes of David Blaine, Fantasma Magic Shop is the place to go if you want to hone your skills. With daily demonstrations, countless cards and teachable tricks, this store has an impressive number of tools to add to your arsenal.

The Houdini Museum

Houdini Museum
The Houdini Museum is located inside Fantasma's Magic Shop. Open since 2012 , the museum offers a rare glimpse of artifacts that personally belonged to Houdini. Here, you'll find everything from publicity posters to handcuffs used in magic shows, to secret escape tools. Maybe you'll even have the chance to meet the famous magicians who perform and host lectures here. 

493 Sixth Ave: The Oldest Magic Shop in America

Get ready to travel back in time! In 1877, brothers Francis and Antonio Martinka opened a magic store in New York after years of running a conjuring shop in Essen, Germany. The store was small, but quickly evolved into a place where New York magicians gathered to discuss and practice magic. These magicians formed the world's first magic society, The Society of the American Magicians, here in 1902. Even though the location is no longer a magic shop, you can still step foot into the building where some of the world’s greatest magicians once met.
Contributed by Ruthie Ostrow, Summer 2017 Communications Apprentice

Black Beauty

In Black Beauty, brothers Andy and Andy McCuddy (yes, they have the same name—it's a family thing) discover the magic of storytelling in the wake of hard times. After finding their mom's book, Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, the brothers use their beloved horse costume and colorful imaginations to reenact portions of the story.

Stories have the power to do the impossible! They can take you on adventures in distant lands, make you happy when you're sad and bring your family closer together.  We've picked out a few of our favorite books featuring incredible journeys and sweet siblings working together. Grab a few and get reading! 

Ages 2-4
Read Me a Story Stella Read Me a Story, Stella by Marie-Louise Gay
Older sister Stella LOVES to read so she introduces her little brother, Sam, to the wide world of books. By the end of the night, lively Sam finds himself begging for more stories!
I am Not Sleepy I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed by Lauren Child 
Lola absolutely refuses to go to bed. Her big brother, Charlie, helps Lola (and all of her imaginary animal friends) finally get some sleep. 

Ages 5-6
Sheila Rae, the Brave Sheila Rae, the Brave by Kevin Henkes
Sheila Rae isn't afraid of anything…until she gets lost on her way home. It's up to her scaredy-cat little sister, Louise, to guide her home and shake away her fears.
Patrick's Dinosaurs Patrick's Dinosaurs by Carol Carrick
On a trip to the zoo, Hank tells his little brother Patrick about dinosaurs. Patrick imagines what the dinosaurs might be like around the other animals.

Ages 7-9
Stage Fright on a Summer Night Stage Fright on a Summer Night by Mary Pope Osborne
Siblings Jack and Annie travel through time when they read special books in their magic tree house! In this story, the kids go back to Elizabethan England and meet William Shakespeare himself.
The Penderwicks The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
The Penderwick sisters discover the summertime magic of Arundel estate's sprawling gardens. On their adventures, they find a treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and meet the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts.

Ages 10+
Black Beauty Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
The McCuddy family favorite! In this book, a stallion named Black Beauty tells the story of his life's many ups and downs. 
The Mighty Miss Malone The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
12-year-old Deza Malone is a brilliant young girl whose family works hard to support each other during The Great Depression. Together, they venture "on a journey to a place called wonderful."

Now that you know some stories, it's time to act them out like Andy and Andy! Consider the characters, their settings and what they are doing. Who knows where your imagination will take you?

Air Play

Acrobuffos take magic to a whole new level with their newest creation: Air Play! In collaboration with air sculptor Daniel Wurtzel, performers Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone send familiar objects flying across the stage with balloon juggling, fabric taming and umbrella acrobatics. 
Embrace the air by making a kite! First, what will you need?
  • Cardstock
  • Wooden skewer
  • Markers or Crayons
  • Lightweight ribbon
  • Tape
  • Kite string or twine
Once you have your materials, it's time to get started!
  1. Decorate a 8 ½"-11" piece of cardstock with markers or crayons. Once it's completely colored, fold the cardstock in half as if you were making a card. 
  2. Draw a mark 1.5"-2" from the seam on the top of the paper. Draw another mark 1.5"-2" from the opening on the bottom of the paper. Connect the marks with a line.
  3. Fold the paper along the line. Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the other side. 
  4. Glue or tape together the two sides at the seam. 
  5. Reinforce the kite by attaching a skewer across the wingspan at the widest part.
  6. Make a mark at the top of the kite about â…“ of the kite's length.. Reinforce with tape, then punch a hole at the mark. Attach up to 15 feet of kite string or twine. 
  7. Attach three to five feet of lightweight ribbon to the bottom of the kite. 
Once your work is complete, let loose and send it flying. Check out these simple kite designs for more details and other styles to try! 

Jason BishopBlack Beauty
Air Play
Interested in joining us next season? Learn more about Jason Bishop: Believe in Magic, Black Beauty and Air Play here!
Posted by Beth Henderson

More summer means more fun! This Summer Field Guide is dedicated to getting the whole family up on their feet and ready to savor the sunshine. Get your blood pumping with the companies of The MigrationBromance and Rennie Harris: Funkedified.

Each show's performers tell a story using physical movement, enthusiastically accompanied by brilliant artwork, funk music and Cyr wheels. Step Afrika!'s The Migration provides a powerful intersection of fine art, live music and dance, the Barely Methodical Troupe of Bromance command the stage with flips and tricks and Rennie Harris: Funkedified celebrates funk and hip hop with infectious beats.
Contributed by Ruthie Ostrow, Summer 2017 Communications Apprentice

The Migration

In The Migration, Step Afrika! brings to life Jacob Lawrence's master work The Migration Series, the series of paintings illustrating the movement of African American communities from southern to northern cities. The Great Migration was due to the rise of violent, racist ideologies and Jim Crow laws, as well as the WWI-era industrial booms of certain northern cities. Performers move through The Migration Series with moving choreography and stirring music. 

To connect with Jacob Lawrence, bring his work to you! Print out these selected pictures from The Migration Series, try to find all ten items on the list and talk about how these paintings make you feel.  Look over the paintings and discover:
  • Six birds, flying north
  • A ringing bell
  • A candlestick
  • A girl with yellow ribbons 
  • An empty corner in an empty room
  • A splash of steel being poured 
  • The view from a train car 
  • A crowded bedroom
  • Three men wearing triangle jackets
  • A long line at a voting booth
Explore New York and spot Lawrence's work throughout the city! Many of his paintings are currently on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Also, have you ever noticed a glass mosaic at the Times Square–42nd St station (right next to the New Vic!)? That's Lawrence's last public work New York in Transit!

New York in Transit

Rennie Harris: Funkedified

If you can't stop tapping your toes this summer, Rennie Harris: Funkedified is the show for you. The performers pop, lock and groove to the dynamic rhythms of funk. 

Get your body moving to the beat with the music of Soul Train and James Brown. You never know, these tunes might inspire some cool moves, just like they inspired Rennie Harris! 

Once you've got your blood pumping, try spicing up the party with a couple of dance games that can be played with two people or two hundred!

Groove and Boogie

Crank up the volume and get dancing! During the song, the leader calls out one of four words and all of the dancers must complete the action associated with them to the beat of the music. The words are:
  • Clap—Clap your hands while dancing
  • Jump—Jump in place
  • Groove—Stomp your feet
  • Boogie—Spin in a circle while shaking your shoulders

For an added twist, try putting a couple of moves together. If the leader calls out, "Clap! Groove!" clap your hands and stomp your feet.

Hip Hop Clip Clap 

Get ready to put your hands together! One person starts by clapping a pattern with their hands. The next person repeats the pattern then adds one of their own. The game only stops when the song comes to an end!

Funky Freeze Dance

Just because the music stops doesn't mean that the FUNk has to! Everyone dances to the beat while one person periodically stops the music. When the song pauses, everyone has to freeze—in their best Funkedified pose! Try throwing your hands in the air or reaching way down low.

Ready to kick it up a notch? Try practicing some of your moves at a free dance event at one of New York's parks across the city.
Contributed by Caroline Dowded, Summer 2017 Communications Apprentice


There is no "I" in team. After all, it takes three incredibly talented dudes to flip and fly their way into Bromance. The boys perform show-stopping parkour, hand balancing tricks and Cyr wheel stunts. In short, it's bro-tastic!

Do you have what it takes to be a hopeless bromantic?

Team building games have many benefits such as developing stronger relationships and building trust in others. Games that require group effort help foster creativity, encourage problem solving and increase motivational skills. Grab your buddies and give one of these games a go!

1. Human Knot


The Human Knot Our apprentices play a game of the human knot
What do you need?
Just yourselves

What is it?
This is a game of twists and turns! Have your group stand in a circle facing each other, shoulder to shoulder. Then, everyone hold out their right hand to someone else's across the circle, forming a giant knot. The trick is to get every player to collaborate with one another and untie the knot without letting go. Here's a fun challenge: Time yourselves for a round, and go back and see if you can beat the clock in a second try!

2. The Silent Game

What do you need?
A timer

What is it?
How long can you or a teammate go without feeling the urge to speak? This game teaches you to communicate nonverbally by forming different shapes with your team while attempting to stay silent the whole time. Your teamwork is put to the test as players attempt to motion (i.e. pointing) to one another to form different shapes, like a square, a pentagon or the whole United States! See how far you can go as the shapes become more difficult each round. Here are shapes for your team to conquer:
  • Triangle
  • Square
  • Kite
  • Pentagon
  • Heart
  • Sun
  • Star
  • The American Flag
  • Question Mark
  • The United States!
Group Juggling Our apprentices try group juggling with their Victor Bees

3. Group Juggle
What do you need?
Five or so balls to juggle

What is it?
With your group, stand in an inward facing circle. Start with one ball to juggle around the circle. Everyone starts with their hands raised and the person throwing the ball calls the name of the person catching. As each person has a turn they lower their hands so everyone gets a turn. As the game develops, more balls can be used to increase the pressure to watch and listen to the whole team.

The MigrationFunkedified
Interested in joining us next season? Learn more about The Migration, Rennie Harris: Funkedified and Bromance here!
Posted by Beth Henderson
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