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.
November 7, 2018

Family Activity: Velocity

In Velocity, performers beat out rhythms, tap as fast as possible and break all the rules while honoring traditional Irish dancing. In this Family Activity, build your own tap shoes, invent your own rhythms and develop new family traditions.

At Home
In this activity, make your own tap shoes! Keep in mind however, homemade tap shoes are not always friendly to hardwood floors. If you and your family make this craft, consider tapping on linoleum or the sidewalk instead.

Materials: Shoes, coins, tape
Step One: Tear off four strips of tape and stick a row of coins onto the sticky side of each one.
Step Two: Attach the strips of pennies to the soles of your shoes—one strip on the ball and another on the heel. You might need to adjust the number of coins depending on the size of your shoe.

ALTERNATE: Do you have an old pair of shoes you want to get rid of? Glue the pennies to the bottom for a permanent pair! 

On Your Way
Get ready for some percussive rhythms and fast moving feet. In this activity, test out passing rhythms back and forth to a partner.

Step One: With your partner, pick a number from one to five. Once you have it, clap out your number in a particular pattern. For example, you can choose the number three and create the pattern, "Clap" (Pause) "Clap" "Clap." Then, have your partner repeat. Try it faster, then slower and as many ways as you can!

Step Two: With that same number, put yout rhythm into something else rather than your hands. Try the following:
  • Your feet
  • Your shoulders
  • Your hips
  • Your eyes
Step Three: See how many times you can pass the same rhythm back and forth to your partner using as many body parts as possible. Then, see how fast you can do it!

After the Show In Velocity, traditions are meant to be followed—and broken! In this activity, write about some of your family customs.

Materials: Family Code of Traditions, a writing utensil

Family Code of Traditions

Step One: With your family, talk about some traditions that you share and pick three to write down. Think about the following:
  • Do you have annual holiday traditions? Birthday traditions?
  • Do you share a nightly routine? A morning routine?
  • Do you have a special place where you celebrate after big events?
  • Do you have any school traditions?
Here's an example that we made!

Family Code of Traditions Example

Step Two: Now talk about a tradition you would like to start with your family this year. Will you bake a cake for breakfast on your birthday? Listen to new music every Sunday? Start a monthly family craft day? Write it down in the second box.

Step Three: Share a photo of your family taking part in your new tradition on social media—make sure to tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

And Beyond
Get involved in some of the numerous dance classes throughout the city.
Posted by Beth Henderson

This version of Beauty and the Beast might be unlike the one you are familiar with, but it tells the same story—one of magic, love and appreciating beauty of all kinds. In this Family Activity, create a storybook, learn some jokes and write a love poem!

At Home
In Beauty and the Beast, Isabella's family is starting a new life in a new home. In this activity, illustrate the prologue to help you imagine this new version of the story. What's a prologue? It's a part of the story that comes at the beginning of a play, often giving information about events that happened before the play began.

Materials: A printer, this story book template, coloring utensils

Step One: To get started, ask an adult to print out this story book template.


Step Two: Illustrate the storybook. Remember to add color and emotion. Think about the following:
  • What color is the family's castle?
  • How do the twins dress? How does the third daughter, Isabella, dress?
  • How does Isabella feel about their castle?
  • What does their new cottage look like?
Step Three: Read your completed book to a friend or family member. Talk about what you think happens next in the story.

On the Way
The Beast may not seem friendly at first, but he has a great sense of humor. On your way to the theater, practice telling some monstrously funny jokes.

Here are some examples:

What do you get if you cross a frog with a rabbit?
A bunny ribbit.

Why are seagulls called seagulls?
Because if they flew over the bay, they'd be bagels!

How do you make a tissue dance?
You put a little boogie in it.

Kids, on the way to Beauty and the Beast try to get your grown-up to laugh! Keep telling jokes until you can get them to giggle, then switch. Are you looking for more comedic material? Find some more jokes here

Check out Beth trying to keep a straight face on her way to the New Vic!

After the Show
Here are some questions to think about on your way home from the New Vic:
  • When do you think the Beast is happiest? How about the twins? When is Isabella happiest?
  • Isabella says that "love feels like fireworks in her heart." What does love feel like to you?
  • What do you think the main themes of the show are? What lessons do the characters learn?
Love is a big part of this story. In this next activity, write your own love poem to someone you think is beautiful, inside and out! 

Materials: Paper, writing utensil

Step One: Rhyme schemes are the pattern of rhymes at the ends of the lines of a poem. Read these short love poems with two different rhyme schemes, ABAB and AABB:

I love you dear with all my MIGHT.
More than the earth and SKY
You are my world, you are my LIGHT.
I'll never wonder WHY

The earth is big, the world is WIDE
But you I keep right by my SIDE
How lucky to love and how lucky to HOLD
A love like yours that never grows OLD. 

Step Two: Write your own love poem! Try using the ABAB or AABB rhyme scheme, or make up your own.

Step Three: Read it to the person you wrote it for, or perform the poem out loud to your family as if you are in a play. 

BONUS: Extend your poem beyond four lines. Also, try a haiku or a sonnet

And Beyond
Read the The Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm to see the origins of many classic stories. You may recognize certain parts of the show you just saw in "The Singing, Springing Lark!"

Check out the Children's Center at 42nd Street for more storytimes.
Posted by Beth Henderson
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