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.
March 19, 2018

Family Activity: Air Play

Create your own mini air cannon, become an air sculptor and discover your clown persona in this Family Activity for Air Play! For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. You can find all of our past entries on our blog and at

A Mini Air Cannon

In this activity, create your own mini air cannon in a few simple steps. Once you're done crafting this hand-held air machine, see what you can blow around the house!

Materials: Paper cup, balloon, scissors, rubber band, marker


Step One: Draw a dime-sized circle on the bottom of your cup.

Step One

Step Two: Cut out the circle.

Step Two

Step Three: Cut off the neck of your balloon.

Step Three

Step Four: Place the balloon over the open side of the cup and secure it with a rubber band.

Step Four

Step Five: Test it out! Pull back and release the balloon to create a puff of air. Try blowing a variety of light household objects around, like a feather or some toilet paper!


BONUS: What is the heaviest object your mini air cannon can move?

Air Art

Air Play was created by experimenting, researching and a lot of "air-xpertise"! In fact, the show began as a collaboration between two clowns and an air sculptor! In this activity, we invite you to become a household air sculptor with your family.

Step One: Daniel Wurtzel is the artist who created the air sculptures in Air Play. Find out more about his amazing work here.

Step Two: Watch these sample videos of fun air experiments. 

Materials: Blow dryer and ping pong balls

Ping Pong

Materials: Handmade paper plane and two electric fans


Materials: Duvet cover and a large, electric fan


Step Three: Do you have some of these materials at home? Great! Gather them up and test them out to see how long can you keep your items in the air or inflated. What other things in your house do you think can fly?

Step Four: Try shooting a video of your different air masterpieces. Play with speed or different filters to see all of your work's beautiful potential. Tag us on your favorite social media platform using the hashtag #familyplay. 

Find the Clown in You

In this activity, you create your own clown. Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone, the amazing duo in Air Play, elicit gasps and giggles throughout their show. What kind of clown are you?

Step One—The Costume: Being a clown is all about finding fun elements that help the audience identify your character. Christina and Seth use the colors red and yellow for their costumes. They also have pretty awesome hair colors that add to their persona.

The Acrobuffos
  • Do you have a favorite color?
  • What colors do you think best represent your personality?
  • Gather all of your clothes in your chosen color from your wardrobe to put together an amazing clown outfit.
Step Two—Funny Walks: The way your clown walks is an important part of your persona. The choices that you make with your walk can really heighten your character. Watch this video to get inspired.
Now it's time to try out your own silly walks! Try these challenges:
  • Walk with your knees touching.
  • Walk as low to the ground as possible.
  • Walk like you are light as air.
  • Walk while shaking all of your body.
 How else can you make your walk as silly as possible?
Step Three—The Silly Skill: Do you have a special talent, craft or science experiment? Make it a part of your act! Do you need some help figuring out what that is? Get inspired by these prompts.
  • Can you climb and balance on something (safely!) in your home?
  • Can you bounce or balance on different body parts?
  • Can you balance a small item on your nose?
  • Can you juggle?
  • Can you make funny voices or sounds?
  • Can you do a trick with a pet?
  • Are you flexible?
  • Can you make funny faces?
  • Can you play a musical instrument?
  • Can you do any magic tricks?
Step Four: Put it all together! Dress up in your funny outfit, show your family your funny walk and special, silly skill to create your own clown routine
Air Play Thumb Watch in absolute wonder as umbrellas take flight, balloons sprout minds of their own and shimmering silks ripple to the rafters in the modern circus spectacle Air Play. Get your tickets today!

Posted by Beth Henderson

Horse around, find out more about your family and recreate a favorite story in this Family Activity for Black Beauty! For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. You can find all of our past posts here on our blog and at

Family Ties

Brothers Andy and Andy McCuddy have a lot in common—they even share a first name! In this activity, find out what similarities you and your family have. 

Use this list to share all of your favorite things and figure what you and your family members have in common.
  • Color
  • Food
  • Book
  • Places you would like to travel to
  • Day of the week
  • Season
  • TV show
A Horse is a Horse, Of Course, Of Course

Andy and Andy McCuddy are performers who act in a type of show called pantomime, or panto. In this activity, learn a little bit more about panto and then try out what the McCuddy brothers do for a living. 

Materials: A blanket and an object you can find in your home that represents a horse tail (like a mophead or scarf)

Step One: Have you ever heard of panto? In the U.K., panto is a form of interactive theater, performed during the Christmas season to entertain millions of families. A panto is a traditional fairy tale complete with songs, dances, jokes, exaggerated characters and LOTS of audience participation. It's a wonderful way to entertain kids, involve them with the characters on stage and encourage them to cheer. Because panto works on two levels, there's plenty for the adults to enjoy as well.

Watch some panto! When you watch, look out for how the audience watches and interacts with the performers. 

Step Two: The McCuddy brothers are the front and back of a panto horse. A horse is common character in a panto show. A panto horse (there are also panto cows and other animals) is a horse made by two actors in a single costume. One actor plays the front end, including the horse's head and its front legs. The other actor, playing the rear end of the animal, must bend at the waist so that his torso is horizontal like that of a horse and put his arms around the waist of the first actor. 

Watch a panto horse prancing around in the U.K. for inspiration! 

Now it's your turn to become a panto horse! Using a safety pin attach a "tail" to one end of the blanket. Find a partner and put a blanket on top of you. 

Step Three: Have fun horsing around! Practice walking together and try the following:
  • Can you neigh?
  • Can you eat hay from the ground?
  • Can you trot?
Holy Foley

In the show, the Andys find their mom's favorite book, Black Beauty, and decide to act it out. In this activity, read and make the sound effects for your family's favorite story! 

Materials: Favorite books, items you can find in your home that make noise

Step One: Talk about your favorite family stories. Is there a story that you and your family love to read together? Is there a book that you always want to hear at bedtime? What are your adults' favorite stories?

Here are some of our favorite stories for inspiration!

Little Red Riding Hood
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Gruffalo
Goodnight Moon
Where the Wild Things Are

Step Two: Choose a story you would like to play with and decide who will be the reader. Everyone else will listen and make sound effects.

Step Three: Go around your house and collect things that make noise, like forks, bottles or a boot. 

Step Four: Read the story and add in sound effects at appropriate moments. Think of where the story is taking place and the actions that are happening on each page. If someone is walking, how can you make that sound? If it's raining, how can you make that sound? 

Step Five: How does adding sound effects change the story?
Long Lost First Play Thumb Saddle up and jump headlong into a tale where loneliness gives way to hope, friends become heroes and courage saves the day! Get your tickets today!

Posted by Beth Henderson
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