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.

Written by Jamie O'Brien, Assistant Director of Digital Services

An email goes out after every New Victory public performance. It contains two evergreen questions:
Share one thing we did that helped you enjoy your visit and one thing that we could have done to make it better.
That email is step one in a process that turns digital feedback into real world action items for our staff. As the Assistant Director of Digital Services, it's a process that combines all sorts of things I like to geek out on: smart use of technology, automation and integration across data platforms, evaluating success based on specific customer comments and challenging one's self to continuously improve. Transparency is the name of the game, so, to me, it's also an essential step that we provide glimpses into what happens after you hit "Submit" on the feedback survey and send your thoughts our way.

Comments cover many topics.Your comments land in the inbox of almost every full-time staff member connected to New Victory public performances. A daily report that includes all responses, verbatim, arrives each morning, plus we recap per-production trends. If your feedback after the first weekend points to easy improvements, like re-calibrating temperature or music volume, we simply take care of it. Anyone requesting information or in need of customer service hears from a Ticket Services manager. Larger topics that emerge become agenda items for department meetings and Senior Staff-level discussions.

While the responses are themselves anecdotal, I log some quality spreadsheet time in order to track trends. Each answer gets tallied by theme—and even on days when the rows start to blur together, it's a pretty great task since you're quite generous with the compliments: Even on the "could improve" side, 40+% of people answer like Karen F did, aka "Not a thing, truly." Artistic choices, the staff, the amenities and the Public Engagement activities dominate the "things we did well" thoughts. Suggestions are heart-felt too, covering everything from wishing the Talk-Back could be longer to wishing the family in front of you had gotten a babysitter for their 2-year-old instead of bringing him to an opera recommended for 8+...

Your feedback—compliment or complaint—lets us know where we're succeeding and where there are still gaps in our efforts to provide family-friendly entertainment in a family-friendly environment. Here are two examples of how we've made changes based on your comments:

"It might have been nice to have a glossary of terms in the playbill explaining some of the culture and traditions of Jamaica." - Daryl L
Daryl saw Bob Marley's Three Little Birds during one of its first performances here last season. We loved the idea—and had the website updated and a blog ready midweek, and a poster up in the theater for the weekend.

"The line for snacks was so long that by the time we were served, intermission was over." - Pamela R
It's important to fin-ish your snack before Intermission ends!It's no fun to buy animal crackers only to have to stow them away before Act II because crinkling bags aren't a good addition to the show's sound design. That's why you'll see an extra Usher ringing up your order next time you line up for a bite between acts.

We're still contemplating the great unsolved mysteries of 2015 family theatergoing—late seating disruptions, glowing smart phones, tall parents seated in front of short children (and tall children in front of short parents—hi Mom!), etc.—but I'll return to post another progress report in the Spring.

In the meantime, you've got a standing invitation to share your thoughts with us. Add a note in the comments, tweet @NewVictory, click on the survey link in your next post-show email or send us an email. I really, truly look forward to it—and so does the rest of the staff at The New Victory.

Jamie O'BrienJamie O'Brien is the Assistant Director of Digital Services for The New 42nd Street and has been wrapped up in all things email, website and digital for The New Victory since 2007. She reads every piece of submitted feedback at least twice. She is luckily a few inches taller than her mother.

Posted by Jamie O'Brien
February 24, 2015

Princess Playlist

When we learned that the A.R.T. Institute's The Light Princess was headed to the New Vic as part of our 2014-15 season, we freaked out a little--in a good way. Who doesn't love a great princess tale? Whether it's the story of Cinderella and her enchanted glass slipper, or Elsa singing "Let It Go" on a frozen mountain top, we're suckers for all things royal.

The Light Princess debuted in 1864 as a book, written by Scottish writer George MacDonald. It's not as ancient as the Grimm stories or Aesop's fables, but rather is a contemporary of more modern classics like Peter Pan (1902) and Alice in Wonderland (1865). The story of The Light Princess might not be as familiar to you as other princess stories like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, but it's grown in popularity recently, especially as a theater adaptation. If it's your first time hearing of the fairy tale, we can't wait for you to see it on our stage! 

The best princess stories, especially in recent years, explore the many ways that ladies can do amazing things like save an entire kingdom, defeat frightening witches or break powerful spells that have turned them into frogs. It's no different in The Light Princess. In this story, the princess is the one who saves her prince from distress--that's what we call girl power!

So, in honor of the show, our fantastic Graphic & Media Production Coordinator put together a list of songs that inspire her when challenges arise. Have a listen--we promise these tunes will make you feel like you can change the world!
Hi! I'm Katie Diamond, one of the designers over here at the New Vic. Fairy tales are my absolute favorite, and when combined with sweet jams, I just can't control myself. So I made you a nice playlist to listen to in preparation for The Light Princess! The A.R.T. Institute's show is a musical, so you should enjoy these songs before-hand and get ready to fall in love with their incredible original songs when you come to see the production!
Posted by Hillary Reeves
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