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.

Last weekend, New Victory audiences explored a world of paper in Paper Planet. Alongside artists from Melbourne's Polyglot Theatre, kids and their adults crafted all kinds of crumply creatures and other creations with nothing but paper and tape.

We encourage all the families who visit Paper Planet to document their experiences and share them with us. Check out some of the great photos and videos that we've received—this is just a glimpse of the magic at play in Paper Planet.
Tweet from Laura Colby Instagram post from @seedlingsgroup
Laura Colby (@LCbklyn) tweeted this photo of an inctricately crafted Lady Liberty welcoming our huddled masses of kids and families to Paper Planet. So amazing! Meanwhile, the folks at @seedlingsgroup shared this photo on Instagram, depicting the "interactive magical forest" of cardboard trees that provide the setting for the show.
Tweet from My Strange Family Instagram from My Strange Family
Kristin Strange of My Strange Family shared her family's "magical afternoon" on Twitter, Vine and Instagram! Something tells me they had a great time.

Photo from The Culture Mom blog post
Documenting her #mommyandme adventures with daughter Isis Rose, @xomandycakes shared this scrapbook-style video on Instagram. It's raining paper (and unlicensed Disney characters)! And over at The Culture Mom, guest blogger Liat Ginsberg included this photo capturing kids and performers all over the paper forest. Can you see the little paper campfire?
Perez Hilton and son J.R., via Instagram.
The award for most prolific contributor definitely goes to blogger Perez Hilton, who brought his son, J.R., to Paper Planet on Sunday and shared these moments across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Little J.R. had a great time, and he seemed particularly interested in roasting paper carrots with the Polyglot performer dressed as a rabbit. "My son now thinks he's a rabbit!" dad quipped. "#DonnieDarko realness!"

Tweet from Polyglot Theatre Tweet from Polyglot Theatre
Rabbits seem to be a theme. After the creative chaos settled, the artists of Polyglot Theatre were able to capture some "lush and spectacular" views of the space on camera, both featuring bunnies of one size or another. And in one tweet, they quoted 4-year-old Layla, who was overheard gushing: "That was MAGICAL!"


You can contribute, too! Come experience Paper Planet this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and share your photos and videos with us using #PaperPlanet and #NoPapercuts. And beforehand, don't forget to check out our Family Activity and recent blog post for papercrafting and papermaking projects your family can enjoy at home.
Posted by Zack Ramadan

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
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