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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.

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.

Book

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:

ABAB
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

AABB
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

Welcome to Tinga Tinga Tales – The Musical where Lion, Monkey, Elephant and their larger-than-life animal friends leap onto the stage from the beloved Kenyan book and cartoon series. In this Family Activity, create your own story at home, embody animals on your way and write your own happy song after the show! 

Before
Inspired by popular African folk tales, Tinga Tinga Tales – The Musical paints a colorful picture of how certain animals changed over time and evolved into what they are today. What are some animals in your own life? Do you have any pets or do you see any city-dwelling creatures on the way to work or school? In this activity, create a fable about one of those animals! 

Materials: Two blank pieces of paper, writing and drawing utensils

Step One: Pick one of these titles or create your very own!
  • How the Cat Got Its Whiskers
  • How the Dog Started to Bark
  • How the Lizard Grew Its Long Tail
  • How the Hamster Learned to Store its Food
  • How the Pigeon Found Its Wings
  • How the Goldfish Got Its Color
Step Two: It’s always good to have a story outline! Fill in this outline:

Outline

Here's an example we made for you!
 
Title: How the Dog Got Her Bark
Type of Animal: Dog
Name of Your Animal: Doggie
Where Does Your Animal Live?: My house
What Does Your Animal Want?: To be able to communicate
What Happens First? Doggie tried wagging her tail as hard as she could, but no sound came out. 
What Happens Second? Doggie tried tapping her owner's knee, but the owner only told her to "shoo."
What Happens Third? Finally, she realized that the sound of her owner was coming from her owner’s mouth! So Doggie took a deep breath in and tried to talk. Out came a BARK!

Now, it is time to turn this into a story!

Step Three: Ask a grown up for two blank sheets of paper and fold them in half. Put one inside of the other so that you have your own mini book. Fill out the book with the instructions below
 
COVER PAGE:
Write the title of your story across the top and your name at the bottom. Don’t forget to illustrate it!

PAGE ONE:
Here is (ANIMAL NAME) the (TYPE OF ANIMAL). They lived in (WHERE DOES YOUR ANIMAL LIVE).

PAGE TWO:
More than anything in the world, (ANIMAL NAME) wanted to be able to (WHAT DOES YOUR ANIMAL WANT).

PAGE THREE:
First,...

PAGE FOUR:
Second,...

PAGE FIVE:
Finally,...

PAGE SIX:
And it has been the same for every (TYPE OF ANIMAL) ever since!

On Your Way
Tinga Tinga Tales – The Musical is based on an animated series, inspired by African fables. As you travel to the show with your friends and family, act out a few animals from the Tinga Tinga Tales television show with Guess That Animal! 

Step One: Decide who will be the first guesser. 

Step Two: The first guesser opens up this video on a mobile device.

Step Three: The guesser must hold the mobile device so that they cannot see the images but that the other players can see the images. The best locations are on their forehead or somewhere at the center of their chest.

Step Four: The other players act out clues to help the guesser figure out what animal is on screen before their time is up. They can use animal noises, body shapes or short descriptions. Does your group want a challenge? Try using no words at all.

Step Five: The next animal will appear on screen after 10 seconds. After six animals, it's the next guesser's turn.

Get started! 
 
After the Show
At the end of the show, Chameleon found all of his colors. Everyone celebrates by singing a happy song and dancing a joyful jig! Write your very own happy song by filling in the blanks below.

Step One: Fill in the blanks below.
When I see the color red I think of ______. Red makes me feel very ______. 
When I see the color orange I think of ______. Orange makes me feel very ______.
When I see the color yellow I think of ______. Yellow makes me feel very ______. 
When I see the color green I think of ______. Green makes me feel very ______.
When I see the color blue I think of ______. Blue makes me feel very ______.
When I see indigo I think of ______. Indigo makes me feel very ______.
When I see violet I think of ______. Violet makes me feel very ______.
These are the colors of a rainbow it’s true. I am glad I got to share my feelings with you!

Step Two: Sing your song to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Try to act out your song to make the sing-a-long special. 

And Beyond
Here are some ways to deepen your understanding of the performance.
Posted by Beth Henderson
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