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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.

For so many kids and families, #LoveOfTheater starts here at The New Victory, and over the past 20 years, the shows on our stage have helped thousands of families make lasting memories and establish theatergoing as a family tradition. We asked a few of those families to share their favorite New Vic memories with us. Take a look!


We've also been asking you, our friends and fellow theatergoers, to tell us where your #LoveOfTheater started. A shared love of theater brings us all together here at the New Vic, but we've come from all over! Here are some of the stories and moments that you've shared with us so far this season.
 

When I was five years old, my life was changed forever. I fell in love with the theater. I saw a show for the first time, and that magical place with tall ceilings, long aisles and red seats made me feel like I was in world where everything was possible. Needless to say, when those amazingly tall curtains opened, a world of magic opened itself to me! Today, I'm a magic-maker. I'm a theater-maker. The New Victory Theater Season is open! I am thrilled for all those children who will have the same chance I had. It only takes one experience! — Gyana Mella

My grandmother, Joan Howard, was very into the great movie musicals. Her love of those inspired my mother to experiment in theater as a young adult. As a result of my mom's theater experiments, I grew up going to musicals. I got my degree in theater and now teach high school theater and direct locally. My own daughters, at only eleven and twelve, are already hooked (my husband is a music director!). They've already performed in close to 20 shows. It's a love that just binds our family. — April Fritts
 

It's the place I love to take my daughter to. It's pure magic, it's mystery, and it opens a world of possibilities. She has a great time and so do I. I love the theater and I hope my daughter grows up to love and support the theater, too. — Rachel White, The Digital Latina

My #LoveOfTheater started with my family. We used to watch old time musicals all the time and I would end up singing the songs from The Wizard of OzThe Sound of Music and Annie in the backyard. I would even sing in the tub! — Kate Weidenman

My parents took me to Painters Mill Theatre (no longer there) to see my favorite TV star, Barbara Eden, play Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun. They even took me to the back door of the theater after the show, and she autographed my program! — Angie Townsend

My love of the theater started at a very young age (six), singing and performing at church and at a small local theater. — Judy Cas

My love of theater started in fourth or fifth grade at the Burlington County Community College Summer Theater Series, watching The Glass Menagerie: "I'll rise, but I won't shine." — Jay Cuasay

Mine started when my parents took me to see Phantom of the Opera when I was nine. Every time it came back to Louisville, I was there watching. I fell in love all over again seeing The Lion King. — Kathy Schremp Dean

When I saw Cats for the first time and Victoria, the white cat, came over to my seat, licked her paws and brushed my hair back, I was hooked! — Erin Williams

I have loved musicals since I was very young. Seeing my older sister in her high school production of Mame was a biggy! And seeing the national tour of A Chorus Line in my sophomore year was an amazing thrill for me. It was so different from anything I had ever encountered before! — Phil Michels

Cirque Mechanics at The New Victory has revived my #LoveOfTheater! (And my secret desire to become a clown.) So much fun down on 42nd Street! — Hillary Reeves

I played the starring role of the runaway pancake in our Kindergarten class show. Still going strong. #LoveOfTheater — Francile Albright Mullen

So where did your ‪#‎LoveOfTheater‬ start? Mine started when I saw Oliver at the Des Moines Playhouse when I was a kid.— Justin Roberts, New Vic Alum (2014)

My #LoveOfTheater started when I was in the Army in Germany and took Natasha Braecklein to a local production of The Wizard of Oz. Just some locals, nothing major, but watching it with her on my shoulders was so special. There's something amazing about people sharing their talent with the audience, and as an audience member being honored with that gift. The connection that is shared when watching a live performance is beautiful, and the best part for me is knowing that those on stage are living their dreams, and sharing their love and passion with all in attendance. — Robert Braecklein

We even heard from a few families who credited The New Victory with sparking their love of theater:
 
     
Luca and Nat date at The New Victory Theater. Ready to see The Gruffalo. Our #LoveOfTheater started here in 2014. Best theater in NYC. — Nat Hookway    Starting our #LoveOfTheater with the show White at The New Victory Theater today. — Angeline Sheridan, Macaroni Kid    #LoveOfTheater starts at The New Victory with The Gruffalo. — Edie Demas
 
 
  Now it's your turn! Tell us, where did your #LoveOfTheater start? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or in the comments below. Next week, we'll be sharing some of our own #LoveOfTheater origin stories. Until then, have a theatrical holiday!
Posted by Zack Ramadan
Cirque Mechanics' Pedal Punk and its bevy of bicycles have rolled onto our stage! We checked in with Creative Director Chris Lashua to find out a little bit about how the show was developed. If you haven't seen Pedal Punk yet, take a look at this sneak peak of all the spinning things you'll see onstage, including the enormous Gantry—a 20-foot-high pedal-driven apparatus that frames the show's spectacular performances:
 

Like so many great ideas, every Cirque Mechanics production begins on the back of a napkin. Lashua starts by sketching an elaborate machine—a boiler-trolley, a trampoline-cart, a pedal-driven gantry—and a new show is born.

What exactly do you draw on the backs of napkins?

Yes, this really does happen, although we also draw on backs of receipts and business cards, too! Since inspiration can strike at any time, it really is important to capture ideas and concepts right away. I actually have several Southwest Airlines napkins with marker sketches of the first Gantry and our Trike Rover!

What was the inspiration for Pedal Punk?

We built the Gantry for an outdoor festival and knew right away we wanted to base our new show around it. We have always focused on showing off the relationships between our mechanical devices and the acrobats, and this device is our most ambitious apparatus so far.

What's your favorite part of developing a new show?

Oh, that's a tough one! Creation is the best. Sharing those napkin drawings with my design partner, Sean Riley, and brainstorming which elements to build is great. I also enjoy the fabrication. Prepping the materials at the fabrication shop, cutting and painting; and then introducing a new machine to an artist and watching them discover it and use it—that's fantastic.

The Cirque Mechanics ensemble strikes a pose with the Trike Rover. Chris Lashua just left of center, inbetween the spokes! Photo: Alban Rombaux


What makes the Cirque Mechanics ensemble special?

Our creative team is what makes it all work. This is our fourth production together and we have a range of opinions and approaches. My job is to distill the sometimes opposing views and find the right balance of ideas for the show. Having people on the team who approach the process differently is very important. We get much better results by having a team of individuals that are talented and who respect the other contributors' opinions.

What are your favorite things about performing at The New Victory?

Wow! We love coming here. It really is like coming home, from the moment our truck arrives and our team greets the New Victory crew in the loading dock. We first met many of those crew members when we came here with Birdhouse Factory in 2008. And, of course, being a block from Times Square is about as good as it gets.

All of that is great, but when the house lights dim and the show starts—that is when we really “experience” The New Victory. It's the amazing mix of giggles from young audience members with appreciative nods and cheers from adults, the standing ovations from audiences of children and their grandparents, the seasoned theatergoers alongside families who might be experiencing theater for the first time—all those things are what really make The New Victory our favorite place to perform.

What about Pedal Punk are you most proud of?

I started doing tricks on a BMX bicycle when I was twelve years old, and I haven’t stopped. Bicycles have always been a huge part of my life, so to combine that love with my passion for circus and machines is extremely rewarding.

Why should I see Pedal Punk?

If you love circus or like watching amazing feats of daring; if you are a builder, a maker, a gadget guru; or if you just like to laugh, we think this Pedal Punk is for you! We are having a blast and hope to meet you after the show!
 
Pedal Punk Icon    Cirque Mechanics' Pedal Punk is at The New Victory through January 3. Wacky circus contraptions, acrobats, dance, comedy—it's unlike anything you've ever seen. Be sure to come early to practice your plate-balancing tricks and take some steampunky photos for sharing, #PedalPunk.
Posted by Zack Ramadan
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