Know Before You Go: Lobby Activities

Welcome to Know Before You Go—a blog series to help prepare you and your family for your next big adventure at the New Victory Theater. In this installment, we’re talking about lobby activities!

A colorful collage of lobby activity photos

Before buying a ticket, you should know that the show on stage is just one part of your family’s visit to the New Victory. Our fun-filled lobby activities are located on the theater’s lower level in the Jack and Lew Rudin Lobby, a kid-friendly space designed specifically with pre-show engagement for families in mind.

Here are four things to know about the pre-show lobby experience before you attend a show!

  1. When and where do lobby activities happen?

We came early and enjoyed the fun hands-on experiences on the lower level.

The lower lobby opens 45 minutes before the show, giving your family plenty of quality time to experience all the activities and get settled before finding your seat. If you’re running late and can’t make it before the show, that’s okay! Self-guided lobby activities are open 20 minutes after the show as well.

The orange tunnel to the Jack and Lew Rudin Lobby on the lower level of the New Victory Theater

This orange tunnel on the lower level leads to the Jack and Lew Rudin Lobby.

  2. Why lobby activities?

Incredibly imaginative, delightful, and gave us things to take home as well as experiences to share.

Developed by New Victory Education, lobby activities are a hands-on complement to what’s on stage, designed to tee up the show and enrich your family’s theatergoing experience.

A New Victory Teaching Artist helps a little girl activate a handmade puppet

New Victory Teaching Artist Olney Edmondson models activating a handmade puppet.

From puppeteering to beatboxing, a show’s art forms are front and center in the lobby. Our research shows that engaging personally with the themes and art forms of a show before you see them on stage makes for a deeper experience, sparking your own creativity and helping you relate to the artistry of the performers. We also want to encourage your family to start thinking about a show’s big questions before you head to your seat.

  3. What’s in the space?

One of the best designed spaces for children I’ve ever been in.

When it comes to lobby activities, we understand that different kids have different energy levels, needs and desires when at play. There’s something for everyone in the lower lobby!

If your kid needs to burn some energy, we have moments of family play led by a New Victory Teaching Artist. If self-guided crafts or activities inspire your kid, you and your family can huddle and create something fun. And if you’d all rather sit and unwind for a few minutes, café tables near the Snack Bar offer coloring sheets, discussion prompts and other low-key activities that are perfect alongside a quick bite.

Two kids play with abstract props as part of a pre-show activity

Two young theatergoers play with abstract props during a pre-show activity.

Activities are different for every show! Follow us on Instagram @newvictorytheater for regular glimpses at what we have in store.
  4. Who’s there to guide the activities?

Loved the pre-show activity. The gent who led the imaginary playtime with the puppets was incredible and really got the kiddos engaged and happy.

Together with ushers from the New 42 Youth Corps, a New Victory Teaching Artist leads your family in practicing a skill or creating something new. Every Teaching Artist has a specific professional discipline—dance, puppetry, songwriting, theatermaking—and as educators they know how to engage kids (and adults!) of all abilities and skill levels. Don’t be shy!

A Teaching Artist poses with a young audience member in a weight-sharing activity

New Victory Teaching Artist Ben Johnson engaged in a weight-sharing activity.

Now that you know the who, what, where, when and why of lobby activities, you and your family are ready to come early, stay late and make even more lasting memories. We’ll see you at the next show!