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.
January 8, 2016

A Sense of Memory

NIE Theatre's Museum of Memories opens this weekend! The innovative and poignant show tells the story of a young man's life, as remembered by his friends and family. Our memories are often tied up with our senses—we hear an old song or smell a familiar fragrance and we're instantly transported to a distant moment. For people with synesthesia, the senses can even trigger one another, so that seeing an image might provoke the sound of music! We've gathered some sense memories from our staff below—do you have any?

Museum of Memories

To this day, if I smell a certain kind of plastic, I immediately think of my troll dolls! Suddenly I'm right back in my room, lying on my tummy, brushing their long long hair and dreaming up scenarios for their busy troll lives. — Rhesa Richards, Assistant to the Executive VP and VP of Operations

The smell of suntan lotion always reminds me of the countless summer days spent at my grandparents' house. And the song "Get On Your Feet" by Gloria Estefan always reminds of me of the family dance parties we had in our living room growing up (and may or may not still have to this day...). — Lauren Hood, Artistic Programming Assistant

The combo of cigarette smoke and sofrito (an hispanic mix of herbs and spices used on everything you could possibly eat) sends me right back to being at my abuelita's house as a kid. — Janice Acevedo, Education Programs Associate

I think I have synesthesia. Certain words and names carry with them a visual image or color, and sometimes even a sound! It certainly affects my life and makes me have a gut reaction to words. For instance, when I'm writing letters, I listen to the sounds they make, if that makes sense. If they're melodious, I'll hear trumpets! — Melissa Kalt, Director of Individual Giving

I remember passing a discarded leather chair while walking home in the rain last spring, and a waft of cigar smoke hit me at the same moment. The two smells combined, leather and smoke, and zap! I was back in my grandparents' living room in 1989. On the musical side of things, the song "Rie y Llora" by Celia Cruz transports me back to a springtime of high school senioritis, windows down and salsa blaring. — Zack Ramadan, Digital Content Producer

I moved out of my family's house and in with two friends in 1976. We were three poor roommates sharing a three-bedroom apartment in Woodside. We barely had beds to sleep on, but we had a record player and the brand new double album, Songs in the Key of Life, that Stevie Wonder had just put out. We danced to it morning, noon and night. Now lifelong friends, the three of us went to hear Stevie Wonder play Songs in the Key of Life at Madison Square Garden last month. We danced and sang and cried at the wonderful memories that flooded us all. What a joyful, loving and peaceful work it is! — Alice Arias, Controller
Museum of Memories Icon   Have you ever been struck by a strong sense memory? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter! NIE Theatre's Museum of Memories is playing at The Duke on 42nd Street, January 8–17 for everyone ages 13 and up. Check out our Family Activity for some activities and resources to explore before and after seeing the show.
Posted by Zack Ramadan

All season long, we've been asking you to tell us where your #LoveOfTheater started; and last week, we shared some of the many wonderful responses we've received via social media. A shared love of theater is what brings us all together at the New Vic, so this week, as 2015 comes to a close, we're turning the mirror around and sharing with you where our #LoveOfTheater started.
Where did my #LoveOfTheater start? I've wanted to be an actor for as long as I can remember. I started performing when I was seven. I remember even sitting in the dark in the wings of my local theater, listening to what was happening onstage before my entrance, knowing I never felt more at home. — Curt James, New Victory Teaching Artist

My #LoveOfTheater‬ actually started with a production of Robin Hood in 7th grade. I still remember my line, "Robin, you're so clever I could just kiss you," which of course elicited "ewwws" from kids and "awwws" from parents! — Lilaia Kairis, Director of Digital Services

My #LoveOfTheater started when I was cast in the coveted role of Women #4 in Les Misérables and befriended all of these crazy/wonderful people! — Lauren Hood, Artistic Programming Assistant

My #LoveOfTheater started in 1989 when I saw The Wizard of Oz at the Carousel Dinner Theatre. The Wicked Witch came flying overhead—surprise!—and Dorothy fell into the orchestra pit! — Zack Ramadan, Digital Content Producer

My #LoveOfTheater started early. I saw South Pacific on Broadway when I was five, and I sang along to every song in my seat. I've been hooked ever since! — Jono Waldman, New Victory Teaching Artist

My #LoveOfTheater started with The Muppet Show. Watching the Muppets struggle to put on their show every week made the joys and challenges of collaborating on a live performance very exciting to me. In middle school I became obsessed with the musical Sweeney Todd. I remember when my music teacher played the record for us in class. The sound of the opening whistle and the creepy music that followed made me want to know more. I went the library to check out the whole album and have loved it ever since. — Kevin Ray, New Victory Teaching Artist

The conductor handing three-year-old me his baton at Cathy Rigby's Peter Pan on Broadway started my #LoveOfTheater. — Lindsay Amer, Fall 2015 Communications Apprentice

I discovered my #LoveOfTheater in 1986. I was six years old, and my mom took me to see the national touring production of Annie. I loved every minute! — Christopher Ritz-Totten, Public Relations Associate

My mom would always take me to the theater—kids shows at arts festivals in the summer, touring productions of Broadway musicals, ballet and modern dance performances. Some of my most vivid memories are of sitting in dark theaters letting my mind wander and my imagination soar. — Patrick Ferreri, New Victory Teaching Artist

My ‪#‎LoveOfTheater‬ started with my Dad. He directed me in my first production of The Wind in the Willows at Knowlton Elementary School. I will never forget rehearsing in the school library and thinking, "This is the best thing ever!" — Renata Melillo Townsend, Education Programs Manager

My #LoveOfTheater started when I went on a school trip to see Sesame Street Live, and I loved the show so much that I called the theater to ask for an audition. I was seven! Surprisingly, I was given an opportunity, but my mom wasn't able to take me. All these years later, I'll never forget that experience. — Janet Onyenucheya, New Victory Teaching Artist

My #LoveOfTheater started when I was five years old. I saw a show where the actors entered through the audience. One of the actors crouched next to my chair and said hello before racing down the aisle and bounding onstage. It was so magical—I love the "liveness" of theater, the community experience. It is still pretty magical to me! — Julia Sirna-Frest, New Victory Teaching Artist

I would say my #LoveOfTheater started when I was five or six years old. We had the double-tape VHS edition of The Sound Of Music, and I would watch it every single day, on loop. I eventually moved on to Mary Poppins. To this day, I know all the lyrics and quips from both (incredibly long) Julie Andrews productions! — Katie Diamond, Graphic & Media Production Coordinator​

My #LoveOfTheater started at age eight in a production of The Wizard of Oz (Goes Improv).  The whole show was improvised, and we learned all the songs by listening to the soundtrack. I played the Tin Man, and I was so serious about it—I learned all of my lyrics. One lyric to the Tin Man's song is "...and awful sentimental regarding love and art." But I had only listened to the words, not read them on paper, so I thought the lyric was "an awful scent of metal regarding love and art." It made sense to me, given that it was about the Tin Man! I belted out that line, holding my nose, and everyone cracked up. I felt really liberated, and I've been doing theater ever since! — Arielle Lever, New Victory Teaching Artist
  From singing along with classic Broadway musicals to performing in low-tech elementary school productions, our #LoveOfTheater has brought us all together. Here's to 2016—may your love of theater grow and grow!
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