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.

The New Victory Theater launched the New Victory Usher Corps the day the theater opened to provide paid employment, job training, academic support, mentorship and an introduction to the performing arts for over 50 young New Yorkers each year. Since then, the program has provided over 400,000 hours of paid employment to over 500 NYC teens ages 16-22 from across the city. Find out how teens in your life can apply to be a part of this award-winning program here!

All season long, we'll be featuring young people from our Usher Corps in our New Vic Bills and here on the New Victory blog. Today we're talking to third-year usher Porscha Rippy from the Bronx, New York.    
Porscha Rippy

My favorite show at The New Victory has been…
Hands down, Fly, from the 2015-2016 season, was my favorite. It was so real and it didn't sugarcoat anything. We even had three Tuskegee Airmen come see the show and do a discussion panel after!

The show I'm most excited for this season is...
I can't wait for Jason Bishop: Believe in Magic. Because it's the holiday show, I'll get to work with a lot of tourists and families. It makes me feel great when I see new faces at the New Vic and hear them talk about coming back.

My favorite memory from working as an usher was... 
I'll always remember when I first decided to learn American Sign Language (ASL) at the show Museum of Memories. The show was so intimate, that I got to see the interpreter up close and watch how her hands just flowed. Picking up ASL has had a huge impact on my job because I'm able to better interact with patrons who are hearing-impaired. By learning ASL, I'm able to make EVERYONE feel welcomed.     

My dream job would be… 
I would LOVE to work with kids who are hearing-impaired. I'm overwhelmed when I see how surprised the kids are when I sign. The parents and teachers notice that the New Vic is a versatile place, where their kids can come to be themselves. That feeling is indescribable.

My love of theater started... 
When I was 16, I joined an acting program called Opening Act, where I not only saw plays, but learned about the hard work that goes into them.

What was your favorite story as a kid?
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, because it taught me about morals at a young age. Throughout the story, the King tests both of his daughters to see which one is worthy of inheriting his kingdom. It taught me to be kind because you never know who you're talking to when you interact with strangers.    

Describe the most challenging thing about being an usher.
One of the most challenging things is that not everyone will come to the New Vic happy. I've learned that bad moods are just something you have to deal with and all you can do is try to keep it light.

Describe your dream vacation.
I would LOVE to visit Africa so I could discover a little bit more about myself and my roots.    

What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is planting tomatoes and peppers with my grandfather in his garden.    

New Victory Thumb Want to learn more about The New Victory Theater Usher Program? Take a look here!

Posted by Beth Henderson

One of the most bittersweet moments of the New Victory Season is when we bid a fond farewell to the graduating third-years of the New Victory Usher Corps. This program is more than professional development. It's a family. Here at The New 42nd Street, we take pride in our graduates' achievements, whether it's greeting New Vic audiences or growing life-skills at educational workshops.
The 2016-17 Ushers The 2016-17 Ushers
The New Victory Usher Corp, created to address the urgent need for youth employment in New York City, offers paid employment, job training, academic support and mentorship for 50 young New Yorkers each year. (They also throw excellent, annual holiday parties too!) Every usher has a different experience, and we work with each of them to ensure that they are both nurtured and challenged during their time with us.

Richard Lascelles first came to the Usher Corps as a soft-spoken high schooler, but by his second year he was ready to lead. During Fly, a play about the Tuskeegee Airmen, Richard volunteered to chaperone one of the three Airmen who attended the show and Talk-Back. Even after his graduation ceremony, he looks back on this opportunity fondly, as it helped him come into his own as a professional and leader.


A career panel A career panel for the New Victory Usher Corps with Mario Batali, Sade Williams and James Fuentes
Richard says "The Usher Corps opened my eyes to what I want to do in the near future … I thank the Usher Corps for pushing me to my full potential, and reminding me what I am good at."

Brendon Muniz, a third-year graduate of the Usher Corps program who starts at NYU in the fall, agrees, "The Usher Corps allowed me to grow as a person and show me the importance of making new connections and making sure you show your best self to others. Not only did I have a job, but I also had mentors teach me how to interview, how to get another job, and how to do better in school." 

In the past three years, we were lucky to call these graduates both coworkers and friends—Rachel Pang (Brooklyn College), Brendan Muniz (New York University), Cynthia Arce (John Jay College), Aniyah Carr, Donovan Molina (Hostos College), Dylan Christou (St Joseph's College), Richard Lascelles (Monroe College), Jaixa Lopez (Borough of Manhattan Community College), Nelson Malone (Kingsborough Community College), John DeLoatch (LaGuardia Community College) and Stephanie Cuevas (New York City College of Technology). We hope they look back with warm hearts, remembering the professional workshops, birthday parties and job training seminars. They'll always have a home here at The New Victory Theater, and we're thrilled to see what they accomplish in the future.
Posted by Beth Henderson
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