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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.

 

Catch Me Arts Express
Hula hooping during Catch Me's Arts Express. Photo: Alexis Buatti-Ramos

"What do most Nobel Laureates, innovative entrepreneurs, artists and performers, well-adjusted children, happy couples and families, and the most successfully adapted mammals have in common? They play enthusiastically throughout their lives."
—Stuart Brown, Institute of Play

The New Victory Theater is dedicated to creating opportunities for you and your family to play together. We invite you to share a giggle, try some new moves and deepen your awe and understanding of the performing arts by participating in our celebrated public engagement programs with your family. With every visit to the theater, join in the fun of exploring the art forms presented on our stage. Our lobbies aren't just a place to wait for the show to start—they're an important part of your family's trip to the New Vic.

Have you ever attended an Arts Express event? In order to encourage play in every family's life and deepen the experience of seeing live performance, The New Victory Theater began the Arts Express program during our 2012-13 season. Led by New Victory Teaching Artists, audience members participate in arts-based activities based on the shows on our stage. For the past four years, families have participated before shows to learn more about the pieces they were about to see. This year, you may find yourself learning a magic trick after seeing Jason Bishop: Straight Up Magic, testing out your juggling skills before seeing Water on Mars, or playing with puppets after Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Whether it's for five minutes or one hour, families can explore each and every activity up until the show begins. 

 

Pedal Punk Arts Express
Pedal Punk's Arts Express. Photo: Alexis Buatti-Ramos
See what our audiences are saying! 
 
"We had so much fun with the Teaching Artists. A great new way to digest the various art forms on stage." - Stacey R

"The activities prior to the show were really instrumental in helping children acclimate to the space in a fun way as well as help them relate to what they would eventually see in the upcoming show. My children as well as my husband and I really enjoyed the whole experience. " - Shannon W.

"The activities before the show were terrific! They were fun and really engaged the kids as they watched the show in understanding how much expertise the performers had gained." - Michele C.

"As part of the show, during intermission kids could try to do tricks similar to the ones in the show. They loved it and felt they experienced the performance themselves, and how hard tricks were. " - Lucilla I.R.

"Everyone was welcoming and the pre-show games were so fun! Our shy little boy was right in the mix with all the kids giggling away." - Gail I.

 

Magic Flute Arts Express
Playing the marimba at The Magic Flute's Arts Express. Photo: Alexis Buatti-Ramos
Some things will always stay the same:
—The Arts Express events are led by our fabulous Teaching Artists who are professional artists in NYC and who teach throughout New York City. 
—The Arts Express events are FREE for ticketholders.
—The Arts Express events are created with your family in mind–each activity is for you and your child to participate in and enjoy together! 

But for our 2016-17 Season, there will be a few exciting changes to the Arts Express program. 
—We have more Arts Express events than ever before! 
—Arts Express events are now being offered PRE-show (from 60 minutes before show time) or POST-show (until 60 minutes after show time). Check the calendar icons for select dates and times.

To see if your show has an Arts Express performance before or after it, look below and visit our website!

The Pre-Show Arts Express, represented by  on the calendar. 
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Mother Africa: My Home
Water on Mars
The Aging Magician
Nivell's War


The Post-Show Arts Express, represented by  on the calendar.  
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Jason Bishop: Straight Up Magic
Elephant & Piggie's We Are in a Play!
Grug and the Rainbow

 
New Victory Thumb Want to get in on the fun? Join us for Arts Express or any of the other shows during the 2016-17 Season
 
Posted by Beth Henderson
Elephant and Piggy
Photo: Teresa Wood

Written by Clare Lockhart, Summer 2016 Communications Apprentice


You know that one person who laughs at all your jokes, listens when you have a problem and is always there for you? That person’s your best friend! They could be someone you met at school, your sibling, your parent or maybe someone you met at The New Victory Theater. 

In honor of the magic of friendship, the US Congress declared the first Sunday of August "National Friendship Day" in 1935! Then countries all over the world wanted to celebrate as well, so it has now become International Friendship Day. And because we have some BFFs (Best Friends Forever) in our upcoming show, Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!, we’re going to share with you five fun NYC activities you can do with your BFF. 
 
Highline Elephant and Piggie are huge fans of sharing and of food! So why not combine the two by going on a picnic? Head downtown to Chelsea Market, pick out some fun foods you and your friend can enjoy and have a picnic on the beautiful High Line
 
Did you know that Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play! is actually based on books written by Mo Willems? If you’re a bookworm, some of the most fun you can have is wandering a bookstore with your friend and sharing your favorite stories. Bank Street Books, Books of Wonder and Book Culture all have great kids' sections. The New York Public Library also has a KidsLIVE program which includes live readings, performances and more! So either share your favorite book with your friend or discover a new story together. 
 
Summer in the Square Something you may not know about Elephant & Piggie is that they have three squirrel friends who are in a band called The Squirrelles. We bet they would really enjoy Josh + the Jamtones at Summer in the Square. And if you’re a fan of music, or just rocking out with your best friend, we bet you would enjoy it too! 
 
The Children's Museum of Manhattan Now Piggie really likes to get dressed up, and we bet she’s not alone! If your kid likes to play dress up, The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is for you. Not only do you get to learn about history, religion and different cultures, but you get to dress the part as well! In past exhibits you could dress up as a football player, embody an ancient Greek philosopher or step inside a piece of modern art! Piggie would be very excited to try it out. 
 
Broadway In Bryant Park Do you and your BFF belt Wicked in your bedroom? Do you dream of being a big Broadway star? Then head to Broadway in Bryant Park to get up close and personal with the blockbuster stars of the Great White Way...and maybe meet your favorite actor. It’s a win-win situation. 
 
 
PLUS Two Bonus Activities!
 
Psychobarn Not only is it International Friendship Day in August; it’s also Women’s Friendship Day on August 21st. So in honor of all those female friends, here's a fun activity designed by a female artist. Transitional Object (or Psychobarn) was envisioned for The Metropolitan Museum of Art's roof by Cornelia Parker, one of the most celebrated English sculpters alive today. Take in Manhattan on the roof after exploring the third largest museum in the world!
AND Elephant & Piggie are super excited for this last activity. Their creator, Mo Willems, is getting his own museum exhibit called The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems at the New-York Historical Society. So, before you and your friends come to Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!, go explore their adventures and meet their friends, too. 
 
 
Clare Lockhart Clare Lockhart is a Communications Apprentice for The New 42nd Street. She is currently pursuing a BFA in Theater / Arts Management with a minor in Political Science at Emerson College. A native of DC, Clare is passionate about the power of theater, marketing, politics and keeping arts in schools.

 
Posted by Beth Henderson
Written by Catherine Mercanti, Summer 2016 Communications Apprentice

 

NYPL
You can see Patience the lion right outside of The New York Public Library!
It’s nearly the end of the summer, have your kids achieved all of their reading goals? If not, why not take them to a place where many kids first learn to love books, the library. To inspire their end-of-summer book bonanza, here are ten fun facts about libraries to share with your kids: 
  1. The largest library in the world is The Library of Congress, with more than 158 million items on approximately 838 miles of bookshelves. (Library Outsourcing
  2. There are more public libraries than McDonald's in the U.S. (ALA)
  3. The marble lions who live outside of the famous Beaux-Arts branch of the New York Public Library, on 5th Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets, are named Patience and Fortitude. The names were coined by Mayor LaGuardia in the 1930s. (NYPL)
  4. There's one book that's on record as being stolen from libraries more often than any other title—The Guinness Book of World Records. (INALJ)
  5. The smallest library in the world has appeared on the streets of New York City—and it has space for just one reader at a time. (Library Outsourcing
  6. The world’s oldest continuously running library in the world is at the St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai, Egypt. (Library Outsourcing
  7. Did you know that famous historical figures like Mao Zedong, Laura Bush, J. Edgar Hoover, Beverly Cleary, Lewis Carroll and Giacomo Casanova were all librarians at a point in their lives? (AbeBooks)
  8. The NYPL's collection includes a unique 1493 letter written by Christopher Columbus, announcing his "discovery" of the New World. (NYPL)
  9. Beneath Bryant Park are two-level stack extensions, 37 miles of shelving in total, that hold many of the flagship branch's volumes. Think about that next time you're picnicking on the lawn! (NYPL)
  10. Haskell Free Library is built on the US/Canadian border. Exiting the library through the opposite entrance requires one to report to the other country’s customs! (Interesting Facts About Libraries)

Pick a Book!

Now that your kids know a little more about libraries, how about you guys visit one to see the thousands of stories that reside there. There’s no better place than a book to spark your imagination and take you to a completely different land (except for maybe a theater), but how do you pick a story to start? We have a few ‘back to school’ suggestions for you that we happen to know first hand are great!

Ages 2-4
 

Grug and the Rainbow by Ted Prior 
Grug has gone on many fascinating adventures in his life and this is no exception! Join Grug, the fun loving top of a Burrawang tree, as he sets out to try and make a rainbow that really lasts. Grug will come to life later this season on The New Victory stage in May, but to hold you over until then, we recommend reading any of his thirty stories. 
The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers 
If you found a single propeller airplane in your room, where would you fly off to? One boy finds himself in this very scenario and flies himself all the way to the moon! But how will he find his way back home? This story comes to the New Vic in March, but who can wait that long to find out? Read this heartwarming tale by Oliver Jeffers to chart the boy’s courageous journey back home. 
Elephants Cannot Dance! By Mo Willems
Elephant Gerald and Piggie are set to star in their new musical later this season at the New Vic, but it took a lot of rehearsing to get this dynamic duo ready for the bright lights. In Elephants Cannot Dance! Piggie teaches her dear friend Elephant to dance is this zany story. We hope Gerald’s moves are ready for his big debut

Ages 5-6
 
Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer 
This season, we have three circus shows. That a lot of acrobats and juggling and dance to prepare for! To get you in the circus mood, we recommend Olivia Saves the Circus. Olivia is a spunky six year old pig with lots of skills. Some of these skills involve single handedly saving a circus who’s entire troop has fallen ill! 
Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare by Rosie Dickins
This season, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar comes to the New Vic in rep with X, the story of Malcolm X. While this production is targeted for older kids, it’s always a good time to introduce the Bard to your kids. This book beautifully illustrates some of Shakespeare’s most popular plays and voices them for young minds, something we’re big fans of at the New Vic.

Ages 7-9
 

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater 
This beloved classic comes to life in October with amazing puppetry and catchy tunes, but if you can’t wait that long, relive the wacky tale with the original story. Mr. and Mrs. Popper’s life gets a little crazy when a package in the form of a penguin arrives at their door. 
Malcolm Little by Ilyasah Shabazz
This book tells the story of how Malcolm Little became Malcolm X, as told by his daughter.  Malcolm X's work as an activist changed the lives of millions and his influence is still felt today! We'll see his life play out on stage in Marcus Gardley's X later this season, but to learn more about this influential figure, this book is a great place to start.   

Ages 10+
 

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
This famed nautical tale kicks off our season this year. The tale contains daring adventures, mythical creatures and a journey into the unknown. While the book itself is a little daunting for young readers, we think this pick is a great opportunity for you and your child to read together. Then, when you’ve finished the story, see it come to life in a whole new way on stage with us! 
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry 
This season, Nivelli’s War tells the captivating tale of Ernst, a young boy whose life is torn apart due to World War II. In Number the Stars, a modern classic for young readers, Annamarie Johansen lives in Copenhagen with her family. The novel tells of her journey during the war, both physically and emotionally. Annamarie’s story will grip your heart.
 
Those are a bunch of books to get started on. No matter which story you share with your kids, their love of reading will only grow stronger from then on. Do you have any favorite books you share with your kids? Share your picks with us in the comments below, on Twitter or on Facebook!
 
 
Catherine Mercanti Catherine Mercanti is a Communications Apprentice for The New 42nd Street. She is currently a sophomore at Fordham University with a major in marketing and a minor in communications and media studies. A native of New Jersey, Catherine is passionate about musical theater, eating desserts, reading and dogs.

 
Posted by Beth Henderson
August 24, 2016

Growing Up New Vic


Written by Miranda Cornell, Summer 2016 Education Apprentice

 

Miranda and Mom
Miranda and her mom explore NYC in 2005!
In December of 2016, The New Victory Theater will turn twenty-one years old. This past June, I turned nineteen years old. And ten years into The New Victory’s life, in December of 2005, our paths intersected and I saw my first New Vic show, a holiday circus from the Golden Dragon Acrobats. Nearly eleven years later, I am sitting at my desk in the middle of the New Victory Education Department, writing this blog post. A lot has changed over the past decade—I have grown sixteen inches, can differentiate between b’s and d’s, started my college tenure and, perhaps most importantly, have begun my career in the theater. 

The arts have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Somewhere between dance classes, theater groups, piano lessons and trips to various performances around New York City, my #LoveOfTheater developed in full force. I don’t need to list the statistics on how exposure to the arts affects children; the studies have been done and the effect is a positive one. I can, however, explore my personal experiences with theater and the arts—from some of my earliest memories to rehearsals for the play I am currently directing—by interviewing my mom, a former actress, about our experiences at the New Vic, from 2005 to now.
 

 

Miranda this summer
Miranda during her summer as an Apprentice!
Miranda Cornell: Why The New Victory? What about this theater made you want to bring me (and friends) there?

Jill Cornell: The shows at The New Victory are marked by joy and wonder. The best theater has a magical quality: a sock becomes a puppet, a box can be a bed, a lavatory or a ship. I brought you to The New Victory to see great theater that happened to be created for kids, not because it was kid’s theater. Especially when you were in middle school, I just wanted you to see shows that would interest you that, I could enjoy as well.

MC: In your opinion, how did the performances that we saw at the New Vic strengthen a connection between us?

JC: I wanted to expand your world by going to the theater with you. The New Victory allowed me to do that by bringing in shows from all over the world at an affordable ticket price. There were also the workshops before the shows that were fun! Seeing shows together and being able to talk about the subject matter or the productions were the foundations for a lot of our communication. That was, and still is, very important to me as a parent.

MC: Do you think that taking me to see various shows around New York City (many at The New Vic) has shaped my view of theater or has influenced where I am today in my theatrical career?

JC: I think a lot of your taste in theater can be traced to The New Victory. As you begin to explore your Education major at school and your interest in this part of the field, I wholeheartedly believe that your passion for arts education was sparked by the acrobats, pigs and magic boxes we saw at The New Vic. 

 

Golden Dragon Acrobats
The first show Miranda saw at the New Vic, Cirque Ziva from the Golden Dragon Acrobats. Photo: Amitava Sarka
MC: Do you think that I would have discovered this passion of mine this early on if I had not been exposed to such high quality theater at such a young age?

JC: Your early arts education taught you so much more than how to move around on stage. Arts education laid the foundation for your emotional intelligence, your ability to reason and infer meaning from complicated material. It also provided a visceral, creative experience that went beyond basic learning. Children’s bodies and brains flourish with an arts curriculum, regardless if they become engineers or win Tony Awards. 

MC: What is it like for you, as a parent who once brought their child to The New Victory, to have that same child now working as a summer apprentice here? Additionally, we still talk about some of the shows we saw here. Considering that these shows are meant for children and families, why is it that a mother and her college-aged daughter still think about those shows?

JC: Being able to still enjoy The New Vic’s programming speaks to the breadth of their artistic vision, almost as a whole community approach. Their dedication to diversity is also a major strength and draw for us as a multicultural and multiracial family. Having you do an apprenticeship there is both exciting and gratifying as you explore who you want to be as a working adult in both theater and education. I’m excited that you continue to be nurtured by The New Victory’s artistic and education programming as an adult and that you’ve found a home there this summer. 
 

This summer has been a crazy whirlwind of running from the New Vic to rehearsal studios for FringeNYC, but I would not change a single thing even if I could. I think it is safe to say that The New Victory has laid the foundation for pretty much everything I want to do with my life, especially a career in the theater as an artist and as an educator. To be back here this summer is almost like returning back home—back to a place that holds dear memories from the past, as well as a place I hope to come back to in the future. 

 
Miranda Cornell Miranda Cornell is a rising sophomore at Vassar College where she is a double major in Drama and Education and a summer apprentice in the New Victory Education Department. In addition to her studies, she serves as the Artistic Director for Semicolon Theatre Company, a company dedicated to presenting the voices of theatre artists 21 and under Off and Off-Off Broadway. She is currently directing Semicolon’s most recent production, #Blessed at the New York International Fringe Festival. In her spare time, you can find her obsessively watching cooking shows and making theater with eight year olds, though not at the same time. 

 
Posted by Beth Henderson
 
  1. How did you learn to do that?
  2. What was your inspiration for creating this show?
  3. How do you feel when you are dancing in front of an audience?
  4. Were you able to relate to the character you played?
Talk-Back
A Talk-Back with Acrobuffos at the New Vic!
After seeing a performance at The New Victory Theater, people often have questions! If your family is insatiably curious, come to performances with a Talk-Back scheduled after the show to get your questions answered. This post-show program is another one of the opportunities The New Victory offers to let you and your family deepen your awe and understanding of the performing arts. Join in the fun of exploring the art forms presented on our stage by sticking around and literally get your hands in the air and engage with the artists or other guests involved in the story. The artists that come to The New Victory Theater are always excited to share more about their artistic process, their inspiration and their training—and can't wait to hear your questions.

 

Fly Talk-Back
The men whose true story inspired Fly take part in a special Talk-Back at the New Vic!
 

As you may know, most of our companies are from around the world, so this year you could talk to musicians from Tanzania, actors from France or jugglers from Sweden, to name a few! Whenever possible, we also encourage the performers to demonstrate a dance move, show how the puppet is made or bring a magical prop back on stage for a closer look. We schedule Talk-Backs throughout the season to give you a chance to get to know our artists better. If you are coming to Oh Boy, X or Julius Caesar, there will be a Talk-Back after every show so that everyone has a chance to discuss the rich themes in these complex shows.

Talk-Backs are always led by our New Victory Teaching Artists, all New York City-based artists. The Teaching Artists guide the conversation and give additional context from their own artistic experiences. Any curious audience member—no matter their age—is encouraged to ask a question and the Teaching Artists help ensure that even the smallest raised hands have a chance to have their curiosity satisfied. We hope that Talk-Backs demystify the art form and help audiences both understand the artists and the way they created each show. Learning about the hard work and inspiration only makes the final product more memorable! 

Hear what people are saying about the New Vic Talk-Back experience!
 

Talk-Back Audience
Kids and adults are encouraged to ask questions at Talk-Backs!
"The Talk-Back after the performance was wonderful." 

Charlene G.


"The Talk-Back was a big thumb's up...Thank you. We are always grateful for your programming!"

Dee P.

"The Talk-Back was extraordinary. It dded another important layer to the performance because the technical aspect and the craftsmanship and puppetry skills were revealed. It was fascinating."

—  Sharon H.

"The Talk-Back was very good...and the director was very giving and informative!"

Marybeth S.

"The aftershow Talk-Back was a big treat! It was a wonderful experience for whole family. It did not feel like we were in the middle of Times Square, it felt like a small town theater. Thank you!"

Adrianne W.


What to expect at a Talk-Back
— Stay in the theater a bit after the show.
— If you're sitting further back, feel free to move closer into empty seats.
— Discuss question ideas with your family.
— Raise your hand and ask your questions!

So come join us after select performances and deepen your families' theater experience — the New Vic way!

Make sure to check our calendar to see when Talk-Backs take place. Talk-Backs are marked with this symbol


 
Facebook Can't make a Talk-Back but have a burning question for the artists? Post it on our Facebook page anytime during the show's run and we'll do our best to get it answered for you!
 
Posted by Beth Henderson

"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." — T. S. Eliot

 

TXT Marks the Spot
Kids search the program for clues to Knee Deep's TXT Marks the Spot.
We at The New Victory are committed to exploration and discovery. We want our audience members to be excited and to discover something new every time you come to our theater—whether it's your first time or your fiftieth! This philosophy was the impetus for adding TXT Marks the Spot to our Public Engagement programming in 2011.  

TXT Marks the Spot combines digital gaming, scavenger hunts and the performing arts into unique experiences for families to enjoy together. Equipped with a map and a personal mobile device, participating families interact with staff as they roam all around the theater, learning more about the New Vic and the performance they have just seen—like what inspired this year’s adaption of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, or learning fun tricks from Mother Africa My Home, or discovering how many angels live on our theater's ceiling. 

For our 2016-17 Season, there will be some exciting changes to the TXT Marks the Spot program:
TXT Marks the Spot
Kids complete activities for The Magic Flute's TXT Marks the Spot.
  1. We will now be offering a new version of TXT Marks the Spot that will be available for families at EVERY show in the season. You read that right, TXT Marks the Spot will be available whether you come on a Friday night to see Chotto Desh or a Sunday matinee to see Water On Mars. Every production, every performance.
  2. You will now be able to play TXT Marks the Spot before or after the show. Don't want to stay later? Come early! Trains running slow and you made it just in time? Stay post-show to play! 
  3. TXT Marks the Spot is not just about the show anymore. Look for clues hidden throughout the building, learn something new about the artists' process and ask ushers specific questions to finish your journey. Families will discover new things about the theater and see the space in a new way each time they participate in TXT Marks the Spot.
  4. With each performance there will also be questions about that specific show. This means families will be able to participate in TXT Marks the Spot each time they visit the theater!

And some things will stay the same:
  1. TXT Marks the Spot is FREE for ticketholders. All you need is a phone that can send and receive text messages. Depending upon your plan, standard messaging rates may apply.  
  2. TXT Marks the Spot is created with your family in mind—each activity is for you and your kid(s) to participate in and enjoy together
  3. TXT Marks the Spot takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. Don't have 15 minutes? Play as much as you can!

 

TXT Marks the Spot
Audience members submit their guesses for Knee Deep's TXT Marks the Spot.
But don't take our word for it! Hear what others are saying:

— "My son enjoyed TXT Mark the Spot the most. It was a fun activity and we even got to go to places we've never seen before." — Yelena F.
— "The kids loved the mobile scavenger hunt, TXT Marks the Spot!" — Marjory I. 
— "Awesome. Thanks for showing the kids the theater in a terrific way." — Anne D.
— "It was so much fun! Thank you." — Sarah J. 
— "We had a great time, my son loved it!  It's a great addition to the theater going experience for him." — Marianne P.

What should you expect?
  1. Arrive at the theater early or stay after the show!
  2. Find your code to begin TXT Marks the Spot on well—marked signs around the theater.
  3. Start on the digital scavenger hunt by completing tasks and exploring the theater, while getting to know the New Vic and the show you're there to see. 

 
New Victory Thumb Want to get in on the fun? Join us for TXT Marks the Spot for any one of our shows during the 2016-17 Season
 
Posted by Beth Henderson

 

Holly and her family!
Holly and her family on one of their cultural excursions!

It has always been important to me to make culture a real part of our family life. When my kids were babies, I realized that I had to take a brief hiatus from most spectator activities. So I turned to the kinds of art projects and activities they could enjoy in the comfort of our own home: music classes, dance parties, art projects and watching classics like Parent Trap and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on TV. Whenever possible, we would attend outdoor art festivals where the kids could sample and participate to the extent they were able. I looked forward to the day when we could venture into theaters and museums, but we took baby steps. I knew the big day would come.

And indeed it did. Over the past few years, since my kids have ever so slightly matured, I have been bringing them to cultural events in New York City—all over the boroughs. Now we go into the city often. Here are a few strategies for integrating culture into your family life, based on my own experiences:

Less can be more 
  • Choose a hand full of theaters and museums that you know and trust, and focus on their offerings. The more you try to do, the less you'll actually do.

Plan ahead to save
  • Sign up for something like Cool Culture, which lets your family visit New York City’s best-loved cultural institutions!
  • Become a member of the organizations that you believe in so that you can schedule events in your calendar well in advance, as well as save money. At the New Vic, by ordering tickets for three or more productions at one time, you become a member and save 35% off your tickets.

Tap into what your children like
  • When my daughter was young, she was into the Disney princesses, so I took her to see The Little Mermaid on Broadway. This year she is into fairies and witches, so we went to see Wicked.
  • Go to museums that offer kids' tours or scavenger hunts, kids' sections or activities. It will make the art much more appealing to your children, and you'll have a better chance of being able to take in some of the exhibit yourself.
 
Holly's Daughter
Holly's daughter visiting the New Vic for The Enchanted Pig.
Introduce new things
  • We are actually regulars at The New Victory Theater, where we are amongst many moms, dads and kids eager for the special performances they present from around the world. For one of my daughter's first theaterical experiences, we went to see The Enchanted Pig at the New Vic. It was one of those "Aha!" moments for me about living near New York City and being able to introduce my children to the finest theatrical experiences in existence. My daughter was literally enchanted by the production.

Encourage their budding interests
  • When your kids are ready, start them on musical instruments—even toy instruments, until you feel they are old enough to start taking lessons. Going to a classical concert will take on a whole new meaning. We recently took our kids to Jazz at Lincoln CenterJazz for Young People. Now that my son is interested in playing the guitar and is taking piano lessons, his interest in these types of concerts is far greater than before.
  • The same goes for drama lessons! If your child seems to have a knack for acting, don't shy away from it. Nurture the passion and energy.

Know your family's limits
  • Space your events out. I know that my kids need to play too, so I never plan too much in a weekend. Going to one event and making it special goes a lot further than overwhelming your children and wearing them out.
  • Make sure your kids are well fed before the curtain rises to avoid any issues during the show.
  • If your child has a meltdown or can't make it through a show, take a step back and stop going until you see a change in behavior. Instead, read books, talk about plays and encourage music and theater at home.
Culture is important to my kids because it's important to their mom. I make it a part of our daily life, and using the tactics I mention above, they want it just as much as I do. Living in New York City, there are so many choices for a culture-loving family. It's important to take advantage of what we have on our doorstep.

This post was originally seen on our blog in 2011.
   
Holly Rosen Fink Holly Rosen Fink has a career that spans the world of television and publishing, including positions at Lifetime Television, Nickelodeon/MTV and John Wiley & Sons where she worked closely with Arthur and Pauline Frommer to promote their brand.  She is currently the founder and CEO of Pivoting Media, a marketing consultancy that focuses on mindful social media.