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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.

As we celebrate The New Victory's twentieth birthday this season, we're highlighting some of the families who have been a part of our greater New Vic family for many years. For these parents and kids, seeing theatrical performances at the New Vic has become a tradition, and over the years they've shared their love of theater with their extended family and friends.

This week, we turn the spotlight on the Sacco family. Dennis and Mayra Sacco, along with their kids, Michael Sacco and DeAnna Adonnino, have seen close to 60 shows here since 1996. Mayra attended the New Vic first with DeAnna during our second season, and she still counts that show among her most memorable theatergoing experiences. "It was the first show that I exposed my daughter to—she was about two and a half at the time," Mayra recalls. "I remember her jumping up and down on the seat, and you couldn't hold her back. She was just so enthralled by the experience." 

The Sacco Family, photographed in 2000. From left to right, Michael, DeAnna, Mayra and Dennis.
The Sacco Family, photographed in 2000. From left to right:
Michael, DeAnna, Mayra and Dennis.

 
"We have very special, fond memories of this place, there's no doubt about it," adds Dennis, who appreciates the impact the New Vic has had on their family. "I think it's so important that the kids came to the theater at a young age. Sometimes you don't know the impact that something will have until later on." Even though Michael and DeAnna are grown, their love of theater is as strong as ever, and they haven't left The New Victory behind. "They've come back individually. They've attended with their spouses, with their friends. Michael is in Florida now," explains Dennis, "and every weekend he goes to a live show of some sort."

"Our kids love to go to the theater, period," agrees Mayra. "And I think it's a result of having had the experience of seeing theater here at a young age." She's speaking from experience; Mayra traces her own love of theater back to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, which she saw with childhood friends when she was just eight years old. "None of us had gone to the theater before—it was the first time for all of us. I just remember being mesmerized by it. I think my mouth was probably open the whole time."
 
Dennis's favorite comedian, Avner the Eccentric, as he appeared in our 1996-97 season brochure.
The comedic star of Dennis's favorite show, Avner the Eccentric, as he appeared in our 1996-97 season brochure.

 
Soledad Barrio of Noche Flamenca, who has performed at the New Vic in 2002, 2009 and during Victory Dance in 2014.
Mayra recalls her aunts' enthusiasm for the dancers of Noche Flamenca, who performed at the New Vic in 2002, 2009 and during Victory Dance in 2014.

Dennis had a very different experience growing up. "My mother and father enjoyed going to the theater, but never took the four kids!" As a result, his love of theater started a bit later, in his early twenties with the first of many Broadway shows. "There's nothing like a live show, and there's something very special about seeing it in New York." His first show at the New Vic, in 1997, was Avner the Eccentric, a show he still recalls with fondness. "Anytime we see a clown or magic show, we're reminded of Avner from twenty years ago!" This is a theme with the Saccos—live theater fostering stronger, more lasting memories. Of New Victory performances in particular, Dennis explains that the family "would talk about them six months later, one year later, twenty years later in a positive light."

"Going to theater as a family, there's nothing better than seeing a particular show and then being able to talk about it," adds Mayra. Even without their kids, she and Dennis still look forward to the New Victory season brochure arriving in the mail, and to the theatrical variety that they've come to expect. "There aren't many theaters where you can go and see a circus act, a drama, a musical." Over other forms of entertainment, Mayra likens live theater to an immersive, mind-body experience. "If it's a circus act, I'm at the edge of my seat. If it's drama, it's like reading a book. If it's music, I'm feeling the music." And this love of live performance runs in her family.

Mayra's parents and aunts are Cuban immigrants, and they've accompanied Mayra and Dennis to many shows over the years. "The arts were very important to them growing up. I think they lost that, unfortunately, when they came to this country," explains Mayra, "but The New Victory put it back within their reach."

"Any show that I ever attended with your parents that was of a musical variety, their feet or their hands were going," Dennis says to her, tapping a rhythm on his lap. And the Saccos look forward to continuing their theatergoing tradition. "It's gone from Mayra's parents coming along with us, to her aunts, to my daughter in-law, expanding, expanding, expanding beyond just the four of us, to the ten of us, to the twelve of us. I'm guessing that if we're blessed with grandchildren, they'll carry on that tradition." With big smiles at the thought, they agree: "We can't wait!"

For the Saccos, sharing their love of theater doesn't end with family and friends. Every year, Mayra and Dennis make a point of donating a set of New Victory tickets to charity during the holidays. They see the sharing of theatrical experiences as an extension of the New Vic's mission. "I think a lot of people view the theater as being out of reach when it may not necessarily be," says Dennis. "I think that's what the New Vic does. It makes it really within reach."

Where did your #LoveOfTheater start? Let us know on Twitter @newvictory, or snap a selfie for Instagram and tag us @newvictorytheater the next time you're here!
Posted by Zack Ramadan

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 from across the city. Find out how the young people in your life can apply to be a part of this award-winning program!

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 Claire Early, who was born and raised in Manhattan.

Who inspires you? Third-Year Usher Claire Early
My family inspires me! They are constantly showing me who I am and supporting me through every project I dive into.

What was your favorite story as a kid?
I really liked The Powerpuff Girls—everything I owned had them on it. They let me know it was okay for girls to be tough, smart and girly. Those are all things I wanted to be, and like to think I am now.

What's your favorite subject in school?
Art, because I'm an artist. It's in my blood!

How would you describe your personal style?
Honestly, my style changes with the seasons and my mood. I live like my life is an art piece.

What's your favorite song right now?
"Hold Me Down" by Halsey

What's your favorite place to eat or grab food near the theater?
I usually like to get Hale and Hearty. They have yummy soups!

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not at work?
I try to occupy my time with drawing and other personal projects.

What's your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?
I'm in Central Park all year-round.

What's the most challenging thing about being an usher?
Multitasking!

What would be your dream vacation?
A week away in a beach house with a bunch of my closest friends and a lot of junk food and board games.

What's your dream job?
My dream job would be to be a comic illustrator and writer. Comics and graphic novels have always been a consistent comfort in my life, and I would like to create that for others. 
 

Each of our Third-Year Ushers gets to spend 40 hours working on a special project—a Third-Year focus— in the department of their choice at The New 42nd Street. Since we interviewed Claire in October, she has decided to spend her Third-Year focus by applying her love of illustrating to some of our online materials! Keep an eye out for her name and signature style.
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

Our New Victory Teaching Artists are an amazing bunch, and this season we're welcoming seven new Teaching Artists to the ranks! They possess a diverse range of skills, including acting, directing, music, puppetry and dance. Together with their 47 peers, they extend the theatergoing experience by engaging school and public audiences in the art forms and themes we present onstage. 

So who are these new TAs, and how did arts education become their passion? We asked them each to introduce themselves, and to tell us about their experiences so far as part of our Teaching Artist ensemble. We also asked them to share their favorite stories from when they were kids!
 

Jono Waldman

Jono WaldmanMy name is Jono and I'm a musician. I also devise plays and musicals with young people. I became a teaching artist because I love collaborating with kids. They tend to know fewer rules than grownups. Art-making is better with fewer rules!

I have already had some wonderful teaching experiences as a New Vic TA, but honestly my favorite experience has been working with the TA ensemble as a whole. Teaching artist work tends to be solitary.  It's usually just you and the kids. At the New Vic, I get to collaborate with a group of quick-witted, inspiring artists and educators. I truly look forward to every meeting.

When I was a kid, my father would put on orchestral records, and he and I would imagine narratives that followed the movement of the music. My favorites were Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 and Drigo's Enchanted Forest.
 

Julia Sirna-Frest

Julia Sirna-FrestI'm an actor, director and singer and have spent my New York life performing in the downtown theater world, as well as tours to France and Croatia. I also sing and play ukulele in a Dolly Parton cover band called Doll Parts!

I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by the arts and got the chance to perform from an early age. It shaped who I am, so being able to give that opportunity to young people today and help them find their voice is so exciting and moving.

I feel like teaching artists are really teaching pride, empowerment and confidence, and we just happen to be using theater to teach those life lessons. During one of our lessons recently, one of the students exclaimed, "This is a dream come true!" It doesn't get much better than that! 

As a kid, I was obsessed with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Magical lands in a closet? Genius!
 

Janet Onyenucheya
Janet Onyenucheya
My name is Janet Onyenucheya and I am a musician, songwriter, actress and educator. I wanted to become a teaching artist because it was the best way to combine two of my biggest passions—arts and education! I really love my students and they give me so much life and inspiration.

My favorite New Victory Teaching Artist experience has been facilitating the Pedal Punk classroom workshop. The lesson plan is extremely fun, and I always enjoy acting like a clown in the classroom!

My favorite story as a kid was Tar Beach. I appreciated seeing an African-American family cooperate in a thriving community full of unique traditions. The pictures were absolutely beautiful and the story was set in the urban landscape of New York City—my hometown!
 

Patrick Ferreri

Patrick FerreriMy name is Patrick Ferreri and I'm a dancer and an actor. Movement has always been in my life. From potty dances as a toddler to support my early bathroom usage to kitchen tap dances to amuse my family, I have always found moving to be an excellent way to make things happen. My explorations of movement as an adult have led me into more and more subtle arenas, thus the progression into acting. 

My mother is a teacher and it has always been her dream job. As a little guy, I grew up witnessing firsthand the passion and dedication that she brought to the art of teaching, as well as the fulfillment she received in return. I was hooked. As a professional dancer just out of college with lots of ideas and decreasing avenues to explore them, I thought back to how influential the arts were to me as a kiddo and decided that education was the best way to build new avenues of empowerment and opportunity. 

So far, my favorite Teaching Artist experiences have been around A Midsummer Night's Dream: watching the faces light up in a class of fifth graders as they connected the dots between the Shakespeare they were reading, the opera they had just seen and the movie they had watched in class. Seeing them piece together something that had at first seemed overwhelming and inaccessible to them was exhilarating and reminded me of why I keep teaching.

I always loved old family stories. Stories of what my mom was like before she was my mom. Stories of her living in New York working with tenants' rights organizations and first starting to teach in Newark. Stories of my grandmother as a little girl born and raised in Philadelphia escaping to her grandmother' farm in Virginia and running around barefoot, climbing trees and chasing after chickens. Stories that made the world bigger and full of adventure. 
 

Arielle Lever

Arielle LeverI'm Arielle Lever. I identify as an actor and deviser (a deviser is someone who creates original theater from a collaborative process instead of being given a pre-written script). While I definitely still do the traditional acting "thing," my favorite projects are based in devised theater. I love collaboration and working with a group of people to make something new. I also find that, when I'm devising work, I learn so much from the others I work with.

There was a program in my school that allowed drama students to teach and work with individuals in the community with developmental disabilities. The funny thing was that I ended up learning the most from them. This opened my eyes to new ways of interacting with theater—as an educational tool, a form of outreach and a true exchange of ideas.

My favorite experiences so far have definitely been with the Lexington School for the Deaf. It is rare to be in a community that is so supported and supportive. All of the teachers and students treated each other with dignity, care and respect. I rely so heavily on language in my life, but I've learned that oftentimes it's just white noise. It was so amazing to get to the core of communication, either by simplifying language to what I really needed to say or to not use words at all.

As a kid, I loved the story of The Giving Tree.  I actually read an excerpt from it at my college graduation!
 

Curt James

Curt JamesI'm Curt James, and I trained as a classical actor in London, learning Shakespeare, Chekov, Greek theater, corporeal mime, neutral and character mask as well as pure voice and movement. I have been working as an actor ever since and have also dabbled in bunraku puppetry.

I love teaching and believe that as a theater practitioner I have a responsibility to help educate and shape the audiences of tomorrow. I fundamentally believe that theater is valid and necessary and that it should be accessible and enjoyed by everyone. Being a teaching artist helps me stay in touch with what ignites communities and theatergoers of today and tomorrow. So far, my favorite experience has been getting to know my fellow teaching artists as we learn together.

I love stories about epic journeys and finding your way home. My favorite story as a kid was Corduroy. It's about a toy bear who lives in a department store and catches the eye of a little girl. Her mother notices that Corduroy is missing a button and refuses to buy him, so after the store closes, he gets down from his shelf and wanders the store in search his button—an overnight adventure!
 

Kevin Ray

Kevin RayI'm Kevin Ray. I'm a theater artist with experience in acting, processional puppetry and directing.

I participated in an arts-in-education training program through The Actors Fund and started working as a teaching artist shortly thereafter. I was excited about using art as a medium for teaching a variety of subject matters and engaging young people in learning. Recently, as part of a post-show workshop for The Gruffalo, I had a fantastic time working with first grade students creating original monsters!

As a kid, my favorite story was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I liked it because the film combined so many different genres. It was a musical, a romance and a horror story all at the same time. As an artist, I'm interested in the ways that styles, genres, and forms can be used to deepen content.
 
 
Play icon      Our newest New Victory Teaching Artists are all looking forward to meeting you! Keep an eye out for them throughout the year at Family Workshops, pre-show Arts Express events and post-show Talk-Backs and TXT Marks the Spot events. Say hi, and surprise them with a shout-out to their favorite childhood stories!
Posted by Zack Ramadan

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

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!