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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.
December 21, 2016

At Home with Mother Africa


At the New Vic, we help parents introduce the performing arts to kids of all ages and build anticipation for the shows with specially-designed Family Activities. To get ready for Mother Africa:  My Home, two New Victory staff members did the Mother Africa Family Activity themselves with their kids. These super-moms shared their experiences below.
 

Partner Acro

Katherine's Kids!1. Tell us about what happened when you did the activity?
We tried to clear some space on a carpeted area of our apartment. This was its own challenge in NYC! Then, the kids paired off and agreed on which moves they wanted to try first. Each pair agreed on a similar sequence, but they couldn't resist adding some enhancements like a life-sized stuffed penguin.

2. What did you learn about each other when doing the activity? What surprised you while doing the activity? 
We learned that the moves work best when the bigger kid is the base. We tried the other way around, but it was very wobbly. We were surprised to learn that the most basic form was not so easy, but once everyone felt comfortable in a stack, the rest of the moves came pretty easily. Both people need to focus—giggling does NOT help!

3. Why is it important to introduce your kids to the arts? What is your favorite part about bringing your kids to a show or circus?
Our favorite part about going to shows together is that we all see the same performance, yet each of us brings a different perspective and comes away with his or her own interpretation. We have very lively discussions after every show. Much more so than watching sports or playing a game together—which are also bonding experiences, but tend not to spark the same kinds of questions, conversations and (sometimes) disagreements!
— Katherine Freedman, Director of Institutional Giving at The New Victory

Foot Juggling
 
Lauren and her Family1. Tell us about what happened when you did the activity?
Our family has seen many circus performances at the New Victory, and ever since my son turned one we have practiced partner balancing together. He's seven now, and his sister is five, so after warming up with some balancing and acrobatics, we decided to try foot juggling to prepare for Mother Africa. Finding the right object for my five- and seven-year-olds to balance took some effort. We tried pillows and some foam shapes, but found that books were the right size and weight for them. We took turns balancing on each foot, and trying to switch the book from one foot to another. It was really challenging for them! They had just as much fun watching each other try as by trying it themselves. We didn't quite get to juggling, as balancing was challenging enough for the first day. After we saw the show they wanted to try again and to get even better! 
 
2. What did you learn about each other when doing the activity? What surprised you while doing the activity? 
We had so much fun balancing objects and each other. We talked about whether we liked to be bases on the bottom, or flyers up on top and played around with balancing each other in different ways. The kids felt confident with acrobatics and partner balances, so it was great to try foot juggling as an additional challenge. They really could see that this is a skill they would have to practice more than once to get really good at. When we saw the foot juggling act in the show the kids were blown away. They aren't quite ready to put a table up on their feet yet, but they are excited to keep practicing! 

3. What is your favorite part about bringing your kids to a show or circus?
Seeing different kinds of performances is one of our favorite family activities. It is so important to me for my kids to see that theater is not just acting, but also dancing, juggling, feats of amazing acrobatics and millions of other ways that artists express themselves. At the New Victory they get to see some of the best performers from all over the world, artists who have dedicated their lives to amazing, delighting and inspiring young audiences. Even after seeing dozens of shows over the years, my kids' faces still light up with joy and amazement at each show, and that sense of wonder is something I want them to preserve forever.
— Lauren Jost, New Vic Teaching Artist

 
New Victory Thumb Experience the excitement of Mother Africa: My Home during this holiday season.  Get your tickets here!

 
Posted by Beth Henderson
Tags: 2016-17, Staff
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