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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.

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 Sendie Brunard from Brooklyn.
 
Third-Year Usher Sendie Brunard
Sendie Brunard and New Victory Youth Corps Manager Anthony Pound accept the NAHYP Award from First Lady Michelle Obama
In 2014, on behalf of the entire New Victory Usher Corps, Sendie accepted the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama, alongside Youth Corps Manager Anthony Pound.

Who inspires you?
My family inspires me because of their drive to do better.

What is your fondest childhood memory?
My fondest childhood memory is when I visited my grandparents on their farm. I got to eat things that they grew there, play by the lake and spend time with my family.

What was your favorite story as a kid?
I always loved the story of Cinderella. I just loved the story of her being able to find happiness despite everything that was against her.

What was your favorite subject in school? 
My favorite subject in school has always been math. I love the rush and sense of accomplishment I get from solving a problem.

How would you describe your personal style?
I don't have anything that I'm bound to. I'm open-minded, and my style is a mixture of everything.

What's your favorite song right now?
My favorite song is "Talking to the Moon" by Bruno Mars.  

What's your favorite place to eat or grab food near the theater?
There is a pizza place not too far from here. It's good pizza at a really cheap price. 

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not at work?
I like to perform! Whether it's acting or singing or dancing, I love the feeling of being on stage. I also enjoy watching others perform, so ironically I like to go to the theater when I'm off work as well. 

What's your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?
I love Manhattan, midtown to be specific.

What would be your dream vacation?
My dream vacation would be somewhere warm, being able to not worry about work or anything else, just lying by the pool and only getting up to get food!
 

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. Sendie has decided to spend her Third-Year focus working with our Artistic Programming Department.

In the story of The Pied Piper, the melodies of a mysterious stranger have the ability to hypnotize his listeners, first rats and later children! The hypnotic power of music is not just the stuff of fairy tales, though. As any music-lover can attest, it's easy to get lost in a great song. Our musical tastes may all be different, but we can all agree that there are some songs so delightful, so infectious, that we'd be content to leave them on repeat all day long.


 
So, in honor of The Pied Piper's irresistible tunes, we asked our staff to contribute their favorite earworms. Take a listen below, and learn more about what makes each song so alluring to its adorer!
 

One of my favorite songs to listen to is "Þú Ert Jörðin" (Icelandic for "You are the earth") by Ólafur Arnalds. I'm drawn to this song because it always seems to change its shape depending on what mood or setting I'm in. If I'm stressed, it calms me. If I'm sad, it comforts me. If I'm tired, it lulls me to sleep and if I'm happy, it only adds to my euphoric state. It's truly one of the most beautiful, mesmeric compositions I've ever listened to. – Christopher Ritz-Totten, Public Relations Associate

One song that has had me under its spell for years is "Folkloric Feel" by Apostle of Hustle. It has an usual rhythm that shifts halfway through and a peculiar mix of sounds that make me feel like I'm both marching forward and jumping in place. Even though it's a seven-plus-minute song, I'm always waiting for it to keep going! – Zack Ramadan, Digital Marketing Associate

 

I have a million of these, but the most recent ones that I have on constant replay are "Fool for Love" by Lord Huron and "Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel. They both have an alt-folk feel, with bouncy melodies that I love. – Melinda Berk, Director of New Victory Operations

Tough decision! One song I can listen to repeatedly is "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" by The Arrogant Worms.  The sea shanty energy gets me moving any time I listen to it, but the bottom line is that I never tire of hearing a farmer-turned-pirate sing about his adventures "stealing wheat and barley and all the other grains." – Kali DiPippo, Assistant Director of Artistic Programming

I love "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." I love how it can go on and on, and I love the message of moving forward gently and being carried, too. – Melissa Kalt, Senior Manager, Individual Giving

I'm such a big music lover that it's very hard to pick just one song that's rested in my head. I spend much of my day humming one song or another to myself. Carly Simon's "Legend in Your Own Time" is one that often ends up at the fringes of my brain, and then there's always Janis Joplin's version of "Bobby McGee".  In my head, I hear my voice singing these songs flawlessly, even though in real life, I'm usually quite off key! – Alice Arias, Controller

There is something about the pacing of "Angel from Montgomery" by Bonnie Raitt that sets a new rhythm for my breathing. When I am not feeling all that peppy, it feels almost meditative. – Lindsey Buller Maliekel, Director of Education / Public Engagement

I've been really into this band called Hiatus Kaiyote lately. I'm really into jazz-inspired music, and "Nakamarra" by Haitus Kaiyote is my favorite song of theirs. It has a great mix of jazzy, soulful, smooth vocals by the lead female singer and a nice constant upbeat rhythm by the drums and bass guitar. – Tionge Johnson, Spring 2016 Development Apprentice

I'm a huge Kylie Minogue fan. "Get Outta My Way" became my hypnotic earworm because, when I really need to get my art focus on, I find myself listening to the same song on repeat. It helps me focus! And this song just blends into hours of focusing. – Katie Diamond, Marketing & Design Associate

Oh my gosh! "Rhythm Divine" by Enrique Iglesias never gets old. The music itself is transcending—listening to it, I can picture myself dancing in an open air café lit by twinkling lights by the ocean! – Rhesa Richards, Assistant to the Executive VP and VP, Operations

 


 

So what song puts a spell on you? Let us know in the comments below, and don't miss Milan's famed Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company's THE PIED PIPER, at the New Vic through May 15.
Posted by Zack Ramadan

Marina Montefusco in RehearsalThe visually stunning and poetic CITÉ brings the paintings of Russian-born New York artist Evsa Model (1900–76) to life for young audiences. While the modern art world might seem a bit inaccessible for little ones, Le Clan des Songes has found a way to stir the imaginations of kids as young as three with captivating visuals and original music inspired by Model's vibrant work.

We wanted to take a second to connect with Le Clan des Songes founder Marina Montefusco over the inspiration behind Cité and the translation of Evsa Model's art into a piece of theater for young audiences. What was her first spark of inspiration for Cité? What, if anything, did she find difficult? What does she love about performing for young audiences? Check out the trailer below, then continue reading for Marina's interview!


What was your initial inspiration behind Cité?  
One day while walking in Paris, I accidentally discovered Evsa Model's painting in the basement of a photo gallery. I observed it for a very long time, intrigued by the mystery it contained and wanting to discover more. I decided to learn more about this forgotten painter!

Why did you think Evsa Model's work might appeal to young audiences?  
Simply, he paints with a child's eyes. He is both poetic and moving at the same time and elicits emotion through colors. And it is very simple for young children to understand his uncluttered style. Because his artwork (and Cité) is visually abstract, it awakens every child's imagination. Often, through their own drawings, they tell us their own story. It is a language they already speak.
 
Projection and Shadow Puppetry from Cité
What were the challenges in adapting visual artwork for the stage? 
There is a movement, a composition, a story in the paintings of Evsa Model. For me it was quite natural to translate it into moving images.

Have you adapted other unusual works for the stage? 
Yes! I have adapted a book, L'Arbre sans Fin by Claude Ponti and the board game Clue into shows as well. 

Why do you create theater for kids as young as three?
Undoubtedly, very young children are my favorite audience. It is easy to connect to them on a perceptive, emotional, and intuitive level. 

Can you tell us a bit more about the name of your company, Le Clan des Songes?  
"Songe" means "waking dream" in French—we are The Clan of Waking Dreams. That's what I wish to offer to the public.
 
 
Be sure to check out CITÉ's Family Activity to re-create the stunning shapes and mesmerizing colors of Evsa Model's artwork as a family. You might have the world's next great painter in your midst!
Posted by Zack Ramadan


Pied Piper Finale SceneThe New Victory Theater presents different styles of puppetry for all ages. This season alone we've had jungle creature hand puppets in Handa's Surprise, monkey rod puppets in Caps for Sale and a variety of dream-like creatures from shadow puppets to Bunraku puppets in The Star Keeper. Our latest show, THE PIED PIPER, features the magnificent work of the Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company.

Carlo Colla & Sons is a family company rooted in history. In the late 1700s, Giovanbattista Colla used marionettes to entertain and educate his children in comedy, drama and the classic arts. Five generations later, Carlo Colla & Sons is still practicing the art form and is one of the most respected puppetry companies in the world. We're thrilled to share this beautiful work of art with school and family audiences and so are our New Victory Teaching Artists! We asked them some questions in anticipation of the show…..


What do you love about puppetry?
I love the idea that as a puppeteer, one can disappear behind, and in service to, the puppet/object one is manipulating. That, and there's something so wonderful and mesmerizing about breathing life into something that was inanimate. – Josh Rice

For me, the most attractive thing about puppetry is that puppetry allows the puppeteers and the audience to see things from a different point of view. I often consider a puppeteer as a cameraman who can provide the audience with a zoomed in view, as close to inside of someone's head; or a zoomed out view, as far as the whole universe. A puppetry world won't exist without the audience's willing suspension of disbelief. To witness something that is impossible becoming possible is thrilling. It frees us from limitation and gives us wings to fly as high as our imagination can go. – Spica Wobbe

Puppets sometimes illuminate the human experience in a way that human performers cannot.  They are also an extraordinary tool for talking about tricky subjects. – Liz Parker

I love puppetry because it blends so many art forms together. Dance, theater, visual design, music and more! – Spencer Lott
 

Behind the Scenes of The Pied Piper
A look behind the scenes of Carlo Colla & Sons' The Pied Piper. Manager Piero Corbella demonstrates puppetry for a school audience.
What's special about the Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company?
This company is special because they are keeping alive a traditional art form, and have for almost 200 years, all within the same family.  That's older than many things in America! – Josh Rice

The Colla company is special because their storytelling reflects their art form. They use traditional theater techniques to tell traditional stories to modern audiences. Their shows serve as a living history lesson, giving us a glimpse into the evolution of puppet theater. – Spencer Lott

Why is important to keep old art forms like the Collas' alive?
The world is changing every second. The past seems to be moving further and further away from us faster and faster in these modern times. However, nothing can replace a Thanksgiving dinner or the national anthem before a ball game. Traditions ground you and remind you who you are and why you are here. No matter how high tech our world becomes, we have to make sure that the string that connects us to the past is always there. – Spica Wobbe

This week, I had the privilege of trying a virtual reality headset for the first time.   I feared that this experience might show me a glimpse of a future where today's performance arts are obsolete.   Though the experience was spectacular, it actually served to affirm my opinion of the importance and timeless value of performance arts that have been practiced and perfected over generations.  Shows like The Pied Piper invite audiences to take an active leap of the imagination.  While a virtual landscape can submerge us in another reality, the tangible beauty of a hand-carved puppet brought to life by the live talent of a trained human hand... well, that allows us all to see the possibility and magic of our own reality! – Liz Parker

 


 

The Colla family has been in the marionette business since the 19th century, spending their first 100 years touring northern Italy. You can follow in their footsteps with the Pied Piper's FAMILY ACTIVITY!

Posted by Beth Henderson

"As it is with all children, before the adult world manages to put out their fires, Nicole was always an artist. However, in Nicole, the fire never stopped burning." – Steve Appel

Nicole at Bello ManiaGrowing up, any kid looks forward to the wonder and spectacle of the circus, but for Nicole Appel, a certain performer held a special place in her heart. Now 25, Nicole first saw Bello Nock (of Bello Mania fame) at the age of nine when he was performing with The Big Apple Circus. A professional artist who falls on the autism spectrum, Nicole has always felt a strong connection to Bello. And, while he hasn't inspired her to take up his brand of thrill-seeking acrobatics, he has inspired her artistically.

When Nicole's father Steve—also a visual artist—heard that Bello would be returning to New York City once more, he reached out to The New Victory to arrange a meeting between the two. He wrote to Bello: 

"Your performances, in the finest tradition of the circus, are islands of innocent enchantment in a sometimes broken world, grounded in an unconditional love for your audience. Nicole's drawings, in a similar way, removed as they are from the institutionalized trappings of the art world, are also islands of innocent enchantment. The two of you are, in this way, I believe, kindred spirits."

The New Victory arranged a meeting between Nicole and Bello where she gave him a copy of her drawing, Bello the Clown. We took a moment to interview her to learn more about her connection to Bello and what it was like to meet him!

How long have you been a fan of Bello's?
I'm 25 years old. I was nine years old when I saw Bello at the Big Apple Circus for the first time, at Cunningham Park, in Queens. The Big Apple Circus comes to Cunningham Park every Spring. It's less than a block from our house. The first time I saw him, he made me feel very happy. I loved him!

When did you first start going to the circus?
We started going to the circus when I was a little girl. We never missed a year. We've been to the circus at Cunningham Park, at Lincoln Center, and at Ringling Bros. We've also seen Cirque de Soleil on Randall's Island, and in Las Vegas. And, of course, we've seen many performances at the New Victory Theater. 
Nicole Meets Bello
Nicole Meets Bello!
Nicole Appel meets Bello after a performance of Bello Mania. She presents him with a custom piece of artwork!
  

What about Bello and his show is most interesting to you as a New Vic theatergoer? As an artist?
I've loved seeing him riding on his little bicycle, doing magic tricks, climbing chairs and poles. He's a very funny clown. He makes me laugh! 

Bello and his daughter perform together. My dad is an artist just like me. We love to draw together. It's great for dads and daughters to be able to work together. We're all artists and we love each other!

Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
I love running. I belong to The Alley Pond Strider running club. Four years ago, I ran the New York City Marathon. I enjoy camping and hiking. I've been camping and hiking in the Adirondacks, Anza Borrego, Death Valley, and Yosemite. This winter we're going camping in New Mexico near Moab. I also enjoy traveling very much. I've been to Paris and next Sunday we're going to Barcelona to visit a Spanish friend named Pilar. We'll visit the Dali Museum, the Picasso Museum, and the Miro Museum. It should be a lot of fun. I'm very excited!

Can you tell us more about your artwork?    
I do my artwork at an art studio in Brooklyn called the LAND Gallery. I go there three days a week. Since 2014 I've had lots shows at different places. I've had shows at The Outsider Art Fair for the past three years. Bello likes to make people happy. I do too! People like my artwork. I've sold many drawings since 2014. You can see my Bello the Clown drawing and some of my other drawings at the Land Gallery website.

How do you decide the focus/theme/subject of each piece you create?
I do my drawings as gifts for people I love. My drawings are about them. They show the things that they like. 

How long do you work on a piece, or when do you know that it's finished? What are you working on now?
Most of my drawings take about 6 weeks to do. But sometimes, a drawing can take a very long time…half a year or more. I know when it's finished when there's no more white space!

Right now I'm working on my Barcelona drawing. It shows paintings by Picasso, Dali, and Miro. They all lived in Barcelona. 

What was it like to meet Bello?
Bello is very handsome and kind. We hugged each other, he gave me a red rose and I gave him one too. I gave him a copy of the Circus Drawing that I did for him. I signed it, "Nicole loves Bello." He signed my drawing, "Bello loves Nicole." It made me feel very happy. I love Bello! He's the best clown in the world! I love The New Victory Theater too. It's the best theater in the world!

 
 
Bello Mania Icon Interested in getting inspired, just like Nicole? Check out The New Victory Theater’s Pinterest board to find exciting activities for the whole family!
Posted by Beth Henderson
 
A look at A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Bottom from Isango Ensemble's adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream (New Vic 2015). Photo credit Ruphin Coudyzer.

This article was originally seen as a 2013 New Vic blogpost.

Over my ten years of teaching Shakespeare at New York University's Steinhardt School, I have made it a practice to ensure that young people join my graduate students for our exploration of Shakespeare's plays. 

Occasionally, I've had students ask why young people should study and perform Shakespeare's plays given that they were written four hundred years ago and come from a very specific Western tradition. I find that the perceived resistance of young people to Shakespeare often comes from their teachers' own fear of and discomfort with Shakespeare's plays. The "inaccessible" language; the complex and sprawling storylines; and the density of the scripts make for a daunting task in any unit of classroom study. I overcome these hurdles by engaging young people in a problem solving, mystery-cracking approach to the scripts, rather than a bookish quest to understand the meaning and interpretation of every word or phrase on the page. Tackling a Shakespeare play in an active way builds confidence, and that confidence translates to other academic and artistic tasks. 


To assist my students with their understanding of Shakespeare's work, regardless of age or experience, I ask them to consider five basic ideas about the cultural context of Shakespeare's plays and their dramaturgy. Those five ideas are as follows:

1. Shakespeare wrote his plays for a wide, popular audience.

Shakespeare's plays appealed to people from all walks of life and across class divides: kings, queens, nobles, workers and the poor. His plays were considered popular entertainment in his day, much like the blockbuster movies and television shows of today. If Shakespeare were writing now, I'd venture to say that he'd write for film and prime time television. He understood how to reach audiences of all ages and experiences, and when young people understand that, they gain confidence that their interpretation of a play could actually be valid and "correct." If we empower young people to find their own relationships to a play, suddenly that play becomes legible and relatable.

2. Reading, watching, and playing Shakespeare can be like working in a second language.

Even though Shakespeare wrote his plays in English, his style of writing is heightened and his vocabulary is vast. As English speakers in the 21st century, our relationship to language is very different from Shakespeare's and his audience's. When we work with Shakespeare, there may be words or whole sentences that are unclear. When watching Shakespeare in performance, encourage young people to look for other ways to understand what is happening: stage pictures, the tone of an actor's voice, lighting, etc. These elements can provide clues that clarify the difficult parts of Shakespeare's language. When reading a play in class, remind students that the English language has three end punctuation marks: periods, question marks and exclamation points. The arrangement of the verse and prose on the page can look confusing, but when I locate the end punctuation marks, I'm suddenly reminded that this is a language I understand—it's just arranged on the page a bit differently. Ask students to mark the sentences with brackets when they encounter a particularly difficult passage; isolating sentences leads to identifying a character's thoughts and ideas. 
 

A look at Measure for Measure.
A scene from Fiasco Theater's production of Measure for Measure (New Vic 2014). Photo credit Joan Marcus.
3. Shakespeare provides all the information we need in the writing on the page.

If we spend ample time reading one of Shakespeare's plays, we learn that all the clues we need to understand the play are there on the page in front of us. He gives us the setting of the action in the lines of the play, and has his characters tell us how they feel and why they behave a certain way. For example, we do not have to guess about Hamlet's state of mind when he discovers the truth about the death of this father, because he tells us that he will "put an antic disposition on." I like to work with young people on Shakespeare in performance because their often limited life experience does not detract from playing these characters. Since acting the play is not an exercise in emotion memory or sense memory (Shakespeare came before Stanislavski and his system of acting), young people can perform these plays effectively, simply by becoming adept storytellers. Of course, close connections to the experiences of the characters are certainly helpful, but by focusing on what the character says, an actor can discover what needs to be said and how it needs to be said in order for the story to unfold.

 

A look at Henry V.
The title character from The Acting Company and the Guthrie Theater's production of Henry V (New Vic 2009). Photo credit Michel Daniel.
4. Shakespeare wrote his plays for a simple stage.

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre did not have the capabilities of modern theaters. Theaters did not have helicopters flying in or sets that rotated by themselves. Therefore, Shakespeare had his characters tell the audience where they were, either in conversation with one another or in a speech directed to the audience. Oftentimes, the audience in Shakespeare's time had to imagine the setting of a play more than we do today. Given this expectation of simplicity, Shakespeare's plays can be staged in theatres, gymnasiums or classrooms. We don't need fancy lighting or scenic elements or even extravagant costumes—we just need an actor or audience that's willing to imagine what Shakespeare's characters describe.  If we encourage actors of all ages to see what they say as they say it, then young audiences will see the world of the play before them, as well.

5. Shakespeare's characters are often superhuman or extraordinary, so they feel and act that way.

Shakespeare wrote his plays before the existence of modern psychology. While it helps to think about why a character behaves a certain way, Shakespeare did not always concern himself with logical reasoning. In other words, our modern notions of what is realistic are very different from Shakespeare's. The characters in his plays may make choices that seem very foreign to us, but those choices make sense within the worlds of Shakespeare's plays. Given our diverse and ever-expanding society, this understanding of cultural context as it relates to Shakespeare can also help young people to recognize that their own points of reference are not the only way to experience the world. People behave differently in different contexts, and having an increased awareness of that helps us to teach young people about tolerance and understanding within our growing, globalized society.

So why Shakespeare? Because the complexity of his work has survived the last four hundred years and still offers us opportunities to ask big questions about ourselves and the world around us. Like all of us, young people want to make meaning of the world around them, and when a complex, parallel world opens up for them, our own cacaphonous, fast-moving world might just become a little bit easier to navigate.





Joe Salvatore is a playwright and director based in New York City. He has created and directed plays and performances in venues of all shapes and sizes, from traditional spaces like the Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village and the Concert Hall at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, to site-specific locations like 14th Street in Manhattan and a Revolutionary War battlefield in southern New Jersey. Read more about Joe here






 

Posted by Beth Henderson

 

Set Sail by Andrew Bannecker
This season, we're thrilled to introduce Andrew Bannecker—our new visual artist in residence—to New Victory audiences. Andrew creates the title treatments and key art for New Victory shows that form the basis of our season marketing and advertising campaigns—starting with the season brochure, due to land in member mailboxes any moment now!

At The New Vic, we've always strived for the brochure to be a piece of art itself—something that families can sit down and enjoy together—almost like a bedtime story, but one that gets you excited to go to the theater. Andrew's style captures feelings of anticipation and imagination, and it's very joyful. His art makes you smile, as does collaborating with him. Enjoy getting to know him a little better in this interview. 
– Lauren Fitzgerald, Director of Marketing & Communications
 
"If something doesn't creep into a drawing that you're not prepared for, you might as well not have drawn it." – Edward Gorey
 
How do you go about creating a piece of art? Can you tell me more about your process?
It depends on the project. To start on New Vic art, I read briefs [created by the New Victory Marketing Department] that tell me what the show is about and what they're trying to convey. They send over reviews and videos and I get to know the world of the show with all these resources.

 

Andrew's Textures
A look at the textures Andrew creates with paint before scanning them into his computer.

Then I just sit down in front of the computer and start drawing. An hour or two later my initial idea might be completely different. In my world, the work evolves fairly quickly. If nothing's happening, I go outside with some coffee, take a second outside to recharge, and usually when I come back things take off.

How has it been working with us so far?
Working at home in a studio is an isolated world so I don't really see a lot of my work get developed. So it's really nice to collaborate on a process. It's not "Here's your work, thank you, bye." With the New Vic, it's a collaboration and a partnership.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I've been been a full time illustrator for about nine years now. I was an art director at an ad agency, just bopping around. Then one day I talked to an illustrator working on a campaign with me and I realized that THAT was what I wanted to do... only I couldn't draw. So I taught myself to draw. I worked as an art director during the day and was self taught at night. When I had enough work, I searched for an agency to take me. After a lot of rejection I found my current agency. Everything kinda took off with a bang. My first client was Starbucks in the UK right off the bat.

 

A piece of art in progress.
A look at one of Olivia's works in progress. You can follow Andrew on Instagram here!
Can you tell me about your kids? I hear your daughter has a desk next to yours.
Having a little person there working with you, it's enjoyable. It's always nice to have kids in the studio. Olivia's five and Noah's two and a half. I try to squeeze in some work when they're painting and glittering. Olivia's my tiny muse and my little art director... or critic. She loves to watch me work especially when I'm doing the New Vic stuff. When I'm working, I'll show her the screen and ask for feedback. Nine times out of ten she'll say, "Dad, I need you to print that out." Then she'll take out all of her glitter and her feathers and her markers and get to work. Then she'll come back to my computer and instruct me: "Daddy, I think this should be pink," or "This needs to sparkle."

She knows all of my clients, so once I make her changes, she asks, "Daddy, can you send these over to Lauren and Alexis [the New Victory's Marketing and Design Managers]?" I'll put it into the printer, pretend to send it, and after about five minutes she usually asks, "Do they like them? What do they want now?" I try to let her run with any creative impulses she might have. Some may call that bending over backwards, but I can't stifle something like that, right?
 
Andrew's Style
A few of the nautical items that heavily inspire Andrew's art alongside an initial sketch!

What's the biggest influence on your style [besides Olivia]?
I'm pretty obsessed with anything vintage and nautical. I collect antiques. My studio is filled with old glass beakers, wood, old puppets I got in Paris or anything else that strikes my fancy and inspires me.

What do you aim to convey with your artwork?
What I try to evoke is a human emotion. I may only draw waves and mountains. There's no people, but you can get a human emotion out of it. With my personal work, I'm known for my colors. My work is textural. Most of my work is on the computer, but I try to create work that doesn't look like it was drawn on the computer. I create all my textures organically with paint or charcoal and then I scan them in. I'm always trying to find new avenues and new ways to create.

What's the secret to your success?
For successful commercial artists, if you have a personal style just stick with it. I learned a lot of people can make triangle mountains, but it's my technique that makes it my own. If you go to Pinterest, you can find a million pieces of geometric art. But the way the artist can create their own style makes it unique.

 



Interested in the 2016-17 New Victory Season?
Make sure to follow us on Facebook for exciting updates on the upcoming season!

 
Posted by Beth Henderson

Monkey around with mimicry and make a collage together with this Family Activity inspired by Caps for Sale the Musical. For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. Bookmark NewVictory.org/FamilyActivities to discover how you and your family can continue your theatergoing experiences at home.

You can also find all of our Family Activities (and more!) at Pinterest.com/NewVictory.

Collage for Sale

Esphyr Slobodkina, the author and illustrator of Caps for Sale, was also a famous collage artist! In this activity, play with the art form of collage. Collage is made by sticking a variety of materials onto a blank surface to form a picture.

Materials: Printable landscape template, blank white paper for tracing, markers, slips of colored paper and magazines, printable texture template, scissors, glue stick

Step One: Print out one of the images from our landscape template.


Step Two: Put a blank piece of paper over the landscape and, with a marker. trace the outlines of the dominant shapes. HINT: Hold the papers up to a light source if you have trouble seeing the outlines.


Step Three: Depending on your kid's age, either cut pieces of colored paper or pictures from magazines ahead of time, or cut them out together. Think about the outline that you traced while you're cutting your shapes. For some fun textures, print out our texture template.



Step Four: Glue your pieces of cut paper inside the lines of the drawing. HINT: For little ones, try using a glue sponge!


Step Five: Put some finishing touches on your collage with additional marker lines, and then sign your name. You've just finished a beautiful collage!



This example collage was created by Third Year New Victory Usher Claire Early. Thanks, Claire!

Step Six: Compare your works of art to some of Esphyr Slobodkina's collages, seen below! As a family, discuss these questions:
  • What are the similarities?
  • What are the differences?
  • What is fun about collage?
  • What is hard?
  • How is collage different from drawing? Which do you prefer? Why?

Slobodkina collage from The Wonderful Feast


Mirror, Mirror on the Monkey

In Caps for Sale, the monkeys steal the Peddler's caps! Inspired by those silly monkeys, this activity asks you to mimic and monkey around!

Step One: Decide who is going to be a monkey and who is going to be a peddler.

Step Two: Start by facing each other. Whatever the peddler says or does, the monkey should copy. Monkeys, mimic the peddlers as closely as possible.

Step Three: After a few minutes switch roles. Think about...
  • repeating exactly what they say
  • their gestures and how they move their body
  • how their voice sounds

BONUS: Try playing the game in public without anyone noticing.
 


Capstacle Course

The Peddler in Caps for Sale is no ordinary peddler. He carries his caps on his head! Now it's your turn to test your skill at balancing things on your head.

Materials: Lots of hats, masking tape

Step One: Collect all the hats in your home.

Step Two: Move all the furniture in one room to create an open space, ideally 15–20 feet in length.

Step Three: Using the masking tape, create a path on the floor. Get creative! Add curves and see if you can extend your obstacle course over or under things!

Step Four: One by one, stack all the hats on your head and try to keep them balanced while walking the path. You're the peddler! While you're walking, your other family members should act like monkeys to distract you and throw off your balance! HINT: Monkeys, use the element of surprise to startle the peddler into dropping hats.

Step Five: Take turns being the peddler. See how far you can get into your obstacle course before those monkeys make you drop your hats!

BONUS: Make the path even harder! Create breaks in the path to introduce hopscotch-like jumps, and vary the width with narrow spots.
 


Ready for more activities? Come early and visit the lower lobby area before the show.
 
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Collage by Claire Early
Posted by Zack Ramadan