In this Family Activity you will invent something new like Jules Verne, make your own gyre and create a toy theater adaptation of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
! For each show during the 2016-17 Season, we'll be posting a new Family Activity. Bookmark NewVictory.org/FamilyActivities
to discover how you and your family can continue your theatergoing experiences at home.
You can find all of our past Family Activities (and more!) at Pinterest.com/NewVictory
Jules Verne, the author of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
, is one of most important writers of science fiction. Verne shocked the world with tales of gadgets and vehicles that, years later, would eventually take shape in reality. In this Family Activity, challenge yourself to invent something that you think would exist 100 years from now—in the year 2116!
Piece of paper, writing utensil
As a family, learn about certain pieces of technology that Jules Verne predicted in his writing!
In Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
, Verne's Captain Nemo travels the world's oceans in a giant underwater boat—a submarine. Submarines were first invented in 1620, but Verne's submarine had advantages and comforts unimaginable in his time. The first comparable undersea vessel appeared in 1939!
In the year 1889, Jules Verne described an alternative to newspapers: "Instead of being printed, the Earth Chronicle is every morning spoken to subscribers, who, from interesting conversations with reporters, statesmen and scientists, learn the news of the day." The first newscast didn't happen until 1920—nearly 30 years after Verne imagined it!
In 1889, Jules Verne described the "phonotelephote." The phonotelephote allowed "the transmission of images by means of sensitive mirrors connected by wires." Verne's phonotelephote is one of the earliest reference to a videophone in fiction. You could even consider it a precursor to video calling technologies like FaceTime and Skype!
Discuss these questions:
- What would be different about our world without submarines, newscasts and video calling?
- How do you think Jules Verne came up with these ideas?
Now it's time for you to predict your own invention. Imagine what will exist in the year 2116 and draw a prototype.
Share it with your family and discuss how your life would change if it existed!
This production explores the ocean's role in climate change, both in 1866 and in 2016. In this activity, get scientific and explore the world not on the land!
Two plastic one-liter bottles, water, duct tape, metal washer, small items like confetti or glitter, monopoly houses or tiny styrofoam balls
Fill a one-liter bottle to the top with water and add a few pieces of small materials. Attach a washer to the mouth of the bottle.
Place another one-liter bottle on top of the water-filled bottle, so that the washer sits in place between the two.
Use duct tape and tape the two bottles and washer in place. Make sure that the connection is as sturdy as possible and that the duct tape does not allow any bending.
Turn the bottles over so that the filled bottle is on top. Swirl the water clockwise or counter-clockwise. The water should form a tornado and drain into the other bottle. This circular current in the water is a small-scale version of the enormous gyres in Earth's oceans.
Now that you have created your own version of a gyre, watch this video
about gyres in the oceans and how garbage trapped in them affects our environment. You can also visit HaltonRecycles
and Greener Ideal
to learn even more about them.
After watching the video, have a conversation with your family:
- Did you know about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Is there anything your family can do to address it? Why or why not?
- What role do humans play in climate change and what specifically affects the oceans?
- What is your family's relationship to the environment?
- What do you think will happen to our Earth if things continue to move in this direction?
Interested in learning even more about water quality? Check out these websites and organizations recommended by Kidoons.
The production of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
at The New Victory Theater is an inventive adaptation of the original story. The company, Kidoons, uses projection, toy theater (small puppets acting out the story on a small scale and then projecting them on a screen) and time travel to tell their version.
Toys, a phone with video-recording capabilities
Read the following summaries of action points in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
ACTION POINT 1
At the beginning of the show we meet Jules, our narrator, named after the author of his favorite story, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Suddenly, as Jules is re-enacting Verne's famous novel by way of his plastic action figures, he is transported back in time to the year 1868, where a Professor Claire Aronnax is giving a lecture about a mysterious undersea object, which glows with “an unnatural phosphorescence,” that sinks ships.
ACTION POINT 2
An urgent telegram arrives from the United States government inviting her to join an expedition “to pursue and destroy terror under the sea.” The professor agrees to join the expedition aboard the Abraham Lincoln along with Jules and Ned Land, Canadian whaler and master harpoonist.
ACTION POINT 3
After four months of calm sailing, the ship and its crew are attacked by the mysterious undersea creature. The Abraham Lincoln is sunk, but Professor Aronnax, Jules and Ned survive and find themselves standing on the topside of a giant submarine. When they open its hatch and begin to explore, they are quickly knocked unconscious and imprisoned.
ACTION POINT 4
Upon waking, the three explorers find themselves on the submarine, the Nautilus, where they meet the commander, Captain Nemo. Nemo invites them to stay and roam about freely, but tells them that they will never again see land. He then invites Professor Arronax on a diving mission to hunt for treasure, where she tells the captain that she wants to tell the world of the Nautilus. She thinks that he could be a saviour that rescues all mankind from destroying the earth. Disagreeing, Ned Land calls Nemo a madman and puts out an S.O.S. distress call from the vessel’s control room.
ACTION POINT 5
It is New Year's Day, 1869, and the vessel has been thrown off course. Arronax, Jules and Ned have been confined to their own quarters and try to figure out how to escape. The professor and Ned discuss ways in which they can either escape the Nautilus or reason with Captain Nemo. Arronax pleads with the captain to set all of them free, but Nemo has other plans: to claim Antarctica as his own.
ACTION POINT 6
As the vessel begins to sink deeper into the ocean it's suddenly attacked by a colossal squid. How will Jules, Professor Arronax and Ned find their way back to the surface?
Pick an action point from the play to re-enact with some toys.
A scene from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Now it's time to make your own toy theater! Photo: Itai Erdal
Get as creative as possible! Use any items from your home to create your set. Use a cup as the submarine or a bowl of water for the underwater scenes!
Film your toy theater moment and put it on Instagram with the hashtag #TwentyThousandLeagues.
In addition to theatermaking, Kidoons and WYRD have also created online educational tools and web series that translate themes of well-known plays for younger audiences. They even made one for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
! Check it out here
and explore some of the multimedia and projection that will appear in the performance, see more cartoons with Captain Nemo and more!
We invite you to share a giggle, try some new moves and deepen your understanding of the performing arts with our Public Engagement Activites
, Arts Express, TXT Marks the Spot and Talk-Backs!
||How did your gyre and toy theater turn out?
Share a photo of them with us on Instagram or Twitter, #TwentyThousandLeagues.
||What did you invent?
Like us on Facebook and tell us what you thought up!