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.
June 18, 2015

Dads Rock!

We get so much great feedback here at The New Victory, from parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles—even from kids themselves. But this week we'd like to highlight one group in particular—dads! Father’s Day is this Sunday, so let's take a moment to celebrate all those amazing dads in our New Vic family. Whether it’s accompanying their kids to a performance, joining in the fun at a pre-show Arts Express event, or participating at full throttle in a Family Workshop, these dads give it their all. And they aren’t afraid to share it!

We see some of our most energetic dads at Family Workshops. In March, at a Family Acrobatics workshop, New Victory Teaching Artist WT McRae invited families to explore various partner yoga poses, slowly building up to acrobatic balances that required each other's support. Rick, the father of two 8-year-olds, told us afterwards that "the best part of these workshops is working together with new people and trusting that we can make new friends!"
Two dads show off their comedy chops in a Clowning Family Workshop.

Our Songwriting Family Workshop in April inspired similar enthusiasm. Teaching Artist Drew Petersen led the group through a series of musical and rhythmic warmups before helping them collectively write the lyrics to a song about springtime in New York City! After learning the entire song, the families created rock star costumes out of newspaper and got to rock out to their song. This was the part that Gene, the father of a 5-year-old, found most fun. "The best part of today was dressing up," he said, "and being rock stars." The song turned out pretty well, too! Take a listen below.
Families make newspaper rocker costumes in our Songwriting Family Workshop.

Some dads take what they learn at our Family Workshops and really run with it. At our Design for Theater Family Workshop in March, one father pulled our Education staff aside to say how much he loved the workshop. "The whole thing was amazing!" A frequent participant, and clearly a fan, he said that we have the best Teaching Artists—not a bad one in the bunch—and that he and his son always have the best time. So much so, in fact, that they started a small community group in Connecticut for local kids and their families to come together on the weekends for an artistic challenge, and that their most recent one had involved shadow puppetry! 
More clowning fun with fathers and sons at a Family Workshop.

We couldn’t be happier for the feedback we receive from all parents. But, in the spirit of Father’s Day, let’s just admit it. Dads rock! Have a great New Vic memory that involves dads and their kids? Share it with us on Facebook. Or make some new memories at one of our upcoming Family Workshops. Happy Father's Day, everyone!
Posted by Zack Ramadan

Our 2014–15 season here at The New Victory has come to a close, and internally we're working hard on getting everything ready for next season, starting with Victory Dance in just a few weeks. At the same time, New York City's school kids will soon be starting their summer vacations. While we wish them all the fun and exploration that a summer of freedom can bring, we hope they remember some of the fun times they had here with us!

This season, 33,377 school kids from 166 schools came to The New Victory for 87 performances. They asked artists 435 burning questions at post-show Talk-Backs and explored each show's themes and art forms in 1,170 pre- and post-show workshops. But most of all, they had a blast—countless laughs, innumerable smiles.

Our New Victory Education Department has compiled some feedback from students, teachers, and teaching artists into a collection we're calling "Moments of Love". As we close out the season and prepare for what's to come, let's look back at the impact we've had over the last year.

QUOTES FROM THE STUDENTS: "I discovered when you take two different things like music or dance from two different places and put them together they can be really beautiful." "How much are tickets? I want to come back, like, 8 or 9 more times!" "That was the best show in history!" "Oh wow! What did I even just see!?" "This was the best day ever!" "When are we coming back?" "That was nuts! That was the best show I've ever seen in my life!"

QUOTES FROM THE TEACHERS: "By working with the New Vic, I learned how to be creative, flexible, and transformative in my approach to teaching children." "Our school is having a talent show this year and you and your Teaching Artists help bring our students out of the their shells." "Most of my students have never been to a live theatrical performance, so the experience of attending a show at The New Victory was a first." "My students loved MINIMON! They thought it was hilarious and 'magical.' They still talk about it today." "We homeschooler have loved you since the beginning! Thank you for everything." "My students learned from seeing CIRQUE ZIVA that if they dedicate themselves to something they love they can become an expert at it." "That is one of our least focused students, and I couldn't believe how this lesson spoke to him. I just learned that he is really rhythmic!" "The New Victory makes me feel like family." "I have never seen my class engaged like this. Not once." "I cry tears of joy at almost every New Vic show. Sharing live performance with kids is that powerful." "My students couldn't believe that these performers came from the same country as them. I think it excited them to feel a connection with the production."

QUOTES FROM THE TEACHING ARTISTS: "One teacher told us that some kids, who don't normally engage, engaged in our workshop." "Students who were mostly non-verbal began to sparkle and glow as they created their costumes." "Before the end of the workshop, a kid grabbed my leg and said, 'I don't want you to go!' I didn't want to either." "Watching the parents dance to the beat of 'Rapper's Delight' while their kids created their raps was amazing! Many of the parents wrote and performed as well. So much love, family-style." "I love everything about Lexington School for the Deaf, including the security guard who stopped by the workshop and did the moonwalk."

The numbers of students, workshops and performances can be overwhelming, and sometimes it's hard to put them in perspective. But these words—these moments of love—make it all clear. I think this is the best way to measure a year, don't you?
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