Notifications

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.
September 12, 2018

What Do Six Dozen Donuts Say?

New Victory Teaching Artist WT McRae shares an experience from his time in a Brooklyn, NY classroom. 

As a Teaching Artist, I've been working with a middle school in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn for over four years now. Being a TA, I travel the city with my colleagues hoping to provide a range of experiences that mirror the formative and meaningful experiences of my own youth. However when I first began my residency in Bed-Stuy four years ago, I found it difficult to even make eye contact in my school. During our first year, the students were skeptical of what we had to offer, and often extremely vocal about that skepticism. We worked with them for over 15 sessions, and they came to our theater three times to see shows. By the end of the year, we opted to do a gameshow-style review of the concepts they had covered over the school year. Although initially resisted, the students surprised me. The most reluctant participants could enthusiastically articulate a whole host of concepts that we brought to their classroom. This made me stop and think. Would a long-term residency be more effective than just one year? Could showing up over several sessions, months and years engage the students' trust more?

WT McRae

Fast forward to two years later: my experience in the halls had drastically shifted. By then, I was a three-year veteran who had taught nearly every student in the school. Walking the halls, students were genuinely excited to high-five me and my colleagues. "You have them today?" they asked their classmates, "Lucky!" Our residency ended with a peer-to-peer sharing in the auditorium that students willingly rehearsed for weeks. To celebrate their hard work, we promised the students donuts.
 
Here's a memory that stays with me: on the morning of our final share I took the crowded early morning train from Queens to Brooklyn and stopped at a Dunkin' Donuts, right around the corner from my school. On the way, I calculated that I needed six dozen donuts to make sure that each of our students, the teachers and staff could have one. I walked into Dunkin' Donuts, and ask the cashier for six dozen donuts. "You want six donuts?" she said. "No, I'd like six dozen donuts." She asked her co-worker, "Can we do that?" "If he wants to buy them, we can sell them." The entire store gathered to ask why I was buying so many donuts. By the time I had all of the boxes and bags, I'd also shared the exciting work we were doing down the street. It turned out that nearly every person in that Dunkin Donuts had attended the very same school where I was teaching. They were thrilled to hear that the kids were getting a chance to explore the arts and agreed that school would have been more fun if they had had that same opportunity.
 
On the hardest days, I grabbed a donut on my way back to Queens, wondering if we were reaching anyone. On the best days, my Teaching Artist partner and I would have a celebratory donut as we discussed the joyful moments of connection, collaboration and artistic growth we had seen in the young people at our school. So what do six dozen donuts say? They say that these students, their teachers and the community around them matter. That we will continue to show up and break bread (or donuts) with them. We provided three trips, 15 workshops and 72 donuts. However, we ultimately provided an experience that is resonant in the community and turned the most skeptical students into the biggest cheerleaders for the arts. 

Photo: Clemens Kois

August 31, 2018

Summer Field Guide: Issue 4


These activities were created and written by the New 42nd Street Summer Apprentices, Kevin Burns and Kendall Bowden.

In this final Summer Field Guide, we highlight five shows in our 2018-19 season. They are Beauty and the BeastAjijaak on Turtle Island, The Nature of Forgetting, Silent Voices: Lovestate and Around the World in 80 Days

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast at the New Vic will be quite a bit different than the version you might be used to, but there's one big similarity—roses! Since they play such an important part check out some roses in real life! The following list of rose gardens span across three boroughs and are fun for the whole family. 
  • A. Badillo Community Rose Garden, Bronx NY
  • Bette's Rose Garden, Bronx NY
  • Cranford Rose Garden, Brooklyn NY
  • Harlem Rose Garden, Manhattan, NY
  • Rockefeller Rose Garden, Bronx NY


Ajijaak

In Ajijaak on Turtle Island, the audience meets Ajijaak, a young whooping crane who must face her first migration south. On her journey she encounters many different animals, native to North America. 

When most people first think of animals in New York City, they only imagine rats, pigeons or poodles. However, this urban jungle is chock-full of vibrant and diverse creatures—how many have you seen? Check off all of the animals you've already seen on this worksheet and learn more about the ones you have yet to discover on the NYC Parks Page.

Worksheet

The Nature of Forgetting

The Nature of Forgetting is all about memory. Take a day this fall to explore the city and make memories with your family. Don't forget to take photos along the way!
  • Take a bike ride.
  • Have a picnic: Bring a blanket and some of your favorite snacks and sit in one of New York City's many parks.
  • Throw a dance party at home: The Nature of Forgetting is a physical theater piece with a lot of dance, so get down and boogie at home!
Next, gather up all of your photos from the day, and make a memory box.

Materials: A shoe box, decorations (paint, markers, glitter), photos and memories to fill up the box

Step One: Decorate the box, using paint, markers and glitter. 

Step Two: Fill the box with memories like tickets, show programs, photos, letters, pins, souvenirs or anything with sentimental value.

Step Three: Write a letter to yourself in the future—what do you think future you wants to know? Here are some ideas to get your letter started:
  • Talk about the significance of each item in the box.
  • Summarize what is happening in your life right now.
  • Write your goals for the future so you can look back and see what you have accomplished.
  • Write about your fears and anxiety for the future.
  • Write about a memory you never want to forget.
Step Four: Last but not least, remember to add your The Nature of Forgetting ticket or your New Vic Bill after you see the show in March!

Enjoy making memories! We can't wait for you to make many more here at The New Victory when you join us this season. 

Silent Voices: Lovestate

Silent Voices: Lovestate is a concert experience from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, in which the young chorus members sing about complex topics including identity, racism and inclusion. 

Before your visit to The New Victory Theater, practice your music theory!

Materials: Construction paper, scissors and a marker

Step One: Draw hearts on construction paper and then cut them out.

Step Two: On one half of the heart, draw the note. On the other half, write the name of the note.

Step Three: Cut down the middle of each heart!

Step Five: Mix up all the hearts and play a matching game.

Here's a key to guide you:


Gif

Bonus: Travel to Prospect Park to visit the neighborhood very close to the headquarters of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. It's always refreshing to work in a new environment. Bring your music theory hearts, a blanket and a snack to practice! 

Around the World

There are nine months until Around the World in 80 Days opens. Travelling as fast as our protagonists, you can make it around the earth about 3.375 times if you leave right now. 

Before you begin your journey, take a look at eight different ways to say hi. World travelers should know how to say hello in multiple languages, so start learning now! Click on each to hear the pronunciation.

Bonjour – French
Ciao – Italian
Hola – Spanish
Hallo – German
你好 (Nǐ Hǎo) – Mandarin
Konnichiwa – Japanese
Приве́т – Russian
Aloha – Hawaiian

Now, that you have these words memorized, it's time to start your trip around the globe! Is that overwhelming? Try to explore the world around you instead. The following neighborhoods are important cultural crossroads, mixing New York with international countries. Visit them all to practice your new words and learn about these cultures. 

Little Italy in the Bronx
Delis, pizzerias and family restaurants with homemade pasta line Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. As you eat your way down the street, don't forget to stop in one of the bakeries to get a fresh cannoli.

Little India in the East Village, Manhattan
Little India has tons of restaurants for you and your family to try—some even have tons of Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling! Or stop by one of the many marketplaces to pick up ingredients to make your own recipe.

Flushing Chinatown (法拉盛華埠) in Flushing, Queens
From bubble tea, to herbalist shops, to dumplings and pho, Flushing Chinatown has it all. Explore all the shops between Roosevelt Ave and Main St for hours of fun (and food!)

Little Tokyo in the East Village, Manhattan
Little Tokyo has lots of great restaurants, street food vendors and bakeries for you to try new foods. Maybe ramen, sushi or even green tea tiramisu? As you explore, pop in some of the toy shops that carry comic books and action figures. 

Little Poland in Greenpoint, Brooklyn 
Take the East River Ferry at India Street from Manhattan to have a journey just like Philieus Fog. Once your journey is complete, Stroll down Manhattan Avenue in Little Poland in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to find Polish restaurants, meat shops and bakeries.

Not finding the show you're going to see this season? Check out all of our other entries here!
 
 
Kevin Burns
Kevin Burns is a student at SUNY New Paltz studying Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and minors in Theatre Arts and Visual Arts. This summer, he was an Apprentice in the Communications Department for The New 42nd Street. He has previously interned for the Fine and Performing Arts Department at SUNY New Paltz and for the Madison Theatre at Molloy College. His interests include theater performance, graphic design and drinking large amounts of iced coffee.
Kendall Bowden
Kendall Bowden was a Summer Communications Apprentice for The New 42nd Street. She is currently a junior at New York University where she studies drama. She loves singing, making music and writing—but has a very hard time keeping up with the Kardashians.
 
 
Posted by Beth Henderson
 |<  <  3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12  >  >|