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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 John Deloach from East New York, Brooklyn. 
 

John DeloatchWhat has been your favorite show at the New Vic?
Cuba Vibra! It helped me connect with Cuban and Latino culture by giving me the opportunity to learn rhumba and mambo. I finally gained some rhythm!

The thing I like most about being an usher is…
The community that the managers and ushers have cultivated over the past few years. It's a very supportive space where I can grow both as an individual and an employee.

My dream job would be...
I want to manage my own urban farm for the queer, black and Latino community called "A Sanctuary for Wild Colors," which would also double as an art exhibition site. I believe in order to become more independent as a people both culturally and economically we need a space where we can recreate our image in a positive light while providing resources. "A Sanctuary for Wild Colors" would serve as a space for healing, learning and connection.

My love of theater started…
When I saw a video of Into the Woods in the first grade.

Who inspires you?
The Dalai Lama and Tupac Shakur. The Dalai Lama inspires me to be compassionate to everyone and to remember that all people are connected. Tupac showed me the importance of speaking my truth and honoring my roots.

What was your favorite story as a kid?
My favorite story was Poppy: A Tale from Dimwood Forest. The hero of the story's a valiant mouse who helped out his friends. When I was a kid, all of my favorite stories had animals in them. 

What’s your favorite subject in school?
My favorites are Urban Farming, Poetry and Art. I like these subjects because they allow for freedom of expression and healing from the toxicity of life in modern society.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
I like having night picnics with my friends, hiking and being in green spaces.

What’s your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?
Brooklyn Bridge Pier, Gantry Plaza, Prospect Park and Brooklyn Botanical Garden are my top picks. These places are special to me because I love being out in green open spaces. They give me a place to decompress and have fun with my friends.

Describe your dream vacation
Going on a retreat with my friends.

 
New Victory Thumb Want to learn more about The New Victory Theater Usher Program? Take a look here!

 
Posted by Beth Henderson

These activities and discussion guides have been created so that families can use X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation as an inspiration to discuss power, legacy and the nature of leadership. For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. You can find all of our past Family Activities on our blog and at Pinterest.com/NewVictory.  



In His Own Words

Malcolm X was known for his passionate speeches and interviews. In this activity, watch the video below and discuss your thoughts afterwards. 
 
 

After watching the video, discuss these questions as a family:
  • What did you notice about Malcolm X?
  • What points do you think Malcolm X was trying to convey?
  • Why do you think Malcolm X became so influential?
  • Does he remind you of anyone in current events today? Who? Why?
  • Who do you think he's trying to influence in these speeches?
  • If Malcolm X were alive today, where do you think he would stand on the current U.S. political climate?
Making Meanings

Malcolm X spoke of equality and inclusion in the 1960s. Many of the things he spoke about are still relevant today. In this activity, connect his quotes to current day events.

Materials: Newspaper, magazine or online news source

Step One: Read the Malcolm X quotes listed below and choose one that you connect with and want to explore further. Think about why that quote resonates with you.
 
"So, early in my life, I learned that if you want something you had better make some noise."

"We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity."

"Whether we are Christians or Muslims or nationalists or agnostics or atheists, we must first learn to forget our differences." 

"We can never get civil rights in America until our human rights are first restored. We will never be recognized as citizens there until we are first recognized as humans."

Step Two: Look through today's newspaper, a recent magazine or an online news source for a picture that connects to the quote you chose.

HINT: Go to the actual news website rather than social media to get a larger variety of photos to choose from. Also, try Google image search!

Step Three: Once you have chosen your photo, discuss these conversation prompts:
  • Why did you choose this photo?
  • What connection do you see between the quote and the photo?
  • Why do you think you are able to connect a quote from 60 years ago to a photo in today’s current news?
Step Four: Turn the photo and quote into a meme using Meme Generator. Post it on social media using #NewVic.

What Could Have Been

The play X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation is a work of historical fiction. Historical fiction is a genre in which real life events are portrayed within a fictional framework. The plot is based on actual events and features fictional characters who are inspired by real people. Historical fiction can also include imaginary characters, events or settings. For instance, X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation, takes place in a courtroom at an unknown place and time and features a fictional trial between the Nation of Islam and Betty Shabazz. The playwright is able to show what could have been. In this activity, be the playwright and imagine a conversation between two visionaries based on what you know about them and what impact they have had on the world. 

Materials: One printable timeline template per person, pencil/pen

Step One: Read this excerpt from the script of X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation. In this scene, Louis X and Malcolm X have just learned that JFK was assassinated. This is the conversation Marcus Gardley wrote for them: 

Excerpt

Step Two: Discuss these questions as a family:
  • What elements in this scene do you think are historically accurate?
  • What elements in this scene do you think are fictionalized?
Step Three: Now, choose two people from history who you would like to imagine having a conversation with each other. Look below for suggestions of interesting pairings, but feel free to choose your own. We would want to be a fly on the wall for any of these!
 
Group 1
Group 2
Group 3

Step Two: Write a ten-line scene between these two people using this template.

Worksheet
BONUS: Discuss this question with your family: If you could have a conversation with anyone in history, who would it be and why?

Online Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these resources!  

Family Activities
We invite you to deepen your understanding of the performing arts with our Public Engagement Activites, Arts Express and Talk-Backs!
Twitter   What did you think of Malcolm X's speech?
Share with us on Instagram or Twitter, #NewVic.
Facebook   Which two individuals did you chose to create a scene between?
Like us on Facebook and share with us.
Posted by Beth Henderson
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