Stories

New Victory Arts Break: Australia – Connect

Over the past few weeks of New Victory Arts Break: Explore a World of Arts – Australia, you’ve stretched your imagination to conjure creative characters and confounding conflicts. Now, it’s time to make the places you love come to life! One of the most magical things about theater is that we can use our imaginations to reach our favorite spots from around the world even if we can’t visit them right now. Let’s get started!

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New Victory Arts Break Connect

Bringing Memories to Life

10 – 30 minutes, Ages: 5 – 11

In Week 3, we imagined worlds and brought them to life (long live bodega dragon!). This week, we will call on our memories to bring our favorite places, near and far, into our homes. Follow along with Teaching Artist Renata Townsend as she connects to a place she misses.

Step One: Grab your New Victory Notebook! We are going to recreate a place we love and miss. Make a list of some of the places you miss and choose one to recreate today.

Step Two: Take a moment to remember that space. Imagine that you are there. What does it look like? Draw it in your New Victory Notebook! Here is an example from New Victory staff member Siobhan.

Step Three: Think about the questions below:

  • What do you love about that space?
  • What do you remember about it?
  • What does it smell like?
  • What did you feel like when you were there?
  • What are some objects you associate with that space?

Step Four: With your grownup’s permission, arrange an area of your house to become that space.

Step Five: Search for props to help you recreate the space or make some of your own!

Step Six: Recruit family or friends to join you to be other characters in your space to make it come to life.

Continue playing—how many details can you add to make your location come alive?

Think:

  • How did it feel recreating your favorite place?
  • If you could go back to that place today, what would you want to do there? Can you recreate that activity in your rendition of it?

Another fun way to bring your world to life is to make a mini model. Check out this lesson from the Sydney Living Museum on making fun mini-worlds in a shoebox!

Now that you have recreated your space and explored it, write about it. Poetry is a great artistic tool to help us connect to things using imagery and sense memory. Let’s try it!

Step One: Pick a place you love. It could be the space you recreated above or another beloved spot.

Step Two: Follow this poem structure in the template below to create your very own “I Remember…” poem.

Here’s an example from New Victory staff member Lindsey about one of her favorite cafes:

I remember March 2020
I remember blue walls
I remember feeling welcome
I remember the bookshelves in the front
I remember Griot Cafe

Step Three: Now, using the same template, interview someone in your family about their favorite place, and fill in their answers like a Mad Lib.

Step Four: Read their poem to them and ask them to read your poem to you.

Step Five: Now it’s time to reflect on this experience. Do this in your New Victory Notebook or in conversation with your family.

  • What was it like to interview someone about their favorite place?
  • What did you learn about their favorite place that you didn’t know before?
  • How did it feel to hear someone else read about your favorite place?

Memory poems can take all different shapes, structures and sizes. Here are three free verse poems from New Victory Ushers America Hernandez, Cliff Williams and Hayley Gerena exploring what they miss about working at New Victory.

America

America’s Poem

I have so many wonderful memories from the New Vic.
One specifically would be how the ushers from the lower lobby would interact with the patrons before and after the show.
I remember Josh greeting every single person with the puppet he would carry around before the show started.
I also remember how happy the kids were to talk during intermission or after the show has ended. The activities were my favorite part because it was a bonding experience for parents and their children. It was also a bonding experience for the ushers and children as well.
I remember Dorian would put up a show for the children, he would make them laugh and smile. I loved seeing the kids laugh because you know it was genuine.

America

Cliff’s Poem

Due to Covid-19 it stopped a lot of things
but it didn’t stop the New Victory Theater legacy from continuing.
Even though we aren’t at work physically we are still connected virtually.
I often reminisce about all the good times/memories I had while working at the Vic.
I loved when kids came into the theater shy & had a hard time trying to tag along in Family Engagement.
That’s because me & my fellow ushers would have to do our job to make the kids feel comfortable enough to where they can enjoy themselves.
& usually 9/10 when Family Engagement ends
& it’s time to take your seat,
the child’s shy barrier would have been broken
& they would be ready/excited to see the show.

America

Hayley’s Poem

From the moment I stepped in, I knew the day was going to be great.
I was excited to make someone’s day.
Everyday was truly different and the people I would meet would be a complete surprise.
No matter what position I was in, I knew that I was an important part of the team.
My favorite position was anywhere throughout the lower lobbies.
Not because it was the easiest, but because it was where I could interact with the patrons one on one.
Especially the kids.
When I think back, I remember all the memories of the people, and I hope they do too.
I didn’t know it when I started, but working at the Vic was the best choice I’ve ever made.


Youth Corps Spotlight

Xan

At the end of every fourth week of New Victory Arts Break: Explore a World of Arts, we will be introducing a member of the New 42 Youth Corps with a connection to the art forms, themes and artistic processes showcased over the past four weeks.

During the stay-at-home orders of COVID-19, Xan decided to interview their younger brother, Micah, and make a short film called A Smaller World. Now it’s our turn to interview Xan:

What message are you sharing with A Smaller World?
Frustration, sadness and nostalgia. My brother, who stars in the film, had many complaints and concerns about not being able to see his friends and family.

What was it like filming on your own?
All my footage was planned ahead so I just had to figure out how to use the space at home. I’m pretty proud of how it turned out.

Where did your love for film begin?
Around my junior year of high school. I was always into still images and film photography, so my love for moviegoing and motion picture film became an easy passion.

What challenges did you face during filming?
My dad didn’t want us using the driveway for filming, so I had to convince him to let us use the front yard.

What is your go-to snack?
Reese’s. Hands down. It is a superior snack. I was actually eating a king-sized Reese’s pack while I was editing.

Tell us more about A Smaller World.
A Smaller World follows my little brother, Micah, discussing the ups and downs (mainly the downs) of being a kid amidst a global pandemic. He drowns the world out with his bulky headset and reminisces the childlike reality he once enjoyed.

Xan’s inspiration came from their little brother’s experience. Have a conversation with a friend or family member and see if their story inspires a creative project! Ask:

  • What are three words to describe how you’re feeling right now?
  • What is a wish that you have?
  • What is a fear you have? How might you overcome that fear?
  • What is a favorite memory from this past year?

Jot down their answers in your New Victory Notebook, or think about how you might answer these questions. Maybe you will create your next imagined world inspired by a wish (and maybe that world becomes the set of your next big film!).

That wraps up your New Victory Arts Break: Explore a World of Arts – Australia experience. Tune in next week as we travel to visit some friends in South America!

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