Stories

New Victory Arts Break: Australia – Discover

Week 1: Discover

G’day! And welcome to New Victory Arts Break: Explore a World of Arts. Every season we welcome families from all corners of New York and theater companies from all corners of the globe to New Victory. While we are unable to bring those artists to you this season, we wanted to bring you to the artists.

All season long, we will be visiting a continent every four weeks and a few of our many artistic friends who are based there. Then we’ll get to know one company in particular, as they show you around their home and their community!

During our time on each continent, you can expect:

  • Week 1: Discover more about the home, community and creative life of one artist or company from that continent.
  • Week 2: Create as you learn about the artist or company’s creative process, and how they bring theater to life.
  • Week 3: Play alongside New Victory Teaching Artists as they help you create your own art.
  • Week 4: Connect your life in New York City, or wherever you are, to the arts with activities from New Victory Teaching Artists and New Victory Ushers.

First up, we’re taking you Down Under on a tour of Australia. To follow along, you will want to grab the nearest blank notebook you can find (any kind will do!) and transform it into your very own New Victory Notebook!

Explore a World of Arts: Discover

Meet the Artists

All around the world, artists have needed to get quite creative with how to share their artistry this year. As we explore Australia, let’s visit a few companies that you might remember from their time at the New Victory and check out some of the cool stuff they have available for you to see, explore and play with online!

  • Windmill Theatre Co has been up to a lot during lockdown with “The Show Must Go On-line” and their latest project—“Honey, I’m Home.”
  • Polyglot Theater has some great at-home craft-based activities for you to dive into!
  • Patch Theater also has some amazing entertaining and education activities for kids, including one based on their production of Me and My Shadow.
  • Keep up with Gravity and other Myths in their acrobatic Instagram video series, “No I in Quaranteam.” (all video editing content thanks to Kevin Beverley.)
  • While Black Grace is not from Australia, they hail from their neighboring country New Zealand. Due to COVID-19, they postponed their latest work Verses, but quickly created Virtual Verses instead to raise funds for other artists during lockdown.
    • Did you know that New Zealand is not part of the continent of Australia, but the separate, submerged continent of Zealandia? New Zealand and Australia are both a part of the Oceanic sub-region known as Australasia. Learn more with this video from Atlas Pro on the “8th Continent”.

Let’s zoom in on one company in particular—Slingsby Theatre Company, who were seen on the New Victory stage in The Young King and The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy.

Follow company member Jacqy Phillips, as she tells us a bit about her life in Australia and her role in the company.

But first, a Land Acknowledgement or Acknowledgement of Country from Slingsby Theatre Company:

This video was filmed on the unceded lands of the Peramangk people. Slingsby and New Victory acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and pay their respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Slingsby would also like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which they live, work and create, the Kaurna people, and pay respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

Now, let’s take a moment to think about what we just saw.

Step One: Grab your New Victory Notebook!

Step Two: Note what you noticed!

  • What were some things that stuck out to you about this video and Jacqy’s life in Australia?
  • Jacqy says it’s very hot in Australia right now—how would you describe the weather where you are? Why do you think it’s different?
  • What wildlife did you see?
  • Did this make you think about your life or people you know?
  • What was your favorite thing you learned watching the video?
  • What else would you like to learn about Australia?

There is so much to learn about the amazing continent of Australia! Wildlife, geography and culture are just a few things that make this continent so unique. To learn more fun facts, check out 50 Things That Are Only Possible In Australia from Bright Side.

As we continue to learn about Australia, we are bound to think of all the amazing animals that live there! Better yet, we can become these animals as we explore this great place!

First, let’s explore making some fun animal sounds. Check out this video from Gavin Clark! Or this one from ESL and Popular Culture!

Now, follow along with New Victory Teaching Artist Ugo Anywanu as he helps us become Australian animals.

Step One: Watch this video from Socratica Kids about Australian wildlife.

Step Two: Choose one animal to turn into. Think about:

  • How this animal is shaped?
  • How does it moves?
  • What sound does it make?

Step Three: Repeat this activity until you have practiced becoming multiple Australian animals! Looking for more inspiration? Ugo has one more example for you. Plus, here’s one more source of inspiration from Datacube.

Step Four: Now that you’ve practiced, it’s time to test your family or friends! Find someone (in person or on Zoom!) and start acting like one of the animals. Shhh, don’t tell them who you are pretending to be—ask them to guess!

Once they guess it correctly, it’s time to transform into another animal. See how many they can guess correctly. Here are some young friends, Mac and Gil, turning into some of their favorite Australian animals.

Acknowledgment of Country

Before you start a project, or even as you start your day, it’s important to take a moment to acknowledge the land that you are on. In the United States, this is called a Land Acknowledgement but, in Australia, they call this an Acknowledgement of Country. What does that mean?

An Acknowledgement of Country is an opportunity to acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners and ongoing custodians of the land—the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Acknowledgments are often made at the commencement of an event, such as a meeting, speech or formal occasion.Commonground

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the Indigenous people who lived in Australia prior to the British colonization of the land. These indigenous peoples still live in Australia and have active communities and vibrant cultures!

For more information:

Now that you have gotten to know a little bit about Indigenous Australians, it’s time to learn about the original residents of the land where you live. Explore this interactive map of the First Nations Peoples and look up your neighborhood—who were the First Nations Peoples who once lived there? Take a moment to acknowledge that you are on this land and try your best to acknowledge this as you move through your day. The New Victory Land Acknowledgement is:

New Victory Land Acknowledgement

Need this information for little ones? Read more on Land Acknowledgments at Today’s Parent.

What is your Land Acknowledgment or Acknowledgment of Country? Watch how one Australian classroom thanks the land that they are on, then try to create one of your own! Who would you say hello to? The ground? The sky? Each other?

BONUS: Write your personal Land Acknowledgement or Acknowledgement of Country in your New Victory Notebook so you can always remember to give thanks!

It's Teatime!

We have learned so much about Australia, and even got a sneak peek into the life of a real Australian performing artist. With all this exploring, it’s time to take a break—or, should we say, take a teatime! Teatime in Australia is around 6pm but it doesn’t replace dinner. Here, in America, we often call it an afternoon snack, but in many parts of the world—it’s teatime!

It’s time for you to plan out your own perfect teatime. Grab some snacks and a teacup to play along with an activity inspired by Jacqy and her friend Ocha.

Step One: Grab your New Victory Notebook !

Step Two: The most important things are the refreshments! What will be at your tea party? Remember, it must be something light. Dinner is only a few hours away!

With your guests, decide on three to four snacks to go with your tea. Then, design a menu! Print out our template, or create one of your own in your New Victory Notebook.

Teatime Menu

Step Three: It is time to add a sing along to your teatime. Jacqy sang “You Are My Sunshine” with her friend Ocha. What are some of your favorite songs?

Talk with your guests and come up with a song you all know and can sing together. Need help with the lyrics? Sing together and write them out so you have the lyrics for reference.

Here is the page we created for our song at our Tea Party.

Teatime Song Lyric Sheet

Step Four: Bring out your food and beverages, make it look cute and invite the people in your house (or make a Zoom tea party with a friend)!

Teatime snacks

Thanks for playing along with us for our Week 1 adventures. Come back for Week 2 to learn more about Australia and how Slingsby makes theater.

New Victory Arts Break Supporters

New Victory Arts Break is funded, in part, by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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  1. Loved this! The video really brought me back to driving through the rural parts of Australia. You’ve done a great job of providing so many resources and activities.