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Third-Year Usher Spotlight: Maria Tlapanco

We launched the NEW VICTORY Usher Corps the day the theater opened in 1995 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 660 NYC teens from across the city. Find out how young people ages 16-21 can apply to be a part of this award-winning program here!

All season long, we’ll be featuring young people from the Usher Corps in our show programs and here on New Victory Stories. Today, we’re talking to third-year Usher Maria Tlapanco from Brooklyn!

What has been your favorite show at the New Victory?

Air Play was my favorite because they made a very cute and funny show using simple things like big pieces of red and yellow fabric. The end of the show was a blast because a lot of confetti came out of a big balloon and the performers acted like a pair of excited kids. They also had on-stage participation and who doesn’t love going onstage?

The show I’m most excited for this season is…

I can’t wait for Snow White because, when I was in 2nd grade, I performed in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. So, it will bring back lots of memories. I still remember my drama teacher putting makeup on me because it was my birthday—I felt pretty and ready to perform! 

Who inspires you and why?

My mom inspires me because she’s always been by my side. She makes me a better person and I look up to her in almost everything I do!

What was your favorite subject in school? 

My favorite subject in school was Spanish because, even though I already knew the language, I always learned something new. Mr. Thornhill was the best Spanish teacher, he taught us how other countries speak Spanish and about their cultures.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?

My favorite thing to do is hang out with my close friends. I love going out to eat and talking about our lives.

What’s your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?

My favorite spot is Dumbo in Brooklyn. On a beautiful day, you can go to the piers or sit on the grass and relax, roller skate or play basketball. I never get bored there!

Describe your dream vacation.

My dream vacation is to go on a cruise with my dog and turtle and visit all the countries around the world.

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