Thursday, July 31, 2014

Make a Membership with Our 2014-15 Season

By Christina Macchiarola

When it comes to New Victory programming, I am, admittedly, a little biased. As the Marketing and Communications Manager for The New 42nd Street (the parent organization of the New Vic), my job is to introduce families to our incredible array of productions and ensure that they keep coming back for more. But my appreciation for the New Vic began long before I joined the staff. When I was in elementary school, my parents brought my sister and I to the New Vic on a regular basis. Our time here introduced me to a diverse range of dance, circus and theater from all over the world and sparked my lifelong love of the arts. To this day, my family theater adventures on 42nd Street reside at the core of my childhood memories--that’s why I’m thrilled to help today’s patrons call my cultural home theirs too.

The New Victory will present fifteen productions from around the globe, highlighting many different genres. The shows appeal to people of all ages, from kids as young as 4-months, to the kid in all of us! With so many options, how is it possible to choose? Rather than limit yourself to one or two shows, we encourage our patrons to sample the New Vic’s offerings with a Membership, which gives your family a chance to experience three or more productions during a given season and save up to 35% on your purchase. Plus, Members also receive a whole bunch of additional perks.

I've selected a few fictional families (who, yes, come from my favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals) to illustrate how easy it is to create a New Vic Membership, no matter how unique each member of your family may be. As you read on, please remember that the New Vic is the theater you NEVER outgrow. So, for example, when we say a show is “For Everyone 6+,” we mean that 6 is the youngest advisable age for the show--older kids and adults will enjoy it too!

The Frake Family (State Fair):

Abel (father), Melissa (mother), Margy (kid, age 6) and Wayne (kid, age 4)

In addition to regularly attending state fairs, the Frakes introduced their kids to the New Vic early on with our shows for babies and toddlers at the New 42nd Street Studios. Now, the kids are developing their own, particular personalities and it‘s sometimes difficult to find activities that everyone will enjoy. Margy is rambunctious and constantly singing along with the latest edition of Kidz Bop, while Wayne prefers to quietly play with his Legos.

Lucky for them, we are continuing our “Bridge to the Big Theater” productions--“Bridge” shows (recommended for ages 4-7) are the perfect way to transition from a smaller show held in one of our studios, to a bigger production in our largest theater space.

With that in mind, here’s what I’d recommend to the Frakes: For a dose of whimsy and a dash of adventure, The Snail and the Whale enchants the entire family with its sweet storytelling. Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players bring the house down with The Mysterious Hat, a kiddie-rock concert that’s still gentle enough for kids with a shyer sensibility. To round out the Frake’s Membership, I’d recommend Paper Planet, one of our shows in the New 42nd Street Studios. For any theatergoer ages 2+, Paper Planet gives participants the chance to contribute their own creations to a growing paper jungle.

The Leonowens Family (The King and I): 
Anna (mother) and Louis (kid, age 9)

As a teacher who’s been learning about the NY culture scene, Anna knows that the New Vic is an artistic haven for kids all over NYC, and she cannot wait to attend performances with her son. Louis is creative, has an incredible amount of energy and loves action movies.

This season 360 Allstars, Lionboy and Pinocchio exhibit enough exuberance to enrapture both mother and son. First, 360 Allstars combines music, dance, basketball and X-Games-inspired stunts for an evening of raw power and excitement. Next, all the way from England (Anna’s birthplace, incidentally), theatrical innovators Complicite bring the acclaimed novel Lionboy to our stage. Finally, Pinocchio breathes some punk-rock life into Carlo Collodi's classic story.


The Von Trapp Family (The Sound of Music):
Georg (father), Maria (stepmother), Liesel (kid, age 16…going on 17), Friedrich (kid, age 14), Louisa (kid, age 13), Kurt (kid, age 11), Brigitta (kid, age 10), Marta (kid, age 8), Gretl (kid, age 7)

How do you solve a problem like a Von Trapp Membership? There are just so many people to please: Liesl is growing up too fast, Louisa is a loveable troublemaker, Brigitta prefers a quiet afternoon with a book and, well, you get the idea. Their differences aside, the family shares a love of music and showmanship, so there are certainly ways to build a New Vic Membership that satisfies everyone.

For this group, I would recommend The Old Man and The Old Moon, Cambuyón and Cirque Ziva. The Old Man and The Old Moon is a rollicking, indie-rock fable with a fantasy twist that will charm even the most serious of theatergoers (I’m looking at you, Georg). The percussive rhythms of Cambuyón fuse music and dance with Spanish flair, while Cirque Ziva is a technicolor, tour-de-force that makes holiday show planning a no-brainer.

The Bigelows (Carousel):
Billy (dad), Julie (mom), Louise (kid age 8)

Theater is bustin' out all over! In the Bigelow home, Louise is always the center of attention--she'll be a star one day, we just know it! Billy and Julie are very encouraging of her outgoing nature, and want to introduce to as many forms of self-expression as possible. The Magic Flute fuses Mozart's masterful opera with marimbas and myth. The Light Princess is a charming musical fairy tale that is bound to leave the audience giggling with delight. Finally, over spring break, the three will take a trip to see Catch Me! (Attrape-Moi), a high-flying, non-stop French-Canadian circus that blends astounding aerial acts with wild witticism.

Every production features Family Activities to do together pre-and-post show and a series of Public Engagement activities. Learn more about Arts Express, TXT Marks the Spot and Talk-Backs and make your time at the theater even more hands-on and memorable.

For additional assistance, our Ticket Services representatives are prepped and ready to give recommendations based on your family’s interests. You can reach them at 646.223.3010 during these hours. Thanks so much for being part of the New Vic community, and I look forward to seeing you and your family on 42nd Street this season.

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Christina Macchiarola, Marketing & Communications Manager for The New 42nd Street, is in her 3rd season with The New Victory Theater. Christina previously worked as the Business & Legal Affairs Associate / Intern Coordinator for Disney Theatrical Group, the General Management Assistant for Snug Harbor Productions and the Online Marketing Assistant for WICKED (321 Theatrical Management). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Management & Producing from Columbia University, and is so thankful for her loving, arts-encouraging family (who continue to see shows at The New Vic)!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

10 Fun Facts About Our Nation's Libraries

Growing up, my local library was the go-to spot for hanging out in the summer. It was close by, air conditioned, and a way for my mom to entertain me and all my siblings at once-- the younger ones could play and browse the children's section, the older ones could use the PCs or sift through new CDs the library had acquired. I even saw my first Broadway show thanks to my community's library. The children's librarians put together a summer reading program every year. With each book read, we got a stamp in our reading log and a little reward. If we accumulated enough stamps by the end of the summer, we earned a trip to see a Broadway show! I can still remember the thrill of seeing the curtain rise on the tap dancing feet during 42nd Street, alongside my fellow young readers and favorite librarians. I've never been more motivated to read and to appreciate the many functions of my local library than I was during those summers as a kid. 

With this week's Summer Fun Field Guide, we decided to focus on reading. Many of the shows coming to our theater next season are based on classic tales (Pinocchio, The Light Princess, The Magic Flute) that have been adapted into books, while other shows in our season have been translated directly from page to stage (The Snail and the Whale, Lionboy). Click here to download our latest field guide page, and find a summer reading list based on our season selections. Read along this summer and create your own reward system with your family. I promise it'll get your kiddos reading while school's out!


Plus, when you take a look at our latest field guide page, you'll see we've got some fun trivia questions about our nation's libraries. Read on for the answers to those questions, plus find some more library fun facts to share with your kids, below. Talk about these facts as you plan your trip to your local library! (Don't have your library card yet? CLICK HERE and sign up for yours now.)

1. The biggest library in the world is The Library of Congress in Washington DC, which boasts over 32 million volumes. (ILoveLibraries.org)

2. There are more public libraries than McDonald's in the U.S. (ALA)

3. The marble lions who live outside of the famous Beaux-Arts branch of the New York Public Library, on 5th Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets, are named Patience and Fortitude. The names were coined by Mayor LaGuardia in the 1930s. (NYPL)

4. Many people believe that Benjamin Franklin started the first library in America, but the history of libraries in our nation is a bit more complicated than that. While Franklin spearheaded an early book trade in Philadelphia, the oldest library building that still stands is the Sturgis Library in Cape Cod (built in 1644) and the oldest book collection in the States was donated by John Harvard to the university that would bear his name. (Sturgis Library)

5. Beneath Bryant Park are two-level stack extensions, 37 miles of shelving in total, that hold many of the flagship branch's volumes. Think about that next time you're picnicking on the lawn! (NYPL)

6. The NYPL's collection includes a  unique 1493 letter written by Christopher Columbus, announcing his "discovery" of the New World. (NYPL)

7. Did you know that famous historical figures like Mao Zedong, Laura Bush, J. Edgar Hoover, Beverly Cleary, Lewis Carroll and Giacomo Casanova were all librarians at a point in their lives? (AbeBooks)

8. There's one book that's on record as being stolen from libraries more often than any other title-- The Guinness Book of World Records. (INALJ)

9. Speaking of stealing books, volumes weren't always so easy to take off of their shelves. In times when books were less ubiquitous and more expensive to print, libraries and monks would chain their books to desks to make sure they stayed put. (River North)

10. A stray cat, "Dewey," was adopted by the small town library in Spencer Iowa, and became beloved by the town. So much so that a book was written about the cat's life, and the book became a New York Times bestseller. (Dewey)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Introducing our Summer Field Guide

Spending the summer in New York City can sometimes feel like navigating the Amazon. There's the heat, the humidity, the towering buildings and the constant challenge of going from hot, sweaty, asphalt-covered streets to the frigid cold of air conditioned interiors. But while we adults might grow weary of the dog days, it's worth remembering that even the most sticky, scorching summer days are still an exciting adventure for kids. When school's out, it means infinite time to play and explore, and that spirit is what we're all about here at the New Vic!

We know, though, that even the most intrepid young explorers of the Concrete Jungle might need some help now and then to get them through the thickest brush. So, we compiled a handful of ideas from our staff members' imaginations and came up with The New Victory Theater Summer Fun Field Guide!

Inspired by summer events and the shows coming to our theater next season, we've got a set of five pages coming your way. We hope our field guide, complete with facts and activities, will help keep your kids curious and active while homework is out of sight and out of mind!

Click here to download page one of our Summer Fun Field Guide. Once you download and print (or pin!) the page, you might want to use our handy .GIF tutorial below to help you build your loop-de-loop paper airplane. And when you do complete your handmade aircraft, make sure to tweet or Instagram a photo, using #newvic!


1. Fold paper in half long-ways.


2. Fold down the two top corners so that they meet with the center crease.


3. With those folds, you have created a triangular top portion. 
Fold down that portion along its natural crease.


4. Again, take your top to corners and fold down. This time, don't meet the center crease with your folds, but leave about an inch between your fold and the center crease. Do this with both sides.



5. Fold up the bottom triangular shape, over the two corners you've just folded down. This will act as a stopper to hold in the corners you've folded down.


6. Now, fold the entire plane back along the initial center crease. 


7. Fold down the side of the plane so that the straight edge meets the center crease. 
Do this on both sides.



8. Now that you've created your plane's wings, fold up the back corners of each wing, which will help create the loop-de-loop effect!


All done! Now, decorate your creation, give it a throw, and maybe even create obstacles for your plane. Can you make it fly through a hula hoop? Don't forget to share your creation with us online!