Monday, May 23, 2011

Just how do you pronounce Zoem?!

Like usual, The New Victory Theater 2011-2012 season is full of shows from around the country and the world. However, we noticed here in the office that there has been a lot more trouble with pronunciation than usual! So just to make our lives easier – and yours when you call the box office – behold: 

The Official Pronunciation Guide to Next Season.

Cummins and Scoullar’s The Little Prince
Bristol Riverside Theatre
Hails from: Bristol, PA
Translation: You cannot reference The Little Prince without mentioning the author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This can be quite frightening if the only French you speak is “fiancé.” Never fear! To properly reference this French aviator-turned author, sound it out with “AHN-twahn duh Sahn EGGS-oo-pay-ree.” Voilà!

Photo: Cirque Shanghai
Bai Xi
Cirque Shanghai
Hails from: China
Translation: The word-starting-with-X thing looks tricky, especially on a page, but this is easier than you think. To sound like a native Mandarin speaker, pronounce it: "BYE shee."

Zoem! [“ZOOM!”] New Dutch Theater
Our festival from the Netherlands is what will really elevate your cultural status. Just from the companies and show titles you will learn some Dutch vocab. Let's start with the pronunciation of the festival: Zoem! sounds just like “ZOOM!” Make sure to emphasize the exclamation point.

Stella Den Haag
Hails from: Den Haag, Netherlands
Translation: The name of this company is 2/3 English, 1/3 Dutch. “Stella” (as in, Stella), “Den” (as in, Den) and “Hahg” (rhymes with Fog).

Miss Ophelia
Het Filiaal
Hails from: Utrecht, Netherlands
Translation: Miss Ophelia is pretty self explanatory. But in order to state whether you’re talking about the book or the play, you better know how to pronounce theater company Het Filiaal. Pretty phonetic. Het is pronounced “Het.” Filiaal is “FILL-ee-all.”

Hands Up!
Hails from: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Translation: Although he’s Dutch, try pronouncing this name in Spanish and you got it perfectly. “LAY-hoe.” Bam.

Wuthering Heights
Theater Artemis
Co-produced by Theater Antigone
Hails from: ̒s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands and Kortrijk, Belgium
Translation: In case there is any confusion, this theater company is not named after the Greek hunting goddess, although it shares the same spelling. Homonym alert! It’s pronounced “Theater Art-eh-miss.” We are assuming no one needs to know how to pronounce the city name.

Appropriate way to say Ahhh HA!
Ahhh HA!
Do Jump!
Hails from: Portland, Oregon
Translation: Okay, you are probably wondering why we included Ahhh HA! in this round-up of foreign words. But in order to do proper justice to the show, we want to reemphasize the clear “Ahhh” lead up, the capitals “HA” and the “!” Your best bet is to only say it while jumping off of the high dive, or bungee jumping.

8cho • Aerial Tango
Brenda Angiel Aerial Dance Company
Hails from: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Translation: Brenda Angiel Aerial Dance Company is 80% English. But now you will sound 100% sophisticated with a little help. Rather than bungling “Angiel” into “Angel,” just soften the second syllable a bit. “Brenda Ahn-geal Dance Company.” Bingo.
And if you are calling the show “Eight-cho,” well…maybe this link will help you out.

Read the complete season announcement all at once with shows, brief descriptions, dates and age recommendations OR visit, now live with show pages! The individual show pages include staff teaser videos, FYIs, talk back dates and more! 

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