Friday, August 3, 2012

Ushering in the 2012-13 Season: Making a Membership for Your Kid

The 2012-13 New Victory season is bigger than ever! To help you navigate every small detail, we're shining a spotlight on a few key topics. Let our staff–and outside experts we've enlisted--share their insights and tips for deciding what's just right for your family.

This week, Lauren Fitzgerald, Director of Marketing & Communications, offers a glimpse at how she likes to imagine 3-show Memberships coming together for the households of some typical New Vic Kids.

Planning a New Victory season is like putting together a massive, beautiful puzzle in which all the pieces are constantly moving and changing. I watch in awe as our wonderful Director of Programming, Mary Rose Lloyd, maneuvers shows with different age ranges and genres across the season, and deals with the challenges of shifting tour dates and visa applications. Mary shuffles and switches and then every spring--without fail--the final puzzle piece falls into place, and she declares “this finally feels right.”

As Director of Marketing & Communications for The New Victory Theater, one of my jobs in the planning process is to pay attention to how people might make “3s” in a season--as in three shows purchased together to qualify as a Member of the New Vic. When your kids are very young, it’s a bit simpler--the New Vic provides at least 3 shows per season appropriate for kids 4 and under (this season, RING A DING DING, FRAGILE, GRUG and BELLOMANIA). Once kids are older than 4, the decision-process becomes more complicated (and exciting!) because the number of options grows. Here are a few ways that I’m thinking about this season’s 3-show memberships for everyone 5+ and my own invented profiles of who might like what.

Please note that the profiles below do not account for families with more than one kid. My favorite approach for multi-kid families is to let each of the kids pick their own show to add to the membership and take then everyone in the family. It’s more than likely that everyone can enjoy the production and it allows kids to feel ownership over the shows they picked. It’s important to keep New Vic “parental considerations” in mind with this method and remember that our age recommendations are the youngest advisable age for each show. A show with an age recommendation of 7+ does not indicate that we think that a show is only appropriate for 7 year olds. Another way to think about it is that a show recommended for 7+ is for people 7 years old -107 years old. (We just don’t like dictating life span.

Grace (age 7) loves books and drawing. She’s a little shy and isn’t into the rambunctiousness on the playground.
I’d take Grace to MOJO, FRAGILE and THE GIRL WHO FORGOT TO SING BADLY. These pieces tell delicate and beautifully crafted stories, and they are filled with the qualities that inspired Grace’s name.
Tommy (age 8) is super high energy and loves to move. His playlist on his dad’s iPad features a lot of hip-hop.
I would recommend URBAN, RHAW and BLACK VIOLIN. The music will be right up his alley, and the energy and skills of the performers might actually make him sit still in amazement.
Evelyn (age 11) is a renaissance girl. The seeds for her lifetime love of the arts have already bloomed. She can’t get enough.
Having been rather similar to Evelyn myself, I recommend THE FIREWORK MAKER’S DAUGHTER; I, MALVOLIO and LE GRAND C. The combination of opera, Shakespeare and French circus will more than satisfy her cultural needs.
Max (age 9) is really into superheroes, comics and ridiculous videos on YouTube. He’s on that cusp where he’s nearly too cool to go to the theater with his parents.
Max will be all about CIRCUS OZ, THE MARK OF ZORRO and especially THE INTERGALATIC NEMESIS - so much so that I hope I'm sitting close enough to hear him laugh when he sees the show.
Footnote: Any resemblance of Grace, Tommy, Evelyn and Max to real life kids who might be related to friends of mine is purely coincidental. (I’ll be taking all of them to the theater this year – no worries.)
Lauren Fitzgerald, Director of Marketing & Communications for The New 42nd Street, is in her 5th season directing all advertising, sales, promotions and design efforts for The New Victory Theater, The Duke on 42nd Street and the New 42nd Street Studios. Lauren came to The New 42nd Street from the Williamstown Theatre Festival, where she served as Press and Marketing Director. She has freelanced extensively in New York for theater, music and film clients, as well as working in the communications department of Blue Man Group and in general management at the Guthrie Theater and the 14th Street Y. She is a graduate of the University of Richmond, and is so proud to have grown up in a household that instilled a love of the arts and a belief in its power to make change.

Graphics by Alexis Buatti-Ramos

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