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Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone in "Airplay."

New Victory’s Season for Kids and Families Includes U.S. Premieres

Alongside an international menu, the company will present new works by Step Afrika!, Ping Chong, Rennie Harris, Jason Bishop, and Acrobuffos.

NEW YORK CITY: New Victory Theater has announced its 22nd season of performing arts for kids and families. The slate includes seven American companies among 15 productions from around the globe, including three world premieres and five U.S. premieres.

“This year, we celebrate the incredible work made here in the U.S.,” Mary Rose Lloyd, director of artistic programming, said in statement. “You’ll discover shows with distinctly American voices, stories, and art, showcasing a range of disciplines from companies across the country.”

Australia’s Slingsby opens the season with an immersive and interactive experience based on Oscar Wilde’s short story The Young King (Oct. 13-22). Audiences will journey through the “kingdom” of the New Victory in preparation for the royal coronation, then experience the rich, magical realm of the young monarch—this year’s International Performing Arts for Youth Victor Award-winner—while seated either onstage or in the orchestra level of the theatre.

From Italy’s Teatro Gioco Vita comes A Sky for the Bears (Oct. 28-Nov. 5), which uses shadow puppetry to animate two endearing stories by children’s book authors Dolf Verroen and Wolf Erlbruch.

In The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence (November 10 – 26, 2017), Step Afrika!, a troupe that fuses body percussion, tap and contemporary dance with live gospel, jazz, and blues, takes inspiration from artist Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, a landmark collection of paintings about the exodus of millions of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North.

The holiday season kicks off with the world premiere of Jason Bishop: Believe in Magic (Dec. 1-30). With consultation from Broadway illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, Jason Bishop returns with new tricks and illusions designed especially for festive fun for the whole family.

The new year begins with a new, 25th-anniversary installment of Ping Chong + Company’s Undesirable Elements (Jan. 13-21, 2018), for which he and his company will interview and cast young New Yorkers to share their experiences about coming of age in this big city, in a world premiere offering.

From London’s experimental acrobatic company Barely Methodical Troupe comes Bromance (Feb. 9-25, 2018), which joins hand-to-hand and Cyr wheel acts with parkour, breakdancing, and contemporary dance in an adrenaline-fueled circus hybrid.

Returning after successful New Vic runs of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] and The Complete World of Sports (abridged), the Reduced Shakespeare Company brings William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) (March 2-11, 2018), a fast and funny minimum opus filled with mistaken identities, unsettled ghosts, questionable potions, powerful tempests, men dressed as women, and twins, twins, twins.

An acclaimed Scottish blend of storytelling, music, and puppetry follows with Black Beauty (March 16-25, 2018), in which artists Andy Cannon, Andy Manley, and Shona Reppe put a fun-filled spin on Anna Sewell’s classic story.

Having its mainstage premiere after development in New Vic’s LabWorks program is the Acrobuffos Air Play (March 30-April 15, 2018), an inspired merger by Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone of circus and street theatre with the artistry of air sculpture, with sculptor Daniel Wurtzel and director West Hyler helping bring beautiful life and impossible flight to the most surprising of objects.

Next, from Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, is Seedfolks (May 4-11, 2018), based on the book by Paul Fleischman and directed by CTC artistic director Peter C. Brosius. In this tale, the many diverse characters of an immigrant neighborhood are brought to life by Ivey Award-winning actress Sonja Parks.

Switzerland’s Compagnia Baccalà brings Chaplin- and Keaton-inspired slapstick with Pss Pss (May 19-20, 2018).

The season wraps up with the world premiere of Rennie Harris: Funkedified (June 1-10, 2018)in which Rennie Harris Puremovement celebrates the music and street dance of the 1970s with the help of a live funk band and fellow Philadelphia dance crew the Hood Lockers.

Parallel to the New Vic mainstage season is a slate of offerings for New York’s littlest theatregoers, aged 18 months to 5 years old, presented at the New 42nd Street Studios. They include Marmalade (Nov. 10-19), a gentle circus for the senses by Claire Parsons Co. of Sweden; A Sick Day for Morris McGee (Jan. 13-28, 2018), a table-top puppetry performance from Israel’s renowned Train Theater; and Panda’s Home (June 7-17, 2018), a coproduction between Italy’s Compagnia TPO and China’s TONG Production that invites curious kids to interact with two dancers on an interactive digital surface as they explore the five elements of Wu Xing: wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

The New Victory Theater, created in 1995 on iconic 42nd Street, has become a standard-bearer of quality performing arts for young audiences in the U.S.

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