New Victory Theater; Glamour, Children, a Play and a Chance to Play


I recently learned about The New Victory Theater, located at 209 W 42nd St, right on Times Square in the heart of Manhattan. What grabbed my attention was that not only does the New Victory put on great children's plays, but they tie it together with play. And wait, there's more: They are the toy industry's neighbor, located just a few blocks from The Toy Association headquarters.

I wanted to learn more about the New Victory Theater and how theater can relate to toys and play. I turned to its Vice President of Development, Elizabeth Cashour, and she kindly gave me the following interview.

To discuss ways to potentially partner with New Victory in the future, please contact Allyson Capetta, Manager of Institutional Giving, at or 646-223-3084.

Richard:    The New Victory Theater is unique in that it offers both play and a play. Can you tell us the theater's history, what you are doing today and a bit about your mission?

Elizabeth:    As New York City’s premier theater for kids and families, New Victory is internationally recognized for its adventurous programming of shows that have gone on to earn Tony, Obie, and Drama Desk Awards, among others. For us, going to the theater is not just about the show on stage; it’s about discovering ways to create family togetherness through fun and memorable experiences with the performing arts.

Every year, New Victory opens new worlds to over 110,000 New Yorkers through the presentation of extraordinary performances from across the globe; education partnerships that serve 40,000 New York City school kids; and enriching activities that engage more than 60% of our audience at each performance.

Pout Pout Fish

Richard:    Where and when do the children play, and how does it relate to the play?

Elizabeth: We believe that children learn through playing, exploring, and doing—so we are always looking for ways to inspire families to play before and after they see a New Victory show. 

Our main focus is on the creation of a play space in our lobbies, where families try new performing arts skills before and after every performance. We think of our lobby as a prep space for the experience of seeing the live performance. For every show that comes to The New Victory Theater, we lead our family audiences through games and activities that relate to the work they are about to see. 

For example, last year, we presented a version of Beauty and the Beast. During our pre-show activities, we invited our audiences to put on furry beast hands and then attempt to complete a series of tasks, such as setting the table with toy plates, silverware, and glasses. We also had two dollhouses (one very large, and one very small) with which we invited our audiences to play so they could explore how much furniture from the dollhouse mansion could fit into the dollhouse shack. This mirrored the same quandary the characters in the show faced, so kids were having the chance to apply the same decision-making skills they would soon see the characters employ on stage!  We also asked our audiences to create spooky soundscapes with children’s instruments to evoke the scary tenor of the first act of the show.

Through playful activities such as these, families build lifelong memories AND make a deeper connection to the performing arts. And we know that kids and families learn best through hands-on exploration, so we make sure that all of the activities are engaging and fun!

Richard:    What age children attend these plays and how many attend, on average, a performance?

We present shows for kids of all ages, from 4 months to 18 years old.

Attendance averages 80% throughout each season, but many shows sell out. Of our 499-seat Theater, there can be as many as 200 or 300 kids in seats for each public performance!

Can you tell our readers exactly where you are located and your schedule of plays for 2019 and 2020?

New Victory is located in Times Square, on famous 42nd Street!

The 2019-20 season opens with an original musical, The Pout-Pout Fish, based on the bestselling children’s book series, and goes on to include more than a dozen shows from around the world, including opera from South Africa, 19th Century marionettes from Italy, mask work from Switzerland, and acrobatics from France, among others.

Visit to learn more!

Richard:    New York City, with its annual Toy Fair, has been the capital of the toy industry for 116 years and New Victory Theater is our neighbor (only about four blocks from The Toy Association headquarters). How can the toy industry and toy industry members work with you to promote play and plays?

Elizabeth: As we exist in a similarly creative field as the toy industry, New Victory is always eager to discuss opportunities for collaboration!

Many New Victory shows provide opportunities to incorporate toys into lobby activities, and we would be delighted to partner with toy industry members who may be interested in donating items that would help us engage our audiences in play, and likewise provide exposure for your brand to thousands of young New Yorkers and their parents.

Another exciting way to support the Theater and introduce your brand to our audience is to participate in our Family Benefit. Each year, the Family Benefit provides a one-of-a-kind family outing filled with games, activities, goody bags, and of course an incredible performance.  This year on December 8, the Family Benefit will be centered around 42 FT — A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels, a dazzling circus performance. The evening is supported by Anne Stringfield and Steve Martin, Drew Barrymore, and many other notable New Yorkers. Including becoming a Family Benefit sponsor, the opportunities are endless on how a toy maker can make their mark on this incredible event and align their brand with New York City families.

Additionally, the Theater’s merchandise stand—filled with toys, games, books, and plush items—provides a natural way that toymakers can partner with the New Victory.  We select and purchase merchandise from many industry members by attending the annual Toy Fair and trade shows, and by meeting with manufacturers and reps. We would welcome opportunities to work with manufacturers to create branded merchandise for the theater, to pair toys and products to the shows on our stages, and to engage with toymakers in testing new products.

The toy industry can also promote New Victory plays by passing along brochures and other information to your members, many of whom may have young families who would cherish a special day at the Theater.

Richard:    Can you please our readers with contact information so that they can reach you if they would like to learn more.

Elizabeth: Information on all New Victory productions is available at; tickets can be purchased online or at 646-223-3010.

To discuss ways to potentially partner with New Victory in the future, please contact Allyson Capetta, Manager of Institutional Giving, at or 646-223-3084.

We hope to see you all at the Theater soon…don’t be a stranger!


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