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Magnet Theater

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THE MAINSTAGE - 254 W. 29th Street, NYC

Audiences come to Magnet for great comedy shows. The shows are consistently recommended by critics, tourists, locals, comedy snobs, and people looking for a great cheap date. Plus, there's beer and wine.

Our Mainstage features talented and experienced (and exceptionally funny) improvisers doing some of the best comedy you'll see anywhere. The schedule is loaded with shows ranging from long form improv, musical improv, duos, scripted sketch comedy, storytelling, free jams open to anyone, and one-offs featuring special guest stars. Plus, free student performances take place all weekend at the Training Center Studio (one block North of the Mainstage).

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THE TRAINING CENTER - 22 W. 32nd St (10th floor)

Learning to improvise just might be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. Here's Magnet Improv Secret Number One: It's not about trying to be funny. Seriously. What is it about then? It's about bringing who you are, all your knowledge and experience, your point of view and your tastes, and then employing concrete techniques as you play with focused abandon with other smart people doing that same thing. Sound fun? It is. The classes are fun, the shows are fun, and the hanging out afterward is fun. What's even better is that improv is also a powerful tool, bringing out the best in people and is useful in every aspect of a person's life. And once the techniques become second nature… well, you'll see.

The training program has been carefully designed to build and strengthen student's skills with each successive exercise, class to class, and level to level. Student learn to do original, honest, and ridiculously funny work through games and exercises in class, and through performances on the Magnet stage. Each component builds on the previous one, with an emphasis on bringing out the best in each improvisor and building a diverse skill-set, not on trying to force a single style, or enforce a narrowly prescribed way of playing. Our instructors believe everyone can become an excellent improvisor and our graduates prove it onstage, performing hilarious, inventive, in-the-moment comedy every night.

That said, like anything worthwhile, it may be challenging, occasionally frustrating, and require taking a risk here and there. But if you're patient with yourself, you'll make giant leaps very quickly, doing instantly brilliant comedy with your classmates. Suddenly, you'll be an improviser. Then all you have to deal with is the addiction. Magnet can help you with that, too.

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There are a lot of opportunities to play. There are several improv venues and lots of independent rehearsal and performance groups in New York City. At Magnet, our focus is on providing opportunities for improvisers, writers, and actors to create and stage their work. And there are a lot of ways to do that:

  • Megawatt Teams feature our best performers, all of whom won a slot on their ensemble through an audition, and rehearse and perform regularly.
  • There are original shows created by Manget Alumni and produced with the support of our Artistic Director and Magnet's creative staff
  • There are multiple free jams (e.g The Mixer, The Musical Mixer) for people who just want to drop in and play.
  • There is an always sold-out monthly all-woman show (They Just Might Kiss) which is cast from students and graduates, and curated by Megan Gray.
  • Ripe is an original sketch comedy showcase designed to support the creation of high-quality sketch comedy. It is made up of students and graduates, and directed by Magnet Founder Armando Diaz. Ripe is an excellent opportunity for actor/writers to stage, tighten, re-stage, and polish their work in front of an audience.
  • Internships are available for qualified candidates interested in earning tuition through work at Magnet. Availability is limited but the jobs are diverse. Got a special useful skill and don't want to pay for class? Let us know.

For six years we've been turning normal civilians into excellent improvisers. Some came to us as professional actors or writers, but the majority started with absolutely no stage experience at all. And a few just thought it would be a fun way to meet people, have fun after work, or a way to gain a skill they could put to use elsewhere. And when they kept at it, they ended up on our stage, performing hilarious comedy in front of satisfied audiences. Just like tonight.