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Magnet Theater Blog: News and Ideas about Comedy, Improv Shows & Classes in NYC

Archive for the ‘Improv’ Category

Wednesday February 10, 2016, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

Amie Roe Podcast Subscribe with iTunes

Improviser and therapist, AMIE ROE, talks with us about using play to understand ourselves, awe in the world around us, and her upcoming show, Group Therapy. In addition to improvising with the real Ariana Grande, Amie is a psychotherapist in private practice, which is is a wealth of experience she brings to this fascinating conversation that touches on improv, creativity, self-awareness, and humanity. This episode is one that truly any thoughtful human would enjoy, improv experience aside. Robots may like it too, but we can’t guarantee it. See Amie every Wednesday at Megawatt with Ariana Grande and catch her new show Group Therapy on Friday, February 12th at 7pm!

Louis and Amie start off talking about hit HBO series The Jinx and how people express many of their issues through play or via their interactions with others. There seems to be a need to have one’s expressions recognized and heard and Louis theorizes that perhaps one reason why improv often feels life-changing may be the fact that it puts people in a room with those that will listen to them. Amie says that, whether in real life or on stage, we often find ourselves replaying difficult scenarios in order to come to terms with them. Louis inquires about the difference between expression that is safe and healing versus the more detrimental kind and finds it might have more to do with awareness than anything else. Not only must we be self-aware, but we need to be aware of those around us. Certainly, there are improv lessons abound.

Amie tells us about what she recognized in herself that led to her becoming a therapist and Louis wants to know how we can gauge what amount of revisiting a personal struggle is healthy. Moment to moment, Amie suggests that the most important factor is whether or not you’re making a conscious choice. They also discuss how, when a person undergoes change, it can be difficult for those around them to adjust. Louis posits that maybe editing in improv scenes trains us to make shifts in life more easily. He also talks about recognizing the shape of a show and making how adjustments can not only help the overall show, but also empower you to be decisive. Amie concurs, adding how empowered decision-making can be a powerful tool for combating that which nags at us.

Humans spend more of their lives as children than most species and, as such, it seems like play is an important part of who we are. Amie says that finding ways to be creative is something we all need. Bringing the worlds of play and self-analysis together, Amie talks all about her new show Group Therapy, which will focus on food and body issues. With elements of comedy, circus, and song, the show also features several real world specialists discussing the issues presented in the art. Regarding body issues, Louis asks why it is so hard to avoid them. He also digs into comedy and respect, noting that while many people are able to exercise taste and sensitivity, some still find it hard to navigate. They discuss the extremes of the sensitivity spectrum and surrendering to the dark and horrible parts of life when doing comedy. Louis says that living life is a contradiction and that on the other end of futility, which we are all prone to feel at times, is a sense of awe and wonder. They talk about awe and faith and raise the question, “Are smart people ruining life for themselves?”

The episode takes a delightfully philosophical turn as Amie suggests that abyss and emptiness are the seeds of creation. Louis adds that nothing surprising can happen if you’re already filled up with everything and waxes Eastern philosophy on improv comedy. To be able to take a step back and understand the humor in something, they both agree, is an act of consciousness. Plus: Is that burger your enemy? We have to put our stuff somewhere, don’t we? And after discussing everyone’s 83 problems, it all comes back to Robert Durst. The final lesson? Louis claims that the healthy person is the one who has integrated their problems rather than outrun them. All this and more. Or less. We’re not sure what’s best.

Monday February 1, 2016, 12:25pm - by Megan Gray

Show Offs

Working on a show? Want to put it up?

The Magnet Theater is proud to present a new show coming in April — Show-Offs! Starting Sunday, April 10th, 6pm.

Show-Offs features brand new scripted works never before seen on the Magnet stage, from sketch, one-person shows, and more. All shows must be 20 – 25 minutes in length. The submission deadline is Tuesday, March 8th, noon. If selected, you will be notified by Friday, March 25th.

Show-Offs is open to all. To submit a scripted show, click here.

 

Sunday January 24, 2016, 10:11am - by Magnet Theater

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All morning operations at the Training Center are canceled for today, Sunday, Jan. 24th.

THERE WILL BE NO 12P CLASSES. We’ll keep you posted about the rest of the day.

**Updated 2:30pm**

The Magnet Training Center will be open from 3pm9pm this evening.
Afternoon classes and class shows will take a place as scheduled.
Saturday January 23, 2016, 1:31pm - by Magnet Theater

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SNOW UPDATE: The Magnet Theater and Training Center will be closed as of 3pm on Saturday, Jan. 24th. There will be no afternoon classes or class shows and our evening shows at the theater have been canceled.

Stay safe, everyone!

Friday January 8, 2016, 9:47am - by Megan Gray

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We’re so very excited to announce the new Circuit Winter 2016 season, debuting Friday, January 15th at 10pm at the Magnet Training Center. Congratulations to everyone!

Scary
Bianca Roses
Amanda Rothman
Teis Jorgensen
Andy Lachman
Brielle Silvestri
Elise Williams
Alex Novac
Ben Kharakh
Coach: Tim Canty

Baby
Matthew Giglio
Christopher Bonet
Mari Stein
Karine Mendonca
Nikolai Solonski
Jenny Stokka
Rachelle White
Don Romaniello
Coach: Amanda Xeller

Sporty
Anisha Ramnani
Adina Forsstrom
Eric Stone
Michael Greene
Charles St. Charles
Yimin Peng
Everett Cox
Ivy Hong
Coach: Pat May

Ginger
Spencer T. Campbell
Aditya Otiv
Danielle Von Lehman
Virginia Hamilton
Lesley Hennen
John DeAmara
Perri Gross
Coach: Eleanor Lewis

Posh (Musical Team)
William Cybriwsky
Noel Hunter
Will Jacobs
Maggie Lalley
Adam Payne
Claudia Toth
Coach: Catherine Wing

Tuesday December 22, 2015, 9:00am - by Magnet Theater

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The Magnet Training Center is thrilled to announce the 2016 Winter Edition of THE CIRCUIT!

The Circuit is a chance for Magnet students who have completed Level 3 or higher to play on Harold teams of their very own for a limited run of shows. This round will feature a musical team! If you have completed Musical Level 3 and would like to put your name in the hat, please reach out to Michael Lutton at mjlutton@gmail.com.

To apply for the non-musical teams for this Winter 2016 run of The Circuit, please fill out the form and you will be entered into the lottery . The deadline to apply will be noon, January 2, 2016. Teams will be announced January 5. First rehearsals will be the weekend of the 9th.

Link to form!

Circuit shows will begin Friday, January 15 and run for 10 weeks, through March 25. Shows will be 10PM in the Magnet Studio Theater at the Training Center.

If you have any questions, please email Circuit@MagnetTheater.com.

***Please read the following:***
– To apply, you must have completed up to Level 3 at the Magnet.
– Do not call or email registrar beforehand regarding application status.
– Circuit performers may miss no more than two shows or practices.
– Performers are expected to rehearse with their assigned team and coach on a weekly basis at assigned times.
– Performers are responsible for the cost of coach and space rentals.

Monday November 2, 2015, 11:00am - by Magnet Theater

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Now this is exciting — Magnet founder and improv mastermind, Armando Diaz, is set to begin teaching four classes in the month of November! If you’ve never had the chance to study with Armando, look no further.

Brand new to Magnet? Take Level 1 For Experienced Improvisers! Looking to sharpen your skills? Instant Brilliance is gonna be perfect for you! Finally fulfilling that “We should do two-prov” comment you made at the bar months ago?? Whoa baby – Dynamic Duos is here for ya!! Don’t even want to do improv??? Then take that Sketch Writing Level One!!! There’s truly something for everyone, all taught by the one (and only) Armando Diaz. Sign up now now now!

Instant Brilliance starting November 14th

Level 1 For Experienced Improvisors starting November 15th

Sketch Writing Level One starting November 16th

Dynamic Duos starting November 21st

 

Saturday October 31, 2015, 10:00am - by Magnet Theater

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We’re so very excited to announce the new Conservatory Circuit Fall 2015 season, debuting Friday, November 6th at 10pm at the Magnet Training Center. Congratulations to everyone!

SEYMOUR
Grant Goldberg
Rich Rosario
Trixze Smith
Micheil Yohannes
Ed Cara
Ashley Jordan
Sierra Pasquale
Zoe Dennis
Coach: Tim Canty

EDNA
Lee Rosenberg
Ryan McVerry
Patrick Grizzard
Jamer Bellis
Stacy Dunn
Angela Dohrmann
Irene Lacis
Sarah Brunet
Coach: Collin Batten

WILLY
Peter Vale
Lorina Ladrillono
Pratima Mani
Brendan Jordan
Jamie Genoa
Kerry Kastin
Jonathan Fuchs
Andrew Joelson
Coach: Eleanor Lewis

DORIS
Brad Engle
Daniel Buchbinder
Jodie Pfau
Deepak Jayasimha
Annie Howard
Rachel Zeolla
Elias Colombotos
Perri Gross
Coach: Shacottha Fields

Saturday October 17, 2015, 12:00pm - by Magnet Theater

The NEW YORK MUSICAL IMPROV FESTIVAL by T.J. Mannix

In 2009, musical improv was still a relatively new form. The Magnet had two musical teams performing on every-other Friday – and the weekly Made Up Musical.

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Having been a part of so many improv festivals over the years, I thought the time was right for one that focused just on musical improv. When I pitched the idea of the first annual New York Musical Improv Festival, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I went to the two musical teams and asked if anyone wanted to volunteer. Two hands went up, Robin Rothman and Melanie Girton. We became a producing team (eventually including Mary Archbold, Lisa Flanagan, and Michael Lutton) and organized the first festival in November 2009.

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It was two nights long and featured NYC teams, Broadway performers, and “BASH” from Chicago – Blaine Swen’s incredible one man improvised musical provoked the first spontaneous standing ovation I ever saw at the Magnet. (The photo [to the right] is from the Tara Copeland’s “NYMIF All-Star Show.” Notice the old wooden chairs.)

2010 included performers from Chicago, Minneapolis and Washington DC, and cast members and musicians from Broadway’s “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson.”

We sponsored our first benefit performance for Gilda’s Club New York City – featuring our first Tony Award winner (Cady Huffman from “The Producers”) and Tony nominated guest performers.  This has become an annual event raising money and awareness for Gilda’s Club NYC. We also celebrate the comedic legacy of Gilda Radner with an all-female musical team “Generation G.”

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It also featured over-doing it, forgetting to eat, and not sleeping – as one of our producers was carried from the Magnet office into to a waiting ambulance.

2011 may have over-expanded. It was six nights long and had a producing teams of 16 people. Since then, we have enjoyed a four night festival with three or four people on the producing team and over the years, the festival has featured hundreds of performers from across the U.S. and Canada, and even Australia.

From the beginning, the goals of the New York Musical Improv Festival have been clear:

1. Treat the performers like gold.

2. Promote Musical Improv as a form in NYC and across the country.

3. Promote the Magnet Theater.

4. Feature every performer and their home theatre – even if it’s down the street from ours.

As the festival grew, so did the musical improv program at the Magnet – from one level to four, from two musical megawatt teams to as many as nine. Other musical improv programs in NYC, Chicago, Boston, and across the country grew every year. Chicago now has MCL – Music Comedy Live – with musical improv shows seven nights a week.

Performers return to the Magnet year after year for the NYMIF, meeting, performing, watching shows, exchanging ideas, talking theatre upkeep and mortgages, arranging to perform at each others theaters – and relaxing at the annual performers brunch. 

As we head into our 7th annual festival, we can proudly say that the NYMIF and the Magnet are recognized as national leaders in musical improv.

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Thursday October 15, 2015, 1:18pm - by Megan Gray

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We’re so excited to announce the brand-new season of Conservatory Circuit is now open for applications! What’s Conservatory Circuit, you say? Why, it’s just like the regular Circuit, except it’s open only to students who have been accepted into Magnet’s Conservatory program (Level 5 and above). It’s a really great way to work consistently with a team and coach as well as get more reps under your belt. We highly recommend it!

KEY DATES
Application deadline: Friday, October 23rd at noon
Team announcements: Wednesday, October 28th
Shows: Fridays at 10pm; November 6th, 13th, 20th and December 4th, 11th, 18th

What are you waiting for? Check out the details and apply now!

Questions, thoughts, comments, or concerns can be directed to circuit@magnettheater.com.