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

Archive for the ‘Improv’ Category

Saturday March 16, 2013, 2:44pm - by WillyAppelman

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Congratulations to the BRAND NEW MUSICAL MEGAWATT TEAMS!  Both teams premiered Tuesday, March 12th to an incredibly warm Magnet audience.  The new teams are:

The Jezebels:
Annie Moor
Rachel Alexa Norman
Kiki Mikkelson
Mallory Schlossberg
Ali Reed
Lauren Friedman
Liz Lasky

The Canons:
Carly Filbin
Henry Bergstein
David Tomczak
James Coker
John de Guzman
Mike Kuplic
Sharon Li

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THIS JUST IN:  Musical Megawatt shows will now take place at 7, 8,9 & 10pm!  Be sure to check out Musical Megawatt this Tuesday starting at 7pm, and if you can, catch these new teams, they’re pretty special!

Photos by Lisa Flanagan.

Wednesday March 6, 2013, 1:37pm - by WillyAppelman
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Congratulations to The New Musical Megawatt Teams!  Thank you to everyone who applied, the new Musical Megawatt Teams will debut on Tuesday, March 12th at 7pm!

New Team Parliament- Director: Michael Lutton
Annie Moor
Rachel Alexa Norman
Kiki Mikkelson
Mallory Schlossberg
Ali Reed
Lauren Friedman
Liz Lasky


New Team Funkadelic- Director: Ross Taylor
Carly Filbin
Henry Bergstein
David Tomczak
James Coker
John de Guzman
Mike Kuplic
Sharon Li

Circuit Team- Director: Laura Dlug
Jen Stone
Kate Weinberg
Scott Morwitz
Melissa Caminneci
Sacha Nandall
Marc Davilla
Philipp Goedicke


Mixer Team- Director: Robin Rothman Taylor and T.J. Mannix
Sho Albert
Andrew Fafoutakis
Stefan Wenger
Stephanie Griffith
Maya Deshmukh
Cat Migliaccio
Danielle Naugler
Marc Davila
Mary Guiteras
Kate Chamuris
Phillip Ziff
Nathan Brown

For more information, check out www.magnettheater.com.  Congratulations again and see you Tuesday, March 12th at 7pm for the debut!

Tuesday March 5, 2013, 2:10pm - by WillyAppelman

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“The Kubler” is the newest installment of The Director Series, a 4-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form. This month Russ Armstrong is directing “The Kubler.”  We interviewed Russ via email to learn more about the show.

1.  What is The Kubler?  
The Kubler is a best-of-both-worlds improv show.  It allows great actors to chew up some big, intimate scenes and intersperses those with large group scenes from a strong ensemble.  It’s inspired by the Kubler-Ross model (umlaut, please!) which folks are more familiar with as “the five stages of grief.”  The Kubler-Ross is a hypothesis that humans process difficult news by progressing through these five stages in order; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.   Starting with a suggestion of some bad news someone has received, we take the audience through the five stages and throw in large group games in between.  It rocks.  But mostly it rocks because of Rick Andrews, Laura Grey, Sean Taylor, Lauren Olson, Dru Johnston, Desiree Nash, Jordan Klepper, Jana Schmieding, Alex Marino and Chet Siegel.

2. Why are you directing it?
I’m directing the Kubler because it gives me an opportunity to force great improvisers to work with me and offers a format that can really showcase top-notch players working together.  Also, I was told I would receive intern credits.

3.  What is your favorite type of improv?
My favorite type of improv is the funny kind.  And I tend to think the funniest kind is the kind that is the most truthful and reliant on the ensemble working together.  A little artistry don’t hurt neither.  I like listening, clarity, strong games played creatively, believable characters and teams that recklessly push their 25 minutes to the end of the line – together and not parallel.

4.  What is the future of improv?
Everyone knows this but I’ll rehash it anyway.  Improv will be solved in 2019 at the yet-to-be-formed Dungeon Fungeon in Staten Island after an inspired triple-Harold performed by the East Coast’s best ensemble, John Mack’s Warrior Punchbowl (Starring Brad Tomey!)  It won’t be the best show, and it won’t be the last show, but their director, and the audience will insist, “That’s what improv is supposed to be.”
It’ll be that or slowly we’ll all move back to Chicago and crawl back up the vagina of The Compass Players, spin around there for a couple years in some swirling black hole of callbacks and then get spewed out across the continent once more not unlike this ever-contracting-and-expanding nutsack of a universe.  Intern credit, please!

The Kubler opens this Thursday, March 7th at 10pm!  MORE INFO!

Monday March 4, 2013, 1:58pm - by WillyAppelman

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A timeless rite of passage into modern adulthood involving flagrant consumption, waffling definitions of sexual propriety, a general disregard for all grown-up responsibility, and occasional learning, college is that magical time when you can have your mind blown by Marx and Engels from the comfort of your lofted-bed. Company 29’s newest sketch show takes a look at all things college, from the dubious founding of Harvard University to that guy who always brings his guitar with him to parties even though nobody asked him to.

Sponsored By: Six Point Brewery

Company 29 is the Magnet Theater’s sketch company in residence, dedicated to producing new and original sketch comedy featuring some of the Magnet’s best sketch writers and performers.

Featuring: Mike Barry, Kevin Cobbs, Tim Eberle, Nick Kanellis, Ruby Marez, Justin Peters, Branson Reese, Jamaal Sedayao, Danielle Tolley, and Rob Williams.

Written By: Tim Eberle, Kevin Cobbs, Jamaal Sedayao, Sarah Pappalardo, and Nick Kanellis.

Directed By: Nick Benaquista

Assistant Director: Amanda Xeller

Reservations HERE: Friday, March 8th at 8:30, Saturday, March 9th at 7:30, Sunday, March 10th at 8pm.

Friday March 1, 2013, 11:33am - by WillyAppelman

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Congrats to Magnet performer Peter McNerney (Trike) on ‘Stuff You Should Know’, now airing on The Science Channel!  The show takes place in The How Stuff Works office, and everyone in the office are podcasters.  Peter plays Marcus, a conspiracy theory podcaster.  He’s skeptical, cynical and assumes the worst in every situation.  Check out ‘Stuff You Should Know’ on iTunes, and keep an eye out for Peter’s most recent episode, ‘Trust No One’.

You can see Peter in a Burger King commercial now airing on Comedy Central and performing Saturday’s at 10:30 with Trike.

Sunday February 24, 2013, 5:59pm - by WillyAppelman

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“Round Trip” is the newest installment of The Director Series, a 4-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form. This month Armando Diaz is directing “Round Trip.”  We conducted an interview with Armando via email to talk about the show.

What is Round Trip?
The Round Trip is an original form that tells the story of a cast of characters through a series of mono-scenes. The show begins with the suggestion of a location for which the first mono-scene will take place. In that location we meet the characters in the story and discover what the story is about. After the first mono-scene ends the cast improvises a second mono-scene in a different location featuring all the same characters. And finally we see the characters back in the first location for a final mono-scene and this is where all the storylines resolve. In short, the Round Trip is like an improvised one-act play.

Why did you choose to direct it?
Megan told me I had to direct something for the Director Series show. I had no choice in the matter.

What makes a great scene?
The truth! As much as it is good to know the mechanics of improv at the end of the day what makes us laugh is when improvisers find truth in their work. You can be technically perfect in a scene but if it doesn’t find the truth it just won’t be that funny.

Have you seen an evolution in improv over the years?
No.

Where do you see it going?
I hope it becomes more courageous and less, “edgy”.

The last performance of Round Trip takes place on Thursday, February 28th at 10pm.  For more information, CLICK HERE!