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

Archive for the ‘Improv’ Category

Tuesday May 22, 2012, 10:24am - by admin

(We know. They aren’t teens. But we like the picture.)

Summer! No School!  Lot’s of free unstructured time!

LET’S WATCH TV AND PLAY VIDEO GAMES UNTIL OUR BRAINS TURN INTO PUDDING!!  I LOVE PUDDING!!!!

Don’t do that.

Because on June 18th, Elana Fishbein will be kicking off Summer with “Improv for Teens”, a fun class for sharp teens who want to learn and practice the principles of improv.

We talked with Elana about the class, her history with improv and its importance in everyone’s life .

Magnet Blog:  So how did you get started in improv?

Elana Fishbein:  I started improvising pretty seriously when I was fifteen years old and a big part of that was because of the encouragement I received from some fantastic teachers. Under their tutelage I came to understand the ways in which improv can be an awesome and empowering form of expression. I’m excited to follow in their footsteps.

MB:  So what will this class be about?

EF:  In Improv for Teens, students will learn to improvise together in a fun, supportive environment. Games and exercises will focus on collaboration, group mind, character building, commitment, spontaneity, and the most magical principal of improv, “Yes And!” Participants will walk away with a fundamental understanding of long-form improv and the skills to perform grounded, hilarious, improv scenes. The class will culminate with a graduation performance in which students will have the opportunity to wow their friends and loved ones. It’s a super fun show.

Best. Summer. Ever.

Slots are still available, so if you or someone you know is interested in signing up for Improv for Teens check out this link: http://www.magnettheater.com/classlist.php?infoid=1100.

Class begins on June 18th.

Tweet it, Facebook it, and maybe even actually say it out loud to another person in the same room.

Wednesday May 9, 2012, 11:16am - by WillyAppelman
Last Thursday’s premiere of “The Subject” was enthralling and fascinating.  Directed by Christina Gausas, the show featured Angela DeManti as this week’s “Subject”.  At the top of the piece, objects like sunflower seeds, lilacs, and Buddha statues were placed by cast members into her environment. These objects took her back to memories of college roommates, past boyfriends, and family members. At one point her mother’s constant nagging transformed into a six-headed monster who shrieked at her disappointments, which then transformed into the cries of an ex-boyfriend’s baby.  DeManti remained on the stage the entire show as her life passed before her eyes!
“The Subject” is a funny, honest, and, at times, moving piece of theater. You have four more chances of catching it Thursdays at 10pm in May!
Thursday May 3, 2012, 10:01am - by WillyAppelman

This Saturday at 11am at The Magnet Theater, Megan Gray will be moderating a Q & A with improv legends Susan Messing and Christina Gausas!

Messing is a director and actress living in Chicago.  Best known for her work with Second City, iO and The Annoyance Theatre, she is well revered in the NYC, Chicago and L.A. improv and acting communities.

Christina Gausas is an actress, writer and director living in NYC.  She has appeared on 30 Rock, Delocated, Important Things w/ Dimitri Martin,  and Late Night w/ Conan O’Brien.  Christina was named one of “The 10 Funniest New Yorker’s You’ve Never Heard Of” by New York Magazine.  She is also directing “The Subject” at The Magnet Theater, opening Thursday May 3rd at 10pm and running until May 31st!

The Q & A is completely free, RSVP at megan@magnettheater.com to reserve a spot!

Wednesday May 2, 2012, 11:22am - by WillyAppelman

In the latest installment of The Director’s Series, Christina Gausas takes the reins on The Subject.  The Subject is a form that  “follows the central character of the evening (the subject), never leaving the stage while the others enter and exit as various friends, relatives, demons and fantasy figures”.

The Subject, created by Alex Fendrich, was originally performed at the iO theater in Chicago and was “Highly Recommended” by The Chicago Sun-Times.  Gausas was a member of the original cast and now she leads an all-star cast made up of Louis Kornfeld, Megan Gray, Alex Marino, Angela Demanti, Sebastian Connelli, Ruby Marez, Binu Paulose, Tom Levin, and Liz McDonnell.

The Subject opens Thursday May 3rd at 10pm, and is followed by an Opening Night Party at Mustang Sally’s (28th & 7th).  Come to the show and celebrate afterwards with great food and drink specials!

The Subject, opening May 3rd at 10pm at The Magnet Theater!

Friday April 6, 2012, 4:13pm - by Charlie Whitcroft

Oh man… you should have seen it!

Just kidding. You couldn’t have.

The Bat premiered at The Magnet Theater last evening, directed by Mark Grenier, featuring Paul Barker, Bianca Casusol, Christina Dabney, Corey Grimes, Jeff Koleba, Kai Martin, Chris Simpson, Lauren Smith, and special guests.

Unlike your average, well-lit improv show that bombards your physical senses with gestures, facial expressions, and movement of all varieties, The Bat is performed in the dark – playing more like an old-time radio show, or like the voices in your head when you’re desperately trying to fall asleep.

The cast of The Bat performed two pieces – a Monoscene, and a Harold – relying only on listening, and auditory support work. Despite the darkness, the audience clearly saw the cemetery at which the Detective Club and the Murder Club vied for membership numbers, a pair of girl scouts peeing on each other in the wilderness, a bratty nine-year-old leveraging for control of a community pool, and the arduous journey of a ski-ball pledge.

I left the theater grateful for the reminder that I have an imagination. Check out the highlight pics below, and check out The Bat every Thursday in April at 10:00pm at The Magnet Theater.

 

Wednesday April 4, 2012, 4:46pm - by WillyAppelman

“The Bat” is the third installment of The Director Series, wherein a Director selects an all star cast and presents a month-long showcase of a specific form. This month Mark Grenier is directing “The Bat”!  Here is an interview we did with Grenier about the show.

Manget Blog:  What makes The Bat different from any other forms?

Mark Grenier: The Bat takes place entirely in the dark.  Other improv forms take place with the lights on, unless the theater fails to pay its electricity bill and the power goes out, in which case the show then becomes a Bat, whether you like it or not.  If the lights go out, you’re doing a Bat.

MB: Why did you choose The Bat?

MG: I chose The Bat because it’s a unique challenge for performers, and it creates a unique experience for the audience.  We take for granted being seen when we improvise and being able to see when we watch a show.  If you take sight away, everything has to be created with the voice and everything normally seen has to be imagined. It’s like listening to an old radio show, which no one at Magnet Theater has probably ever done.  Bring your grandparents to the show, they’ll love it.

MB: What is the future of ‘improv in the dark’?
MG: The future of ‘improv in the dark’ is first this run of shows on Thursday nights at 10pm at The Magnet Theater (part of Thursday Night Out, only $7 for the whole night! www.magnettheater.com), and then beyond that I foresee the eventual elimination of sound from improv, altogether.  I hope to direct another show soon that, in addition to being in the dark, doesn’t use sound, doesn’t have performers or an audience and doesn’t occur in either space or time.  I think that would be the ultimate improv show.
Featuring: Paul Barker, Bianca Casusol, Christina Dabney, Corey Grimes, Jeff Koleba, Kai Martin, Chris Simpson, and Lauren Smith.

Join us for the OPENING NIGHT of The Bat this Thursday at 10pm, with the after party at Mustang Sally’s right after the show!

Friday March 16, 2012, 5:06pm - by admin
newsletter_edited

 

Magnet Theater
March 16, 2012

 

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Lead McEnroe

Lead McEnroe wants to hang out with you. Because they hang out with each other way too much, and it’s getting weird. Described by The Apiary as “a fearless character creation machine,” and “Masters of the art of long-form improv” by Short and Sweet NYC, this long-running Magnet staple presents a show that is certifiably insane, yet oddly eloquent.

Listen, you mugs! Show business is tough, see, but here’s two fellas that got the straight dope: Hollywood producer extraordinaire Irv Newberg and his bosom companion Charlie Tickertape. These two dapper dans are gonna show you the ins and outs of the movie biz, from signing your star to Oscar night, and everything in between. So sit back, grab yourself some hooch, and watch the sparks fly in a behind-the-scenes scorcher you’ll never forget!

St. Patrick’s Day Show with Special Guest Peter McNerney

Click here for more information.

MAGNET CLASSES

Camp Magnet 2012

Camp Magnet returns! Our annual summer retreat is coming back for its 5th glorious year. Go camping with us in the beautiful Catskill Mountains from June 7th – June 10th. Enjoy 4 days and 3 nights of improv, outdoors, adventure, and fun with improv and writing workshops. Each day will involve improv and writing workshops, in addition to outdoor team activities such as swimming in a spring-fed lake, volleyball, basketball, hiking and biking. Evenings will be filled with improv jams, shows and late night campfires. All campers sleep in modern, well-appointed cabins equipped with electricity and a bathroom with showers. Meals are provided 3 times a day in the dining hall, and yes, we can accommodate vegetarians. All of this is cradled in the beauty of the Southern Catskills just 90 miles north of New York City. An endless sea of woods surrounds our magnificent 120-acre campground, and a sensational sunset over the springs is truly a sight to behold! This Year’s Instructors Include:
Dave Razowsky
Rachel Hamilton
Armando Diaz
Ed Herbstman
Melanie Hoopes
Alex Marino
June 7th-10th

 

SPONSORED BY

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Magnet Theater Training Center
A system designed to turn civilians into exceptional improvisers.  Classes in improvisation lead to performances, and advanced classes lead to regular performances on our stages.  Comedy writing, storytelling, auditioning, musical improvisation, and voice classes provide opportunities for improvisers and creators to expand their comedic range, inform their creative pursuits, and have a great time while doing it.  YES

 

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Tuesday March 13, 2012, 4:09pm - by WillyAppelman

It’s BACK!  March 30th is the last day to be considered for the next round of The Circuit at The Magnet Theater.  The Circuit is made up of improv ensembles consisting of veteran Magnet performers and students.  Performances are every Friday night at 10pm starting April 13th!  You need to have completed up to Level 3 to qualify for The Circuit.  Names are still being accepted for what is sure to be the silliest, most explosive and rawest Circuit yet!  To apply, just send your name and resume to circuit@magnettheater.com.  From there, names will be thrown into a giant hat and randomly selected by someone with giant hands!  Shows start April 13th at The Magnet Studio Theater… GO!

Monday March 12, 2012, 3:14pm - by rickandrews

This Wednesday at 8:30, Megawatt gets a new team!  Refreshing? Possibly.  Mind-blowing? Definitely.  World Peace Ending?…No, probably not.  Fresh out of Peter McNerney’s Level 6, The Party Lions plan to complete the circle of improv life at The Magnet Theater, and features performers from The Story Pirates, Kiss*Punch*Poem, Scoresby, Inspirado, Whisky Tango Foxtrot and We Just Might Kiss.  Wow.

Coached by the incredible Kelly Buttermore (Horses), The Party Lions consists of JR Harrington, Evan Barden, Katie Hammond, Nathan Peterman, Bianca Casusol, Gretchen Poole, Brian Frange and Willy Appelman.  Like them on Facebook for more updates and info on Megawatt’s newest ensemble!

The Party Lions premier at Megawatt THIS WEDNESDAY at 8:00pm.  We’re not psychic, but we’re guessing this baby will sell out.  You cannot make reservations for Megawatt’s later in the evening (since it’s pay once, stay as long as you’d like), so if you want to be there, the MBlog highly recommends showing up early to the 7pm Megawatt and sticking around.  Reservations for the 7pm Megawatt can be made here.  Be there!

Tuesday February 28, 2012, 2:45pm - by WillyAppelman

 

It’s here!  The Leap Year.  Megawatt only falls on a Leap Year once every 1,000 years…This wednesday everything has gone haywire!  Starting at 7pm, you’ll be able to see Magnet All Stars play in combinations that you’ve never seen before.    These new teams- Consider The Thief, Across The Sky and Pocket Full of Rocks are ready to make this Leap Year the best since Istanbul was Constantinople!  Show up early, make a reservation, don’t miss what could be the only Megawatt Leap Year Show of your life!

Reservations Here: http://www.magnettheater.com/reservation.php?showid=38287