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

Archive for the ‘Improv’ Category

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

Wednesday February 22, 2012, 3:39pm - by WillyAppelman

 

No screenplay.  No budget. Yet  it’s a film worthy of an oscar nomination.

But if you’re not there you’ll never get a chance to see it ever again.  On Thursday Feb. 23rd at 10pm, The Movie will have it’s last show as part of the new ‘Director Series’ at The Magnet Theater.  A stacked team of seasoned Magnet performers fill the stage to create a filmic masterpiece. Spielberg can suck it.

Directed by Ed Herbstman, this improvised movie is better and cheaper than anything out right now and it’s actually in 3-D for real!  Make a reservation, turn your cell phones off and please don’t talk back at the screen. Because there is no screen. They are real people. Why is this so hard for you to understand?

Tuesday February 7, 2012, 4:53pm - by Ben Kharakh

Meditating has helped my focus, mood, and creativity.  When it comes to improv specifically, I think of a scene like a meditation session, with my partner (or perhaps the present moment in general) being what I focus on (as opposed to focusing on my breathing as I would during a regular meditation session). Any time I get in my head, I just bring my focus back to my partner and engage with as clear a mind as possible.

monks

Best. Improv. Group. Ever.

 

I remember when I first became conscious of what being “in the zone” felt like. My mind was clear, my focus was on the present moment, and my responses floated into my head. I didn’t need to think in order to know what to do.  Continue reading after the jump… more

Monday February 6, 2012, 6:11pm - by woodyfu
Fed's bodysuit

One thing I love seeing in scenes is when players create elaborate visual set-ups that the audience has to imagine. Sometimes it’s environmental — I remember a great Brick gag where the scene took place in “Office Narnia,” a private hide-away space that included weightlifting gear, endless bootleg cigarettes (“Camle” brand) and a cum bucket. OR! There was another time in the Program when the players assembled to create a giant, walking Statue of Liberty composed of dead bodies.

Other times it’s generated by the characters themselves — there was a great Dunk bit where the fumes from Taylor’s “stinky leg” was so overpowering that it physicalized and could knock people out. And sometimes it is as simple as an article of clothing on a character. Anytime a character is revealed as wearing overalls, a Buckingham Palace-guard-hat, or a Batman outfit, I love watching players take these cues and physicalize them or working them into the scene. What I’m saying is that I like to use my imagination! People!

I saw a Horses show recently and Fed’s character was obsessed with the Bodies exhibit and over the course of the show got his own body suit and crashed a dinner party with it on.

I got to use my imagination. I liked it!

I drew a picture of what I imagined it looked like:

Fed's bodysuit

Scene painting!

Get it? You get it. I will hopefully be doing more of these as time goes on. Oh, if you want to see pictures from that show, you can do so here.

PS – Thanks to gross gross Slim Goodbody for the reference.

 

— Woody Fu