Archive for the ‘Improv’ Category
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.
“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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
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!
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
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?
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.
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
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:
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
For my money, Stephen Colbert is the funniest man alive. He’s probably also the most interesting. I mean, come on! He’s a Sunday School teacher who hosts a subversive late night TV show and who once, at a taping I saw, answered a pre-show question of, “Are you f***ing Matt Damon?” with, “Why? Doe his d*** taste like me?”