dubstep remix
Skip to Content

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

Thursday April 11, 2013, 9:15am - by WillyAppelman

Sleepover_475x273

“The Sleep Over” 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 Kevin Cragg is directing “The Sleep Over.” We conducted an interview with director Kevin Cragg via email about the show.

1. What is The Sleep Over?
The Sleep Over is largely a mono-character improv form that was developed in the early 2000s by then Harold Team Mother. Over the duration of the current Sleep Over incarnation, Kevin Cobbs, Megan Gray, Will Quinn, Amie Roe, Jamaal Sedayao, Emily Shapiro, Caitlin Steitzer, and Kristy Wesolowski introduce us to eight characters and take us on a journey through the world they inhabit.

2. Why are you directing it?
My interest in the Sleep Over stems from the long history I have had with the form. I was lucky enough to be present to watch Mother workshop the form at a tiny storefront theater and it has been one of my favorite forms ever since. By directing it, I have a reason to gather eight of my favorite improvisers and let them loose on one of my favorite forms.

3. What is your favorite type of improv?
Since I have performed improv for quite some time and I have watched improv even longer, I would have to say the type of improv that is my favorite is that which surprises me. For four Thursdays in April, I will be watching my favorite improv.

4. What is the future of improv?
Another realm for product placement.

The Sleep Over performs every Thursday in April at 10pm at The Magnet Theater. The cast features Kevin Cobbs, Megan Gray, Will Quinn, Amie Roe, Jamaal Sedayao, Emily Shapiro, Caitlin Steitzer, and Kristy Wesolowski.

Thursday April 4, 2013, 7:51am - by WillyAppelman

images

Magnet Theater will be holding auditions for the spring season of Megawatt. Auditions will be held Saturday, April 27th, with callbacks on Sunday, April 28th. To be eligible for the audition, performers need to have completed Magnet Level 6 Team Performance no earlier than January 2011, or to have performed on a Megawatt team within the last year. Please note that due to the limited number of slots auditions are not guaranteed.

To apply, please follow the link and fill out the availability form no later than April 19th.

MEGAWATT AUDITION SIGN UP

Wednesday March 27, 2013, 12:51pm - by catherinewing

poster_beees

BEEES!!! turned 2 earlier this year! They are celebrating with a Two-Year Anniversary Show this Friday, March 29th, at 7pm, and you are all invited!

Formed in late December 2010, BEEES!!! gathered for the first time as a team at Mooncake, a few doors down from the Magnet Training Center.  Over dinner and cheap Sapporo beers, they got better acquainted with one another.  Some had taken the Magnet musical improv classes together, and were nervous and excited to be placed on their very first house team; others were seasoned performers, with years of improv and stage experience under their belts.  What they all had in common, was their musical improv training under the brilliant Tara Copeland and Frank Spitznagel.  BEEES!!! hit the Magnet stage for their first show on Tuesday, January 4th, 2011.

The meta show, November 2011.  Photo by Keith Huang.

The meta show, November 2011. Photo by Keith Huang.

(Team Trivia: Michael Lutton came up with the team name, which won the majority of the votes, over gems such as “7 O’Clock,” “The Richard Cheddar Show,” and “Employee of the Month.”)

Inspirado winners!  Dumb challenge ("Beethoven"), February 2012

Inspirado winners! Dumb challenge (“Beethoven”), February 2012

Since then, BEEES!!! has performed regularly on Magnet Musical Tuesdays, survived two hurricanes (Irene and Sandy), won five Inspirado challenges, and performed in theaters and improv festivals throughout NYC and along the East Coast, including The Depot Theatre, Boston Comedy Arts Festival, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, NYC Improv Festival, and the New York Musical Improv Festival.

Harold Night at ImprovBoston, March 2012

Harold Night at ImprovBoston, March 2012

The Depot Theatre in Westport, NY, July 2012.

The Depot Theatre in Westport, NY, July 2012.

BEEES!!! is happy and proud to call the Magnet Theater home. Come this Friday, March 29th, at 7pm and join them in celebrating 2 years of making beautiful musical improv together.

The BEEES!!! opening, artistically rendered by Desireé Nash

The BEEES!!! opening, artistically rendered by Desireé Nash

BEEES!!! is: Jamie Cummings, Michael Lutton, Desireé Nash, Steve Whyte, Catherine Wing.

Sleepytime at Chateau Whyte, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, February 2013.

Sleepytime at Chateau Whyte, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, February 2013.

 

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

oMz1ynlCjeEz-tSTIYSU9yQKRrTRqE01FcmRAHclMBk,Wr-M4fd_wPEWf0wVcHgQWFohqTUHIGK1lE4Cnw7c9N0

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

JbTN0CVXJAO1Yg3mGQqrOKEuGEzCzQjypQOp4j5Cz0I

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
images
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

large_directorseries

“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

large_company29college

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

large_petermcnerney
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

roundtrip_web

“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!

Friday February 22, 2013, 3:54pm - by WillyAppelman


mod_1

Carly Monardo is a student, graphics designer and performer at The Magnet Theater.    Some of Carly’s recent Magnet projects include Made-Up Musical,  Trike and Magnet Sketch Teams (just to name a few).  We conducted an email interview with Carly Monardo, her answers are below!

*QUESTION: How long have you been drawing?

Carly: I’ve been drawing since as far back as I can remember. I had a few other interests as a kid (at various points I daydreamed about opening a restaurant or becoming a marine biologist) but there was never any doubt that drawing would play an important role in my life. My parents are actually both big appreciators of art in general and animation specifically; I grew up in a house where the walls were covered in production art from Looney Tunes and Disney movies. I have a twin sister who is also an artist, and whenever people as why we pursued art we both joke that we never really had a choice!

*QUESTION:  How did you get started and what inspires you now?

Carly: I feel really lucky to have this as my full-time career now! Remembering that this is what I always dreamed of doing keeps me focused when things are tough. I’m also inspired by the incredible work I see my peers producing, and I’m constantly mining the internet for more art. Every time I see an illustration or design that makes me think, “Oh man, I want to do that!” I make sure I get that person’s name.
*QUESTION: Can you talk a little about your improv background and how you got involved in comedy?

Carly:  I got into improv about a year and a half ago because I was looking for a creative outlet that wasn’t my primary way of earning a living. I had done some sketches and stuff as a kid, but it was all either stuff my sister and I wrote or goofy things I performed in at a day camp. I didn’t try improv until it was part of a week-long acting class that I (kind of bizarrely) had to take when I enrolled in the pre-college Animation program at SVA. The teacher hated us…it wasn’t a very good experience. Later in life I started to see shows at UCB, which I loved, but wasn’t inspired to try again until I went to the Magnet. Friends of mine are pals and collaborators with Justin Moran, so I saw Choral Rage and Featherweight perform and it looked like so much fun! I signed up for a free intro with Rick Andrews (the same free class that my fellow Magnet Designers were in, actually!) and I’ve been hooked since!
____

Check our more of Carly’s work at www.carlymonardo.com and on Tumblr where she puts up sketches and goofy things.