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

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!

Sunday April 1, 2012, 11:13am - by Ed Herbstman

Who’s There?  You are!  Or at least you will be after this class!

To be a master at comedy you have to master the classics.  Nothing is more classic than the Knock Knock Joke and no one does it better than 9-year old Asher Hersbtman.  After conquering the PS 261 talent show, Asher will stop by the Magnet to teach a special workshop for you in the art of timing your knocks, deciding what kind of door are you knocking on, and properly revealing who actually is there. You’ll also learn advanced techniques like the doorbell move and screen doors.  Course time will also be dedicated to instruction on clever puns especially related to farting.

Cost:  5 bags of candy or 3 back issues of Game Informer

Date: April 1st, 2012

'Knock' 'em dead!

Asher Kills At Talent Show

Asher Will Teach You How To Work The Crowd

 

Friday March 30, 2012, 12:14pm - by seantaylor
newsletter_edited
 

 

Magnet Theater
March 28, 2012

 

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Just For Laughs:

Character Auditions

Watch some of New York’s funniest sketch comedians showcase their finest character comedy, vying for a spot in the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.

Free!

Click here for more information.

Happy Anniversary, Chet Watkins!

Watching Chet Watkins is the improv equivalent of watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Click here for more information.

Gausas and MegaLou

Megan Gray and Louis Kornfeld cram 14 years of dating and 6+ years of friendship with Christina Gausas, into 60 minutes of improvised comedy.
Click here for more information.

MAGNET CLASSES

Mono-Scene with Alan Fessenden 

The Mono-scene is an opportunity to develop a world in one single location. Through the exploration of fully realized characters, students will develop listening skills and patience. The eight class sessions are followed by a four week run of shows, giving students an enhanced opportunity to learn by doing, over time, in front of a real audience. Prerequisite: Magnet Level Three.

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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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!

Saturday March 3, 2012, 5:12pm - by catherinewing

The opening night of Company 29’s show, PS 2012, played to a sold-out crowd last night. Under the directon of Nick Benaquista, the show ran smoothly, with top-notch performances by some of the best performers at the Magnet, and effortless transitions between sketches. This was a great start for Company 29, the Magnet Theater’s very first sketch company-in-residence. CLICK TO READ MORE…

Wednesday February 29, 2012, 5:21pm - by Charlie Whitcroft

Good improv is a little like a campfire.

There are three components to a campfire – heat, fuel and air.

Heat is the catalyst that forces the fuel and air to combust – a match, lightning, or a magical spell. If that catalyst is introduced effectively, heat will continue to be generated by combustion. Fuel is anything that combusts – wood, paper, or witch. Air is air – oxygen, really, but that’s in the air. Without all three, your marshmallows will go untoasted. CLICK TO READ MORE…

Wednesday February 29, 2012, 5:03pm - by catherinewing

This Friday, 3/2 at 8:30pm marks a historic occasion at the Magnet Theater. It is the opening night of “PS 2012,” the inaugural show of the Magnet Theater’s very first sketch company-in-residence, Company 29. Set in and around a public school, PS 2012 will introduce you to characters from the school bus to the schoolyard and the academic beyond.

Dedicated to producing new and original sketch comedy shows on a continual basis, Company 29 consists of the Magnet’s strongest writers, performers and directors. The goal of Company 29 is to create character-driven, thematically cohesive sketch shows with a uniquely Magnet voice. CLICK TO READ MORE…