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

Friday May 6, 2011, 2:31pm - by Ed Herbstman

The deadline is coming up!  Please register now and be sure to take advantage of the return camper rate and the group discount.

Friday May 6, 2011, 11:21am - by admin

The Camp Magnet Kayak Race 2009!  Kayakgeddon.  With the deadline rapidly approaching for Camp Magnet 2011 one can only wonder who will reign supreme in THIS years Kayak race.

 

Sign up today – fun, sun, lake, friends, the best improv workshops money can buy.

Thursday April 28, 2011, 2:36pm - by admin

 

The Magnet Theater is pleased to announce the new cast members of Round 3 of The Circuit!  Team names are starter temporary names.

 

TEAM JESUS

 

    • David Zax

 

    • Lauren Koch

 

    • Andrew Cornelius

 

    • Kristin Cantwell

 

    • Russ Armstrong

 

    • Raja Rajanathan

 

    • Matt Wilson

 

    • Raina Moore

 

TEAM ELVIS

 

    • Damon Ketron

 

    • Danielle Tolley

 

    • Andrew Fafoutakis

 

    • Ellen Korner

 

    • Ilya Grilikhes

 

    • Reilly Owens

 

    • Nathan Peterman

 

    • Meghan Brown

 

TEAM KIRK

 

    • Lisa Goldstein

 

    • Gretchen Poole

 

    • Jason Kopylec

 

    • Nancy Sun

 

    • Eli Itzkowitz

 

    • Mike Schoenbach

 

    • Jay Hoskins

 

    • Brian Frange

 

TEAM BUDDHA

 

    • Ryan Patrick O’Neil

 

    • David Castro

 

    • Evan Barden

 

    • Dario Osowski

 

    • Jenny Doom

 

    • Sam Segan

 

    • Barry Lank

 

    • Will Quinn

 

TEAM LINCOLN

 

    • Richard Dery

 

    • TJ Del Reno

 

    • Ben Furnas

 

    • Josh Friedman

 

    • Samantha Henig

 

    • Theo Shivers

 

    • Kathryn Geraghty

 

    • Willy Appelman

 

TEAM BRANDO

 

    • Sandra Struthers

 

    • David Kieve

 

    • Beth Gold

 

    • Chris Grove

 

    • Dale Davidson

 

    • Greg Dubin

 

    • Cecilia Minshall

 

    • Kevin Napier

 

The Circuit features Harold teams made-up of both current Magnet students and veteran performers.  Teams will rehearse weekly with an assigned coach and have a three month run of shows that starts on Friday May 6th, 10PM with TEAM JESUS, TEAM BUDDHA and TEAM ELVIS at the Magnet Training Center.

Thursday April 28, 2011, 12:30pm - by admin

Chainsaw – Written by Jon Bander (Phooka). Directed and Edited by George Gross.

 

Featuring many Magnet Theater performers: Jared McGrail, Rachel Rauch, Bianca Casusol, Nick Bacan, Steph Garcia, Adam Taylor, Danielle Tolley, Jon Bander, Sean Taylor, Dan, Lucia Brizzi and Nicholas Feitel.

 

Good work everyone!

Wednesday April 27, 2011, 11:45am - by admin

The latest monthly performance of the Magnet Theater all-female revue “We Might Just Kiss”!  This amazing show combines seasoned Magnet Theater female performers with a collection of our funny lady students.  The next performance will take place on Monday, May 30th at 10PM.

Friday April 22, 2011, 3:19pm - by admin

Link: Woody Fu’s “People I Have Met Through Magnet” Album

It’s no secret that taking improv classes at The Magnet Theater is a great way to branch out, try something new and meet fun and interesting people.  Recently Woody Fu, a student and now the most recent addition to the Musical Improv Team, The Sound and the Fury, started to draw everyone he has met through taking classes and performing at The Magnet Theater.  The result is incredibly cool, check it out:

 

   

 

 

The whole album can be viewed by clicking on the title link above.  There are 100+ drawings and it’s been growing larger everyday.  Great job!  Woody also does comics at http://www.peroxidecomics.com.

Thursday April 21, 2011, 5:48pm - by admin

There are two teams on this particular night, Team Lincoln and Team Buddha.  And the house is packed.  It’s standing room only at the Magnet Training Center Studio, and the crowd is laughing.

The Circuit

The Circuit was the brainchild of Mark Grenier, the Magnet’s Senior Level One instructor.  I told Magnet that I wanted to write a blog post about The Circuit, and it was really overdue, so when I saw Mark in the elevator I cornered him awkwardly and peppered him with questions. “It’s about stage time.  Nothing beats stage time.” Mark tried to leave but I pressed all the buttons.  Trapped, he told me that the team structure at Magnet worked well but there were skilled players ready to be on stage that had yet to win a slot on a Megawatt team.  “They weren’t being served because just waiting for the next round of team auditions is not the best way to prepare for team auditions. So we built The Circuit.”  I was satisfied by this answer and let him go. But it was fun making him feel uncomfortable, and I wanted more.

“…just waiting for the next round of team auditions is not the best way to prepare for team auditions. So we built The Circuit.”

So The Circuit works like this: every Friday night at 10pm, three of the current six Circuit teams perform the Harold. Teams exist for three months – enough time to perform a good amount of shows before the next round of Circuit teams replace the current ones.

Circuit 39

The Circuit features Harold teams made-up of both current Magnet students and veteran performers.

After three months, the teams are burned up in a secret sacred ritual and then new Circuit teams rise from the ashes like a comedy phoenix.  This is also known as selecting teams through a lottery.  Later when I followed Mark to his apartment, got naked, climbed his fire escape, and stood outside his window, I asked about this crazy lottery idea.  He said performers apply, and then names are picked out of a hat.  “It’s fast, it’s simple, and it’s equally fair to everyone across the board.” Then he called the police and I ran.  I totally got away.

Want to be on a Circuit team? Anyone who has completed Magnet Level 3 or higher (and is not currently on a Megawatt team or in Team Performance Workshop) can apply. Performers will be chosen randomly by lottery. Teams will rehearse weekly with a coach and have a three month run of shows on Friday nights at the Studio Theater.

To apply, just email circuit@magnettheater.com. Your email will be thrown into a computer hat, and then names will be selected by a robot which looks like this:


Thursday April 21, 2011, 9:49am - by admin

Link: 4 Chicago Bound Shows Reviewed in TimeOut Chicago

 

The Magnet Theater is sending 4 teams out to the Chicago Improv Festival next week.  A represenative from TimeOut Chicago attended our CIF showcase at the beginning of the month and had some nice things to say about The Cascade, Chet Watkins, FACE and Hello Laser.

 

 

Duo Rick Andrews and Jennifer Dunne have a compelling form on their hands… this duo played it smart and patient, and I’d watch them again. (The Cascade)

 

These long-form practitioners have a secret weapon: fearless women. The men aren’t half bad either... All in all, impressive. (Chet Watkins).

 

It’s awesome to hear instrumentation besides a piano, and the musicians rotate frequently (including new ones in Chicago). Also, this group embraced the entirety of the stage in a big way and offered solid callbacks. (FACE)

 

 

 

 

This quartet of goofs is a C.I.F. visiting favorite and, having now witnessed them on home turf, it’s easy to see why… If the C.I.F. were a competition, we know where we’d place our bets. (Hello Laser)

 

 


 

Monday April 11, 2011, 9:27am - by admin

Link: Non-Hulk Featured on Front Page of Funny or Die today

Non-Hulk was a digital short written for Magnet Theater’s monthly comedic short screening, FLICK.

 

Written by Jon Bander and featuring Bander, Quinton Loder and Noel Dinneen (Hulk Hands).  Directed by George Gross and sound recording by Mike Bell.  All part of the Magnet Digital Media Engine!

 

Congrats guys! 

Friday April 8, 2011, 9:27am - by admin

 

Russ started improvising during high school in Ann Arbor Michigan.  There, he and his friends formed a group that they believed to be very “high brow,” but looking back, they are now pretty sure they mostly just made up fart jokes and mocked their principle.  Since then, Russ has come a long way, honing his craft at iO and Second City in Chicago before making The Magnet Theater his improv home base.

 

As a teacher of long-form, Russ tries to keep it positive.  He emphasizes physical and emotional focus.  His objective is to get everyone on board and be okay with playing together. Russ also likes to incorporate tons of metaphors into his teaching.  For instance rather than just tell you to “follow the fear,” as most improv teachers might, Russ, a native of Indianapolis, might quote racecar driver Mario Andretti. “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.”

 

Russ is currently teaching Level 2: Intro to Longform improv.  Check out a listing of our available classes on the Magnet Theater website.