In a city of over 8 million strangers, it’s incredible to find a place that feels like home. Yet, in it’s 7th year, the Magnet Theater continues to do that for many improvisers, actors and comedy addicts. The Magnet’s supportive atmosphere focuses on following your gut and “yes and”-ing in a grounded and personal way. There is no fast track, improv is like anything else, it takes time to master. At the Magnet, there is no pressure to be anybody other than yourself. Much of that comes from co-founder Armando Diaz, who dreamed that the Magnet would “facilitate people making comedy and meeting each other.” I sat down with Armando Diaz and inquired about this very important milestone:
Willy Appelman: What was the first show in the Magnet Theater space?
Armando Diaz: I was teaching an Evente class and we had our first show in the theater. The stage wasn’t finished. It was an experiment for all of us. We (Ed Herbstman and Alex CLICK TO READ MORE…
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!
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
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!
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…
- Amanda Hirsch
- Beth Newell
- Catherine Wing
- christian paluck
- Company 29
- Craft Beer
- Jamaal Sedayao
- jason scott quinn
- Julia Hynes
- Kevin Cobbs
- lauren olson
- Mike Barry
- Nick Benaquista
- nick kanellis
- Opening Night
- Paul Barker
- peter mcnerney
- PS 2012
- Public School
- Rachel Rauch
- Ross Taylor
- ruby marez
- sketch show
- Tim Eberle
- willy appelman
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…