Magnet Theater Blog
“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.
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!
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
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.
“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.
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!
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!
Magnet Theater shows for Saturday, February 9th are still a go as well! Have fun and again, please travel safe.
1. There will be a Curriculum Change:
That’s the recap! See you at the shows!
The most recent Magnet Town Hall meeting took place Thursday, Jan. 31st at 6:30. If you weren’t there, here is a quick recap of what was covered!
Rick Andrews, Head of Promotions, spoke about the many new graphics around the theater- all to the thanks of Carly Monardo, Adam Hawkins, Nolan Constantino & Dennis Pacheco. These four have used their talents to create great show posters, stickers & t-shirts! We’re going to be updating our Newsletter very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that! We’re also going to be launching a street team! If you’re interested in applying, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you have any questions about booking the Magnet for a Corporate show or anything else Magnet Tour Co. related, email Rick at email@example.com.
Michael Martin, Director of The Musical Improv program spoke about the development of the program. There are a few curriculum changes that will be going into effect in the next few months. For more in depth information, be sure to check out The Musical Improv Town Hall, this Saturday (Feb. 2nd) at 11pm at The Magnet Training Center.
Kim Ferguson, The Magnet School Director, spoke about The Magnet Training Center. The Training Center had a great 2012! The Magnet has been able to add more specific classes, we’ve added Hip Hop Improv, Teen Improv (run by Elana Fishbein), more workshops & more advanced studies! In 2012 the Magnet was able to offer special classes with Jeff Hiller, Kevin McDonald, Dave Razowsky, Christina Gausas and many more. Congrats to new Magnet teachers, Nick Kanellis (Improv Level 1), Chet Siegel (Improv Level 1), Elana Fishbein (Teen Improv) and Melanie Hoopes (Intro to Solo Performance). Many congrats! Thanks to Sean Taylor for his incredible work with The Magnet Drop-In Program, be sure to check out the improv, sketch or musical improv Drop-In’s! A special thanks goes to Kyle Levenick, The Training Center Night Manager, who has spearheaded the improvements and upkeep of The Magnet Training Center.
Megan Gray, The Magnet Artistic Director, spoke about getting involved in the theater. If you’re interested in applying for a written show, that’s a Test Drive. If you’re interested in submitting your improv team to perform at The Magnet, that’s The Rundown. Both of these applications can be found HERE on the Magnet website. There will be more Special Improv Q & A’s coming up, so stay tuned. Also, Megan will be taking office hours at The Magnet Training Center on Saturday, Feb. 23rd from 3-6pm. This is a great time to bring up any comments, ideas or concerns. Please email Megan to set up an appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quinton Loder, The Magnet Theater Manager, spoke about the physical changes in the space. His focus has been making the theater safe, friendly and professional. He is always open to suggestions: Quinton@magnettheater.com. Dave Warth has been brought on as The Magnet Technical Director- welcome Dave!
Armando Diaz & Ed Herbstman, Co-Owners of The Magnet Theater, talked about The Magnet’s conception and future. Ed urged students to utilize their honed skills and apply them to different aspects of performing. Armando talked about keeping the Magnet true to its roots. The Theater is growing, and in this growth, Armando urged, it’s important to remember who we are.
That’s all! See you at The Theater!
The next Magnet Town Hall Meeting will be held at The Magnet Theater on Thursday, January 31st at 6:30pm. Boom!
Come hear the latest about the Magnet Theater and Training Center. We’ll talk about highlights from 2012 and things to look forward to in 2013. This is an open forum for students and performers to connect with Magnet teachers, managers and other people that run things or make decisions. This will also be a great way for performers and students to learn about recent changes, current initiatives and upcoming projects and opportunities. Lots to discuss. All are welcome. Including you.
Thursday, January 31st at 6:30pm! See you there!