Magnet Theater Blog
“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.
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.
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.
(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.”)
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.
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.
BEEES!!! is: Jamie Cummings, Michael Lutton, Desireé Nash, Steve Whyte, Catherine Wing.
Congratulations to the BRAND NEW MUSICAL MEGAWATT TEAMS! Both teams premiered Tuesday, March 12th to an incredibly warm Magnet audience. The new teams are:
Rachel Alexa Norman
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.
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
Rachel Alexa Norman
New Team Funkadelic- Director: Ross Taylor
Circuit Team- Director: Laura Dlug
Mixer Team- Director: Robin Rothman Taylor and T.J. Mannix
For more information, check out www.magnettheater.com. Congratulations again and see you Tuesday, March 12th at 7pm for the debut!
“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!