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

Monday January 12, 2015, 4:43pm - by Megan Gray

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Hold on to your NuvaRings. The Lady Sketch Show is back—and this year, we want YOU to help us make it bigger and better than ever!

Here’s how it’ll work:

We’ll be meeting on Saturdays 12-3 at the new Magnet Training Center (22 West 32nd Street, 10th floor) for six weeks starting January 31st.

You’ll bring in a mix of new and rewritten sketches each week (1 or 2). We’ll give each other feedback for rewrites. The best sketches will be put into the final shows (March 16th, 23rd and 30th at 7pm).

For the first meeting all we ask is that you bring in is:

1. An example of a sketch that you saw on TV or staged and why you love it.
2. An example of something that happened in your day/week/month/life that you thought was really funny. Anything.

THAT’S IT! You don’t even have to write anything just yet. Give it a try.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED:

But I’ve never written sketch or taken a sketch class.
That’s totally fine. We still want you.

But I really can’t write. Can I just perform?
You can get involved as a performer only. Come to the meeting anyway. You might find yourself accidentally writing something amazing.

But I can’t perform/memorize lines.
You can just write then.

I write better with a partner. I can’t do this on my own.
You and your (female) partner can present co-written material at meetings. Alternatively, if you realize you really like working with someone at the meetings, you can go off and write together.

I can’t make all the meetings.
Come when you can. What ends up in the show will be the best material, meaning it will probably have been presented to the group and rewritten a number of times, but feel free to show up when you can.

Is this going to be a comedy show only about periods and tampons?
No, it will be about whatever you decide to write.

But I’m still scared.
Follow your fear. Remember how hard improv used to seem before you actually tried it?

More questions?
Email: megan@magnettheater.com

See you there,
Amanda Xeller, Megan Gray & Chet Siegel

 

 

Wednesday January 7, 2015, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

Lee Overtree Podcast magnetituneslogo-PODCASTsmall

Lee Overtree, Artist Director of Story Pirates and writer/director of FOUND The Musical, sits down with our own Louis Kornfeld for a discussion on effective education, how children are amazing writers, and his experience in adapting unconventional source material for the stage. Story Pirates is a nationally respected education and media organization founded in 2003 to celebrate the words and ideas of young people and Lee has been there from the very beginning. He and Louis discuss improv in the classroom and on the stage and Lee asserts that desire drives learning. He also shares how the Story Pirates get kids to have fun with expository writing and talks about the Story Pirates Podcast. True to his Story Pirates roots, Lee grants Louis “permission to get weird” in this episode and it concludes with a lively talk about FOUND The Musical, a new show based on Found Magazine, and how sometimes the best direction to take a project is the most obvious.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #26 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Monday January 5, 2015, 2:20pm - by Megan Gray

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The Magnet Theater is pleased to announce the new Circuit Winter 2015 season, debuting next Friday, January 16th at 10:30pm at the Magnet Theater Training Center.

The teams are:

Winter
Austin Kuras
Cynthia Restrepo
Daniel Lisle
Lorina Ladrillono
Kabir Rao
Maggie Lalley
Eric Tang
Jenny Hochberg
Coach: Matthew Sellitti

Macaulay
Michael McFadden
Annemarie Cullen
Joy Passey
Joanne Maurno
Sean Kehoe
Allie Trimboli
Jeffrey Hsin
Sammy Liu
Coach: Shawn Wickens

Abernathy
Justin Zaun
Nat Trammell
Ryan McVerry
Irene Lacis
Brigid Moynahan
Elias Colombotos
Onyi Nwosu
Sarah Rebar
Coach: Phoebe Tyers

Corcoran
James Roberts
Jess Wyant
James Coniglio
Leslie Gail
Jacob Mahoney
Joe Croson
Sarah Bush
Annie Howard
Coach: Noel Dinneen

This is going to be a great round — come out and enjoy these FREE shows every Friday at 10:30pm!

Monday December 22, 2014, 9:11pm - by Megan Gray

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Congratulations to the newest Magnet Sketch Teams and the newest additions to Action Park and Baby Shoes:

NEW TEAM NICHOLS directed by Rob Webber
Kim Ferguson
Becca Schall
Lane Kwederis
Brandon Lisy
Matt Alspaugh
Kelly Kreye
Alex Kane
Patrick Haggerty
Lex Morales

NEW TEAM MAY directed by Jana Schmieding
Pratima Mani
Rosie Whalen
Elena Skopetos
Jesse Mudrick
Ross Taylor
Jimmy O’Connell
Andrew Mills
Ari Miller
Trumane Alston

 

Monday December 22, 2014, 8:22pm - by Megan Gray

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We are now accepting applications for the Circuit Winter 2015 season. Circuit Teams are made up of Magnet Theater students, graduates of our training program, and veteran performers. We believe that in order to get better at improv, you need to do it.

The deadline to apply is Monday, December 29th at noon. Teams will be announced December 30th. Rehearsals start the weekend of January 3rd. Shows will begin Friday January 16th. Teams will perform Friday nights at 10:30pm for nine weeks. If you have any questions email Circuit@Magnettheater.com.

To apply, just click HERE.

Tuesday December 16, 2014, 8:05pm - by Magnet Theater

Jesse Acini Podcast magnetituneslogo-PODCASTmedium

Sketch writer, actor, and improviser Jesse Acini sits down with host Louis Kornfeld to talk about getting his start in comedy, the growth of the Magnet community, and having more fun along the way. An active participant in the NYC improv and sketch scene since the early 2000s, Jesse talks about The Second City in NYC, discusses studying with Gary Austin, and otherwise litters this episode with tidbits about the olden days. Not to mention, he provides some solid advice for aspiring sketch writers! Jesse and Louis have  known each other for eight years and this is the longest conversation they’ve ever had — you don’t want to miss it!

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #25 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Wednesday December 10, 2014, 6:00am - by Magnet Theater

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Host Alex Marino sits down with stand-up, improviser, writer, and podcaster Brian Frange to talk about all things comedy. Brian brags about being the best actor in his high school but admits that becoming a stand-up ruined his chops. He discusses his feat of doing 70 open mics in 30 days and his appearance at this year’s Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival. Plus, Brian talks about founding Awkward Silence Comedy at Indiana University, how to find your comedic voice, getting started in stand-up and The Unbelievable Podcast, which he hosts. Frazzled Frange might even make an appearance!

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #24 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Thursday December 4, 2014, 6:13pm - by evan barden

For over four years, Brick has entertained Megawatt audiences each week with their hilarious, multifaceted attack and undeniable originality and last night, the Magnet community gave them the send-off they deserved.

With a full hour at their disposal, Brick began their set with a slideshow capturing the chemistry of a team that has spent over four years together and retained six of their eight original members with two delightful additions along the way. (They even had former member Tim Eberle cheering them on from the audience, showing the support that helped define such a team.) After the slideshow, the lights dimmed, Helter Skelter dropped in, rising in volume as the cast banged against the backstage wall, and Brick finally entered to do what they do best — give one hell of an improv show.

The ensuing set from Brick’s Rick Andrews, Julia Hynes, Joe Miles, Branson Reese, Amie Roe, Jamaal Sedayao, Caitlin Steitzer, and Jed Teres was filled with hilarity and indicative of a team that not only knows how to have fun with each other, but are also experts of the form. As the show reached its anticipated climax, the lights came down and the audience burst into a display of appreciation. The praise continued for the rest of the night and we’re sure the conversations about them will continue for years.

From their beginnings as “New Team Brick” to their Oh Shit! INSPIRADO throwdown to their string of “new form” shows, Brick has been a darling of Megawatt and improv at Magnet, and they will surely be missed.

Check out the videos and photos below from last night!

Tuesday December 2, 2014, 6:06pm - by Magnet Theater

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The multi-talented sketch writer/performer, improviser, and head of Musical Megawatt, Michael Lutton, sits down with host Louis Kornfeld to discuss what makes for good musical improv and how it can benefit “regular” improv. He talks about the advantages of pushing boundaries when no one is looking and provides advice for improvisers looking to learn musical improv outside of NYC. This one is all about selling it in the moment.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #23 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Tuesday November 25, 2014, 4:14pm - by Magnet Theater

blank image for podcast magnetituneslogo-PODCASTmedium

Louis Kornfeld gets up on his soapbox along with Michael Girts and Mike Descoteaux to preach the virtues of bringing musical improv to the big stage. Blank! The Musical is a big budget improvised musical playing Off-Broadway at New World Stages in NYC. Louis talks with both Mikes about the hard work and planning that goes into producing such an incredible show, and how framing the performance and accepting the audience as an integral part of the show help to propel on-the-spot theater to new heights.

NYT Review: Click here; Broadway World Review: Click here; The Source Review: Click here.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #22 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.