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

Wednesday March 11, 2015, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

Chris Duffy Podcast Subscribe with iTunes

Stand up, radio host, and improviser Chris Duffy joins us this week on the podcast to discuss the various shows he produces and how learning and laughing go together so well. Host Louis Kornfeld asks Chris about the origins of his show You’re The Expert, a radio program, podcast, and live show that asks a panel of three comedians to guess what an academic expert studies all day. We hear about the other stand up shows Chris hosts which they all combine elements of education, shared experience, and comedy. You’ll learn about Chris’s obsession with lists and who he hopes to emulate along the way. Is Chris a highly disciplined comedian? Find out! Also hear about giving gifts and walking through life with open arms rather than arms crossed. Plus, Chris shares his biggest bomb ever and talks about getting into comedy because it felt important. Tune in, friends!

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #35 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Monday March 9, 2015, 8:00am - by Magnet Theater


From here on in, ALL classes will meet at the new Magnet Training Center located on the 10th floor of 22 West 32nd Street. Your classroom assignments will be posted on the lobby display.

Hope to see you at the new space soon!

Wednesday March 4, 2015, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

Charlie Whitcroft Podcast Subscribe with iTunes
Our guest this week, Charlie Whitcroft, has known our host, Louis Kornfeld, for 23 years and they have been best friends just as long. Join us on this episode for a trip down Memory Lane as Louis and Charlie revisit their younger days, but also reflect on the upcoming 10 year anniversary of the Magnet. Part of a group of improvising friends, Charlie was the long holdout and the last to join in on the improv fun. He talks about being intimidated at first and how he got over his hesitation. These two friends discuss turning points in life and how they’ve seemingly led parallel existences over the last two-plus decades, both becoming grown ups in the improv world. As an improviser who (Louis claims) plays great heart-to-heart moments, we find out how Charlie brings that sense of patience to his teaching. Plus, we hear about the raw, early days of the Magnet Theater, the mystery of Kevin Dorff workshops, and Charlie’s new Directors Series, Rashamon.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #34 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Tuesday March 3, 2015, 1:19pm - by Magnet Theater

MusicMega(web) (2)

We’re so excited to announce that auditions for the next season of Musical Megawatt will be held on Saturday, March 28th from 6-10pm, with callbacks on Sunday the 29th at the same time.

To schedule an audition time, fill out this form. We’ll do our best to accommodate everyone’s schedules, but please understand that we can’t guarantee anyone a particular audition time.

Submissions must be received by Wednesday, March 18th and emails with assigned audition times will be sent out on Friday the 20th.

Please note: Only people who have completed Musical Level 3 at Magnet Theater are eligible to submit.

We look forward to seeing you at auditions!

Click here to apply.

Monday March 2, 2015, 10:45am - by Megan Gray

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The Magnet Theater is pleased to announce the new teams and additions for the spring 2015 season of Megawatt, debuting this Wednesday, March 4th at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm and 10pm. We hope to see you there.

New Team ORANGE:
Tim Dufrisne
Chris Dwane
Katie Mordhorst
Nick Jaramillo
Keilana Decker
Suerynn Lee
Justin Anderson
Justin Torres

New Team PURPLE:
Ali Fisher
Charlie Nicholson
Marie Latagan
Derrence Washington
Matt Antonucci
Collin Batten
Evan Barden
Kristina Grosspietsch

New Team PINK:
Gregg Zehentner
Dovid Schwartz
Kate Koch
Kelly Donahue
Neil Pohl
Patrick Vermillion
Corey Laovsky
Hal Phillips


Wednesday February 25, 2015, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

Sean Taylor Podcast Subscribe with iTunes

Long-time Magnet performer and all-around swell guy, Sean Taylor, joins host Louis Kornfeld in the studio for an interview. A military brat growing up, Sean has called New York City home longer than anywhere else and, since moving to NYC right out of college in 1999, Sean has watched the improv boom happen first-hand. He’s gone from diehard ASSSSCAT fan to a Harold Night player to an instructor at Magnet. He and Louis discuss the underground nature of those earlier days and how the UCB seemed to bring a sense of positivity, respect, and empathy to the NYC comedy scene. Sean tells us how community plays such an important part in his life, whether it’s comedy, eating pizza, playing softball, or meeting his wife. Louis asks Sean about teaching the weekly Drop-In Class and his upcoming elective course Here, Now, discussing the difference between working with a steady group of students versus one that changes week to week and his love of discovery in two person scenes. As a teacher, he applies the debugging skills from his work as a computer programmer to classes in an effort to guide people away from fear-based choices to joy-based ones. These two vets also discuss the early days of Magnet, the difference between agreement and acceptance, and the privilege of being continually inspired by other improvisers.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #33 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Friday February 20, 2015, 11:04am - by Magnet Theater



Working on solo characters? Developing a new sketch?

The Magnet Theater is proud to present a new show coming in March, powered by new ideas—The Generator!

Every Sunday at 6pm, Magnet students, writers and performers try out brand-new sketches and solo characters in 5 and 15-minute slots. The Generator will also help writers develop a larger show one piece at a time. It’s never-before-seen comedy for your eyeballs.

See you at the premiere on Sunday, March 1st at 6pm.

Questions? Email themagnetgenerator@gmail.com.

Wednesday February 18, 2015, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

Brandon Gardner Podcast Subscribe with iTunes

On this episode of the podcast, we welcome UCBT performer, instructor, and improv nerd Brandon Gardner into the studio to talk about college improv, his class focused on creating improvised plays, and various elements of compelling improv. Our host, Louis Kornfeld, begins the hour getting into Brandon’s vast experiences working with college improv teams and bookends the 60ish minutes by taking it all back to those formative years. In the meantime, Brandon describes why he became interested in bringing elements of theater to the improv stage and how he challenges actors to improvise and improvisers to act. For all our fellow improv nerds out there, you’ll love as Louis and Brandon parse through topics such as displaying emotion versus emoting authentically; playing to the top of your intelligence versus playing to the top of your integrity; story versus plot; and dramatic comedy versus comedic drama. These two veteran teachers trade exercises and generally advise on what is essential to playing satisfying improv scenes. Check it out!

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #32 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Monday February 9, 2015, 12:15pm - by Magnet Theater


Stop by the theater tomorrow night (Tuesday, February 10th) for a very special edition of Musical Megawatt—Musical MS’terpieces! Last year, we raised nearly $400 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Climb to the Top…this year, we hope to do even better and we’d love your help!

In addition to stellar musical improv from some of your favorite house teams (The Stragglers, Aquarius, Goats, Mint Condition and Wonderland), we’ll also be selling baked goods and raffling off prizes to raise donations for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. What can you win? Bottles of wine, Magnet Theater show tickets, a beach towel with the TARDIS on it, scented candles that were made by (and smell like) members of Wonderland, and much much more—all for an important cause.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. The mission of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is to mobilize people and resources to drive research and address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. All donations raised tomorrow night will benefit the 10,000 people living with MS in New York City and its surrounding areas by helping fund comprehensive programs and services for people with MS as well as ongoing efforts towards a cure.

Laugh, sing, and dance in the face of MS with shows at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. Raffle drawings will be held at the top of the 9 o’clock hour! Baked goods will be sold all night! Plus, we’ll cap off the evening with a Musical Mixer (with special guest Goats) at 10:15pm.

Hope to see you there—but if you can’t make it and you’d like to make a donation, you can do so here. Thank you for your support!

Friday February 6, 2015, 11:45am - by Magnet Theater

NWAF Podcast Subscribe with iTunes


Gather around, friends! For this episode, we’ve got Carly and Justin from Now We Are Friends, a monthly variety show in New York City that features improv, sketch, and live music. They sit down with our host Louis Kornfeld to talk about their show, which is celebrating its second anniversary this Sunday, February 8th. The show’s host, Justin Morgan, and show creator/performer/producer, Carly Monardo, get into what the show means to them and we all learn the value of friendship in the arts. They discuss the long history of comedy and music sharing performance spaces, plus, Louis endorses NWAF as a refreshingly douche-free show! Huzzah!

Catch their 2nd Anniversary Show this Sunday, February 8th, at The Parkside Lounge at 9PM!

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #31 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.