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

Posts Tagged ‘armando diaz’

Sunday February 24, 2013, 5:59pm - by WillyAppelman

roundtrip_web

“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.

Have you seen an evolution in improv over the years?
No.

Where do you see it going?
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!

Friday February 1, 2013, 1:13pm - by WillyAppelman

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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 schooldirector@magnettheater.com.  Also, if you have any questions about booking the Magnet for a Corporate show or anything else Magnet Tour Co. related, email Rick at rick@magnettheater.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: megan@magnettheater.com.

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!

Friday November 30, 2012, 2:23pm - by WillyAppelman

Ladies and Gentleman, with less than a day left until Armando Diaz attempts to teach and coach improv & sketch for 24 hours straight, we bring you the official schedule!  Armando will be working with all of these people from noon Saturday, December 1st until noon Sunday, December 2nd.  He’s pretty sick, a bit loopy and losing his voice- but he won’t back down.  Can he do it?  Will Diaz break the world record for teaching improv & sketch in order to raise money for Hurricane Relief?  Feel free to find out in person by joining in on one of the Improv Jam’s!

SATURDAY DEC. 1st
12pm-1:30pm: Andrew Cornelius
1:30pm-3pm: Intern Jam!
3pm-6pm: Sketch Level 1
6pm-8pm: Michael Dervin
8pm-10pm: Chet Watkins
10pm-11:59am: Gwen Mesco
11:59pm-2am:  Drop-in Jam!!!! (OPEN TO EVERYONE)

SUNDAY DEC. 2nd
2am-4am: Mick Murtha
4am-6am: Matt Antonucci
6am-8am: Eaglefox
8am-10am: Honey
10am-12pm: Free Intro to Improv

Come and cheer this brave man on.  Can he do it?  I guess we’ll all find out together!  We’ll post updates as the day goes on and so can you at #Armando.  Godspeed Armando Diaz.

Thursday November 15, 2012, 2:26pm - by WillyAppelman

With a tournament schedule that looks like Monday Night Football meets Whose Line Is It Anyway, CIF Productions brings you the 2012-2013 College Improv Tournament at The Magnet Theater this Saturday, Nov. 17th!  Enjoy the nations best College Teams as they duke it out for the title of “Best College Improv Team”!  Check out the schedule below!

12pm 

The Whistling Shrimp – Cornell University
Scatterbomb – Manhattan College
A 4 Effort – Rutgers University 

2pm

Dangerbox – New York University
Yale Exit Players – Yale University
Quipfire! – Princeton University
Fruit Paunch – Columbia University

4pm

Gag Reflex – Wesleyan University
The Georgetown Improv Association – Georgetown University
Horse Lincoln Improv – University of Connecticut

7PM Finals

Wildcard team (top 2nd place team for the day)
12pm match winner
2pm match winner
4pm match winner

Click here for more information! 

Tuesday November 6, 2012, 10:25am - by WillyAppelman

As Hurricane relief continues, Armando Diaz has decided to donate his time and talents to the cause.  That is why on Saturday, Dec. 1st from 12pm until Sunday, Dec. 2nd at 12pm- Armando Diaz will teach & coach improv and sketch comedy for 24 hours straight!  All of the money raised from the Coach-athon will be donated to the Red Cross for Hurricane Relief.

Let the bidding begin: BID HERE! 

Monday November 5, 2012, 6:22pm - by WillyAppelman

Hurricane Sandy has caused a lot of damage and made a lot of people homeless. It has been a really difficult time for so many people and I want to do what I can to help out. So I am going to raise money by attempting to coach and teach Improv and Sketch for 24 hours straight. YES THAT IS RIGHT! I’M GOING TO TRY AND TEACH AND COACH FOR 24 HOURS IN A ROW. All money raised from this Marathon will be donated to the Red Cross.

WHEN IS IT?
Saturday, December 1st at noon through Sunday, December 2nd until noon.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
Well, aside from teaching a couple of my regular classes on Saturday, we are offering slots around the clock that you and your improv group can bid on and get coached by me. In those slots we can work on whatever you want. I am at your disposal.

BIDDING
Bidding starts on Tuesday, November 6th at 11 am and will end at Sunday, November 25th at 6pm. Bids will be tallied and winners will be announced on Monday, November 26th after 12 noon. LET THE BIDDING BEGIN!

And on Saturday Dec. 1st AT Midnight there will be a DROP IN CLASS JAM. (Minimum suggested donation is $10 at the door) Groups and individuals welcomed.

And on Sunday, December 2nd from 10 am to 12pm there will be a FREE IMPROV TRIAL CLASS. If you or your friends have been wanting to try improv and don’t mind being taught by someone with a hoarse voice, this is the class to attend.

So if you have always wanted to be coached by me or you just want to see if a man can teach improv non-stop for 24 hours then please join me for The Armando Diaz Hurricane Relief Teaching & Coaching-athon, Sat 12/1 – Sun 12/2. And please help spread the word.

Sincerely,

Armando Diaz
Founder
Magnet Theater, New York

Monday August 20, 2012, 11:31am - by WillyAppelman

Congratulations to the new Magnet Sketch Teams!  Magnet Sketch Teams are the sketch comedy equivalent of Megawatt, our house improv teams. Sketch Teams are groups of writers and performers who will work with directors to create a run of sketch shows.   Thank you to all those who applied, we’re excited to introduce these incredible teams! The first show is Sunday September 16th at 9:30!  See you there!

 

TEAM LEONARDO

Ruby Marez

Lisa Herring

Alex Marino

Phoebe Tyers

Todd Shaeffer

Adam Twitchell

Ingrid Ostby

Bob Kern

Steph Garcia

 

TEAM RAPHAEL

Willy Appelman

Kim Ferguson

Vince Milosevich

Stephanie Streisand

Alan Fessenden

Sarah Pappalardo

Joe Miles

Sean Taylor

Andrew Vuilleumier

 

TEAM DONATELLO

Emily Shapiro

Jim Turner

Branson Reese

Nivea Serrao

David Rynn

Nick Feitel

Kaitlin Fontana

Geri Cole

Jon Moisan

 

TEAM MICHELANGELO

Jane Stolar

Gretchen Poole

Jana Schmieding

Ben Kharakh

Matt Antonucci

Danielle Tolley

Lauren Olsen

Joe Lepore

Matt Wassung

 

Thursday May 3, 2012, 10:01am - by WillyAppelman

This Saturday at 11am at The Magnet Theater, Megan Gray will be moderating a Q & A with improv legends Susan Messing and Christina Gausas!

Messing is a director and actress living in Chicago.  Best known for her work with Second City, iO and The Annoyance Theatre, she is well revered in the NYC, Chicago and L.A. improv and acting communities.

Christina Gausas is an actress, writer and director living in NYC.  She has appeared on 30 Rock, Delocated, Important Things w/ Dimitri Martin,  and Late Night w/ Conan O’Brien.  Christina was named one of “The 10 Funniest New Yorker’s You’ve Never Heard Of” by New York Magazine.  She is also directing “The Subject” at The Magnet Theater, opening Thursday May 3rd at 10pm and running until May 31st!

The Q & A is completely free, RSVP at megan@magnettheater.com to reserve a spot!

Monday January 30, 2012, 6:49pm - by catherinewing
In 2006, Josh Fulton, an alumnus of Magnet Megawatt teams Pax Romana and Science!, single-handedly embarked on an ambitious project, into which he poured countless hours of time and energy.  He decided to interview some of the most respected improv minds in the country, in person and over the phone.  He transcribed those interviews and posted them on his blog, Improv Interviews.  His very first interview was with Armando Diaz, co-founder of the Magnet Theater.
Armando Diaz being pointed at.

Armando Diaz being pointed at.

A complete list and breakdown of interviews come after the jump… more
Wednesday November 10, 2010, 10:09am - by admin

Armando Diaz Improv Resource Center Podcast Interview

Magnet Theater founder Armando Diaz was recently interviewed by Kevin Mullaney for the Improv Resource Center podcast.  In the interview Armando discusses the lessons he has learned by opening his own improv theater, how he has evolved as a teacher, how he helps students connect with their scene partners, scene initiations and more!  If you are an improv comedy nerd this is definitely a great interview to listen to!

IRC Podcast 11-09-2010 – Armando Diaz