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

Posts Tagged ‘Armando’

Thursday April 11, 2013, 9:15am - by WillyAppelman

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“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.

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!

Thursday December 27, 2012, 3:29pm - by WillyAppelman


The Evente is not the easiest form out there, in fact it can be quite difficult to understand at times.  It begins with one central event, suggested by the audience, and builds from there.  The forms utilizes flashbacks and time jumps, all while focusing on relationships surrounding the event. Created by Armando Diaz in the late 90’s, it is part of the “wild wild west improv movement” that Diaz created when he started the Magnet in 2005.

Check out the above chart  that will help you understand Evente better!  And if you’re looking to study the form with Alex Marino, the next session starts February 2nd!  More info!

Thursday November 1, 2012, 2:41pm - by WillyAppelman

Tonight!  The Director Series continues with “Medusa” directed by Nick Kanellis.   “Medusa” is the ninth installment of The Director Series, a 4-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form.  “Medusa” is a long form improv show involving all performers on stage at all times.  The improvisers alternate between speaking roles and playing inanimate objects.  It all begins Thursday November 1st and continues every thursday at 10pm for the month of November.  The show features Julia Hynes, Peter Collins, Justin Moran, Rick Andrews, Branson Reese, Ali Fisher, Matt B. Weir and Scott Lawrie.  If you’re able to get to the theater safely tonight we’ll see you there!  If not, don’t eat all that 50% off candy at once!

 

Wednesday October 31, 2012, 12:56pm - by WillyAppelman

It’s a HALLOWEEN MIRACLE!  If you’re able to safely get to The Magnet Theater tonight, come out and enjoy some post-Hurricane Halloween Megawatt starting at 7pm!  This is the perfect time to stand up, stretch your legs and sit right back down at The Magnet!

7pm:  MILLIONS OF GHOULS!

8pm:  SPOOKY SAMANTHA!

Candy + Improv + Costumes= TONIGHT!  Classes are CANCELED, but the comedy is ALIVE!

Friday August 3, 2012, 2:26pm - by WillyAppelman
Attention sketch comedians, writers, and actors: the Magnet Theater is excited to invite you to be a part of our 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.  Individuals who have completed Level 1 of the Sketch Writing Program and/or Level 5 of the Improv Program are encouraged to apply.
The system will feature 4 rotating Magnet Sketch teams, each headed by an assigned director.  Those groups will write and perform approximately 3 shows every 6 weeks.  Similar to The Circuit, groups will perform in rotation for 4 months.  After this time, new groups will be formed.
Shows will take place Sunday nights at 9:30 pm.
The first round will begin in September with meetings beginning in August.  So, if you’re not available in August, please wait for the next round (December) to apply.
HOW TO APPLY TO BE ON A MAGNET SKETCH TEAM:
Send an email with the subject line, “MAGNET SKETCH TEAM APPLICATION” and your name to sketchdirector@magnettheater.com.  Include your improv/sketch experience and at least 2 writing samples as attachments (please limit total to 10 – 12 pages).
The deadline for submissions is MONDAY, AUGUST 13th. Apply today!
Wednesday August 1, 2012, 1:27pm - by WillyAppelman

Thursdays at 10pm in August!

This Thursday at 10pm is the debut of “The Weave” directed by Rick Andrews!   The show is the latest installment of the Magnet Theater’s Director Series, a monthly series of performances where a director presents a different improv form with a completely different cast.  The only rule is that there are no rules.  Watch Magnet’s best improvisers perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind blowing parts!  Featuring: Russ Armstrong, Peter McNerney, Chet Siegel, Alan Fessenden, Frank Bonomo, Alex Marino and Special Guests!

For more information, take a look at our Facebook event!

Join us afterwards for a special opening night party at Smithfield!

 

 

Wednesday April 11, 2012, 5:22pm - by WillyAppelman


In a city of over 8 million strangers, it’s incredible to find a place that feels like home.  Yet, in it’s 7th year, the Magnet Theater continues to do that for many improvisers, actors and comedy addicts.  The Magnet’s supportive atmosphere focuses on  following your gut and “yes and”-ing in a grounded and personal way.  There is no fast track, improv is like anything else, it takes time to master.  At the Magnet, there is no pressure to be anybody other than yourself.  Much of that comes from co-founder Armando Diaz, who dreamed that the Magnet would “facilitate people making comedy and meeting each other.”  I sat down with Armando Diaz and inquired about this very important milestone:

Willy Appelman: What was the first show in the Magnet Theater space?

Armando Diaz: I was teaching an Evente class and we had our first show in the theater.  The stage wasn’t finished.  It was an experiment for all of us.  We (Ed Herbstman and Alex more

Wednesday January 4, 2012, 4:09pm - by rickandrews

Tomorrow night at the Magnet is the 5th anniversary of some very special fellows and ladies.  Hello Laser, The Boss, and Junior Varsity, The Magnet’s most veteran house teams, all turn five years old.

Five years is a long time to be an improv team, and you can see that experience borne out every Thursday in the playfulness, patience, trust and skill that these teams exhibit every time they hit the stage.

Come on out tomorrow night and laugh until your silly once again.  Vets Phooka will open up the night at 8pm, followed by Laser, Boss and JV.  At 10pm, there’s a big mix-em up with all the teams as players swap sides for a set or two.  Join everyone at local watering hole Mustang Sally’s after the show for the official after party.

Whew.  We can’t wait.  It’s been a crazy ride.  To celebrate their achievement in longevity, we at the Mblog thought it’d be fun to take a look back at some old photos of these teams so you can see what they were like through the years…

 

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Here's the Hello Laser boys back in year 1, right after being cast by Armando Diaz, and right before finding that dead body and getting threatened by local greaser Jack Bauer.

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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

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