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

Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

Thursday September 6, 2012, 3:56pm - by WillyAppelman

This Thursday Sept. 6th at 10pm marks the debut of The Magnet Theater’s 8th Director’s Series!  This month, Neil McNamara directs Deep Dish, a long form improv show interspersed with character monologues, a staple of Chicago-style improvisation.  In Chicago, McNamara has worked with Second City, The Annoyance, iO and Boom Chicago. Fresh to New York, McNamara is bringing a Chicago staple to the east coast, DEEP DISH!

Featuring Peter McNerney, Beth Newell, Nick Kanellis, Julia Hynes and Neil McNamara.

Every Thursday at 10pm in September!  More Info HERE.

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

 

Wednesday August 8, 2012, 3:41pm - by WillyAppelman

Saturday, July 28th marked the Magnet Theater’s second Ladies Night. From 7pm – 11:30pm the stage was set for only those with X chromosomes. Hosted by Magnet’s Artistic Director Megan Gray and Registrar Kim Ferguson, the shows featured over 50 female performers from all over the city, improvising, reciting poetry and putting on a sketch show.

The 7 & 8pm blocks featured female improvisers from Magnet, The PIT and UCB, in mixed combinations you have probably never seen before (except in your dreams). The Magnet was packed to capacity, as 9pm brought a special :Kiss*Punch*Poem: Ladies Night edition — all female poets and all female improvisers.

Finally, 10:30pm marked the Lady Sketch Show. Directed by Beth Newell, the show featured over 20 actresses, performing sketches written by 8 female writers. Over the past 6 weeks, all of the ladies of the Lady Sketch Lab have been working tirelessly, writing, rewriting, and blocking until it reached ultimate perfection. If you missed this life-changing sketch show, return to the Magnet Saturday, August 25th at 7:30pm to see a special encore performance.  It was a great evening, with great shows, see you next Ladies Night!

 

Wednesday August 8, 2012, 9:23am - by WillyAppelman

The latest installment of The Director’s Series, directed by Rick Andrews, opened last Thursday to a loving Magnet audience!  The Weave, the 7th installment of The Director’s Series, is a “rule-less” form that encourages organic improvisation in two parts.  The cast did a wonderful job of incorporating the suggestion into a string of organically found scenes.

The show started with a trio taking on the mythical tales of “Ernesto”, a mysterious wise old man.  It then transformed into a physical game, in which two brute doctor’s are trying to save a man’s life. The scene continues until they were transfused into an entirely different set of circumstances from the other trio.  The six players found themselves onstage, slowly dying from a gas leak.  This quickly became a scene about a love triangle which transformed into Olympic Gold Medal winners.

The show continued, weaving (sorry) in and out of different scenes, only to call back what was necessary.  It ended, like all shows should end, with a backflip.

The Weave continues this Thursday at 10pm at The Magnet Theater, and continues every thursday at 10pm for the month of August.  Make sure to catch a performance before it’s took late!


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 July 25, 2012, 2:19pm - by WillyAppelman

SAT. JULY 28TH- $10 FOR THE NIGHT!

This Saturday, July 28th is a night you don’t want to miss!  All star casts of lady comedienne’s take the Magnet stage to bring you breathtaking sketch, improv and poetry!  For the incredibly cheap price of $10, you’re in for the whole night!  But who and what is it?  Read on Noble woman….

7pm- Lady Liberty Improv:  Phoebe Tyers, Alexis Lambright, Rachel Werbel, Caitlin Steitzer, Abby Holland, Chrissie Gruebel, Ingrid Ostby, Maggie Morris, Melissa Gordon, Lauren Olson, Christina Dabney, Jen Curran.

8pm- Lady Godiva Improv: Christina Gausas, Keisha Zollar, Kelly Buttermore, Ruby Marez, Emily Shapiro, Jen Sanders, Maddy Mako, Amber Nelson, Shannon Coffey, Danielia Donohue, Angela DeManti.

9pm- Kiss Punch Poem: Megan Gray, Kim Ferguson, Bianca Casusol, Sandra Struthers, Angela DeManti, Lisa Flanaghan, Alexis Lambright, Meghann Plunkett.  (W/ All Female Poets).

10:30 pm- Lady Sketch Show!!! Directed by Beth Newell 

Written by: Heather Seltzer, Gwen Mesco, Kate Chamuris, Kelly Donahue, Ali Fisher, Megan Meadows, Stephanie Streisand, Kaitlin Fontana.

Featuring:  Heather Seltzer, Gretchen Poole, Ruby Marez, Robin Rothman, Gwen Mesco, Steph Garcia, Tamara Young, Megan Meadows, Jaclynn Larington, Hannah Chase, Kate Chamuris, Kristy Wesolowski, Ali Fisher, Stephanie Streisand, Jennifer Stokes, Danielle Tolley, Emily Shapiro, Beth Newell, Kaitlin Fontana, Phoebe Tyers.

Hosted by Megan Gray & Kim Ferguson!  Don’t miss this incredibly cheap and hilarious night!  Get there at 7pm and stay til the afterparty!

Reservations Here

Facebook Event

Join us afterwards at Smithfield for an afterparty with special Lady Drinks!

Wednesday June 6, 2012, 10:52pm - by WillyAppelman

Poster by Carly Monardo

Jazz Freddy is the fifth installment of The Director Series, a 4-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form. This month, Charlie Whitcroft directs a form named after the Chicago group that made it famous. Kevin Cragg, Tony Mui, Gretchen Poole, Jamie Rivera, Sandra Struthers, Teddy Shivers, Mike Ferreira and Kristy Wesolowski take the stage under Whitcroft’s mighty direction. We spoke with Charlie about his choice to present the form.

What is Jazz Freddy?

Structurally, Jazz Freddy is a 4 scene tag-out piece that starts in the present (whatever that means), then tags to the past, tags to the past again, then tags to the future. Simple though it is, it can only be performed by a stellar cast. We get to meet a character, see a bit of her developmentally significant life moments, then see how things turn out for her. Then there’s a further exploration of the other characters we’ve met, and the world they live in. Jazz Freddy is named after the group that performed it first in Chicago in 1992. The first cast included Jimmy Carrane, Rachel Dratch, Dave Koechner, Noah Gregoropoulos, Miriam Tolan, Kevin Dorff, Brian Stack, Meredith Zinner, and others. I’ve heard that it was the first long form show to use tag-outs. I don’t know if that’s true, and I haven’t been able to find anyone who was even alive in 1992 to confirm or deny.

Why did you choose this form?

Two things that I love about the Jazz Freddy – it’s not too complicated, and it’s a lot of fun. The Boss performed Jazz Freddy for a long time as part of Megawatt. We added a lot of our own touches to it, but the simple structure was there. I’m sure there are other groups that have performed the structure since the original cast, but I don’t know of too many in New York. And I don’t appreciate or respect the anti-Jazz Freddy regulations that the Mayor is trying to put in place. Read the news. These are important issues.

What is the future of improv?

I don’t know… I hope it stays out of the drug business. Liquor and gambling have been fine. I’d like to see it go completely legit, maybe clean up some of the money in real estate or something like that.

~~~

Jazz Freddy takes the stage Thursdays at 10pm in June! Check out the opening night, Thursday 6/7 at 10pm- followed by an after party at Smithfield (28th btw. 7th & 8th). Be sure to catch the show for the password for drink specials!

Tuesday May 22, 2012, 10:24am - by admin

(We know. They aren’t teens. But we like the picture.)

Summer! No School!  Lot’s of free unstructured time!

LET’S WATCH TV AND PLAY VIDEO GAMES UNTIL OUR BRAINS TURN INTO PUDDING!!  I LOVE PUDDING!!!!

Don’t do that.

Because on June 18th, Elana Fishbein will be kicking off Summer with “Improv for Teens”, a fun class for sharp teens who want to learn and practice the principles of improv.

We talked with Elana about the class, her history with improv and its importance in everyone’s life .

Magnet Blog:  So how did you get started in improv?

Elana Fishbein:  I started improvising pretty seriously when I was fifteen years old and a big part of that was because of the encouragement I received from some fantastic teachers. Under their tutelage I came to understand the ways in which improv can be an awesome and empowering form of expression. I’m excited to follow in their footsteps.

MB:  So what will this class be about?

EF:  In Improv for Teens, students will learn to improvise together in a fun, supportive environment. Games and exercises will focus on collaboration, group mind, character building, commitment, spontaneity, and the most magical principal of improv, “Yes And!” Participants will walk away with a fundamental understanding of long-form improv and the skills to perform grounded, hilarious, improv scenes. The class will culminate with a graduation performance in which students will have the opportunity to wow their friends and loved ones. It’s a super fun show.

Best. Summer. Ever.

Slots are still available, so if you or someone you know is interested in signing up for Improv for Teens check out this link: http://www.magnettheater.com/classlist.php?infoid=1100.

Class begins on June 18th.

Tweet it, Facebook it, and maybe even actually say it out loud to another person in the same room.

Wednesday May 9, 2012, 11:16am - by WillyAppelman
Last Thursday’s premiere of “The Subject” was enthralling and fascinating.  Directed by Christina Gausas, the show featured Angela DeManti as this week’s “Subject”.  At the top of the piece, objects like sunflower seeds, lilacs, and Buddha statues were placed by cast members into her environment. These objects took her back to memories of college roommates, past boyfriends, and family members. At one point her mother’s constant nagging transformed into a six-headed monster who shrieked at her disappointments, which then transformed into the cries of an ex-boyfriend’s baby.  DeManti remained on the stage the entire show as her life passed before her eyes!
“The Subject” is a funny, honest, and, at times, moving piece of theater. You have four more chances of catching it Thursdays at 10pm in May!