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

Posts Tagged ‘funny’

Tuesday March 5, 2013, 2:10pm - by WillyAppelman

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“The Kubler” 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 Russ Armstrong is directing “The Kubler.”  We interviewed Russ via email to learn more about the show.

1.  What is The Kubler?  
The Kubler is a best-of-both-worlds improv show.  It allows great actors to chew up some big, intimate scenes and intersperses those with large group scenes from a strong ensemble.  It’s inspired by the Kubler-Ross model (umlaut, please!) which folks are more familiar with as “the five stages of grief.”  The Kubler-Ross is a hypothesis that humans process difficult news by progressing through these five stages in order; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.   Starting with a suggestion of some bad news someone has received, we take the audience through the five stages and throw in large group games in between.  It rocks.  But mostly it rocks because of Rick Andrews, Laura Grey, Sean Taylor, Lauren Olson, Dru Johnston, Desiree Nash, Jordan Klepper, Jana Schmieding, Alex Marino and Chet Siegel.

2. Why are you directing it?
I’m directing the Kubler because it gives me an opportunity to force great improvisers to work with me and offers a format that can really showcase top-notch players working together.  Also, I was told I would receive intern credits.

3.  What is your favorite type of improv?
My favorite type of improv is the funny kind.  And I tend to think the funniest kind is the kind that is the most truthful and reliant on the ensemble working together.  A little artistry don’t hurt neither.  I like listening, clarity, strong games played creatively, believable characters and teams that recklessly push their 25 minutes to the end of the line – together and not parallel.

4.  What is the future of improv?
Everyone knows this but I’ll rehash it anyway.  Improv will be solved in 2019 at the yet-to-be-formed Dungeon Fungeon in Staten Island after an inspired triple-Harold performed by the East Coast’s best ensemble, John Mack’s Warrior Punchbowl (Starring Brad Tomey!)  It won’t be the best show, and it won’t be the last show, but their director, and the audience will insist, “That’s what improv is supposed to be.”
It’ll be that or slowly we’ll all move back to Chicago and crawl back up the vagina of The Compass Players, spin around there for a couple years in some swirling black hole of callbacks and then get spewed out across the continent once more not unlike this ever-contracting-and-expanding nutsack of a universe.  Intern credit, please!

The Kubler opens this Thursday, March 7th at 10pm!  MORE INFO!

Friday March 1, 2013, 11:33am - by WillyAppelman

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Congrats to Magnet performer Peter McNerney (Trike) on ‘Stuff You Should Know’, now airing on The Science Channel!  The show takes place in The How Stuff Works office, and everyone in the office are podcasters.  Peter plays Marcus, a conspiracy theory podcaster.  He’s skeptical, cynical and assumes the worst in every situation.  Check out ‘Stuff You Should Know’ on iTunes, and keep an eye out for Peter’s most recent episode, ‘Trust No One’.

You can see Peter in a Burger King commercial now airing on Comedy Central and performing Saturday’s at 10:30 with Trike.

Monday February 4, 2013, 1:47pm - by WillyAppelman

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Over the weekend the Director’s of The Magnet’s Musical Improv Program held a town hall to discuss changes in the program.  Here is a recap of what was discussed:

1. There will be a Curriculum Change:

From now on, there’s a requirement of 4 levels before you can audition for a Musical House Team.  The current class is the last class that can audition after finishing Level 3. The new levels will be:
Level 1 – Song Structure
Level 2 – Song Types
Level 3 – Basic Narrative and Dramatic Question
Level 4 – Performance Workshop, Different Forms (once could liken it to a mix of Level 4 and Level 6 of the regular improv classes)
Forms will include monoscene, different musical styles, narrator, dramatic question, musicality/genre.

2. There will now be Musical Drop-in Classes on every other Saturday from 12-2, beginning in March.

3. The Circuit (Friday night Harold teams on the Training Center Stage) will add one musical team.

4. Current teams will remain. No teams will be cut, though some members might be shuffled around.
There will be 2 new teams. Auditions for these will be March 2, with callbacks March 3.
As there will be 8 teams, Tuesday nights will be restructured (and renamed – name suggestions are welcomed). Shows at 7, 8, 9, and mixer at 10.
Shows at 7 and 8 will be two sets each, 25 minutes each set.
Show at 9 will be one team doing a 45-minute set.
“Coaches” will be replaced by “Directors” who are selected and assigned by Michael Martin.

5. Mixer at 10 will be hosted by Trudy and have its own team.

6. There’s a new faculty member who will start by teaching Level 4 classes in March: Kirk Damato.http://www.magnettheater.com/performers/Kirk-Damato

 

That’s the recap!  See you at the shows!

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!

Wednesday January 23, 2013, 2:47pm - by WillyAppelman

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The next Magnet Town Hall Meeting will be held at The Magnet Theater on Thursday, January 31st at 6:30pm.  Boom!

Come hear the latest about the Magnet Theater and Training Center.  We’ll talk about highlights from 2012 and things to look forward to in 2013.  This is an open forum for students and performers to connect with Magnet teachers, managers and other people that run things or make decisions.  This will also be a great way for performers and students to learn about recent changes, current initiatives and upcoming projects and opportunities. Lots to discuss. All are welcome. Including you.

Thursday, January 31st at 6:30pm!  See you there!

Tuesday December 18, 2012, 12:31am - by WillyAppelman

The Magnet Theater is proud to announce New Magnet Sketch Teams!  Thank you to everyone who applied!  We had an overwhelming response and are proud to add two new teams! Sketch team shows will resume Sundays in January at 9:30pm.
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New Team: BROWN
Will Quinn
Jason Salmon
Rob Asaro
Emily Newhouse
Clark Lantz
Kristen Bartlett
Fredric Goldstein
Billy Bob Thompson
Joe Lepore
_____________________________
New Team: BOARD OF EDUCATION
Jamaal Sedayao
David Sewell
Chet Siegel
Stephanie Streisand
Becca Schall
Andy Mills
Robert Ramsey
John Kitsis
Rachel Siegel
_________
DISPACHO
Ruby Marez
Jed Teres
Alex Marino
Todd Shaeffer
Adam Twitchell
Ingrid Ostby
Bob Kern
Steph Garcia
Andrew Yurman-Glaser
_________
JACKTOWN
Kim Ferguson
Vince Milosevich
Alan Fessenden
Joe Miles
Sean Taylor
Andrew Vuilleumier
Kelly Warne
Gwen Mesco
Jimmy O’Connell
______________________
BREAKFAST FOR DINNER
Emily Shapiro
Jim Turner
Branson Reese
Nivea Serrao
David Rynn
Kaitlin Fontana
Geri Cole
Jon Moisan
Ally Kornfeld
 ____________
RISKY BOTTOM
Jane Stolar
Gretchen Poole
Jana Schmieding
Matt Antonucci
Lauren Olsen
Matt Wassung
Kate Emswiler
Rob Webber
Jon Bander
Tuesday December 4, 2012, 4:10pm - by WillyAppelman


“The Narrator” is the tenth installment of The Director Series, a 3-week string of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form. This month Michael Martin directs “The Narrator” with musical direction by Frank Spitznagel.

“The Narrator” is a musical improv show wherein a narrator tells a story (aided by the audience’s suggestions) which is then reenacted by the performers on stage.  This is the first Musical Director’s Series we’ve had the pleasure of presenting and we couldn’t be more excited.  Says Director Michael Martin, “rather than doing an improvised musical, we’re doing a musical that is improvised. This means that we’re going for compelling stories with high stakes emotional conflicts to underwrite our funny moments. Audiences should expect a wild ride. Certainly there will be laughter. Possibly there will be tears, and definitely one actor will be in the driver’s seat calling the shots for a completely realized musical narrative.”  Don’t miss opening night, this Thursday at 10pm!

Featuring: Woody Fu, Ross Taylor, Ryan Dunkin, Oscar Montoya, Lorraine Cink, Laura Dlug, Jordan Hirsch, Michael Lutton, Joe Hendel!

More info–>http://www.magnettheater.com/shows/40080-The-Director-Series-The-Narrator

Tuesday November 20, 2012, 3:02pm - by WillyAppelman
The Magnet Theater is excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the next round of MAGNET SKETCH TEAMS.

Our Sketch Teams are groups of writers and performers who will work with directors to create a run of sketch shows. The groups will write and perform approximately 2 shows every 6 weeks. The run of these teams will last for roughly 4 months beginning in January. Individuals who have completed Level 1 of the Sketch Writing Program and/or Level 5 of the Improv Program are encouraged to apply.  Shows will take place Sunday nights at 9:30 pm.

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, DECEMBER 3rd.  Apply today!
Monday November 12, 2012, 1:59pm - by WillyAppelman

Congratulations to the newest batch of Circuit Teams!  Thank you to everyone who applied.  Shows begin Friday, Nov. 16th at 10pm at The Magnet Studio Theater.

Warchild

Greg Wilker
Stefan Schuette
Chris Grove
Bob Acevedo
Kathleen Kiernan
Rosie Pelka
Emily Bryan
Andy Moskowitz

Bodhi 

Justin Zaun
Marcus Brunt
James Roberts
Paul Ton
Marc Philippe Eskenazi
Nick Jaramillo
Lucia brizzi
Kate Koch

Utah

Adam Taylor
Ramsey Merritt
Alan Lidogoster
Natalie Allen
Paula Schulzki
Don Romaniello
Beth Gold
David Say

Pappas

Adam Izzo
Aaron Gold
Tara Getter
Melissa Morrissey
Adrian Sexton
Srikant Cheruvu
Matthew Pollack
Sarah Marie Degni

Alverez

Bill Dodson
Ian W. Gray
Lisa Flanagan
Larisa Treyster
Joy Passey-Anglin
Ally Kornfeld
Steve Ling
Justin Torres

Congrats again to all the new teams!

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!