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

Posts Tagged ‘Improv’

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!

Monday March 4, 2013, 1:58pm - by WillyAppelman

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A timeless rite of passage into modern adulthood involving flagrant consumption, waffling definitions of sexual propriety, a general disregard for all grown-up responsibility, and occasional learning, college is that magical time when you can have your mind blown by Marx and Engels from the comfort of your lofted-bed. Company 29’s newest sketch show takes a look at all things college, from the dubious founding of Harvard University to that guy who always brings his guitar with him to parties even though nobody asked him to.

Sponsored By: Six Point Brewery

Company 29 is the Magnet Theater’s sketch company in residence, dedicated to producing new and original sketch comedy featuring some of the Magnet’s best sketch writers and performers.

Featuring: Mike Barry, Kevin Cobbs, Tim Eberle, Nick Kanellis, Ruby Marez, Justin Peters, Branson Reese, Jamaal Sedayao, Danielle Tolley, and Rob Williams.

Written By: Tim Eberle, Kevin Cobbs, Jamaal Sedayao, Sarah Pappalardo, and Nick Kanellis.

Directed By: Nick Benaquista

Assistant Director: Amanda Xeller

Reservations HERE: Friday, March 8th at 8:30, Saturday, March 9th at 7:30, Sunday, March 10th at 8pm.

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.

Friday February 8, 2013, 4:25pm - by WillyAppelman

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The Magnet Training Center is open and classes will resume as normal for Saturday, February 9th.  Please travel safely and bundle up.

Magnet Theater shows for Saturday, February 9th are still a go as well!  Have fun and again, please travel safe.

Wednesday February 6, 2013, 12:17pm - by woodyfu
Do What You Did Again

Do What You Did Again

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!

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!

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

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! 

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