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

Posts Tagged ‘Louis Kornfeld’

Monday April 21, 2014, 8:11am - by Magnet Theater

owners
Magnet Theater is excited to announce The Magnet Podcast!  Our first Episode is up!   Check it out here.  Podcast host Louis Kornfeld interviews Magnet Theater founders Ed Herbstman, Alex Marino and Armando Diaz about their past, present and future.  They chat about their Chicago beginnings, the creation of The Armando Diaz Experience and the process of starting The Magnet Theater.

Huge thanks to our podcast host Louis Kornfeld, our guests, Armando Diaz, Ed Herbstman and Alex Marino and our wonderfully talented podcast engineer, Grant Goldberg.  Check out our first Episode HERE!

Monday March 31, 2014, 8:21pm - by Magnet Theater

magnet co-owners survey the new space
Magnet Theater is excited to announce that it will be moving to a new location this coming fall.

In November, the Magnet will take over the Foxwoods Theater, most recently the home of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

Armando Diaz, co-owner of Magnet, spoke on the need for a new space, saying ”The Magnet community has been growing at an exponential rate, so we’re looking to plan not just for the immediate future, but also for what’s beyond the horizon, like in a couple hundred years.  If you filled up our current space to capacity, it’d only take up the first row at the Foxwoods.  So, the house might feel small in the beginning, but as the word gets out that there’s plenty of room, I’m confident that we’ll sell out all 1,932 seats, especially to non-English speaking tourists.”

Alex Marino, another of the Magnet’s owners added:

“One of the great things about moving into the Foxwoods Theater is we’ll have our office space, training center, and main stage and my apartment all in one central location.  So often our new students would get lost when directed from the theater to the Training Center for student shows, and then to my apartment for banjo jam sessions. Now it’ll all take place in one space – a space with a lot of  good energy because of all the great things that happened during the run of Spider Man.”

Of course, with a new, much larger space will be some inevitable changes.  All shows will have a 35 intern team of stage hands.  Performers will have access to four state of the art green rooms before their shows. And everyone must be an Actors Equity performer in order to appear on the stage.

The only planned renovation to this legendary theater is to immediately remove all bathrooms except one near the stage.

Another change will be the tickets prices, which will go up slightly from $5-$10 to $125 for balcony seating to $225 for orchestra seats (though Megawatt and Thursday Night Out admission will remain at $7 for the entire night).

Alan Fessenden, Magnet performer and instructor, noted his excitement about the move.  “I love the monoscene, but when you ask for ‘a location that’ll fit on this stage’ you’re limited by the size of the stage.  With the new theater, we can do a whole submarine instead of just the bridge of a submarine.  It really opens up the possibilities for all shows, but especially for monoscenes about submarines.”

When Ed Herbstman, the third Magnet owner, was asked about the move, he said, “I own a theater?”

One concern was voiced by Louis Kornfeld, Artistic Director of Megawatt.  “This new stage is massive compared to the old stage, so sweep edits are going to be problematic.  Not only will the timing be off, but the editor may very well be winded after the edit, especially improvisors who are out of shape, which includes all of them.”

Magnet is immensely ready for the move and excited to announce that the first show in the new space will be Rick Andrew’s Level One Class Show! Stay tuned for more details!

Wednesday March 26, 2014, 10:28am - by Amanda Ariel Peggy Xeller

charliewhitcroft

The Magnet Theater boasts an incredible roster of talent, some of which have been around since the theater’s inception. On March 19th, I (Amanda Ariel Peggy Xeller!) met up with veteran Magnet improviser Charlie Whitcroft (The Boss) to get a glimpse into his world of improv.

 

Where are you from originally?

I am from Staten Island, NY. I moved to Queens 7 years ago and I love Queens. I mean, Staten Island was nice, but I’m glad I moved off of it.

 

When did you realize you wanted to get involved in comedy?

I don’t know if I ever did realize that I wanted to get into comedy. I kind of grew up with Louis Kornfeld and Megan Gray and Corey Grimes. We all went to school together. They were all doing improv I’d say a year before I was. They would always encourage me to take classes. I guess it wore me down and I finally did and I never looked back. Somewhere in there, I guess maybe like 8 or 9 years ago, I decided that I wanted to do comedy. But I had been going to see them do improv more

Tuesday November 5, 2013, 5:46pm - by WillyAppelman

jiji

1. The Director’s Series Presents The Wake (improv)- Thursdays at 9pm: Alex Marino directs “The Wake”, an improv show inspired by the name of a recently deceased person.

2. Croft & Pearce (sketch)- Monday, Nov. 11th at 7pm: For one night only, top-rated British sketch comedians Croft & Pearce will be exploring some of life’s enduring mysteries, such as: is it ever too late? (yes), am I worth more than this? (no), should I tweet about this experience? (obviously).

3. Weekend of Regret & Pepita (improv & solo improv)- Monday, Nov. 11th at 8:30pm: 5 of New York’s top improvisers are paired with Pepita, the fictional alter-ego of Magnet Theater performer and instructor, Elana Fishbein.

4. Magnet Sketch Teams (sketch)- Sundays at 7:30pm: Homegrown sketch groups craft some of the most intelligent and hilarious sketch comedy New York, nay The World, has ever seen.

5. Jamaal Sedayao: Born To Karaoke (solo sketch)- Sunday, Nov. 17th at 9pm: In Japanese, “karaoke” means “empty orchestra.” And in Swahili “karaoke” means “having a good time”. Jamaal hopes you have the latter at this show.

6. Legend (musical improv)- Tuesday, Nov. 26th at 9pm: Seasoned Magnet Musical Improv Team, Legend, will blow you away with a completely improvised musical.

7. Kornfeld & Andrews (improv)- Saturday, Nov. 30th at 10:30pm: Magnet Instructors and performers and super cool dudes Louis Kornfeld and Rick Andrews pair together for one night of magical improvisation.

Tuesday September 3, 2013, 2:47pm - by WillyAppelman

Craig-Cackowski

The Magnet Q & A Series is HERE!

This podcast is devoted to delving into different improv techniques, and finding out what makes comedy hearts tick. We’ve had the honor of interviewing improv teachers and performers from all over the country. This episode, Louis Kornfeld interviews improv master Craig Cackowski about Chicago improv, investing in characters and gifting scene partners. This Q & A was recorded live at The Magnet Theater in NYC in Spring of 2013.

LISTEN HERE!

This podcast is hosted and produced by Nolan Constantino and Adam Hawkins. Podcast music by Giancarlo Sutton.

Thursday August 8, 2013, 11:00am - by Charlie Whitcroft

The Blackout

“The Blackout” is the newest installment of The Director Series, a 5-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form. This month Louis Kornfeld is directing The Blackout, featuring Phoebe Tyers, Alexis Lambright, Ely Aina Rapoza, Rebecca Robles, Charlie Whitcroft, Rob Penty, Eli Itzkowitz, and Desiree Nash.

Blackout Cast

Photo by Woody Fu

This past Thursday saw the premier of “The Blackout”, a unique and refreshing improv show relying solely on scenework. The cast, proficient in subtlety and poise, performed the series of scenes in two and three person combinations that came together naturally and comfortably to fill the hour with standalone vignettes and thematic revisitations under the direction and technical expertise of Director Louis Kornfeld.

Photo by Woody Fu

Photo by Woody Fu

Photo by Woody Fu

The audience watched childhood friends discussing the ups and downs of having two mothers, a needy secretary fail to grasp the humor of a screen-saver, a married couple deal with three years of built up frustration and resentment, teens peeping on their “girlfriend” undressing in her bedroom, and a man out himself to passengers on his plane during a recreational flight, among many other episodes. Never a dull moment, while all of the energy of this show flowed steadily and with intention.

There are four more opportunities to catch “The Blackout” – August 8th, 15, 22 and 29th at 9:00pm at The Magnet Theater!

This was a re-blogged review from Charlie Whitcroft.

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