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

Posts Tagged ‘magnet theater’

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!
Tuesday July 31, 2012, 3:18pm - by WillyAppelman

Magnet Theater will be holding auditions for the September season of Megawatt. Auditions will be held Friday 8/17 and Saturday 8/18. Callbacks will be held the following week. To be eligible for the audition, performers need to have completed Magnet Level 6 Team Performance no earlier than January 2011, or to have performed on a Megawatt team within the last year. Please note that due to the limited number of slots auditions are not guaranteed.

To apply, please follow the link and fill out the availability form no later than August 10th.  MEGAWATT FORM!

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.

Thursday May 3, 2012, 10:01am - by WillyAppelman

This Saturday at 11am at The Magnet Theater, Megan Gray will be moderating a Q & A with improv legends Susan Messing and Christina Gausas!

Messing is a director and actress living in Chicago.  Best known for her work with Second City, iO and The Annoyance Theatre, she is well revered in the NYC, Chicago and L.A. improv and acting communities.

Christina Gausas is an actress, writer and director living in NYC.  She has appeared on 30 Rock, Delocated, Important Things w/ Dimitri Martin,  and Late Night w/ Conan O’Brien.  Christina was named one of “The 10 Funniest New Yorker’s You’ve Never Heard Of” by New York Magazine.  She is also directing “The Subject” at The Magnet Theater, opening Thursday May 3rd at 10pm and running until May 31st!

The Q & A is completely free, RSVP at megan@magnettheater.com to reserve a spot!

Wednesday May 2, 2012, 11:22am - by WillyAppelman

In the latest installment of The Director’s Series, Christina Gausas takes the reins on The Subject.  The Subject is a form that  “follows the central character of the evening (the subject), never leaving the stage while the others enter and exit as various friends, relatives, demons and fantasy figures”.

The Subject, created by Alex Fendrich, was originally performed at the iO theater in Chicago and was “Highly Recommended” by The Chicago Sun-Times.  Gausas was a member of the original cast and now she leads an all-star cast made up of Louis Kornfeld, Megan Gray, Alex Marino, Angela Demanti, Sebastian Connelli, Ruby Marez, Binu Paulose, Tom Levin, and Liz McDonnell.

The Subject opens Thursday May 3rd at 10pm, and is followed by an Opening Night Party at Mustang Sally’s (28th & 7th).  Come to the show and celebrate afterwards with great food and drink specials!

The Subject, opening May 3rd at 10pm at The Magnet Theater!

Wednesday April 4, 2012, 4:46pm - by WillyAppelman

“The Bat” is the third installment of The Director Series, wherein a Director selects an all star cast and presents a month-long showcase of a specific form. This month Mark Grenier is directing “The Bat”!  Here is an interview we did with Grenier about the show.

Manget Blog:  What makes The Bat different from any other forms?

Mark Grenier: The Bat takes place entirely in the dark.  Other improv forms take place with the lights on, unless the theater fails to pay its electricity bill and the power goes out, in which case the show then becomes a Bat, whether you like it or not.  If the lights go out, you’re doing a Bat.

MB: Why did you choose The Bat?

MG: I chose The Bat because it’s a unique challenge for performers, and it creates a unique experience for the audience.  We take for granted being seen when we improvise and being able to see when we watch a show.  If you take sight away, everything has to be created with the voice and everything normally seen has to be imagined. It’s like listening to an old radio show, which no one at Magnet Theater has probably ever done.  Bring your grandparents to the show, they’ll love it.

MB: What is the future of ‘improv in the dark’?
MG: The future of ‘improv in the dark’ is first this run of shows on Thursday nights at 10pm at The Magnet Theater (part of Thursday Night Out, only $7 for the whole night! www.magnettheater.com), and then beyond that I foresee the eventual elimination of sound from improv, altogether.  I hope to direct another show soon that, in addition to being in the dark, doesn’t use sound, doesn’t have performers or an audience and doesn’t occur in either space or time.  I think that would be the ultimate improv show.
Featuring: Paul Barker, Bianca Casusol, Christina Dabney, Corey Grimes, Jeff Koleba, Kai Martin, Chris Simpson, and Lauren Smith.

Join us for the OPENING NIGHT of The Bat this Thursday at 10pm, with the after party at Mustang Sally’s right after the show!

Tuesday March 13, 2012, 4:09pm - by WillyAppelman

It’s BACK!  March 30th is the last day to be considered for the next round of The Circuit at The Magnet Theater.  The Circuit is made up of improv ensembles consisting of veteran Magnet performers and students.  Performances are every Friday night at 10pm starting April 13th!  You need to have completed up to Level 3 to qualify for The Circuit.  Names are still being accepted for what is sure to be the silliest, most explosive and rawest Circuit yet!  To apply, just send your name and resume to circuit@magnettheater.com.  From there, names will be thrown into a giant hat and randomly selected by someone with giant hands!  Shows start April 13th at The Magnet Studio Theater… GO!

Wednesday February 22, 2012, 3:39pm - by WillyAppelman

 

No screenplay.  No budget. Yet  it’s a film worthy of an oscar nomination.

But if you’re not there you’ll never get a chance to see it ever again.  On Thursday Feb. 23rd at 10pm, The Movie will have it’s last show as part of the new ‘Director Series’ at The Magnet Theater.  A stacked team of seasoned Magnet performers fill the stage to create a filmic masterpiece. Spielberg can suck it.

Directed by Ed Herbstman, this improvised movie is better and cheaper than anything out right now and it’s actually in 3-D for real!  Make a reservation, turn your cell phones off and please don’t talk back at the screen. Because there is no screen. They are real people. Why is this so hard for you to understand?