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

Posts Tagged ‘magnet theater’

Monday October 8, 2012, 1:26pm - by WillyAppelman

The Director Series, a 4-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form, is presenting it’s GREATEST HITS!  This month, your favorite shows are coming back!  The Monoscene (10/11), The Movie (10/18) and Evente (10/25) will make appearances with completely different casts during the month of October!

“The Greatest Hits” starts this week with The Monoscene directed by Alan Fessenden!  The Monoscene is an improvised form that takes place entirely in one location with no edits of any kind. Like an improvised one act play we get to see the different stories and relationships that inhabit a single location.

Featuring: Megan Gray, Sean Taylor, Quinton Lodder, Maddy Mako, Emily Shapiro, Angela Demanti, Jason Scott Quinn and Matt J. Weir.

More Information Here! 

 

Monday October 1, 2012, 10:25am - by WillyAppelman

Ladies and Gentleman, it’s HERE!  The Magnet Theater presents The Fourth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival from October 4-7!  Over 100 performers from as far as Toronto, Los Angeles, Chicago and as close as Broadway, will converge on the Magnet Theater stage to create fully improvised musical performances – ranging from traditional musical theatre fare to adrenaline-pumping rap battles.  All performances take place at The Magnet Theater, the center for musical improv study and performance in the U.S.

Featured performers will include…

Baby Wants Candy (NYC), Jill Bernard’s Drum Machine (HUGE Theatre, Minneapolis, Minn.), Tara Copeland (Los Angeles), Jeff Hiller (Los Angeles), Diamond Lion (UCBeast, NYC), Shakespeare: The Musical (UN-Scripted Theatre Company, San Francisco, CA),  Mansical (Chicago), Trudy Carmichael’s Musical Mixer (Las Vegas/NYC), Choral Rage (Magnet Theater, NYC), and MORE!
On Sunday, October 7, 2012, the Festival will present a special performance to benefit Gilda’s Club of New York City to raise funds and awareness for people living with cancer.  The benefit will feature many of the top musical improv artists in the country.  Learn more about this star studded event here!
Tickets for most shows are $10+ and include performances by two different musical improv acts per show. Tickets are available at www.brownpapertickets.com or by phone at 800-838-3006. See schedule on www.nymif.com for details.  We’ll see you at the shows!
Wednesday September 19, 2012, 1:52pm - by WillyAppelman

Company 29’s newest sketch show takes a good hard look at all things that ROCK.  Not just music ladies and gentleman, we’re talking love, freedom, and some good old fashioned Hall & Oates!  Featuring the Magnet’s best sketch writers and performers, this promises to be one of Company 29’s funniest shows yet.  Rock and Roll is a character driven sketch show entirely based around a beautiful traditional “American” art form – Rock & Roll.

Company 29 is the Magnet Theater’s sketch company in residence, dedicated to producing new and original sketch comedy featuring the Magnet’s best sketch writers and performers.  Featuring:  Mike Barry, Kevin Cobbs, Nick Kannellis, Ruby Marez, Justin Peters, Lauren Olson, Rachel Rauch, Jamaal Sedayao, Jason Scott Quinn, and Rob Williams.  Written By: Kevin Cobbs, Mike Barry, Tim Eberle, Sarah Pappalardo and Jed Teres.  Directed By: Nick Benaquista and Assistant Directed By:  Amanda Ariel Peggy Xeller.

RESERVATIONS:

Friday, September 21st at 7:00 P.M.

Saturday, September 22nd at 7:30 P.M.

Sunday, September 23rd at 8:00 P.M.

Sponsored by SixPoint Brewery.

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!
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!