Posts Tagged ‘Megan Gray’
Magnet Theater Artistic Director Megan Gray, in conversation with her boyfriend of 16 years, Louis Kornfeld. They talk about extremely personal intimate details regarding their deepest fears. Or maybe it’s more about teaching, performing and learning improv, building communities, and creating connections. The only way to find out is to give it a listen.
Or listen below on SoundCloud…
Every Thursday in June, we’ve got a brand new Magnet Video! These are videos shot from live shows at The Magnet Theater. Enjoy this weeks scene from Chet Siegel(The Boss) and Megan Gray(Junior Varsity), about siblings having a fight over “magazines”. Watch The Video HERE! Stay Tuned for more!
“The Butterfly Effect” is the newest installment of The Director’s Series, a 5-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form. This month Megan Gray (Magnet Artistic Director, Junior Varsity) and Alan Fessenden (The Weave, Hello Laser) team up to bring you The Butterfly Effect. We sat down with them, via email, and asked them why they chose to direct this form.
MAGNET BLOG: What is The Butterfly Effect? Why are you directing it?
MEGAN: “The Butterfly Effect” is an improv long form that borrows from Close Quarters (which was developed in Chicago by Director Noah Gregoropoulos at Second City) and Tracers (which was developed by Kevin Mullaney at the UCB in NY). Based on the suggestion of a location and a time of day, the cast creates a series of scenes that are all happening at the same time. It’s almost like a combination of Monoscene Eventes.
This form requires a great attention to detail and a pretty sharp memory. I first saw it performed at a Del Close Marathon in 2004 and was blown away. The entire piece took place in a mansion with all these secret passageways. The cast remembered every piece of information and kept it really fun. Since then, it’s been a form I’ve been wanting to develop for a Director Series. I was talking to Alan Fessenden about it and he mentioned that he also wanted to work with Tracers. So we decided to direct it together.
ALAN: When I first saw Tracers at the UCB years ago, it was amazing and looked semi impossible, so I wanted to try and recreate that impossible feeling. Additionally, I was working with Matt Antonucci and a a few others in this style and I thought, we need to need to put this up, and I want to do it soon. We were having so much fun.
MAGNET BLOG: What is your favorite type of improv?
MEGAN: I like to watch improv that has a lightness to it. The performers are having fun, making interesting choices and connecting with each other. This may sound stupid, but I love to watch improv that looks improvised — not like the performers are just saying things they’ve been writing in their heads on the backline. I want to be surprised by improvisers making discoveries in the moment.
ALAN: I like it fast, I like it slow, I guess it depends on my mood. But really I like improv where people are really making discoveries in the moment, so the audience, the actor and maybe even the characters are all figuring something out together.
MAGNET BLOG: What is the future of improv?
ALAN: Structured plays with stock characters where all the dialogue is improvised, only now it will take place in a virtual reality and the actors will be able to digitally enhance the world as they create it. Probably.
The Butterfly Effect plays every Thursday in May at 9pm.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you have any questions about booking the Magnet for a Corporate show or anything else Magnet Tour Co. related, email Rick at email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
This Saturday, July 28th is a night you don’t want to miss! All star casts of lady comedienne’s take the Magnet stage to bring you breathtaking sketch, improv and poetry! For the incredibly cheap price of $10, you’re in for the whole night! But who and what is it? Read on Noble woman….
7pm- Lady Liberty Improv: Phoebe Tyers, Alexis Lambright, Rachel Werbel, Caitlin Steitzer, Abby Holland, Chrissie Gruebel, Ingrid Ostby, Maggie Morris, Melissa Gordon, Lauren Olson, Christina Dabney, Jen Curran.
8pm- Lady Godiva Improv: Christina Gausas, Keisha Zollar, Kelly Buttermore, Ruby Marez, Emily Shapiro, Jen Sanders, Maddy Mako, Amber Nelson, Shannon Coffey, Danielia Donohue, Angela DeManti.
9pm- Kiss Punch Poem: Megan Gray, Kim Ferguson, Bianca Casusol, Sandra Struthers, Angela DeManti, Lisa Flanaghan, Alexis Lambright, Meghann Plunkett. (W/ All Female Poets).
10:30 pm- Lady Sketch Show!!! Directed by Beth Newell
Written by: Heather Seltzer, Gwen Mesco, Kate Chamuris, Kelly Donahue, Ali Fisher, Megan Meadows, Stephanie Streisand, Kaitlin Fontana.
Featuring: Heather Seltzer, Gretchen Poole, Ruby Marez, Robin Rothman, Gwen Mesco, Steph Garcia, Tamara Young, Megan Meadows, Jaclynn Larington, Hannah Chase, Kate Chamuris, Kristy Wesolowski, Ali Fisher, Stephanie Streisand, Jennifer Stokes, Danielle Tolley, Emily Shapiro, Beth Newell, Kaitlin Fontana, Phoebe Tyers.
Hosted by Megan Gray & Kim Ferguson! Don’t miss this incredibly cheap and hilarious night! Get there at 7pm and stay til the afterparty!
Join us afterwards at Smithfield for an afterparty with special Lady Drinks!
In our continuing effort to share great ideas about improvisation, the Q & A series proudly posts this live conversation with Susan Messing and Christina Gausas. Megan Gray was our host, and the audience at Magnet Theater provided the questions. This is NSFW because Susan uses the F word a lot. So put on your headphones. Unless you’re alone. Then crank it.
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!
TJ, Megan, Desiree, Rick, Louis, and Rocco…
Hired by The Second City?
It’s no surprise that our auditioning instructor had such a good audition that he got hired by Second City to perform in their ensemble at sea which sends top improvisers on Norwegian Cruise Line ships to the Caribbean. Congrats to you, TJ Mannix!
And Congrats to Magnet’s outstanding Level 1 Instructor and super funny Junior Varsity member, Megan Gray. She was also hired by Second City after they conducted their first ever New York audition for their cruise ship ensembles.
Let’s not stop there, though – -
Congratulations to Louis Kornfeld, our wicked smart Level 2 Instructor, House Manager, and most bearded member of long-time house team, The Boss. You deserve all the success in the world, Louis!
And Desiree Nash, painfully funny member of Ransom Family and a musical improv heroine! Congratulations, Desiree. Send us photos, please.
And Rocco Privetera, who stars in this hilarious video, produced by the Magnet Media Engine (with TJ Mannix, Adam Taylor, and Shawn Amaro). Rocco will be taking his magical fingers to the ocean as a Musical Director for a a Second City cruise ship ensemble. Yes. The fingers are magical.
Let’s not forget Magnet’s Rick Andrews who was also offered a spot on the big boat. Rick is a tall grad school drop-out and all around wonderful person who is currently teaching at Magnet. He is also the co-creator and co-star of The Cascade with Jennifer Dunne Monday nights at Magnet.
While getting tan, they’ll be performing classic Second City scenes, improv sets and teaching workshops. Basically it’s like the nerd version of Dirty Dancing without the sexual awakening. Have fun. Represent America and Magnet well, please. When you get back to the island of Manhattan, we’ll be here waiting.
Tonight, some of the funniest women in New York City combine their forces for an improv comedy event at the Magnet Theater. Megan Gray will be the host and 13 lady improvisers might just kiss… if you’re lucky. At the very least you will fall out of your chair laughing. Tonight at 10PM, make your reservations now.