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

Posts Tagged ‘musical improv’

Wednesday February 4, 2015, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

Poss Taylor Podcast Subscribe with iTunes

Our host Louis Kornfeld sits down with Ross Taylor, director of February’s Directors Series: Shlongform, to chat about growing up in Missouri, touring with Second City, and doing comedy in NYC.  Having somewhat recently celebrated his five year anniversary of NYC and improv, Ross tells Louis about getting his start in hometown Missouri with speech and debate before moving on to do theater at Mizzou and later getting into comedy. Regarding his show Shlongform, Ross talks about why he’s marrying short form with long form and our duo discusses the historic attitudes towards short form in NYC. Having both done tours with Second City’s cruise ship ensembles, Louis and Ross dive into their experiences entertaining folks on Norwegian Cruise Line boats and how those experiences translate back to their work in New York. Ross also chats about working with his long-running team The Wrath and divulges how to keep a team strong and inspiring. Plus, Louis asks Ross about The Oakwood Boys, his religious country music duo, and the guys talk about the collegiate feel of the improv community. Tune in!

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #30 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Wednesday January 21, 2015, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

Oscarm Montoya Podcast Subscribe with iTunes

From his young days dancing cumbia in Colombia through his college years at SUNY Purchase and onto his professional life as a comedian in NYC, Oscar Montoya has always kept it real. He joins host Louis Kornfeld on this week’s episode of the podcast to discuss the college they both attended,  transitioning from a world of dance into one of comedy, and what he finds most important in improv. Oscar talks about opening up to improv as an art and allowing improv to open him up as a person. Louis asks him about his monthly variety show, Ethnic Realness, and they chat about the importance of improvising because you want something that speaks to you and how adding more voices to the mix only makes it relate to more people. Communication in king in Oscar’s world and he forces us to posit: Improv has to speak to you, or else, why would you do it?

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #28 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Monday January 19, 2015, 2:00pm - by Magnet Theater


We’ve got a brand-new training center! We’re so excited!

As of Saturday, Jan. 24, we’ll be beginning the process of moving classes, rehearsals, writing meetings, etc. over to our new space at 22 W. 32nd Street on the 10th floor. Things might be a little hectic for a while, so please bear with us, but we’ll do our best to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone.

What does all this mean? We now have 10 classrooms, a studio theater, a dedicated writers’ room and more than two bathrooms (so luxurious!). Simply put, it’s a bigger, better space to keep up with our growing needs as a training ground for the best comedic minds in the world.

This is a new, exciting chapter for us and it wouldn’t be possible without your enthusiasm, hard work, and continued brilliance.

Thanks for being the best community around. Stop by and check out the new digs when you can!

Tuesday December 2, 2014, 6:06pm - by Magnet Theater


The multi-talented sketch writer/performer, improviser, and head of Musical Megawatt, Michael Lutton, sits down with host Louis Kornfeld to discuss what makes for good musical improv and how it can benefit “regular” improv. He talks about the advantages of pushing boundaries when no one is looking and provides advice for improvisers looking to learn musical improv outside of NYC. This one is all about selling it in the moment.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #23 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Tuesday November 25, 2014, 4:14pm - by Magnet Theater

blank image for podcast magnetituneslogo-PODCASTmedium

Louis Kornfeld gets up on his soapbox along with Michael Girts and Mike Descoteaux to preach the virtues of bringing musical improv to the big stage. Blank! The Musical is a big budget improvised musical playing Off-Broadway at New World Stages in NYC. Louis talks with both Mikes about the hard work and planning that goes into producing such an incredible show, and how framing the performance and accepting the audience as an integral part of the show help to propel on-the-spot theater to new heights.

NYT Review: Click here; Broadway World Review: Click here; The Source Review: Click here.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #22 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Wednesday October 1, 2014, 1:03pm - by Megan Gray

MusicMega(web) (2)

The Magnet Theater is pleased to announce the new teams and additions for the fall 2014 season of Musical Megawatt, debuting this Tuesday, October 7th at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm and 10pm. We hope to see you there.

New Team Sonny
Alisa Ledyard
Miles Lindahl
Carolyn Malfa
Harry Marker
Louie Pearlman
Steve Whyte
Laura Yoder Witt

New Team Cher
Brad Benson
Jon de Guzman
Damon Ketron
Maggie Morris
Megan Reilly
Lauren Stripling
Stefan Wenger


Friday September 5, 2014, 9:41am - by Megan Gray

MusicMega(web) (2)
Magnet Theater is now accepting applications for the 2014 fall season of Musical Megawatt. Please fill out THIS FORM no later than TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th to apply for an audition slot.

Anyone who has completed Magnet Musical Improv Level 3 is eligible to apply, though please note that a completed form does not guarantee an audition slot. Due to the high volume of eligible improvisers and a limited number of slots, priority will be given to students and performers who have finished the class or performed on a Musical Megawatt team within the last year.

Confirmations will be sent out by THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th.

CLICK HERE to apply.

Tuesday August 26, 2014, 4:53pm - by Magnet Theater



John O'Donnellmagnetituneslogo-PODCASTmedium

John O’Donnell, longtime friend of Magnet Theater and kind onstage powerhouse talks about how he first fell in love with performing, improv, and stumbling upon the early evolution of musical improv.

John has appeared in pilots for Comedy Central, the HBO Aspen Comedy Festival, on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, as well as numerous commercials.

He has also written and performed a trilogy of one-man shows, O’Donnellogues, Son of O’Donnellogues, and Beneath The Planet of The O’Donnellogues. At the Magnet Theater he has made appearances in Thursday Night Out, The Armando Diaz Experience, The Tiny Spectacular, and currently improvises weekly in Magnet’s ‘The Made Up Musical‘.

John has a Masters Degree in Education and has been teaching in New York City for over a decade.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #13 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Tuesday July 8, 2014, 1:21pm - by Magnet Theater

Frank SpitznagelSubscribe with iTunes!

Louis Kornfeld interviews Magnet Musical Director Frank Spitznagel! They talk about everything from Annie to Zorba including musical theater, musical improv, and what makes a good scene- all while Rick Andrews laughs loudly in the background!

Subscribe and Listen with iTunes!

Or listen below on SoundCloud…

Sunday March 30, 2014, 9:30pm - by Magnet Theater
MusicMega(web) (1)
We’re excited to announce our new additions to Musical Megawatt, New Team Hall and New Team Oates!  Both teams will be debuting Tuesday, April 1st at Musical Megawatt, where there will be Magnet drink specials and an after party at Walter’s (389 8th Ave).

New Team Hall
Brad Benson
John de Guzman
Damon Ketron
Miles Lindahl
Amanda Mayer
Ariana Murphy
Steve Whyte