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

Thursday December 5, 2013, 2:37pm - by Charlie Whitcroft

Director Series

December brings us cold weather, warm tidings of holiday cheer, hopefully at least a few days off from work… and perhaps most importantly, the latest installment of The Director Series: Genus.

Genus takes the suggestion of a genre, then improvises an entire show in that genre.
Featuring Nick Jaramillo, Lauren Olson, Kelly Buttermore, Dennis Zavolock, John Roukis,
Jana Schmieding, Jamie Rivera
Directed by Christian Pollack

Every Thursday in December at 9:00pm, part of Magnet Theater’s Thursday Night Out Line-up.

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In advance of tonight’s debut performance, I got to talk to director Christian Pollack a bit about the show, and why you should see it.

Give us some of your thoughts about genre-based improv.
CP: Genre improv is something I’ve always loved, it takes away some of the work of invention in the scene if you have a template to work off of, and then it gets really fun to just commit to it.

Will the suggested genres shape the form of the show itself?
CP: The suggestion will inform the show for sure, but the players are not bound to try to recreate the suggestion, just again, use it as a template for what types of characters might be in this show; but within the scenes, it’s still very much about discovering what’s happening along with everybody else in the theater.

Are there any genres the cast can’t handle?
CP: The one genre we’ve had the most trouble with is “Mork and Mindy”. “Mork and Mindy” is a genre, right?

How is it working with Jamie Rivera?
CP: Jaime Rivera is quiet, humble, on-time, smells like Earth and the outdoors. Everything you want in a cast leader. I’m honestly very lucky to have so many talented, fun people agree to do this, I’m looking forward to watching them all have fun.

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I’m sure you’ve seen Christian, Nick, Lauren, Kelly, Dennis, John, Jana and Jamie perform in various other shows at the Magnet Theater, so you know you’re in for a treat with Genus.

Director Series

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