Skip to Content

Magnet Theater

THE MAGNET TRAINING CENTER

  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description

At Magnet, you'll learn to do original, honest, and ridiculously funny work through games and exercises in class, and through performances on the Magnet stages. You'll find some of the very best improv and musical improv training, and excellent classes in sketch writing, storytelling and more. Each course component builds on the previous one, with an emphasis on bringing out the best in each student and cultivating a diverse skill-set. Students are bombarded with opportunities to improvise and write sketch for stage and video. And graduates may be asked to audition for Megawatt, Magnet's house team system.

Learning to improvise just might be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. It's about bringing who you are, all your knowledge and experience, your point of view and your tastes, and then applying concrete techniques as you play with focused abandon with other smart people doing that same thing. Sound fun? It is. The classes are fun, the shows are a blast, and the hanging out afterward is pretty great, too. Improv is also a powerful tool, useful in every aspect of a person's life. And once the techniques become second natureā€¦ well, you'll see. Our instructors believe everyone can become an excellent improvisor and our graduates prove it onstage, performing hilarious, inventive, in-the-moment comedy every night.

  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description

Improv Fundamentals - Level 1 - The Principles of Improv

Level One - The Principles of Improv Simply put, you'll learn to improvise. In Level One, students will get onstage immediately and explore the fundamental principles of improvisation through exercises in agreement, commitment, spontaneity and listening. Sessions are designed so students will build a strong foundation as a confident performer. You will amaze yourself with your new found skills at the class graduation performance in front of your friends and family. This show is always fun and usually the highlight of most people's lives.

Level One: The Principles of Improv

Sundays 3:00pm - 6:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
Apr 27
Instructor:
Rick Andrews
Wait List
Level One: The Principles of Improv

Saturdays 12:00pm - 3:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
May 10
Instructor:
Rick Andrews
Now
Enrolling
Level One: The Principles of Improv

Sundays 12:00pm - 3:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
May 18
Instructor:
Kelly Buttermore
Now
Enrolling
Level One: The Principles of Improv

Mondays 7:00pm - 10:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
May 19
Instructor:
Kelly Buttermore
Now
Enrolling
Level One: The Principles of Improv

Wednesdays 3:00pm - 6:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
May 28
Instructor:
Rick Andrews
Now
Enrolling
Level One: The Principles of Improv

Saturdays 3:00pm - 6:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
May 31
Instructor:
Rick Andrews
Now
Enrolling
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description

Improv Fundamentals - Level 2 - Intro to Long Form

Level Two - Intro to Long Form Now apply what you've learned in Level One to create long form pieces. This class is heavy on exercises in the fundamental structural components of long form: scene work, group games, opening games, second beats, transitions, and callbacks. Students emerge from Level Two with the tools necessary to stage longer pieces with recurring themes and rich characters, and they hit the stage at the end of their 8 weeks with another fun graduation performance. Prerequisite: Magnet Level One.

Level Two: Intro to Long Form

Saturdays 12:00pm - 3:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
Apr 26
Instructor:
Chet Siegel
Now
Enrolling
Level Two: Intro to Long Form

Thursdays 7:00pm - 10:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
May 15
Instructor:
Rick Andrews
Now
Enrolling
Level Two: Intro to Long Form

Sundays 12:00pm - 3:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
May 18
Instructor:
Louis Kornfeld
Now
Enrolling
Level Two: Intro to Long Form

Tuesdays 7:00pm - 10:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
May 20
Instructor:
Megan Gray
Now
Enrolling
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description

Improv Core Curriculum - Level 3 - Long Form Intensive

Level Three - Long Form Intensive With the first two levels under your belt, it's time to focus on Harold, the original long form structure that changed the history of performance improvisation. Harold is popular for good reason - it's fun, relatively simple to learn, infinitely deep, and very satisfying for performers and audiences. Students will master the components of this dynamic long form over this 8 week session, and get to perform a Harold in their class graduation show. Prerequisite: Magnet Level Two.

Level Three: Long Form Intensive

Tuesdays 7:00pm - 10:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
May 13
Instructor:
Louis Kornfeld
Now
Enrolling
Level Three: Long Form Intensive

Mondays 7:00pm - 10:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
May 19
Instructor:
Louis Kornfeld
Now
Enrolling
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description

Improv Core Curriculum - Level 4 - Senior Project

Level Four - Senior Project The final level of the Magnet core curriculum, Level Four dives deep into an advanced form (e.g. Evente, MonoScene, Deconstruction, Sleepover, Harold+, The Movie) and works on that form with the singular focus needed to create a great show. The 8 class sessions are followed by a 4 week run of shows, giving students an enhanced opportunity to learn by doing, over time, in front of a real audience. Prerequisite: Magnet Level Three.

Level Four: Senior Project - The Mono-Scene

Date: TBD
(8 sessions / 4 shows) $375

Begins:
TBD
Alert
When Offered
Level Four: Senior Project - Evente

Date: TBD
(8 sessions / 4 shows) $375

Begins:
TBD
Alert
When Offered
Level Four: Senior Project - The Deconstruction

Date: TBD
(8 sessions / 4 shows) $375

Begins:
TBD
Alert
When Offered
Level Four: Senior Project - Harold Plus

Date: TBD
(8 sessions / 4 shows) $375

Begins:
TBD
Alert
When Offered
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description

Improv Conservatory - Level 5 - Improv Revue

Level Five - Improv Revue Advanced training is about becoming a confident, skilled and consistent performer. Level Five is the first component of advanced training and includes 6 weeks of classes that explore more challenging pieces, followed by a 4 week run of shows. Students explore The Montage, The Mono Scene, The Time Dash, Freeze Tag and more, and present these forms and games during their full 4 week revue at The Magnet Studio Theater. Prerequisite: Magnet Level 4.

Level Five: Improv Revue

Date: TBD
(8 sessions / 4 shows) $375

Begins:
TBD
Alert
When Offered
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description

Improv Conservatory - Level 6 - Team Performance Workshop

Level Six - Team Performance Workshop Upon instructor approval, students continue their advanced training as a member of an improv ensemble. The first section includes 6 weeks of classes designed to develop a strong ensemble onstage and off. The second section consists of a full 8 week run of shows where your ensemble performs The Montage, The Mono Scene, The Harold, and Freeze Tag. Learning through the experience of being in an ensemble will empower the group and the individual to present exceptional shows, and prepare advanced students for membership on a Megawatt Team should they wish to audition. Prerequisite: Level Five and Instructor Approval.

Level Six: Team Performance Workshop

Date: TBD
(6 sessions / 8 shows) $375

Begins:
TBD
Alert
When Offered

Exactly as it sounds - no prior sign up required. Just drop by the Magnet Training Center and work with other improvisers as you're led through a series of focused exercises by an experienced guest instructor.

The Saturday Drop-In

Every Saturday, one of The Magnet's top house performers host an ongoing drop-in session. Whether you are looking to play with new improvisors, get some reps in between classes or just brush up on your fundamentals, the Saturday Drop-In is the perfect place to be.

Learn to write great sketch comedy. The Magnet Comedy Writing Program brings students through a series of exercises and assignments which study what makes great sketch work, and applies that learning to each student's writing from concept to final polish. Structured around a 'writer's room' environment and led by experienced instructors, each student not only receives useful feedback, but also learns how to analyze their own work, preparing them to work outside the classroom environment. Advanced classes result in more advanced performances which are cast from Magnet performers and directed by the instructor. And throughout, students continue their creation of their writing packet - a necessary first step in the pursuit of comedy writing career.

Sketch Writing Level One

This class will teach you concrete skills that will help you become a better sketch comedy writer. You will learn how to develop your ideas, clarify your premise, create characters, and understand what makes a good sketch work. The class will consist of lectures, writing assignments, and focused and fun workshops each week. Most of the class will be about the work, but of course some of the class will be devoted to the business, and the improvement (or creation) of your sketch packet. 8 weeks. No experience required. Open to all.

Sketch Writing Level Two

This class is an advanced sketch writing workshop that will give you the experience of working as a writer on a professional comedy show. Students will learn how to better craft sketches, expand their writing portfolio, collaborate with a team of writers, and produce their own sketches for performance. The class will conclude with two graduation performances, in which students will be responsible for casting, rehearsing, directing, and producing their work for the stage. Prerequisite: Sketch Writing Level One and instructor approval. 8 weeks and 2 graduation performances.

Sketch Revue

Create and perform an original sketch comedy show with Armando Diaz. Through improv exercises and written assignments, students will collaborate to create a sketch revue and perform it in a 4-week run of shows. Due to the intensive nature of this class, consistent attendance is mandatory. Students may not miss more than one class. 8 weeks of class and 4 shows. Prerequisite: Level Two and Instructor Approval.

Improv to Sketch

Now you can create material without having to sit down and write. In the tradition of Second City, you will learn to create sketch comedy through improvisation. In this 8-week class, students will collaborate to create a sketch revue and perform it in a 4-week run of shows. Prerequisite: Instructor approval required.

Musical Improv is about learning how to create a spontaneous musical without planning any of the content. These classes are for two types of people: anyone who feels born to make up songs in front of people, and anyone who dreads the idea. You'll learn how to sing confidently within your own voice. And you'll learn the mechanics of a song, and the underlying structures that songwriters use to create the building blocks of a larger musical piece. And you'll practice over and over with a supportive group of people. It's a fun and rewarding challenge, and when all the pieces come together it can be thrilling. After a bit of training, you may be asked to audition for one of the Musical Megawatt teams and gain a regular performance slot at the Magnet Mainstage.

  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description

Musical Improv Level One

Musical Improv Level One Now this is something to sing about! Eight weeks of music and improvisation. Learn how to put your thoughts into song and take your scenes to the next level. Whether you are an experienced singer or not, you will learn to master duets, rock opera, charity songs, and more! 8 weeks of class followed by a graduation performance. Prerequisite: Level One or equivalent experience.

Musical Improv Level One

Saturdays 3:00pm - 6:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $375

Begins:
Apr 26
Instructor:
Team Taught
Now
Enrolling
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description

Musical Improv Level Two

Musical Improv Level Two Eight more weeks of musical improv! This second level of Musical Improv focuses on building group dynamic, incorporating choreography, and learning additional song structures. 8 weeks of class followed by a graduation performance. Prerequisite: Musical Improv Level One and Level Three or equivalent.

Musical Improv Level Two

Sundays 12:00pm - 3:00pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $375

Begins:
Apr 27
Instructor:
Frank Spitznagel , Ryan Dunkin
Now
Enrolling
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description

Musical Improv Level Three And Beyond

Musical Improv Level Three, Genre Studies Sing it to a whole new level! In this performance intensive workshop, students will be assigned to a musical improv team which will perform a 4-week run of shows. The 8-week workshop will focus on advanced musical improv skills, group dynamic, and the responsibilities of being in a musical improv ensemble. Prerequisite: Musical Improv Level 2 and Instructor Approval.

Musical Improv Level Three

Date: TBD
(8 sessions / 1 show) $375

Begins:
TBD
Alert
When Offered
Musical Improv Level Four

Date: TBD
(8 sessions / 1 show) $375

Begins:
TBD
Alert
When Offered

Work with excellent teachers on aspects of the work that interest you. Magnet offers elective classes in improv, musical improv, writing, solo performance, and more. Learn new skills, discover unexpected talents, and develop professionally. Some electives require prior experience so check the class descriptions for more details. This course list is refreshed regularly, so check back to find unique opportunities and special guest instructors. Magnet electives are generally open to all students, even if they have no prior training at Magnet (and if there is a class prerequisite, the registrar will accept equivalent prior training from another improv school).

Camp Alumni (currently in session)

CAMP ALUMNI ONLY (now enrolling)

Camp Magnet returns! Our annual summer retreat is coming back. Go camping with us in the beautiful Catskill Mountains from June 12th - June 15th. Enjoy 4 days and 3 nights of improv, outdoors, adventure, and fun with improv and writing workshops. DEADLINE TO ENROLL: MAY 24th. Private cabins are available for an additional cost. For more information, please call 212-244-2400.

Camp Magnet (now enrolling)

Camp Magnet returns! Our annual summer retreat is coming back. Go camping with us in the beautiful Catskill Mountains from June 12th - June 15th. Enjoy 4 days and 3 nights of improv, outdoors, adventure, and fun with improv and writing workshops. DEADLINE TO ENROLL: MAY 24th. Private cabins are available for an additional cost. For more information, please call 212-244-2400.

Camp Magnet 2013 (currently in session)

Camp Magnet returns! Our annual summer retreat is coming back. Go camping with us in the beautiful Catskill Mountains from June 13th - June 16th. Enjoy 4 days and 3 nights of improv, outdoors, adventure, and fun with improv and writing workshops. DEADLINE TO ENROLL: MAY 24th. Private cabins are available for an additional cost. For more information, please call 212-244-2400.

Introduction to The Solo Show (currently in session)

Thinking about going solo? This class will teach everything you need to know about creating, developing and mounting a solo show. Over six weeks, we will use improv and writing exercises to find the show inside you and the characters you'll need to give it life. Bring your ideas if you have them, but more importantly, come ready to write, improvise and explore new material. Class will conclude in a student show.

Jump On The Bomb (currently in session)

What do you do when no one steps out for a scene? When it seems that there are no more ideas? Just jump on the bomb. Get out there. Do something. This workshop explores the generation of organic initiations, trusting our instincts, and working off of nothing.

My Solo Show - Level Two (now enrolling)

Grow that show! This class is for people who have taken the Intro to Solo Show class and want to add to their piece (or another idea) or for those who have created and performed solo work and need help with a new idea. We'll workshop, shape, hone, edit, and help get your show up on its feet. Bring your idea or partially written show to the first class.

SCENE REBOOTED (now enrolling)

This is an advanced scene work class meant for people with at least the first 3 levels of Magnet training. We will use some different techniques to create more nuanced and creative scenes. Moreover, we will learn some tricks on how to simplify and use your acting chops to kick fear and apprehension to the curb! Learn how to better dial in and play what is there, forget premise-prov, and never have to do that roommate scene where someone draws a line down the middle of the room again. We've all been in that scene.