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

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

Begins:
Sep 20
Instructor:
Rick Andrews , Hannah Chase
Wait List
Level One: The Principles of Improv

Sundays 6:30pm - 9:30pm
(8 sessions / 1 shows) $350

Begins:
Sep 21
Instructor:
Rick Andrews
Now
Enrolling
Level One: The Principles of Improv

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

Begins:
Sep 23
Instructor:
Megan Gray
Now
Enrolling
Level One: The Principles of Improv

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

Begins:
Sep 29
Instructor:
Kelly Buttermore
Now
Enrolling
Level One: The Principles of Improv

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

Begins:
Oct 2
Instructor:
Rick Andrews
Now
Enrolling
Level One: The Principles of Improv

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

Begins:
Oct 5
Instructor:
Michael Lutton
Now
Enrolling
Level One: The Principles of Improv

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

Begins:
Oct 8
Instructor:
Michael Lutton
Now
Enrolling
Level One: The Principles of Improv

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

Begins:
Oct 11
Instructor:
Chet Siegel
Now
Enrolling
Level One: The Principles of Improv

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

Begins:
Oct 15
Instructor:
Megan Gray
Now
Enrolling
Level One: The Principles of Improv

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

Begins:
Oct 19
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

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

Begins:
Sep 17
Instructor:
Rick Andrews , Nick Kanellis
Now
Enrolling
Level Two: Intro to Long Form

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

Begins:
Sep 27
Instructor:
Rick Andrews
Now
Enrolling
Level Two: Intro to Long Form

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

Begins:
Oct 8
Instructor:
Chet Siegel
Now
Enrolling
Level Two: Intro to Long Form

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

Begins:
Oct 11
Instructor:
Chet Siegel
Now
Enrolling
Level Two: Intro to Long Form

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

Begins:
Oct 20
Instructor:
Louis Kornfeld
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:
Sep 16
Instructor:
Louis Kornfeld
Wait List
Level Three: Long Form Intensive

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

Begins:
Oct 9
Instructor:
Peter McNerney
Now
Enrolling
Level Three: Long Form Intensive

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

Begins:
Oct 25
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

Wednesdays 7:00pm - 10:00pm
(8 sessions / 4 shows) $375

Begins:
Sep 24
Instructor:
Alan Fessenden
Wait List
Level Four: Senior Project - The Mono-Scene

Tuesdays 7:00pm - 10:00pm
(8 sessions / 4 shows) $375

Begins:
Oct 14
Instructor:
Alan Fessenden
5 Spots
Left
Level Four: Senior Project - Evente

Tuesdays 7:00pm-10:00pm
(8 sessions / 4 shows) $375

Begins:
Sep 16
Instructor:
Alex Marino
2 Spots
Left
Level Four: Senior Project - Evente

Wednesdays 7:00pm - 10:00pm
(8 sessions / 4 shows) $375

Begins:
Oct 8
Instructor:
Alex Marino
Now
Enrolling
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.

Conservatory Studio

Sundays 12:00pm - 3:00pm
(5 sessions / 0 shows) $299

Begins:
Sep 21
Instructor:
Peter McNerney
Instructor
Approval

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:
Sep 27
Instructor:
Frank Spitznagel , Michael Lutton
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

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

Begins:
TBD
Alert
When Offered
  • 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

Sundays 12:00pm - 3:00pm
(8 sessions / 4 shows) $375

Begins:
Sep 21
Instructor:
Frank Spitznagel , Michael Lutton
Instructor
Approval
Musical Improv POWER UP

Sundays 3:00pm - 5:00pm
(1 sessions / 0 shows) $45

Begins:
Oct 19
Instructor:
Jon Bander , Frank Spitznagel
Now
Enrolling
Intro to Hip-Hop Improv

Saturday 2:00pm - 4:00pm
(1 sessions / 0 shows) $45

Begins:
Oct 18
Instructor:
Douglas Widick
Now
Enrolling
Piano Workshop

Saturdays 12:00pm - 3:00pm
(1 sessions / 0 shows) $60

Begins:
Oct 25
Instructor:
Frank Spitznagel
3 Spots
Left

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).

Auditioning for TV & Commercials (currently in session)

This is the class you have heard about. Over 175 improvisors and performers in NYC have taken T.J. Mannix's commercial auditioning classes. Put your improv skills to work in the entertainment industry and learn the art and business of commercial auditioning. In other words, learn how to get paid to do what you love. This 8-week class will cover the ABC’s of auditioning. Topics to be covered include auditioning on-camera, working with sides, preparation, and the business of the business. Students will work on-camera each week, ending with a live audition for commercial agents and casting directors in an industry showcase. Students will audition for agents and casting directors in an industry showcase.

Auditioning for TV & Commercials (currently in session)

This is the class you have heard about. Over 175 improvisors and performers in NYC have taken T.J. Mannix's commercial auditioning classes. Put your improv skills to work in the entertainment industry and learn the art and business of commercial auditioning. In other words, learn how to get paid to do what you love. This 8-week class will cover the ABC’s of auditioning. Topics to be covered include auditioning on-camera, working with sides, preparation, and the business of the business. Students will work on-camera each week, ending with a live audition for commercial agents and casting directors in an industry showcase. Students will audition for agents and casting directors in an industry showcase.

Auditioning for TV & Commercials (currently in session)

This is the class you have heard about. Over 175 improvisors and performers in NYC have taken T.J. Mannix's commercial auditioning classes. Put your improv skills to work in the entertainment industry and learn the art and business of commercial auditioning. In other words, learn how to get paid to do what you love. This 8-week class will cover the ABC’s of auditioning. Topics to be covered include auditioning on-camera, working with sides, preparation, and the business of the business. Students will work on-camera each week, ending with a live audition for commercial agents and casting directors in an industry showcase. Students will audition for agents and casting directors in an industry showcase.

Auditioning for TV & Commercials (now enrolling)

This is the class you have heard about. Over 175 improvisors and performers in NYC have taken T.J. Mannix's commercial auditioning classes. Put your improv skills to work in the entertainment industry and learn the art and business of commercial auditioning. In other words, learn how to get paid to do what you love. This 8-week class will cover the ABC’s of auditioning. Topics to be covered include auditioning on-camera, working with sides, preparation, and the business of the business. Students will work on-camera each week, ending with a live audition for commercial agents and casting directors in an industry showcase. Students will audition for agents and casting directors in an industry showcase.

Coaching Class (currently in session)

Learn how to coach and teach improv through practical hands-on experience. Students will work on warm-ups, scene exercises and ensemble building techniques by coaching actual performers. The class will also cover how to give notes, structure a coaching session, deal with common coaching problems, manage time, and other skills needed to be a confident, flexible and successful coach. 6 weeks. Prerequisite: Completion of Level Six. Must have Magnet training to register for class. Limit 14 students.

Creating Characters Intensive (currently in session)

Writing characters for the stage is an essential part of a sketch comedian’s repertoire. Jana Schmieding and Lauren Olson of “Jana & Lauren Presents” - a monthly character showcase - want to see your characters! In this workshop, sketch writers/performers and solo performers will dive into the challenging work of creating original comedic characters for the stage. We’ll work on finding your inner character-voice through improv and acting exercises before brainstorming and writing original characters together. Jana & Lauren will use their own method of finding a character’s game while providing individualized feedback on your writing. Of course, the characters in this workshop will not exist solely on the page. Jana & Lauren will help you bring your writing to life on stage so that your characters are “show ready” and you feel confident about your original work! PREREQUISITE: Sketch Level One or Improv Level Three

Here, Now (currently in session)

This workshop focuses on the importance of being connected and present with both yourself and your scene partner. Reacting honestly and being informed by your choices will set the stage for in-the-moment discoveries that will take your scenes to the next level.

Intro To Hip-Hop Improv (now enrolling)

Learn how to freestyle rhyme with Douglas Widick and Kaila Mullady of North Coast. Take your nursery rhymes and turn them into epic, free-styled polysyllabic verses! Prerequisite: Level 3 Improv or higher

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.

Let Yourself Be Vulnerable (currently in session)

This workshop is all about allowing yourself to be more vulnerable as a performer. Exercises will focus on accessing your character's wants, weaknesses, and emotional core. By tapping into honest, open-hearted, scene-work, participants will walk away with a more vital and satisfying style of play. It's like therapy, but cheaper... and more funny.

Notice More, Invent Less (currently in session)

Much is established within the first moments of a scene, and yet so often we drop or ignore early choices we've made. This workshop will encourage improvisers to listen and notice more, both to themselves and their scene partners. You'll explore and heighten what has already been established, rather than feel the need to invent.

Special Effects (now enrolling)

Without props, sets or costumes the improviser has the freedom to manipulate an audienceÌøåÀå_s perception of space and time to a degree limited only by his or her imagination. In this 4-week class students will explore the great potential of the empty space. The class will play with transformations, split scenes, swinging doors, journey scenes, morphs, novelty edits and more to expand and heighten scene work and piece dynamics. Prerequisite: Level 3 or equivalent. *No class 10/11

The Big Easy (now enrolling)

Improv shouldn't feel hard. You shouldn't feel pressure to make a scene work. In this workshop we will focus on some simple techniques and exercises to make your scene-work easier, and make it seem more effortless.

Where Do I Find Auditions? (currently in session)

Roughly 90% of actors find work without an agent. Even if you do have an agent, you can’t sit back and wait for him to find you work. You have to hustle. In this comprehensive workshop, working actor David Neal Levin will teach you in two hours where to find auditions based on knowledge that took him years to accumulate. Participants will also receive a copy of his book which contains 9 interviews with agents and casting directors offering their insights on the audition process in addition on where to find them. Don't miss another opportunity because you didn't know where to look. "It turns out there are tons and tons of different places producers and directors go to post auditions. And as an actor it's your job to find those auditions. David Neal Levin has done a LOT of homework and discovered a way to quickly and simply find those auditions. It worked for me - I found a gig immediately." --Adam Nowak, Actor, SAG-AFTRA, client of Cunningham, Escott, Slevin and Dougherty Talent Agency David has taught his workshop at the Magnet, NYU and Michael Howard Studios this Summer. He has appeared on Adult Swim, the Onion News Network, numerous commercials, and all kinds of gigs, 99% of which he found on his own. You can learn more at www.davidneallevin.com