Magnet Theater Blog

Tuesday June 12, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

What is love? It’s certainly strange, perhaps the most confusing human emotion of all time. Do you like me, yes or no? Will they or won’t they? Do you love me? Will you make me the happiest person in the world?? The new sketch show Love Is Strange is here to explore all the questions, concerns and strangeness that love entails. Nick Pappas is our romantic compass–and you can catch Love Is Strange at Magnet on Sundays June 11 & 24 at 6:00.

Nick Pappas holding a black dog

What’s your show all about? Are we gonna see sketches or more of a cohesive play?

Our show is a series of sketches that talks about love and relationships in all their unusual forms.

What kinds of strangeness can the audience look forward to seeing?

The audience will get to see love at first sight in Penn Station, dealing with exes in a galaxy far, far away, and what happens when the love story is over and the cameras are shut off. Also, there’s a really cool guy named Matt Canonie. You’ll see.

Love Is Strange is coming out of the Sketch Directing Lab. How did the lab shape your process?

The Diversity Directing Lab was amazing. Zackery really helped us define how to put on a show that gets the audience laughing. A good show is more than just putting up a series of funny sketches. You need to understand the importance of the show order and how well all the sketches work together. Most importantly, in the lab we really focused more on sketches that deal with relationships between characters more than finding a game. That’s why my group ended up with the theme we have.

Have you heard the song “Love Is Strange” from the TV show Galavant? (It’s on Netflix and seriously, you should check it out.) “Love is straaaange and sometimes kinda gross, it’s embarrassingly gassy….”

I hadn’t heard the song until you mentioned it, but it’s great! I think you’ll see similar ideas in the show.


Don’t miss Love Is Strange, Sunday June 17 & 24 at 6:00, only at Magnet!

Love Is Strange

 

Thursday June 7, 2018, 10:12am - by Promo Team

Prepare to laugh. Prepare to cry. Prepare to be up. Prepare to be down. Prepare to be amazed. Confused? That’s because no one can prepare for the zigzag of feels that is The Melodrama, showing Monday June 11 at 9:00! Here’s what light director Jana Heaton has to shed on the journey ahead.

The cast of The Melodrama

What’s The Melodrama going to be like?

Over the top but not too much, you know? You know.

How high are the highs? How low are the lows? Will Jane and Rafael (Jane the Virgin) ever get their happily ever after?

Like a double chocolate, cold brew, molly-topped milkshake, we’ll leave you feeling bad all week but wanting more. Like I said, over the top but not too much.

You’ve done this show once before. Did the original run inform this newest edition?

Yes, I cut Ann Ziata. Just kidding. But she won’t be in the next show. Also, I realized I could mess with the cast via the lighting design. So, looking forward to that on Monday, June 11th at 9pm.

You guys are recommended by TimeOutNY???

Yes, we’re an important show. A very important show. Full of very funny improvisers creating impactful comedy. If you’ve read this far, you should probably come see what I mean on Monday, June 11th at 9pm. [NOTE: We’re also recommended by the instagram account, @janaheaton.]

Can we expect Lorde to make an appearance?

Slid into her DMs. Awaiting response.


Ride the roller coaster of emotion at The Melodrama, June 11 at 9:00pm!

The Melodrama

Wednesday June 6, 2018, 10:00am - by Magnet Theater

At our recent Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Panel last month, we reaffirmed our commitment to keeping Magnet a safe space for all members of our community. We want to make sure that our reporting process for complaints of harassment or misconduct are available to all students, performers, staff, and other members of the Magnet family.

Reporting Harassment/Misconduct

To report misconduct or harassment, you are invited to contact the School Director in the manner of your choosing, either via phone, email, or call the Training Center office at 212-244-2400.

Additionally there are other reporting options you may select based on your preference. You may speak with or email any Instructor, House Manager, Training Center Staff, Artistic Staff, or Sketch Director. All Magnet employees are trained to receive your report, and can explain the next steps and what to expect in terms of follow up. Magnet also maintains a growing list of resources and outside organizations to assist our community.

For more information, please see our misconduct policy or call or email the School Director who will be happy to answer any questions.

Further Resources:

The following organizations do valuable work to support victims of harassment and misconduct:

NYC Anti-Violence Project (212) 714-1141
– Serves LGBTQ+ and HIV-Affected Communities
– TTY: (212) 714-1134

Safe Horizon (212) 227-3000
– Serves victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, and other crimes
– Can help with placement in domestic violence shelter
– TDD: (866) 604-5350

NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault  (212) 514-7233 (Only M-F, 9am-5pm)
– Can offer short-term counseling
– Can offer accompaniment to police, hospitals, etc.

Day One (800) 214-4150
– Serves victims of youth dating abuse and domestic sex trafficking
www.dayoneny.org
– Text Line: (646) 535-3291

Womankind (800) 656-4673
– Serves immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and trafficking
– Services available in over 18 languages

1 in 6
– Serves male survivors of child sexual abuse
https://1in6.org

RAINN (800) 656-4673
– Online 24/7 hotline (chat-based hotline, does not collect IP Addresses)
www.rainn.org

Community-Specific Resources:

SAKHI for South Asian Women (212) 868-6741

Korean American Family Service Center: (718) 460-3800

Sauti Yetu Center for African Women
– French-speaking advocates available
http://www.nycservice.org/organizations/index.php?org_id=2551

Voces Latinas: (718) 593-4528 (not a hotline)

VIP—Violence Intervention Program Mujeres (800) 664-5880

Arab American Association of NY (718) 745-3523 (not a hotline)

Other Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255

Know Your IX Toolkit (informing students of their Title IX Rights)
http://knowyourix.org/title-ix/title-ix-and-immigration/

Reporting Resources:
NYPD Special Victims Division (646) 610-7272
(For cases of sexual assault and harassment, you will always be better served contacting the police in this manner over calling 911. Of course, please call 911 in the event of an emergency.)

Tuesday June 5, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

If you’re asking yourself, where’s a good show for a gambler, a risk-taker, someone who knows when to hold ’em and knows when to fold ’em, whose boots are made for walkin’ and that’s just what they’ll do, look no further than Results May Vary, Saturday June 9 & 16 at 6! After all, the only constant in life is change. Desmond Thorne is here to help us get comfortable living in the uncertainty of it all!

Desmond Thorne

Tell us about your show!

The show features a mix of performers with a sketch comedy background, and some with a theater background. It’s about half and half! I did this because I want to see how the worlds of sketch and theater can meld together in terms of writing and in terms of performance. I think two things that can really take a sketch show to the next level are specificity of environment and specificity of performance! I believe this special group of people can achieve both!

According to the ‘recipe‘ for the show, we can expect political satire, puns, and musical panache–anything else?

Along with these other elements in the “recipe”, you can expect to see a lot of Blackout sketches! I think Blackouts can really amp up the energy of the show and our writers wrote some really excellent ones! I also love to play with visual and auditory comedy in sketch shows, so expect to see and hear some of that!

Okay, we know they may vary, but what sort of results can be expected?

Whatever the results may be, they will be fun and high energy! Along with seeing how much theater we can get into a sketch show, I’d love to see if we can never drop the ball and keep the energy super high and fun for the entire 30 mins of the show!

How much of an influence did the Sketch Directing Lab have on the final product?

The Sketch Directing Lab greatly influenced the final product of the show. We were shown sketch shows from Second City in Chicago, and many of their ideas on how to approach a sketch show go along with my theatrical instincts that I’ve gathered since high school. The Lab also gave me and everyone else in the class a freedom of voice that I don’t think we get to experience very often, which leads to a lot of experimentation that you don’t usually see on the NYC comedy stage!


Roll the dice at Results May Vary, Saturday June 9 & 16 at 6:00 on the Magnet stage!

Results May Vary

Monday June 4, 2018, 4:01pm - by Magnet Theater

Applications are now open for Ringers’ July show. Ringers is a sketch show for aspiring, eager, and ambitious writers, actors, and directors of the Magnet community – and we want you to be a part of it!

The show will be Monday, July 23rd at 7:30 P.M.

Below please see the details to apply:

WRITERS:

Ringers is seeking sketches for the stage to showcase in its July show. To have your sketch considered, prior or current participation in Magnet’s Sketch Writing program, Remix: The Diversity Sketch Lab, Moxie: The Lady & Non-Binary Sketch Lab (fka Lady Sketch Lab), or Magnet Video Lab is required. You will be required to attend the Table Read on Friday, July 6th from 6:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. as well as the show. Attendance of rehearsals is encouraged but is not mandatory. We encourage directors and writers to meet up after the table read to go over notes and any revisions prior to the first rehearsal.

*Please note that rehearsals will be held before/after class hours during the week and weekend.*

To apply, please fill out the following form: https://goo.gl/forms/rFYswZslu7PVNgEi2 as well as email ringers@magnettheater.com a finished, polished sketch formatted correctly and no longer than 5 pages in length. This sketch should also contain little-to-no tech.

 

ACTORS:

Ringers is seeking actors to star in its sketches. To be considered as an actor, you must have completed at least Level 4 of Magnet’s Improv Curriculum or Level 2 of the Musical Program. You will be required to attend the Table Read on Friday, July 6th from 6:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M., the rehearsals for the sketch(es) you are cast in, the dress rehearsal, the tech rehearsal, and the show.

*Please note that rehearsals will be held before/after class hours during the week and weekend.*

Actors will typically be given at least 2 roles and thus must be available for more than one rehearsal slot.

To apply to be an actor for an upcoming show, please fill out the following form: https://goo.gl/forms/ljsJ2L8sZnZBqkin1

DIRECTORS:

Ringers is seeking directors for its July show. To be considered as a director, you must have Big Sib’ed a Sketch Level 2 class or have been on a Magnet Sketch Team. You will be required to attend the Table Read on Friday July 6th from 6:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M., the rehearsals for the sketch(es) you are directing, the dress rehearsal, the tech, and the show. We encourage directors and writers to meet up after the table read to go over notes and any revisions prior to the first rehearsal.

*Please note that rehearsals will be held before/after class hours during the week and weekend.*

To apply to be a director for a sketch in an upcoming show, please fill out the following form: https://goo.gl/forms/3hNYkzVu1XsE44Ci2

**The deadline to be considered for Ringers’ July show is Wednesday, June 20th. Those selected will be notified on Friday, June 29th**

For all questions please e-mail Armando Diaz and Amanda Xeller at ringers@magnettheater.com. We look forward to working with you!

Monday April 30, 2018, 10:52pm - by Magnet Theater

We’re having an important community discussion on sexual misconduct, gender-based violence, and harassment on Thursday, May 24th from 5:30* to 7 pm at our 29th Street Theater.

Joining us for a panel discussion are Jeenie Yoon, LMSW, Senior Campus Sexual Assault Coordinator at the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault and Deepti Sahrawat, Esq. Ms. Sahrawat is a volunteer community liaison with a professional background in the area of relationship violence both as a prosecutor and advocate. These experts will bring significant experience and resources to our community.

We are also going to take this opportunity to share information about Magnet’s Policy Against Harassment and Misconduct, specifically regarding our complaint and reporting procedures.

Plus we will have an extended Q&A! We encourage members of our community to ask questions and raise relevant concerns.

In fact, you may submit anonymous questions or concerns via this FORM. This may help us address some questions that others may not want to ask publicly.

IMPORTANT INFO:
Thursday, May 24th 5:30* to 7 pm
Magnet Theater
254 W 29th St
NY, NY 10001


Please call 212-244-2400 if you have any questions about this event. We hope to see you there!

*Latecomers are still welcome!

Thursday April 26, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

Michael Stevens and his nephewWhat’s your name?

Michael Stevens.

Which team or show are you on?

Oh boy. I’m with Gary from HR (sketch), Good @ Sports (indie), FAM (indie), The Neighbors (Megawatt), and then a smattering of duos: Just 2 Brothers w/ John Ross, Can’t Catch A Cab w/ Ashley Glicken, Father & Son w/ Brendan Goggins, and Squirtle Squad w/ Aditya Otiv. I also am directing The Multiplex, which is a fun lil’ form near and dear to me. Eaves is also an indie trio I’m on but we’re less of a team these days and more of a state of mind.

Where are you from?

I’m from Brooklyn and I went to school on Long Island. Yes, I commuted everyday.

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

Honestly, I found improv after finding live theater as a creative outlet. My older brother was an improvisor so I took a whack at it in college. I think I probably considered myself more of a actory-type boy than a comedy-type boy… but I found improv and loved it. Took a break after college and picked it back up in 2015.

How long have you been performing/writing?

I learned to read very early and have been writing since I was 3, I shit you not. All of the stuff I wrote when I was 3 was garbage. I didn’t really establish my voice until I was eight. I’ve been writing very well ever since.

I started acting in high school. I was just coming out of homeschool into my formative teen years so I was naturally a bit of a quiet weirdo with voices running around his head.

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

Scene partner? Either Keegan Michael Key or Aubrey Plaza. I saw Keegan in Hamlet where he played Horatio. I thought he did such a good job adding light to a play that’s actually VERY funny. I think he’s obsessed with pathos in the same way that I am. Aubrey Plaza because I think she’s an insanely underrated actor who Warner Bros should be paying $500,000,000 to play the Joker. I shit you not, she’s the best incarnation of the Joker that will never be performed.

My ideal writing partner would probably be Jordan Peele, for very obvious reasons. I think he and I would write a kick-ass superhero movie together. I already have the plot and everything. My next pick would be David Lynch. I would like to write with him because I love his films, but feel guilty because there are never enough black characters.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?

Impersonate: Jeff Goldblum. He’s an actor I love, and a natural comic talent that I love but CANNOT impersonate.

I’d like to write for LaKeith Stanfield. He’s a special kind of weird. Maybe a Lethal Weapon type cop movie with LaKeith and me playing Jeff Goldblum is the thing I oughta work on.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

Without going into too much detail: Sadness.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

  1. Mercy Mercy Me – Marvin Gaye, because this song is my politics.
  2. Rikki Don’t Lose That Number – Steely Dan, because I am a figurative dad.
  3. 2Shy – Shura, because, yeah, I’m totally that girl who didn’t feel cool in high school and dresses like cool people she sees on TV.
  4. Bad Girls – Solange ft. Kendrick Lamar, because it sounds like a rainy and you’re sad, but chillin’.
  5. Cool – Gwen Stefani, because breakups should be healthier in this culture we live in.
  6. Frank Ocean – Wise Man, because this is some baller ass shit to play at a funeral.
  7. Bambi – Prince, because this is what it sounds like to beat up a bully.
  8. That Power – Childish Gambino, because this is what Summer 2003 sounds like.
  9. Princes of the Universe – Queen, because this is what it sounds like when Mercury is in Retrograde again and you’re READY for it.
  10. Starman – David Bowie, because David Bowie is good.
  11. Kiss It Better – Rihanna, because this is the sexiest song ever written, but also sounds like the happy medium between sex during the apocalypse, and a regular co-dependent relationship.
  12. Cristo Redentor – Donald Byrd, because it sounds like a peaceful death.
  13. All That – Carly Rae Jepsen, because the first time I heard it after I saw Moonlight for the first time and literally cried tears of joy on the L Train home. This song is all of the cosmic highs and pre-apocalyptic lows of a little crush.
  14. La La Means I Love You – The Delfonics, because goddamn it, I love a black wedding.
  15. In Your Room – Airiel, because I should have been in my 20s in the 90s.

I have to stop here, because if I don’t I’ll be here forever.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

How someone answers “What’s your favorite superhero” usually tells me everything I need to know about a person’s values.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Gassed Up w/ Good @ Sports! 10:30pm! And if by some twist of fate I’m not doing improv, I am at some movie theater. Or on the subway listening to shoegaze, smiling and crying next to some ghost while metal spiders crawl out of my body.

What’s your favorite Disney Channel Original Movie?

My favorite Disney Channel Original Movie is High School Musical 2. For a variety of reasons:
1. Zach Efron did not lip sync in this one. In the original he was dubbed over by some weak ass tenor named Drew Seeley. I don’t have a problem with Brother Seeley’s voice, but I do feel that pretty ass tenor voices are over represented in music, especially musicals. Zac Efron is on the lighter side of baritones, but I think he has a stronger voice, and I think he gave a better performance. I think it’s very weird they dubbed his voice over in the original.
2. Bet On It is a legit, relatable song and a total BANGER even after all these years. If you wanna see me punch a dude in the face, play that shit. He has a falsetto note in that song that I cannot hit to this day. I mean. I can hit it. But it sounds like shit.
3. For more questions about all things High School Musical related, please email me, because I saw all three, and love them all.
4. THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO GLEE WITHOUT HSM.
Wednesday April 25, 2018, 1:42pm - by Magnet Theater

 

Say hello to all of our new Conservatory Circuit teams! Come see one of their shows, Fridays at 10 pm, starting May 4th at the Magnet Training Center, 22 W 32nd St., 10th Floor. YES! Shows run through June 8th.

The Conservatory Circuit features improv ensembles made-up of both Magnet students and veteran Magnet performers. Every week, three teams take the stage and perform the classic long form improv structure, The Harold.

Team Rizzo:
Jennifer Aaron
Pete Morris
Elaine Bledsoe
Valentino Salza
Simon Shannon
Nathan Tillis
Anna Vesely
Mary Regan
Coach: Xavier Padin

Team Cha-Cha:
Maxim Ross
Susan Lerner
Craig Lehner
David Freshwater
Marshall Finch
Jana Heaton
Mari Stein
Christine Lawless
Coach: Pat May

Team Frenchie:
Amanda Melhuish
Joe Diliberti
Greg Iacurci
Aaron Riesebeck
Gillian Kushner
Henry Seifter
Christine Magee
Simon Johnston
Coach: Tom Sanchez

Congrats to the new teams, and be sure to come and check them out!

Tuesday April 24, 2018, 3:41pm - by Magnet Theater

 

We are thrilled to announce the next edition of Musical Circuit! These three teams (Kander, Ebb, and Prince) will perform on Saturday nights, starting May 5th at 10:30 pm, at Magnet Training Center, 22 W 32nd St., 10th Floor. We hope to see you there!

The Musical Circuit features musical improv ensembles made-up of both Magnet students and veteran Magnet performers. Every week, three teams take the stage and perform completely improvised pieces of musical theatre made just for you!

Team Kander
Beth Bowman
Caitlin Doherty
Ankit Singh
Steve Tardio
Nathan Tillis
Stacey Weingarten
Coach: Christine Chan

 

Team Ebb
Jonathan Morales
Dylan O’Keefe
Brian Rosenblatt
Emily Swindahl
Shalini Tripathi
Eva Tsang
Coach: Chris Bell

 

Team Prince
Tara Harte
Adam Keller
Erin Richardson
Denis Sazhin
Elie Stav
Lisa Yapp
Coach: Natasha Gleichmann

 
Come out and watch these great shows!

Tuesday April 24, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Chris Bell and Jessica Coyle dressed up

Have you ever found inspiration in a Deadline? Magnet’s Chris Bell and Jessica Coyle have, by teaming up with BMI’s Dave Christensen to create Deadlines: a completely original musical show raising money for St. Jude’s Hospital by 6pm on Sunday, April 29th ! No need to for you to rush– we’ve got the details right here before you catch the show this weekend.

What’s a time when a deadline inspired you to make something amazing?

Jessica: When I was living in Korea, I was highly involved in the arts scene there. I acted, did stand up, and ran an improv troupe. While I was touring the fringe circuit doing short form improv in Canada, I became friends with Chase Padgett, an amazing performer whose one man show consistently sold out enormous performances. I had the crazy idea that I would fly him back to Korea, have him do a couple of shows, and book him to him teach musical improv workshops to the expat community. At the time, it didn’t occur to me how crazy it was to take on the upfront costs of figuring out housing, a transcontinental flight, and reserving a 200-seat theater for an international artist. I just decided to do it, and I did it. For some reason, maybe just because I gave myself the deadline and went ahead and did it, it went amazingly well. Failure wasn’t an option, so I didn’t fail. That’s the power of an arbitrary deadline.

Dave: When I was in college for Musical Theater performance, we had to pick a ‘concentration’ for our senior year; basically this meant choose one aspect of musical theater performance to focus on and take more classes in that field your final year. I had realized that performance wasn’t my passion, but I didn’t know what was, I just knew I like musical theater in general. I decided to try something different and make my own ‘concentration’ which would consist of me putting up a show of my own songs at the end of the year. I had a teacher work with me all year, and because the show was required as part of my grade, and had been advertised, I had to make it happen! I did, and found that what I really loved was writing, and to make sure I give myself deadlines ever since.

Chris: Deadlines have helped me produce shows! They help me get my art out there, to try to see if the ideas I have work, if they’re as fun as I think, and to get the work done.

Which Magnet performers are featured in this show?

It’s a huge cast list! Including us (Jessica and Chris,) we’ve got Lane Kwederis, Tori Smith, Maryann Menzies Alspaugh, Ali Reed, Beth Slack, Robin Rothman Taylor, Brian Rodriguez, and Amy Charowsky. We’ve also got Magneteers  Michelle Foor, Robin Rothman Taylor, Frank Spitznagel, and Dan Reitz writing music for the show.

dave christensen in a hoodieWhat was the process of developing the songs featured in Deadlines?

This was an opportunity to get Magnet performers involved with professional composers and lyricists from the BMI Writers Workshop, writers and composes who are professionally producing work for the stage. We wanted the two communities to connect, and we also wanted to give these writers an opportunity to experiment with work they wouldn’t normally put in a show. They wrote these songs and they want to see how they play before an audience.

The process was a three-month labor of love. First, we reached out to songwriters from the BMI Writers Workshop and within the Magnet community. We then gave those songwriters three deadlines: the first, to submit a basic description of their songs along with singer requirements, the second, to send a rough draft of lyrics, and the third to submit the annotated music for our pianist. After that, it was up to the singer and songwriter to figure out staging and rehearsals, building up to our final dress rehearsal on April 29th.

This show will raise money for St. Jude Hospital. What inspired you to get involved with this cause?

Dave: I have been teaching music and dance for 8 years this year, and over that time I have had multiple students diagnosed with cancer. Most of them were between 8 and 15. I saw the difference that St. Jude made in the lives of some of those families, especially in the children with more rare forms of blood cancer that are more difficult to treat. It’s an incredibly large amount of information for a family to intake, and having that expert team of doctors help to sort through it all and find the right treatment was essential for these families and their children. I’m happy to say I saw many full recoveries, which is why I choose support St. Jude and all the amazing work that they do.


Don’t miss Deadlines, Sunday April 29th at 6:00pm!

cartoon poster for Deadlines at Magnet Theater