Magnet Theater Blog

Friday March 9, 2018, 2:47pm - by Promo Team

Did you catch (and love) Moonlight last month? Don’t be sad to see it go, because it’s not gone—it’s evolved into Gassed Up with Good At Sports and it’s on every Saturday at 10:30 pm! Moonlight director, John Ross, is here fill you in.

How has this group evolved since coming together for the Director Series show Moonlight?

Same group new night and time. The biggest change is now I get to play with the team!

What’s your favorite memory from Moonlight’s Director Series run?

Easily every time the audience and actors broke because the scripted line was a perfect response to the improvised line. The room practically explodes and it’s the best feeling for everyone.

Is it comforting to ditch the gravid water format? Or more challenging?

A little bit of both to be honest. We were just getting used to having to cold read scripts, so it’s a bit of an adjustment to go back to pure improv. That being said, we are having fun just playing with each other, and not having to worry about printing scripts each week, haha.

Tell us more about the improv form you’re performing. Why did you choose this form?

Right now we are rotating through some forms, monologue deconstruction, Spokane, and Montage. We like these 3 because they all give us a lot of freedom given that the team is so big (10 people total). We also want to showcase minority talent and play-styles that don’t often get a main stage opportunity. However, we do plan on doing at least 1 edition of Gassed up in the Moonlight form though.

Out of all of the members of Good at Sports, who’s the best at sports?

This is a very good question. We all are. We’re a group of olympians each specializing in a different event. Like a justice league of comedy and athleticism. We’ve got a breakdown and everything:
Saidah – Zatanna
Lanee’ – Wonder Woman
Essence – Green Lantern
Erica – The Flash (Wally West)
Alexis – Martian Manhunter
Dahlia – Dr. Fate
Nat – Atom
Michael – Green Arrow
John – Superman
Randy – Batman

Feed your car and feed your mind with Gassed Up with Good At Sports, every Saturday at 10:30!

Thursday March 8, 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.

What’s your name?

Ingrid Ostby.

Which team or show are you on?

I perform every Wednesday at Megawatt with my beloved team, Tallulah.

Where are you from?

Flint, Michigan. (Yes, Michael Moore and bad water. I know.)

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

One day in a college computer class, out of curiosity, I looked up how Tina Fey and Amy Poehler got their start. I had grown up watching SNL and embarrassing my friends by turning it on at college parties, and I had a crush on Jimmy Fallon that I suspect was just a desire to do exactly what he did. Fey and Poehler started out doing improv in Chicago, so I looked up what clubs (like extracurriculars, not bars) at my alma matter, Michigan State, focused on doing improv. There was only one, and the picture made it look extremely embarrassing (I think they wore … costumes …?). It was also defunct. So I looked into Second City approximately 8,000 times and, once I graduated, I moved to Chicago to do comedy.

How long have you been performing/writing?

I’ve been performing improv and sketch for [coughing to disguise words] over eleven years.

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

My ideal improv scene partner would be Jet Eveleth of the Reckoning, because she was one of my mentors in Chicago years ago and I think she is one of the finest improvisers out there. My ideal writing partner is my friend Meghan from back in Chicago. She’s now in social work, but she is the best human I know of and we used to write shows together, and it was the time of our lives. These aren’t famous people, so if you are thirsting for those, I would say 1. Angela Lansbury and 2. Bob Newhart or John Mulaney.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?

As far as who I’d most like to impersonate, my dream would be for Lady Gaga to forever stay relevant because she has a very specific, crackly speaking voice and accent I find extremely pleasant to listen to and it’s fun to attempt to do. My favorite person to write for so far in life has been my pal Dennis Pacheco. He’s a character as it is and a great actor and plays great weirdos and great regular dudes. Plus he’s great at table reads, which is an extremely undervalued skillset.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

This video.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

It would for sure have some garage-y lo-fi female-led pop-y stuff in there. It would probably have some Jon Brion, too. Maybe some Fiona Apple sprinkled in for good measure. Fabolous would probably make an appearance. But I dunno, depends on how I’m feeling. Maybe it’ll all be Gambino.

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

I like knowing what people do outside of work hours. I think that says a lot about a person. But “Hey what do you do when you get out of work?” is pretty weird to ask off the bat, so I’d probably just ask them their name and how they know Sandra who’s graciously hosting us this evening.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Saturday is my get-shit-done day. I have the most energy on Saturdays. It’s the best day!!! That said, I’m a woman over 30 who is tired of socializing every single night of the week, so ideally I’d be with a very small group in a cozy, quiet-ish place talking a lot about nothing. Otherwise I’ll just be on my couch or at a movie.

If you were a super villain, what would your schtick be?

If I were a super villain, I’d force all the Avengers to retire because they’ve been given far too much screen time.


Tuesday March 6, 2018, 3:57pm - by Promo Team

MOXIE opens Monday March 12th! For the next three Mondays at 9:00 at the Magnet, see original sketch shows developed by teams formed through Moxie, the female-identifying, non-binary, and trans sketch lab! Congratulations to the participants and directors!

Monday March 12th
The Mad Donnas and Clit Eastwood

Monday March 19th
Ryan Gosling’s Spank Bank and The Mad Donnas

Monday March 26th
Clit Eastwood and Ryan Gosling’s Spank Bank


The Mad Donnas
Directors: Alex Stark, Liz Haag, Megan Gray

Writers: Ruthie Dreyer, Kay Mollica, Claire Matson, Beth Heller, Morgan Sobel & Kate de Longpre’, Julia Schroeder, Jenn Seide

Performers: Angelica Florio, Morgan Sobel, Alina Konon, Vassileia Kazee, Talia Kwartler, Emily Heider, Jamie Genoa, Kerri Kenny, Alex Schulte, Laura Fabius, Kay Mollica, Margaret Taormina, Claire Matson, Beth Heller, Susan Burns, Julia Schroeder, Dorrie Jankowski, Jenn Seide, Ruthie Dreyer, Shevone Adams


Clit Eastwood
Directors: Amanda Xeller, Chloe Koser, Gina Cucci

Writers: Deborah Lohse, Hailey McAfee, Jen Shamro, Jenice Matias, JoAnn DeLuna, Kelli Argott, Kristina Stasi, Laura Brehm

Performers: Ande Cousins, Carly Hampton, CJ Archuleta, Deborah Lohse, Elaine Bledsoe, Hailey McAfee, Jeffrey Elizabeth Copeland, Jen Shamro, Jenice Matias, JoAnn DeLuna, Kelli Argott, Kristina Stasi, Laura Brehm, Paige Smith-Hogan, Rebecca Weiser


Ryan Gosling’s Spank Bank
Directors: Virginia Dickens, Jackie Skinner, Aimee Lutkin

Writers: Alison Badrous, Emily Dalton, Becky Davidson, Mallory McAfee, Meredith Spencer, Sasha Stewart, Alison Williams

Performers: Kendra Augustin, Alison Badrous, Hannah Bell, Alyssa Briddes, Magda Cychowski, Emily Dalton, Becky Davidson, Hannah Goldman, Lesley Hennen, Tea Ho, Heather Johnson, Nicole Matarese, Mallory McAfee, Kelsey Rodriguez, Hannah Sheehan, Meredith Spencer, Jasmin Stanley, Sasha Stewart, Nina Wanat, Joy Weeeng

Sunday March 4, 2018, 1:34pm - by Magnet Theater


Magnet Theater is now accepting applications for the 2018 spring season of Megawatt. Please fill out THIS FORM no later than THURSDAY, MARCH 8th to apply for an audition slot. Auditions will take place on Thursday 3/15 (evening) and Friday 3/16 (evening), with callbacks being Saturday, March 17th (time TBD).

Anyone who has completed Team Performance Workshop is eligible to apply, though please note that a completed form does not guarantee an audition slot. Due to the high volume of eligible improvisors and a limited number of slots, priority will be given to students and performers who have most recently been on a Megawatt team or completed Team Performance Workshop.

CLICK HERE to apply.

Friday March 2, 2018, 4:07pm - by Magnet Theater

Congratulations to this round’s Ringers! Ringers, a tri-annual sketch show produced by Armando Diaz and Amanda Xeller, features sketches written by new and seasoned writers, fresh acting from improvisers, and direction by eager and practiced sketch voices. The show as a whole showcases both recognizable and up-and-coming talents of the Magnet Theater. The next Ringers will be Monday, March 19th, at 10:30 pm.

March’s show will feature:
Sketches by Catherine Elder, Claire Matson, Emily Draper, Fred Chong Rutherford, Kendra Augustin, Jenny Padget, Rita Thompson, and Sean Flowers

Direction by Annemarie Cullen, Carly Silverman, Catherine Montesi, Elie Stav, Gregoryc Cornejo, Jesse Mudrick, and Lauren Faylor

And starring Amanda Melhuish, Andrew Roberts, Anne Antonucci, Annie Howard, Emily Stevens, Essence Stewart, Gabriella Speilberg, Gregory Alexander, Isaac Jimenez, Jeffrey Elizabeth Copeland, Keith DiRienzo, Ladell Thomas, Michael Brantl, Peter Morris, Sara Parelhoff, Simon Shannon, Sonia Nam, Tim Layman, and Will Larson


Wednesday February 28, 2018, 12:10pm - by Megan Gray

Musical Megawatt - Musical Improv

We are excited to announce the next round of auditions for Musical Megawatt!

This season, auditions will take place on Saturday, March 24th, 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, with callbacks on Sunday, March 25th at the same time.  Both rounds of auditions will be at the Magnet Training Center, located at 22 West 32nd Street on the 10th Floor.

To submit for an audition time, please fill out THIS FORM!

Please note only people who have completed Musical Improv Level 3 at Magnet are eligible to audition.

Submissions must be received by Wednesday, March 14th, and emails with assigned audition times will be sent out on Friday the 16th.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email Michael Lutton at

We look forward to seeing you at auditions!

Tuesday February 20, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Ever wanted to dip your toe into the world of Musical Improv? There’s no better place to start than The Magnet Musical Improv All-Stars Spectacular!, this Friday, Feb. 23 at 7! Creator and director Nikita Burdein illuminates the rollercoaster of fun (and music!) below.


The Magnet has a really amazing Musical Improv program, and it’s one you’re heavily involved in. Tell us a little about your experience with musical ‘prov at Magnet.

I first heard of and came to the Magnet Theater because of their Musical Improv Program. It was (and still is) the only theater that has one night a week dedicated exclusively to Musical Improv, complete with a full band, and I wanted to be a part of that. I got cast on Wonderland in 2013 and we are now the oldest Musical team at Magnet. Oh boy! I’ve also been lucky enough to do various other Musical Improv shows at the Magnet including The Made-Up Musical, and currently Premiere: The Improvised Musical on Fridays. I also teach Musical Improv Levels 1 and 2 at the Magnet! So I like it a lot.

I have met so many amazing people through the Magnet Musical Improv Program. They are so talented and have the best personalities and they all have Musical comedy in their heart and soul, so that’s a great creative energy to be around.

This is a variety show! What can we look forward to seeing?

Variety is right. Every show will be different but there’s a few staples to look for.

You’ll see a one night only mash-up cast perform a long-form fully improvised narrative musical. But before they do that, they will play short form games, perform musical sketches and characters, share videos they’ve made, and sing all sorts of types of songs, some improvised and some not. The cast is always changing and each new cast is encouraged to bring something they are excited about sharing with the world, whether its a video, sketch, song, or whatever else.

Can you share a highlight from the first show?

There were too many to name just one. I think seeing this nine people cast collaborate together as amazingly as they did for the first time ever on stage was a definite highlight. Balancing a nine person cast in a narrative is not easy (our Tuesday teams have a maximum of seven people), but they made it look effortless because they are all-stars.

What inspired you to create the Spectacular?

I was amazed by the amount of talent we had performing every Tuesday and wanted to showcase them, their musical improv skills, but also their other creative endeavors; Video Work, Original Songs, Characters. People were doing interesting things and I thought it’d be fun to put them all together.

Then I really enjoy those mashup improv shows that crop up every holiday season, where they put people from various teams onto one super-team, and said let’s do that too.

Then I wanted it to have a little more audience engagement so there’s a short form game in the show.

Then I put other things in the show that I love, like “Solo Spot Songs” and “having a host” and “an element of surprise for the cast.”

Finally, I wanted the audience to get to know the performers in a different way than a long-form piece alone allows. So that’s part of it too. The audience will get to know these players and then they’ll see them perform an amazing Musical Improv Long-form Narrative.

If you don’t know much about musical improv, can you still enjoy the show?

Yes. We will have a host who will introduce each act so no one will be lost. There’s singing and dancing. If you hate singing and dancing, there’s comedy. If you don’t like any of those three things, then it’s not for you.

We’ve heard a scandalous rumor that the name of show may be changing soon.

Yes. The Magnet Musical Improv All-Stars Spectacular is getting a new name. I think it will be revealed at our next show. Something a little peppier, although I do love how descriptive this first title was.


Be dazzled and/or bedazzled at The Magnet Musical Improv All-Stars Spectacular! on Friday, February 23 at 7:00 at Magnet!

Monday February 19, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Did you know they left the word “gullible” out of the dictionary? Okay, maybe that was a fib, but luckily we sat down with Louis Kornfeld to talk about his upcoming show Fact or Fiction, where performers work off true stories from their own lives. No fibs allowed! Reserve tickets for the show, Monday, February 26 at 9:00!

What’s special about improvising from true stories?

The audience gets to know the people who are creating the show they’re watching. I think it’s more intimate. There’s less pressure to create a perfect comedy product when you can step out of a scene at any given moment and talk directly to the audience to let them know what you think about what’s going on.

What’s the craziest story you’ve ever heard at this show, or in rehearsals for the show?

I remember two or three very moving stories, but I wouldn’t be comfortable repeating them out of context.

In the Armando Diaz Experience, a monologist shares a story and then improvisers perform based off that.  How is Fact or Fiction different?

In Fact or Fiction the storyteller becomes a character in the scene. So for example, someone might step out and tell a true story about the time they got an autograph from DeForest Kelley and while they’re talking another person might join them and play Gates McFadden sitting at a convention autograph table. So now that person is telling their true story about DeForest Kelley to Gates McFadden. Any Star Trek fans reading this don’t need me to tell them what a cool scenario that is.

Are there any pitfalls to avoid when performing scenes based on real life?

Not really, other than using taste and judgement. If someone is generous enough to tell us all about a very sad thing in their life then you should know not to come out and join them with your wacky ‘guy who talks out of his butt’ character. Be a human being relating to other human beings. Good advice for any improviser, I think.

If someone tells a story that is not true, are they excommunicated from the show for life?

No, that’s silly.


Search for the truth at Fact or Fiction on Monday, February 26 at 9:00 at Magnet!

Thursday February 15, 2018, 5:03pm - by Megan Gray

sketch teams logo

Congratulations to the newest Magnet Sketch Teams and the latest additions to Just Karen and Danger Noodle! Thanks to everyone who submitted and auditioned this round. Here’s to a brand new season of killer comedy, premiering on Monday, March 12th, 7:30 pm.


* – new to team
>Italics – new to program
Bold – Promoted to writer/performer


Kristina Grosspietsch (performer)
Keith Rubin (performer)
Tom Sanchez (performer)
* Aimée Lutkin (performer)
Dennis Pacheco (writer/performer)
Devin O’Neill (writer/performer)
Carly Silverman (writer)
David Fried (writer)
Elie Stav (writer)
Levi Friedman (writer)
Directed by Matt Alspaugh



Rachel Robertson (performer)
Matt Abedi (performer)
Shelley Little (performer)
John Graham (performer)
Kyle Levenick (writer/ performer)
Sarah Cassell (writer/performer)
Chris Wade (writer)
Daniel Louis (writer)
Yoshi Saito (writer)
Karina Sahlin (writer)
Directed by Chrissie Gruebel



Gina Cucci (performer)
Matt Brooks (performer)
Alyssa Lott (performer)
* Brendan Goggins (performer)
* Billy Soco (performer)
Jackie Skinner (writer/performer)
Annemarie Cullen (writer)
Lauren Faylor (writer)
Matt Morea (writer)
Rob Webber (writer)
Emily Draper (writer)
Directed by Nat Silverman



Tanyika Carey (performer)
Michael Stevens (performer)
Janay Bates (performer)
Raquel Castellar (performer)
Randy McKay (writer/Performer)
Francis Fuster (writer/performer)
Caroline Castro (writer)
Gregory Cornejo (writer)
Shenovia Large (writer)
Jennifer Epperson (writer)
Directed by Lanee’ Sanders



Duaa Osman (performer)
Kourtni Beebe (performer)
Zak Kamin (performer)
Frankie Johnson (performer)
Gretchen Wylder (performer)
Ben Koch (writer/performer)
Lauren Overpeck (writer)
Virginia Dickens (writer)
Kathleen O’Mara (writer)
Kayte Zhang (writer)
Harry McAlister (writer)
Directed by Michael Delisle



Lida Darmian (performer)
Ladell Thomas (performer)
Chris De La Cruz (performer)
Alexandra Sobrino (performer)
Lorena Russi (writer/performer)
Kate Shine (writer/performer)
Will Cybriwsky (writer)
Nick Wiener (writer)
Jeffery Kitt (Writer)
Elsa Bermudez (writer)
Directed by Johnathan Ross


There have also been some exciting changes to our weekend sketch teams, including the addition of The Nitro Girls to Friday nights alongside with The Executives. Check out each team’s new members and see their season debut on Friday, March 2nd, at 7 pm.



Leanne Velednitski (performer)
John Ross (performer)
Amy Lynn Berger (performer)
Sam Rogal (writer/performer)
Jesse Mudrick (writer/performer)
Joe Lepore (writer/performer)
Lanee’ Sanders (writer)
Justin Morgan (writer)
* Nat Silverman (writer)
Directed by Chris Hastings



Charlie Nicholson (performer)
Meredith Burns (performer)
Lane Kwederis (performer)
Xavier Padin (performer)
Elena Skopetos (writer/performer)
Evan Forde Barden (writer/performer)
Sara Kalkstein (writer)
Kristen Loe (writer)
Ashley Glicken (writer)
James Kuo (writer)
Directed by Kevin Cobbs
Wednesday February 14, 2018, 8:00am - by Promo Team

What’s more fun than your average Character Bash? Why, the Character Bash: Duo Show, of course! Double the comedians, double the characters, double the fun! Elena Skopetos and Ari Miller talk shop with us below. Reserve tickets for the show, Friday, February 16 at 7:00!

What’s special about improvising from true stories?

The audience gets to know the people who are creating the show they’re watching. I think it’s more intimate. There’s less pressure to create a perfect comedy product when you can step out of a scene at any given moment and talk directly to the audience to let them know what you think about what’s going on.

What happens in Character Bash? Is the Duo Show any different?

Character Bash is a showcase of some of the best writers and performers in NYC doing solo character monologues for the first time FOR YOU! But backstage the magic really happens as the show starts and the cast gathers to compare crock pot recipes. MmmMMmm baby, daddy loves crock pot. Each month we have a theme and this month we’re doing something pretty special: we’re performing a DUO SHOW! We’ve asked some amazing comedians to ask ANOTHER amazing comedian to perform with them. Let’s do that math real quick: one cast of amazing comedians + the cast of amazing comedians they’ve asked to join = DOUBLE the crock pot recipes! HELL YEAH!

What does performing as a character duo allow you to do that performing alone doesn’t?

Duos can be a lot of fun! Mostly because while we’re all lone wolf comedians, sometimes we like to pretend to be big happy dogs and big happy dogs like performing with friends! But big happy dogs also do not have the patience of lone hunter wolves and obviously we’re very patient vis a vis our interest crock pots, so at the end of the day, wolves we be! It’s also nice to have someone to play off of on stage and brainstorm with in the writers room. My writers room smells like a nice spicy curry.

How do you go about creating a character that is unique and memorable?

Creating a memorable character is legitimately hard, unlike the ease and simplicity of slow cookers. I tend to think you don’t aim to create a memorable character, you aim to have a fun bit. If the bit is fun enough than people will remember and if not, who cares? Either way Daddy’s getting some sweet, slow stewed beets and potatoes after his monologue. Ding dong! Who’s at the door? Why it’s a hot bowl of crock, my dear brother!

If you could form a duo with any comedian/character out there, who would it be?

If we could form a duo with any comedian it would imply that both Elena and Ari Have fused into a single entity. A super comedian. And while our power is to be sooooo funny, our weakness is our grotesque, hideous and mangled physique. So A) we’d have to do a lot of voice over. And B) I don’t know, Catdog? The point is we love characsgstetrtre bshhh. Sorry that sounded weird. My mouth was full of SOME HOT HOT CROCK POT BABYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

Elena – What’s the stupidest thing about Ari?

The stupidest thing Ari Ever did was that one time he dropped out of Harvard to buy a bird.

Team up with Character Bash Duo Show on Friday, February 16 at 7:00 at Magnet!