Improv Classes

Improv Conservatory

Musical Improv

Writing / Sketch



All (Improv, Sketch, Electives)

Camp Magnet 2018

Camp Magnet 2018
Camp Magnet 2018
Begins: May 31, 2018
Ends: Jun 3, 2018
(1 Spot Left)
Price: $569
Class Description

Camp Magnet is a 4-day, 3-night improv retreat at Iroquois Springs, an overnight camp in The Catskills.

It’s hard to imagine a better environment to focus on your improv training: away from distraction, surrounded by a supportive group of improvisers of all skill levels, going from workshop to workshop.

Great meals are taken care of, the cabins are cozy, and when it’s time to relax, it’s ‘lake time’ instead of Netflix (yes, there is cell service, but c’mon). By disconnecting from the city, we can re-connect with the craft, what draws us to it, what makes it rewarding, and what makes us better improvisers. During the day, it’s all about diverse workshops focusing on all different aspects of creating great work together. At night, it’s improv jams, dance parties, s’mores by the fire, sing-alongs, and some legit friend-making.

Imagine doing warm ups where it’s actually warm. Imagine doing breathing exercises where the air is provided by actual trees.

Each year, our retreat boasts an incredible lineup of Magnet and guest instructors and they will be added this page as they are confirmed.


How do you get there and back? We have you covered.

Bus to Camp Magnet 2018

By the way - there are other ways to get to camp if you choose. You can drive (carpooling happens every year, usually facilitated by a Camp Magnet Facebook group), or you can take a train. If that’s your preference, we’ll send you some details on that once you sign up, or feel free to call the Training Center and we’ll give you the info. Note, if you take the train, you’ll need to organize a ride from the train to the camp, and while cabs are available, they do cost.

But that’s why we get the charter bus – makes getting there and back a super easy.

Once you sign up, there will be a lot of communication from Magnet about what to bring, transportation, how we might meet any special accommodations you might have, and how to get a private cabin if you want (hint: limited availability, extra fee). For any questions, call 212-244-2400.

Camp Magnet - Sign up. Show up. Focus on improv. Make memories and lifelong friends.

Instructor: Armando Diaz

image descriptionArmando is widely regarded as one of the best improv teachers in New York City and beyond. His list of teaching credits is a long one: the ImprovOlympic Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, NYU and Michael Howard Studios. He has trained dozens of actors who have performed or written for Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Mad TV, and The Daily Show.

A Chicago native, Armando studied improv under Del Close at the ImprovOlympic, Mick Napier at the Annoyance, and graduated from the Second City Conservatory. He performed in and helped create one of the most popular improvised longforms in Chicago, "The Armando Diaz Experience...." For the last decade, "the Armando" has been performed weekly in Chicago, and is now taught and performed in many other cities including Los Angeles and New York.

In addition to writing and producing short films, Armando wrote sketches for the show Upright Citizens Brigade on Comedy Central, and has performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Instructor: Louis Kornfeld

image descriptionLouis Kornfeld began improvising way back in 2003, when both his phone and online presence were at the forefront of millennium culture. He's been a proud member of the Magnet Theater since it opened its doors, having logged countless hours as a performer, intern, house manager, member of 'The Boss,' Megawatt director, and (for the past twelve years) teacher of improvisation. What can he say? He loves it.

In addition to improv, Louis is also an award winning writer and actor whose work is routinely featured on 'The Truth' podcast. Check it out, why don't you?

You can see him performing every Sunday night with the great Rick Andrews in 'Kornfeld & Andrews.' They have some short videos online you might enjoy.

He thinks you're doing great.

Instructor: Rick Andrews

image descriptionRick Andrews is a teacher and performer at The Magnet Theater, and has been studying, performing, and teaching improvisation since 1999. He began improvising with Improv Boston, and continued with a stint in Saint Louis, MO. He has been fortunate to learn from many improv greats, including Armando Diaz, Ed Herbstman, Joe Bill, Mark Sutton, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Will Luera, Jill Bernard, and more.

Rick has taught workshops at improv festivals across the country, including the Boston Improv Festival, Baltimore Improv Festival, Black Box Atlanta, and many more. He co-produces Duofest, an annual festival of improv duos in Philly, PA. He has taught improvisation to people as old as 75 and as young as 6, and has done workshops for production companies and zoos alike.

He enjoys running, putting words on pages, thinking about the brain, and he loves improv more than anything.

Instructor: Megan Gray

image description

Megan is the Artistic Director of the Magnet Theater, a writer, performer and native New Yorker. She has performed with Second City aboard the NCL Gem and is a member of Magnet's resident team "Junior Varsity." She can be seen in such notable shows as "The Armando Diaz Experience" and "The Cast." Megan also produces and hosts the monthly female improv show "We Might Just Kiss."

In addition to teaching Level One, Level Four: Busy Town and the Lady Party class, Megan has taught improvisation at C.W. Post University, Brookdale Community College, Fairfield University, Columbia Business School and festivals around the country. She has studied improv at the Magnet and the UCB Theatre with Armando Diaz, Kevin Dorff, Christina Gausas, Dave Pasquesi, TJ Jagodowski, Jean Villepique, Joe Bill, Dave Razowsky and many others.

Megan graduated with a degree in Dramatic Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and has written for MTV2 and Comedy Central online. She has appeared on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" and "Late Show With David Letterman." In her spare time, she travels the country performing improv with Magnet Theater's Touring Company. In conclusion, Megan wishes you'd call her more.

Instructor: Carla Cackowski

image description Carla Cackowski is an actor and writer from Los Angeles. She is a graduate of The Second City LA, Upright Citizens Brigade, and iO West (formerly Improv Olympic) and has played on Mainstage improv teams at all three theaters. She toured the Caribbean, Canada, Alaska, and Europe performing improv and sketch comedy with The Second City aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines. She has performed in lots of comedy festivals, like -- the San Fran Sketchfest, Out of Bounds Comedy Fest (Austin, TX), Phoenix Improv Festival, Chicago Improv Festival, Del Close Marathon (NYC), Stumptown Improv Fest (Portland), Detroit Improv Festival, and L.A. Improv Festival. She tours with her husband across the country performing their two person improv show, "Orange Tuxedo". Carla?s currently on faculty at The Second City in Los Angeles and coaches various Harold and improv teams around Los Angeles. She has recently written on shows for PBS Kids and DreamWorksTV and has had monologues published by Hal Leonard. Carla also hosts an improv podcast called, ?Improv Yak?. If you like fun things you should go subscribe to that on iTunes ASAP.

Instructor: Craig Cackowski

image descriptionCraig Cackowski is an improvisor and teacher based in Los Angeles. He has been involved with the iO and iO West theaters since 1992, and is the three-time winner of the Del Close Award as Teacher of the Year at iO West. He has played numerous festivals, including the Chicago Improv Festival and the Del Close Marathon, with his long-running three-man troupe Dasariski (with Bob Dassie and Rich Talarico). Around LA, he may be seen in such other shows as Quartet, The Armando Show and The Better Half (with Raising Hope's Lucas Neff). While in Chicago, he appeared in and co-wrote 5 revues for The Second City on their Equity stages, performed with such groups as Baby Wants Candy and Carl and the Passions, and helped create such forms as JTS Brown and Close Quarters. As an actor, he has been seen on 8 episodes of Community as "Officer Cackowski" Other film and TV credits include Veep, The Mindy Project, How I Met Your Mother, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Year Of The Dog, 21 And Over, and the recent Sundance-selected Toy's House, for which he also provided improv coaching for the three lead actors.

Instructor: Rachel Hamilton

image descriptionRachel is an actor, improviser, teacher, writer and director living in New York City. Rachel has a degree in Theater from Northwestern University, where she began her love affair with Improv. Having been cast in the company of Second City, Chicago, Rachel took the suggestion of one of her mentors, Mr. Martin deMaat and gave teaching a try. Fifteen years later she is still at it, and loving it more and more with each passing year. Rachel considers it is an honor to introduce people to this magical art form and believes strongly that the basic tenets of Improv also make for a rich and wonderful approach to life. Come to Magnet and play with us!

Teaching Credits: Second City, Chicago, Second City LA, Syracuse University, Michael Howard Studios, Magnet Theater as well as numerous corporate training gigs.

Some Recent Performance Credits Include: Magnet Theater: Tiny Spectacular, Sleep Over, UCB; Assscat, Hamiltonia (Rachel?s one-woman show), NBC: 30 Rock, The Conan O?Brien Show, Film; Spring Breakdown, I Hate Valentines Day, Internet; Onion Video, and the upcoming, Chaos Theory.

Instructor: Michael Lutton

image descriptionMichael has been a Magnet instructor since 2011. He has travelled the country performing in festivals and has taught workshops in Boston and Washington, DC. He has also taught several corporate and team-building workshops. He began improvising in 2006, and was lucky to train with teachers such as Armando Diaz, Rachel Hamilton, James Eason, and Tara Copeland. Michael currently teaches Level 1, Level 4: Monoscene, Musical Improv Level 1 and Musical Improv Level 3. In addition to his teaching duties, Michael is the Director of the Musical Improv Program at the Magnet.

Instructor: Hannah Chase

image descriptionHannah Chase is the Megawatt Director, as well as an instructor and performer at the Magnet Theater. She first discovered improv in 2002, and has studied and worked with some truly fantastic teachers and performers across the country over the last 16 years.

You can see Hannah perform on Thursdays with her Block Party team, The Music Industry, and on Saturdays in the Armando Diaz Experience. Hannah has also created and directed a number of shows at the Magnet including The Cast, which plays on Saturday nights at the Magnet and which Elise Czajkowski (comedy journalist for the New York Times) called "One of the most exciting improv shows in New York City.... the perfect show for comedy and theater fans alike." Hannah also created and directs The Blob, a Time Out NY Recommended Comedy Pick, as well as a number of other recurring shows.

Outside of The Magnet, you can hear Hannah's voice in a number of Truth podcasts or catch her at as many improv festivals as she can get time off to travel to. In her free time, she loves alphabetizing lists, editing films, trying on other people's glasses, learning about the brain, and reading and writing medical memoir comics. She's still working on her website. It's been five years.