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June 5, 2012 > Made Up Theatre/Make A Wish show

Made Up Theatre/Make A Wish show

Submitted By Sean Taylor

On Friday, May 25, Made Up Theatre delivered an improv comedy show that raised over $900 for the continued efforts of the Greater Bay Area Make A Wish Foundation. This fundraiser event marked the second collaboration between Made Up Theatre and Veronica Johnson, a long-time Make A Wish Foundation donor who has been raising funds since losing her two-year-old son Dylan Johnson on July 27, 2000. The Made Up Theatre improv fundraiser brought Veronica's total contributions to the Make A Wish Foundation to $177, 047.

"It was awesome to see so many people fill our theatre for this cause," said Made Up Theatre co-founder Bobby August. "The show sold out months in advance, and Veronica's phone was still ringing off the hook up until the show."

The fundraiser featured Laugh Track City, Made Up Theatre's popular improv comedy show, similar to the television show "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?," that uses audience suggestions and participation to create a fast-paced and hilariously unique experience.

The show began with some heartfelt words by Veronica followed by a video montage of Dylan's life and his granted wish to meet Mickey Mouse in Disneyland.

"It was quite a start to a memorable night," said Made Up Theatre co-founder Sean Taylor. "Seeing tears turn into laughter so quickly is really exhilarating. It is an ideal way to honor one's memory."

The show demonstrated the distinctive art of improvisation, where the Made Up Theatre performers August, Dustin Seidler, Ben Stephens, and Taylor utilized audience suggestions to inspire their games and scenes, and they even brought some willing audience members on the stage to help them. One such game had an audience member providing the movement for the four performers as they did a fully improvised scene.

"Everything we do is made up on the spot," said Taylor. "The audiences that come into our theatre really shape the shows we do."

In addition to the Make A Wish Foundation, the Made Up Theatre has helped raise funds for numerous organizations, including the National Federation of the Blind of California, the American Cancer Society, and Lincoln High School in San Jose.

"We love helping organizations out," said August. "Veronica is very committed to what she does, and we strive to be just as committed as her when we do these shows."

Veronica also raises money through other fundraiser events, including her annual Dylan Johnson Memorial Bowl A Thon which will celebrate its 13th year on October 13th. The event is open to the public and is held at Hillman Cloverleaf Family Bowl in Fremont.

Made Up Theatre and Veronica plan to hold another fundraiser event before the end of the year. Until then, visit www.MadeUpTheatre.com for information on their weekly improv comedy shows and fundraising opportunities. Veronica also documents her story and information about her work with the Make A Wish Foundation at www.DylanJohnsonBowlathon.com. She plans to reach the $200,000 mark by the end of the year. After reaching that goal, Veronica has one thing to say:

"Next stop, one million!"

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