California State University East Bay

Courtesy | David Tang

Made Up Theatre poses during a photoshoot in Fremont last year.

Improv club earns their name in Fremont

January 8, 2015

When thinking of Fremont, many associate it with Mission Peak, Historic Niles, Lake Elizabeth and the Saddle Rack. With almost four years in the business, Made Up Theatre, can be added to that list.

Made Up Theatre, or MUT, is the only improv show in Fremont. The show features five comics every Saturday night at 8 p.m. MUT alternates between two different types of shows, 5 Play and Laugh Track City.

“The main difference between the two shows is Laugh Track City is short form improv and 5 Play is long form improv,” says co-founder Sean Taylor.  “Laugh Track City is similar to the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” where we play short improv games that have a unique twist to them.”

MUT started under the original name 5 Play with a core team of five guys, Taylor along with Ben Stephens, Bobby August, Dustin Seidler and Steve Seidler. The group met at Comedysportz, their primary outlet for improv.

As a group, they decided to break away from Comedysportz and started doing their own shows. They practiced in living rooms and found various venues to perform at once a month.

In 2010, the group finally found a home to call their own on Seldon Court in Fremont.

“There [was] nothing to do in Fremont.  When we started, we didn’t even have a movie theater here, so if you wanted to do something on a Saturday night, you would have to venture to other cities like San Jose or San Francisco for entertainment.  Our goal was to create a new experience for the people of Fremont and give them a unique way to spend their evening,” said Taylor.

MUT, which now consists of Taylor, Stephens, August, Dustin Seidler and former student Karin Plow, also offers improv classes to a diverse group of students.  Taylor says that improv attracts a variety of people because it offers multiple benefits like meeting new friends, overcoming  shyness, improving public speaking, and becoming more spontaneous.

“When we first opened Made Up Theatre, we started classes almost immediately. One of the ways to become a better improviser is not by just performing or taking classes but also by teaching.  When you teach, you learn.  You get to see the tactics that you’ve learned put to practice but from an outside perspective,” said Taylor.

Among teaching and preforming weekly, MUT still makes their way to different venues around the Bay Area. The have preformed at the San Francisco Improv Festivals for the last five years. In 2013, they won Best Improv Group at the Sacramento Comedy Festival.

In February, MUT will be adding an additional show time to their weekend schedules. On Sundays at 6:30 p.m. they will be showcasing new groups comprised of veteran students, after that they will be hosting their show called The Playground.

“[The Playgorund is] where anybody can just come out and play improv games and do improv scenes.  We get a huge turn out for this, and the people who come range from no experience at all to more advanced improvisers, but everybody is incredibly supportive and helps each other out,” said Taylor.

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