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Ventura Improv Company Marks its Anniversary with Show and Fundraiser

(L-R) Ventura Improv Company’s Vice-President Judy Gottlieb; co-founders Gary Best, Sally Mueller, and Tom Mueller.

The Ventura Improv Company will provide a humorous walk down memory lane to celebrate its birth. A grand 25th birthday party and fundraiser is scheduled for June 28 at the Rubicon Theatre.

It was way back in 1989 when a handful of folks ventured to Santa Paula to take an improv theater workshop run by Barbara Scott, now of the famed BATS Improv in San Francisco. Gary Best, a seasoned actor at the time, tried improv because “it looked really scary.”

Despite his fears, the seeds were sown — and, out of that fateful workshop, the Ventura Improv Company (VIC) was born.

Growing from a small but dedicated group of people (including still-active co-founders Best and Tom Mueller), the company first held classes and shows where and when they could around Ventura. Over the years (and through several name changes), the Ventura Improv Company finally settled in at their eponymous building on 34 North Palm Street, offering regular shows and workshops to improv lovers of all ages.

Ventura Improv Company celebrates 25 years of laughter in 2014.

Mueller can’t believe its been a quarter century. “Most theater groups our age have been out of business for 22 years,” he says. “Although I am sure good luck had something to do with it, so did the dedication of our VIC members and of the good people of Ventura County who have attended our shows.”

Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre will provide the stage for June 28’s bash, which will include drinks, snacks, and an improv show featuring many returning friends and alumni of the VIC, including members of LA TheatreSports, San Francisco’s BATS Improv, and more. Many laughs and memories will be guaranteed.

“It will be great to have old and new VIC friends together to celebrate,” says Mueller. “We all deserve a big pat on the back.”

VIC’s 25th Birthday Party and Fundraiser is happening on Saturday June 28th. Reception at 7, show at 8. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by going or calling (805) 643-5701 x2.

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