Broadway Helps Bring Theatre to Sick Children in Hospitals
Many sick children spend a large portion of their lives in hospitals. Most hospitals don’t have budgets for recreational play or theatrical programs. As a result, these kids often are left without a creative outlet and a without a distraction from their conditions.
Originally our founder Dena Hammerstein wanted to bring joy to sick children by bringing them to Broadway shows. However many were too sick to leave the hospital and the others found the trip to Broadway too overwhelming. Ms. Hammerstein decided if the kids couldn’t go to the theatre, she would bring the theatre to the kids.
In 1999, she created Only Make Believe. Only Make Believe (OMB) creates and performs interactive theatre for chronically ill and disabled children in hospitals and care facilities. OMB is committed to the principle that freeing a child’s imagination is a valuable part of the healing process.
Once a week for six weeks, a team of three actors visit the same hospital site. They perform original, interactive plays – where the kids dress up in costumes, play a role, and become the stars of the shows. OMB provides these services at absolutely no cost to the hospitals, the children, or their families.
“You could be having the worst day ever and when OMB comes it just changes. You’re happy again. You forget about everything,” said Daphne.
To fund our work, OMB hosts a fundraising Gala on Broadway each year. Celebrities from stage, tv, and film come together to create a special night at the theatre. Past celebrities have included Chris Meloni, Daniel Radcliffe, Brooke Shields, Alan Rickman, Jude Law, Josh Lucas, Ian McKellan, Mike Myers, Alan Cumming and stars from Broadway shows such as Memphis, Book of Morman, Lion King, Billy Elliot.
Our gala on November 14, 2011 was just as as magical. By attending ‘Make Believe on Broadway’ on November 14, 2011, our supporters enabled us to continue our mission of bringing theatre and the magic of ‘make believe’ into the hospitals. The November 14th Gala set a fundraising record for OMB. Because of the funds we were able to raise at our Gala, OMB will be able to perform in 55 hospitals in 2012 and reach over 6000 children.
“It is the best show in the world! I like it so much!” said one OMB Patient.
Our program is simple, but has profound results. Countless studies have shown that therapeutic play improves children’s health and speeds up the recovery process.
More About This Charity
Health and Well Being
Only Make Believe
Only Make Believe is a non-profit organization that creates and performs interactive theatre for children in hospitals and care facilities. Only Make Believe is dedicated to the principle that freeing a child’s imagination is a valuable part of the healing process.
- This Achievement raised $839,679
- This Charity raised $1,271,713.68 in the past year.
- This Charity helped 8,000 people in the past year.
- Over 1,000 people attended the theatre for our annual Gala, so that Only Make Believe would be able to bring theatre into hospitals for sick children.