The venue is bigger, the show is longer and the magic more astounding.

But when magician Caleb Wiles takes the stage, he hopes that the impact he makes on the Johnson County community will go beyond the show itself.

“Magic is just a nice way for me of giving back that’s fun for me,” he said. “Honestly, I just love performing, so to use the skill I like anyway to create funding that wasn’t there before, it’s a win-win scenario.”

Wiles, a Franklin College graduate and southside Indianapolis resident, brings his unique style of magic to Johnson County during a special fundraiser on May 30. A Night of Magic with Caleb Wiles features a live performance at the Historic Artcraft Theatre — an event to benefit Bridges Alliance of Johnson County.

Tickets to the fundraiser are $60. In addition to Wiles’ tricks and illusions, admission includes one drink and popcorn.

This will be the second year Wiles has offered his services to help Bridges Alliance of Johnson County raise money. During the inaugural event in 2023, his efforts helped the organization raise more than $2,500 in a much smaller venue.

“The response to Caleb’s Night of Magic last summer was so overwhelmingly positive, we knew we had to invite him back again,” said Jill Pierce, Circles Coach for Bridges Alliance of Johnson County. “Last year’s show venue was very intimate, which was awesome, but we are excited to give more people a chance to enjoy Caleb and his unique brand of magic.

“He did such a great job of involving the audience, including a lot of our Circles Johnson County families; we can’t wait to see what he has in store at this year’s show at the Artcraft.”

Counter to the image of a top-hatted magician pulling rabbits out of a hat, Wiles’ performances are designed to make people think. He takes ordinary objects — playing cards, Rubik’s Cubes, dollar bills — and does ponderous tricks with them.

“I would describe it as ‘modern magic.’ It’s mind-reading, highly interactive, a little nerdy — there’s usually some references to nerdy things,” he said.

Wiles has been doing magic for more than 20 years, learning his first tricks while he was a high school student at Perry Meridian. He was drawn toward the use of mathematics and science to make the impossible seem to come alive.

During his time at Franklin College, he worked part-time doing magic in restaurants. Still, magic remained a side gig for Wiles. He taught high school math, worked in the assessment industry to write questions for standardized tests, and was a process specialist. Magic was his creative outlet.

Two years ago, Wiles and his wife Crystal opened up Dragonfly Primary Care, a family medical practice. Crystal is a nurse practitioner, while Wiles runs the business side of things. When the businesses wasn’t taking most of his time, Wiles offered his talents to charity fundraisers.

He has performed at events all over the country, attended conferences and appeared on the television show “Penn & Teller: Fool Me.”

He also founded Magic For A Cause, a nonprofit organization that puts together magic shows to raise funds for charitable causes. All proceeds go straight to the charity. His work through Magic For A Cause has led him to offer his time to a variety of nonprofits and groups doing good in the community — groups such as Bridges Alliance of Johnson County.

The organization is a collaboration between businesses, social service agencies, churches and individuals working together to end poverty in the community. The program provides the tools, resources, support and relationships necessary to be successful, helping people establish independence and stability in their lives.

Since it formed in 2016, it has helped dozens of people break the cycle of poverty and realize financial stability in their lives.

Funds raised during the May 30 magic event will go towards continuing that mission, Pierce said.

“Specifically, funds from this event will be used to support our Circles Johnson County program, a group that supports participants working to reach financial stability by matching them with middle- and upper-income allies who form intentional friendships to help them as they work on their goals,” she said. “The group meets weekly and is a long-term, relationship-based program that relies on community support to function.”

Joining him for this year’s show is his friend, and follow illusionist and mentalist, Richard Darshwood. Together, they’ve planned a night of unbelievable entertainment.

“(Darshwood) is coming in from Louisville, and he’s really talented. We’ll get to do some tricks together, then he’ll do his show and I’ll do my show. It’ll have the feeling of a full night out,” Wiles said.

With his ties to Franklin, and his past performances in the area, Wiles considers this magic show a “homecoming” of sorts, he said.

“I’ll see people there that I won’t see under other circumstances, so it’s a nice night out for me and we can raise money for a good cause,” he said.


A Night of Magic with Caleb Wiles

What: A fundraiser for Bridges Alliance of Johnson County featuring magic by southside Indianapolis resident Wiles, as well as fellow magician and mentalist Richard Darshwood.

When: 7:30 p.m. May 30; doors open at 7

Where: The Historic Artcraft Theatre, 57 N. Main St., Franklin

Cost: $60; tickets include the show, one free drink ticket and popcorn.

Information and tickets: