Shortform: (usually on Fridays)
fun and fast-paced improvised theatre, filled with scenes, songs, games, and lots of audience participation and suggestions.

Read more about Improv »
Longform: (usually on Saturdays)
full-length, narrative, genre-driven, completely improvised stories based on audience suggestions.

Read more about Improv »

communityCommunity Outreach Programs

The first thing to learn about improv is that you’re not in it alone. As a nonprofit San Francisco institution, we feel strongly about giving back to the Bay Area community that sustains us as we build an improvised theatre community from the grassroots.

BATS is not just a theatre company, and it’s not just a school. It’s a center for improvised theatre — a community of people who share our vision, who want to challenge themselves, to have fun, to connect with others who feel the same way. In this integrated improvisational universe, it’s imperative that we bring the skills and delight of improvised theatre to the broadest possible group of people. That means keeping our classes and shows affordable in order to ensure that they are accessible to everyone. To accomplish this goal, we’ve created the following programs.

laughingLaughing Stock

For the past 15 years, we have provided free improv classes to people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses through our Laughing Stock program. These sessions, available to caregivers as well as those living with illness, focus on improving quality of life through humor, easy physical activity, group interaction, gentle risk-taking, and imagination games. Our experienced coaches create a safe and confidential environment for participants to learn the basics of Improv.

A Laughing Stock session is not stand-up comedy or drama therapy but a fun workshop for folks with any level of experience with improv (including none). Most sessions cover the basics of improv, but the program occasionally includes specialty workshops such as improvised writing, singing, masks, and movement.

Please call the office at (415) 474-6776 or email to learn more.

“I gained increased self-confidence.”

– Laughing Stock participant

Scholarships for Classes & Work Study Program

The BATS School of Improv offers need-based scholarships for youth and adult classes. Please call the office at (415) 474-6776 or email to learn more.

BATS also offers a Work Study Program that allows students to earn up to 75% of the tuition for BATS classes by working at Friday or Saturday shows. Please call the office at (415) 474-6776 or email to learn more.

“I am really impressed and touched by their scholarship program. I’ve been evangelizing to friends ever since.”

– BATS student (from anonymous survey)

festivalsFree Festivals

BATS Improv participates in a number of free festivals and special events including San Francisco TheaterFest and the Free Night of Theater program.

“We love taking our playful theatre out into the community and engaging with new audiences.”

– Kasey Klemm, Artistic Director 

Charity Entertainment & Donations

At least once per year, members of the BATS Main Stage Company perform at charity fundraisers and for special groups who are unable to come to a show. We also donate tickets frequently as raffle prizes or auction items for schools, nonprofits, and other charity organizations and offer free tickets to economically challenged schools. Please call the office at (415) 474-6776 or email to learn more.

“I wanted to thank you again for the tremendous talent you pulled together for our event. It was such a pleasure to present BATS . . . Really impressive, exceptional talent.”

– Kimberly Gordon, Peninsula Jewish Community Center

“Quintessentially San Francisco”

– Audience member (from anonymous survey)

BATS Improv is a
non-profit theatre company!

BATS Improv is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to cultivating and innovating the craft of improvised theatre.  Your gift helps us make professional live theatre accessible to everyone, and it will help you at tax time too!