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 »

summer1Summer Sessions

Prerequisite: Varies by class
Schedule: 2–4 days (consecutive)
Class length: Varies by class
Class size: Varies by class
Tuition: Varies by class

See the Summer Sessions schedule »

Our Summer Sessions offer a range of intensive workshops, many of which we only offer during the summer. It’s a chance for intensive study over a period of two to four consecutive days per session with peers from around the Bay Area and the world. Our talented teaching staff are joined by renowned guest coaches to present improvised theatre classes you won’t find anywhere else.

The flexible schedule of our Summer Sessions makes it easy (and affordable!) to study with us, and we offer workshops for all levels (some require no improv training at all). Past guest coaches have included TheatresportsTM creator Keith Johnstone, Blind Date creator Rebecca Northan, and author of Improv Wisdom Patricia Ryan Madson.

Note: Our Summer Sessions often sell out, so we strongly encourage you to register early. AND if you register by June 1, you’ll receive the early registration discount.

Click here for Youth Summer Camp listings 


Foundation 2 Intensive

August 2 - August 5, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Schedule: 4-day intensive: 3 hours each on Thursday and Friday (7-10pm on Thursday and Friday) and 6 hours each on Saturday and Sunday (10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday, with a one-hour lunch break each day) 
Class dates: August 2, 3, 4, and 5
Class length: 18 hours total instruction
Class size: 14 students maximum
Tuition: $319 ($299 Early Registration)


At the conclusion of the weekend, there will be an optional Micetro performance on Sunday night, right after the last class. It is not mandatory to perform! Both Foundation 1 and Foundation 2 intensives will be invited to participate.

The Bechdel Test

August 9 - August 12, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Class Time/Dates: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 9, 10, 11, and 12, 10am - 5pm each day
Schedule: 10am - 1pm, lunch from 1-2pm, 2-5pm
Two performances: Sunday, August 12, 4pm and 6pm
Class size: 12 students maximum: 8 women and 4 men
Class length: 24 hours total of instruction
Tuition: $439 (Early Registration $419)
Prerequisite: Advanced players with significant performance experience.  Approval from the dean is required before registration. Contact for questions about eligibility and requests to enroll.


The Bechdel Test is a lens we can use to look at how women show up in works of fiction.  Named for cartoonist Alison Bechdel, it asks the question, "Is there a scene between two women talking to each other about something other than a man?"

The remarkably low percentage of films and stories that pass this test points to the fact that we all have grown accustomed to creating and seeing stories centering around men.  And as story creators we often perpetuate that pattern. 

Debuting on the main stage at BATS in August 2016, the Bechdel test format aims to explore the complexities, relationships, and stories of women.  Simply deciding to make stories whose main characters are women - good, bad, likeable and not - is a departure from the stories that we often consume and create!

This format includes both men and women - it is not a female-only class, as this is not a female-only issue! The class is for a experienced improvisors with performance experience.



Effortless Storytelling

August 9 - August 12, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

6-9pm Thursday, August 9
10am-5pm Friday and Saturday, August 10 and 11 (with a 1-hour lunch break)
12pm-5pm Sunday, August 12 (with a 1-hour break)
Class size: 16 students maximum
Class length: 18 hours total of instruction 
Early Registration Tuition: $309
Regular Tuition: $339
Prerequisite: None! Beginning to advanced students welcome.

Creating story can be completely effortless. This course offers a deep dive into YOUR stories. Unleash your imagination with a series of activities both solo and with partners. Demystify the narrative process for short and long stories. Explore co-creating stories with this liberating, challenging, and rewarding experience.

This work will enhance your story telling voice, as well as increase your confidence with narrative. Building your awareness of story through this approach will enrich the practice of the experienced improviser and inspire the beginner.




Acting for Improv

August 13 - August 15, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Class Time/Dates: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday August 13,14 and 15, 10am-5pm each day
Schedule: 10am - 1pm, lunch from 1-2pm, 2-5pm
Class size: 12 students maximum
Class length: 18 hours total of instruction
Early Registration Tuition: $349
Regular Tuition: $369
Prerequisite: Studio Scene Work and above

 Human beings go through life experiencing emotions that shift from moment to moment.   Learn how to utilize this simple fact in your improv, as Rafe helps you explore playing characters which, through the truth of your acting, can both be changed and effect change in others. 



Rafe Chase

Improvising the Long-Form Musical

August 16 - 19, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Class Dates: Thursday, August 16, 6-10 pm (4 hours)
Friday, August 17, 10-6pm (7 hours)
Saturday, August 18, 10-6pm (7 hours)
Sunday, August 19, 10am-12 pm (2 hours) 
Performance Showcase: Sunday, August 19: two 50 minute performances from 1-2 pm and 2:30-3:30 pm
Class size: 12 students maximum
Class length: 20 hours of instruction total, see above schedule for a breakdown of hours each day
Tuition: $499 (Early Registration $469)

Prerequisite: Dean and Coaches' approval. **Please obtain approval BEFORE registering for this intensive. Email Regina Saisi at to submit your interest and confirm your eligibility.**

This is a rare opportunity to study with both of the most experienced practitioners and teachers of song improvisation in the BATS community at the same time.

They will be focusing on the elements of the long-form musical, culminating in two one-act performances.

This course is NOT FOR BEGINNERS -- experience in SONG IMPROVISATION and LONG FORM is required.



Foundation 3 Intensive

August 17 - August 19, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Schedule: 3-day intensive: 3 hours (7-10pm on Friday) and 6 hours each on Saturday and Sunday (10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday, with a one-hour lunch break each day) 
Class dates: August 17, 18, and 19
Class length: 15 hours total instruction
Class size: 12 students maximum
Tuition: $309 (Early Registration $289)



August 22 - August 26, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Class Time/Dates: 
Wednesday 6-10 pm, 
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, August 23, 24, 25, 10am - 5pm each day
Performance showcase: Sunday, August 26th, 6 pm
Class size: 12 students maximum
Class length: 22 hour of instruction
Early Registration Tuition: $379
Regular Tuition: $399
Prerequisite: Prior improvised long form performance experience necessary. Contact prior to regitration for approval to enroll.


The BAT is a voice-only improv format developed by Joe Bill from Chicago. Both the performers and the audience experience The BAT with eyes closed and/or in the dark.

The format starts with a jam of notes, sounds, words and phrases which build to a climax and serve as the inspiration for three stories, told concurrently and switching from one to another in no particular order.

It’s an exciting and original way of developing characters and story, blending the skills of long form storytelling and the free-wheeling vocal expression of our combined voices, almost like a jazz ensemble.



“I can’t remember when I’ve felt more comfortable to make a mistake or take a risk.”

– BATS Student

Class Locations


BATS Improv
Center for Improvised Theatre

Bayfront Theater
B350 Fort Mason Center
San Francisco


Studio 210
3435 Cesar Chavez Street
San Francisco


Cubberley Community Center
4000 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto


See School FAQs for registration details, plus info on parking, nearby food, safety, etc.