Co-Artistic Director, Company Member and Coach
Derek Yee took his first class at BATS with Zoe Galvez in October 2007 because he wanted to do something about his shyness. Since then – and much to his surprise – he’s performed in dozens of shows and has taught classes across the nation. Derek became a full BATS Improv company member in January 2021 and is serving as interim Co-Artistic Director with Karen Brelsford.
Outside of BATS, Derek was the creator of The Five Deadly Improvisers – an improv troupe that brought to life fully improvised kung fu movies. Some of the festivals they performed at include Hawaii’s Improvaganza Festival, the Seattle Festival of Improv Theatre, Austin’s Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, Atlanta’s Black Box Comedy Festival, the California Comedy Festival, and the San Francisco Improv Festival. Derek was also a founding member of the group Out of Line, a member of The Streetlight People, and has guest performed with several other groups, including Unscripted Theatre, RagTag Improv, Secret Improv Society, and Big City Improv.
Along with performing, Derek is an active coach at BATS Improv for both the school and the @Work program. Prior to that, he taught improv to students at George Peabody Elementary School in San Francisco as part of their after school program, led workshops for the Dreamworks Animation in-house improv team, and taught Five Deadly’s unique improvised stage combat techniques at some of the festivals that Five Deadly has performed at.
A Bay Area native, Derek spends his non-improv time as a freelance art director and illustrator and as a caretaker for a dog, a cat, a turtle, several fish, and a toddler. And for those wondering, he is much less shy now.”