Company Member since 1986
Coach since 1986
William Hall has been a professional actor since graduating from Boston University. He has appeared in a few features films, including Hemmingway and Gellhorn with Nicole Kidman and Twisted with Ashley Judd. And, yes, if you look closely you can see him get blown up at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
In 1986 William co-founded the Bay Area Theatresports organization, now BATS Improv, and the BATS School of Improv. He was driven by the desire to put the power in the actors’ hands — BATS continues to empower actors to be the writers, directors, and producers of what happens on our stage.
He is also a founding member of Fratelli Bologna, a business theatre company helping companies increase engagement and develop authentic leadership. He has worked with Kaiser, Salesforce.com, Ancestry.com, and HP, among others. He has served as an entertainment consultant to Disneyland, the Queen Mary, and the World of Coca-Cola.
Additionally, he develops and delivers High Performance Communication and Leadership trainings from Beijing to Bangalore.
William has spoken at many conferences about education and has presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Q & A
What was your first BATS show?
The first show we ever did, and I was in it. We performed in the theater in the basement of 25 Van Ness. It was a sold-out match against a team from Seattle. The exciting energy far exceeded the skills of the performers. (I’m told a video of it exists somewhere!)
What are your favorite formats?
Theatresports™, Gorilla Theatre, the Harold, and the Life Game
Best moment on the BATS stage?
Before we had a permanent theater space, we would rent theaters as needed; occasionally the stage would already have a set on it. On one such occasion, I remember standing up on a platform about 10 feet above the stage, and in the course of a scene I told fellow improviser Tim Ereneta that he couldn’t get me down from there. Whereupon he and the other improvisers lifted me up, formed a human chain and passed me along (in slow motion) down to the stage floor. You never know what will happen on an improv stage.
Any improv advice?
Improvisation is a world of limitless opportunities and an absence of rules.
What are your artistic Influences?
The theatre training I received at Boston University, Impro by Keith Johnstone, and reading about Dario Fo
Marx Brothers’ A Night at the Opera and Mon Oncle with Jacques Tati