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 »

Foundation Level

The Foundation Level classes are our fun introduction to the joys and thrills of improvisation and the BATS style of improvised theatre. Students learn improv concepts and vocabulary, practice and develop new skills, and perform in a safe, friendly atmosphere.

Not sure you’re ready to commit? Try an Intro to Improv or Improv for Shy People session first!

Foundation 1

Foundation 1 is a fun introduction to the joys and thrills of improvisation and the BATS style of improvised theatre. Students learn improv concepts and vocabulary, practice these new skills, and play in a safe, friendly atmosphere.

Why improv matters:
  • Play keeps us connected and builds our capacity for resilience.
  • The foundational improv principles of listening, accepting, and building together are vital to the art of improvisation and to life.
  • Improv play connects people and builds community.
  • Laughter is vital to our health and well-being.
  • At the end of Foundation 1, the coach will make a recommendation for each student about what next step is best — repeating Foundation 1 to strengthen the necessary skills or moving to Foundation 2.

    Upcoming Foundation 1 Classes:

    • Foundation 1 Online with John Remak (#20-10-3265)
    • Foundation 1 Online with John Remak (#20-10-3263)

     


    Foundation 2

    In Foundation 2, students use the tools they developed in Foundation 1 such as teamwork, stage skills, and CROWE (Character, Relationship, Objective, Where, Emotion), as they learn more games and formats, build performance skills, and explore their own style of play.

    At the end of Foundation 2, the coach will make a recommendation for each student about what next step is best — repeating Foundation 2 to strengthen the necessary skills or moving to Foundation 3.

    Upcoming Foundation 2 Classes:

    • Foundation 2 Online with Zoe Galvez (#20-11-3267)
    • Foundation 2 Online with Rebecca Stockley (#20-11-3268)

     


    Foundation 3

    In Foundation 3 improvisers use scene work to develop patience and specificity, creating characters with clear points of view, learning how emotion fuels story, and other advanced improv skills.

    The smaller class size gives students more opportunities to work and gives coaches a chance to provide more detailed feedback. In the first session, students identify their improv objectives, and the coach customizes the rest of the sessions accordingly.

    At the end of Foundation 3, the coach will make a recommendation for each student about what next step is best — repeating Foundation 3 or moving to the Ongoing Studio Scene Work classes.

    Upcoming Foundation 3 Classes:

    No Foundation 3 classes are currently available, please check back soon.

     


    Foundation Specialty

    Foundation Specialty classes give you more opportunities to play and have fun while deepening your improv knowledge in a specific area. Classes range from one to four weeks and explore a particular improv skill, such as status, character, games, singing, genre, narrative, or spontaneity.

    These classes are a great place for Foundation-level students to explore a distinct element of improv in more depth, working with coaches who are skilled in that particular area.

    Upcoming Foundation Specialty Classes:

    • Specialty: Zoomers to Boomers: Intergenerational Improv with Yael Schy and Gary Ware (#20-09-3269)
    • Specialty: Freestyle with Larry Dorsey Jr. (#20-10-3256)
    • Specialty: Stand Up’s Secret with Larry Dorsey Jr. (#20-10-3255)

     


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

– BATS Student

Class Locations

map

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.