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 Specialty

Prerequisite: Varies by class 
Schedule and class length: Varies by class
Class size: 16 students maximum
Tuition: Varies by class

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 Classes:

Zoomers to Boomers: Intergenerational Improv Online

with Yael Schy and Gary Ware  

Wednesdays, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

September 30 – November 18, 2020
Online

Schedule: 8 sessions ending in a community performance 
Class dates: September 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28, November 4, 11 & 18
Class length: 2 hours (16 hours total instruction) + 1 performance 
Class size: 16 students maximum
Tuition: $299
Prerequisite: None! Anyone 13 and older welcome.

Class Description:

Did you know that the origins of improv theater were not for performance purposes, but rather as a tool for helping people to connect with each other? We live in a society that is unfortunately very divided by factors such as age, race, and religion. Come join Applied Improvisation facilitators Yael Schy (a Baby Boomer) and Gary Ware (a Millennial) as they lead you through fun improv exercises combined with heartfelt discussions for improvisers of all levels and all ages (teens through adults), that are designed to help bridge those gaps. The class will culminate in a virtual community performance.

What Past Students Have Said:

"Yael is one of the best improv teachers I've ever had, including my time taking classes at Upright Citizens Brigade, Los Angeles! She makes every class so incredibly fun, while also providing constructive feedback to help everyone improve at their craft. My class was filled with many different ages, spanning from pre-teens to seniors. It can sometimes be difficult to teach improv to so many different ages, especially since one aspect of improv is shared experiences - luckily Yael's specialty is finding the commonality within us all!"
--Alexina Boudreaux-Allen (Zoomer)


"Yael Schy led an intergenerational improv class daily at a week-long music camp I attended. At age 65, I was not new to improv as I had taken quite few classes with other seniors. Doing improv with Yael and a group that spanned 60 years, which included teens, 20 y/o's and most decades in between was the highlight of my day. Yael is an energetic creative person who strikes the right balance of clearly introducing games and then letting us jump in and play. Her respectful treatment of young and older was nicely modeled. It was so much more fun and enriching to have improv activities with the broad range of ages. It opened up new ways to be creative as well as provide a space to be comfortable with a greater variety of people. This was all very transferable out into the world. Thank you Yael!"
--Barbara Feinstein (Boomer)

About Yael

Yael Schy is a dynamic theater and dance instructor, improviser, storyteller, singer/songwriter, and stand-up comedian known for her creative approach to learning and performance. Yael has been performing and teaching theater and dance to people of all ages for almost 50 years. She is the director of All That Jazz, a Bay Area musical improv troupe, and a founding member of the Applied Improvisation Network, an international association of business professionals and academics who use improv tools, experience, and theory for human development, training, and coaching in communities and organizations. In her spare time, Yael writes original jazz and blues songs!

Professionally, Yael is a leader in using expressive arts in both organizational and community-based learning and development. She is principal of Dramatic Strides® Consulting, specializing in leadership development, communication skills, team building and creative decision-making techniques that help people and organizations move forward together. By combining her 20 years of leadership development and facilitation experience with her decades of expertise in improvisational theater and dance, Yael helps individuals, teams, organizations, and communities to connect body, mind, and heart. Her passion is helping people learn how to work together across generational and cultural divides, in order to build community and achieve their common goals. 

About Gary

Gary Ware, the Founder of Breakthrough Play is a sought-after Corporate Facilitator and Keynote Speaker with nearly a decade of experience as a performer in improv theatre. He assists teams with unlocking creativity and confidence, and sparks collaboration with experiential methods proven to drive peak performance. Gary spent over a decade in the corporate world and originally pursued improv to master public speaking. He quickly discovered that combining improv and play could be a powerful solution to achieve various business challenges.

As a facilitator, Gary has worked with people of all ages. His experience has ranged from improv workshops assisting elementary school students with emotional intelligence, to Laughter Yoga at assisted living facilities. When Gary isn't leading workshops and keynote speaking, you can find him learning magic or off an adventure with his wife Courtney and son Garrett.

 

 

Coach

Yael Schy

Human Connection and Clowning
with Calvin Kai Ku and Ceci Walken

Saturday, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST


October 17, 2020
Online

Schedule: 1 session
Class dates: October 17, 2020
Class length: 2 hours (16 hours total)
Class size: 12 students maximum
Tuition: $40
Prerequisite: None! Open to all adults 18 and older

Whether you are in improv or in theater, one of the most important tools you could possibly learn is human connection. This class is aimed to heighten your sense of wonder, enhance your listening abilities, and develop ultimate stage presence.

Why Clowning?

  • You will learn how to connect and accept your full self, and discover your unique voice and personality.
  • Clowns thrive on golden mistakes. Learn to "Yes And" even when it's difficult.
  • Opening your eyes of wonder will strengthen your connection to the space, to your partner, and to your audience.
  • The levity of the Clown becomes the foundation for resilience and community.
  • And Hey... Laughter really is the best medicine.
  •  

 About Calvin
With a mission to build meaningful connections through humor and empathy, Calvin Kai Ku uses his growing experience working as a professional variety performer to build bridges with his audience. With his versatility in magic, music, circus, and theater, he is able to transform even the most stressful environments to ease anxiety and create a safe space of joy. Through his journey of performing in the prestigious WuQiao Circus Festival in China, in various Fortune 500 company events in the U.S. and Internationally, and in circuses including Teatro Zinzanni and Circus Bella, he finds himself continuing the work of healthcare clowning with the Medical Clown Project of San Francisco Bay Area.  

About Ceci
Ceci Walken is a clown, therapist (MFT) and climate activist. Ceci delights in the many ways that clowning can enhance one’s life - both professionally and personally. When Ceci is not clowning, she can be found working at BATS (Improv @ Work), making climate videos (IG @ceciwalken), tap dancing, studying Spanish, and playing crazy 8’s with her eight year old daughter and her husband.  Ceci is a graduate of the Clown Conservatory Class of 2019 and 2020.

 

 

Freestyle with Larry Dorsey Jr. 

Sundays, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM


October 18 - November 8, 2020
Online

Schedule: 4 sessions
Class dates: October 18, 25 and November 1 & 8
Class length: 2 hours (8 hours total)
Class size: 10 students maximum
Tuition: $180
Prerequisite: None! All Adults 18 and older are eligible!

 

Have you ever seen the classic film about freestyling “8Mile”? This movie is ideal for anyone trying to learn more about the art of Improvised Poetry/Rap. However, it will only show you how it looks when a professional does it, not necessarily how to develop the craft. In this workshop, we will specialize in rhyming & flowing, and gaining a deeper understanding of this musical art form. Your Hip Hop questions will be answered, you will soon dazzle crowds, and impress significant others. We are all human beings- so if I can do it, so can you!

About Larry

Larry Dorsey Jr. is a storyteller born & raised in San Francisco. He is known in the city for his adventurous lifestyle and as a radio personality for the premiere Hip Hop station in the Bay Area (106kmel #iHeartMedia).

Before being involved with BATS, he crafted his talents in various forms of performance arts. Music/Poetry (shout out to Youth Speaks) has been a part of his life since childhood. He is also a life long joke teller, first learning the craft of Stand-up while working security at The Punchline/Cobbs Comedy Clubs, finally hitting the stage after taking a workshop at the famous San Jose Improv.

He graduated from SF State University majoring in Creative Writing, Academy of Art University majoring in Motion Pictures & Television, and the Meisner Technique Studio acting program. He has also studied at different theaters around the Bay (i.e. the A.C.T.)- in classes ranging from clowning to public speaking.

His free time is dedicated to creating content for social media- follow him to learn more or to check out some of his art: (url) @larrydorseyjr

 

Stand Up's Secret with Larry Dorsey Jr. 

Sundays, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM


October 18 - November 22, 2020
Online

Schedule: 6 sessions
Class dates: October 18, 25 and November 1, 8, 15 & 22
Class length: 2 hours (12 hours total)
Class size: 8 students maximum
Tuition: $240
Prerequisite: None! All Adults 18 and over are eligible

Have people always told you that you should be a comedian? Or have you secretly wanted to become one? Well this class is for you! Students will get an understanding of the pre-corona scene, impromptu public speaking, and it will have featured guest speakers. In this workshop, we will break the barrier between improvisers & stand up comics, and we will focus on finding the funny in your life. From story telling to crowd work (or riffing), we will lay the foundation for students to have a better understanding of the art of making people laugh. Remember, there are multitudes of unique styles & perspectives, it is all up to each individual's process of discovery (everyone will write differently). We are all humans- if I can do it, so can you! Note: Very few people start off hilarious, so even if you don't think you're funny, many of the professionals weren't even the class clown!

 

About Larry

Larry Dorsey Jr. is a storyteller born & raised in San Francisco. He is known in the city for his adventurous lifestyle and as a radio personality for the premiere Hip Hop station in the Bay Area (106kmel #iHeartMedia).

Before being involved with BATS, he crafted his talents in various forms of performance arts. Music/Poetry (shout out to Youth Speaks) has been a part of his life since childhood. He is also a life long joke teller, first learning the craft of Stand-up while working security at The Punchline/Cobbs Comedy Clubs, finally hitting the stage after taking a workshop at the famous San Jose Improv.

He graduated from SF State University majoring in Creative Writing, Academy of Art University majoring in Motion Pictures & Television, and the Meisner Technique Studio acting program. He has also studied at different theaters around the Bay (i.e. the A.C.T.)- in classes ranging from clowning to public speaking.

His free time is dedicated to creating content for social media- follow him to learn more or to check out some of his art: (url) @larrydorseyjr

 

Puppetry for Story Telling with Brian Jones

Tuesdays, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


November 3 - December 22, 2020
Online

Schedule: 8 sessions + 1 student invite-only performance
Class dates: November 3, 10, 17, 24, December 1 8, 15, 22 & 29
Class length: 2 hours (16 hours total)
Class size: 10 students maximum
Tuition: $299
Prerequisite:Must have completed Foundation 3 at BATS or have Coach/Head of School approval (email us at registrar@improv.org for approval)

 

 Learn to breathe life into your characters with a focus on emotional animation.  Each week will focus on a specific skill set that can be used in all narrative genre improvisations.  Class includes lessons on physicality and using the frame, emotional animation, ensemble storytelling and music.  Students are encouraged to have their own hand/rod puppet (Puppet with rods attached to each hand) but if not, a simple puppet with only the mouth will be enough to get a ton out of the class experience! Brian Michael Jones, (Brian Henson’s Puppet Up, The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, The Jim Henson Company) teaches puppetry for genre based narrative improv.  All puppetry skill levels welcome. 

About Brian 

Brian Michael Jones is an actor in Los Angeles.  He has performed regularly with Impro Theatre, improvising countless full length plays over the last 15 years.  His most recent TV/Film work includes Penny Dreadful, American Housewife, Will and Grace, and the upcoming Netflix feature film Mank.  In addition to his TV/Film work, he improvises and puppeteers with Brian Henson's Puppet Up and with Disney's The Muppets.  As a teacher he has taught a variety of improv classes including, Character, Storytelling, Spacework, Genre, and Puppetry.  As a director he has coached and hosted shows for the Pepperdine Improv Troupe, Impro Theatre's Shakespeare Unscripted, Stephen King Improvised, and Rom Com Improvised, and Los Angeles TheatreSports.

 
Coach

Brian Jones

“I love the playful, can’t fail, theatrical nature of BATS’s philosophy.”

– 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.