Shortform: (usually on Fridays)
fun and fast-paced improvised theatre, filled with scenes, songs, games, and lots of audience participation and suggestions.


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Longform: (usually on Saturdays)
full-length, narrative, genre-driven, completely improvised stories based on audience suggestions.


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Summer Sessions

Prerequisite: Varies by class
Schedule: Varies by class
Class length: Varies by class
Class size: Varies by class
Tuition: Varies by class

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

Upcoming Classes:

In-Person: Youth Summer Camp June!

Bayfront Theater Class Time/Dates: 9:00am - 3:00pm PST Monday-Friday // June 24 - 28 Schedule: 5 sessions Prerequisite: None! Open to all youth Kindergarten - 12th Grade! Tuition: $620 Looking for a fun way to spend those summer days? How about improv? BATS Improv is excited to announce the return of our in-person youth improv summer camp! This summer we welcome students at all levels of experience for a week-long session for youth from kindergarten through 12th grade. We have two sessions, one from June 24-28 and one from July 15-19. Led by our experienced coaches, the BATS Youth Summer Camp is the perfect place for anyone who wants to play onstage, create stories, be a part of an ensemble, play together through music and games, learn improv skills, and did we mention play?!? Each day, students will learn in age-level groups focusing on collaboration, imagination, listening, and fun culminating in a performance at the end of the week. To secure a spot, please register below. Space is limited. Questions or concerns? Email bats@improv.org. Please note that all class sales are final. If a class is under-enrolled, we may have to cancel it, in which case you’ll receive reimbursement in full. Please understand that this is the only time reimbursement will be offered. If your child cannot attend a class after payment is made, you can apply their tuition fee towards any future class with no expiration date. Make sure to pack a lunch and snacks and let us know about any food allergies your child may have.

In-Person: Youth Summer Camp July!

Bayfront Theater Class Time/Dates: 9:00am - 3:00pm PST Monday-Friday // July 15-19 Schedule: 5 sessions Prerequisite: None! Open to all youth Kindergarten - 12th Grade! Tuition: $620 Looking for a fun way to spend those summer days? How about improv? BATS Improv is excited to announce the return of our in-person youth improv summer camp! This summer we welcome students at all levels of experience for a week-long session for youth from kindergarten through 12th grade. We have two sessions, one from June 24-28 and one from July 15-19. Led by our experienced coaches, the BATS Youth Summer Camp is the perfect place for anyone who wants to play onstage, create stories, be a part of an ensemble, play together through music and games, learn improv skills, and did we mention play?!? Each day, students will learn in age-level groups focusing on collaboration, imagination, listening, and fun culminating in a performance at the end of the week. To secure a spot, please register below. Space is limited. Questions or concerns? Email bats@improv.org. Please note that all class sales are final. If a class is under-enrolled, we may have to cancel it, in which case you’ll receive reimbursement in full. Please understand that this is the only time reimbursement will be offered. If your child cannot attend a class after payment is made, you can apply their tuition fee towards any future class with no expiration date. Make sure to pack a lunch and snacks and let us know about any food allergies your child may have.

Online: Actor or Improviser? with Zoe Galvez

Online Class Date/Time: Tuesdays 7:00-9:00pm // July 30, August 6, 13, 20, 27, Showcases on August 27 and 29 Sessions: 5 plus 2 showcases Class size: 12 students maximum Tuition: $289 Prerequisite: Foundation 3 or coach approval; working actors without improv experience welcome Email bats@improv.org for the code and other eligibility questions. ————— "The chills and thrills of The Actor's Nightmare come to life in this class designed to supercharge your performance skills in two vital areas...acting and improv. Did you know the camera reads your thoughts? It's time to level up your acting. Learn techniques for on-camera acting which translates to more truthful scenes onstage. What about your improv? Are you ready to jump into the ultimate justification game? Half of the session will be spent learning on-camera acting techniques, character development, and script analysis. The other half focuses on amping up your improv by deepening your ""yes and"" skills and your ability to think on your feet. This class ends with a fun show...based on the format The Actor's Nightmare developed by Zoe Galvez. Have you ever had the dream where it’s the day of the exam and you forgot to study? For scripted actors, the equivalent is being in a play but no one has given them a script. In The Actor’s Nightmare, we recreate that moment. The actors have a prepared script and the improvisers (who have never seen the script) riff off their lines. You’ll try both roles in this class, and experience how an actor prepares and how an improviser can make their lines seem like a theatrical play. "

In-Person: Story Menagerie: Improvising a Diverse Collection of Stories about People with Regina Saisi

Ft. Mason - Bayfront Theatre and BATS Annex Class Date/Time: Thursday-Sunday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM PST // August 1, 2, 3, 4 Schedule: 4 sessions Class Size: 12 students maximum Prerequisite: F6 or equivalent. *Email bats@improv.org for the access code and other eligibility questions* Tuition: $399 A class for advanced improvisers who want to challenge themselves with multiple narratives. Students will learn how to spontaneously create characters, environments and narratives based on multiple genres, and the transitions that will allow for multiple layers, moving from one story to another.

In-Person: Presence and Play with Zoe Galvez and Stephanie Dennison

Ft. Mason - BATS Annex and Bayfront Theatre Class Time/Dates: August 2, 3, 4 // Friday 6:00-10:00pm, Saturday/Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm Schedule: 3 sessions Prerequisite: None. Tuition: $339 Coaches: Zoe Galvez, Stephanie Dennison Are you a "talking head" on stage? Do you ever find yourself onstage, not knowing what to do with your body or what should come next? Are you afraid of being onstage alone, unsure about owning the stage with your own presence? Get out of your head and into your body in this training designed to amplify your stage presence and narrative skills. Build your confidence while you train in physicality. Our bodies hold wisdom, but do you have full access to this part of your brain? In this class... ...you will move, access emotion and work physically with an ensemble ...you will learn to fill the theatre with your energy especially if you've been Zooming the last few years! ...you will work with professional coaches, Zoe Galvez and Stephanie Dennison, who will guide you through a physical journey that will elevate your play. Come play and embody your presence on stage. No one will call you a talking head anymore!

In-Person: Improvising Tennessee Williams with Rebecca Stockley

Ft. Mason Center - Bayfront Theatre and BATS Annex Class Date/Time: Sunday-Thursday 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM PST // August 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Schedule: 5 sessions Class Size: 12 students maximum Prerequisite: F6 or equivalent. *Email bats@improv.org for the access code and other eligibility questions* Tuition: $369 Williams’ plays depict realistic portrayals of psychology of the mid 20th century south, as well as deeply conflicted interpersonal family dynamics. This intensive workshop will explore: archetypal characters, Southern dialect, poetic language, metaphor and symbolism, and the balance and flow of the story as it unfolds.

Online: Ask Me Anything with Patricia Ryan Madson

Online Class Date/Time: Wednesday 6:00-7:30pm // August 7 Sessions: 1 session Tuition: $3 Prerequisite: None! Open to all adults 18+ ————— Join Patricia Ryan Madson, author of Improv Wisdom: Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up, Stanford Emerita and founder of the Stanford Improvisors for a ZOOM conversation about improv and everyday life. Perhaps you have questions about her book or about her take on what some of the improv Maxims mean. This will be a free-flowing conversation. It may lead to an improv game or technique. The primary purpose is to allow you to be up close and personal with Patricia. Bring a cup of tea!

Online: Comedic Characters with Brian Lohmann

Online Class Date/Time: Thursday 6:00-8:00pm // August 8 Sessions: 1 session Class size: 12 students maximum Tuition: $39 Prerequisite: Foundation 2 or equivalent. Email bats@improv.org for the code and other eligibility questions. ————— This class will be an opportunity for improvisers to play different characters in situations that remain fertile ground for comedy – even on Zoom. Family gatherings, office meetings, group therapy, etc. We will explore the chemistry between characters: two person scenes and group scenes; how to use Time to heighten the tension and more.

In-Person: What I Learned from Keith Johnstone with William Hall

Ft. Mason - Bayfront Theatre and BATS Annex Class Time/Dates: August 9, 10, 11 // Friday 6:00-10:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm Schedule: 3 sessions Class size: 16 students maximum Prerequisite: None. Open to all adults 18+ Tuition: $327 Join us for an in-depth exploration of the foundational principles and practical techniques of Keith Johnstone, renowned author of "IMPRO: Improvisation and the Theatre," and the visionary behind Theatresports™, Maestro™, Gorilla Theatre™, and The Life Game™. Led by William Hall, co-founder of BATS Improv and a dedicated student of Johnstone's work, this intensive workshop will delve into key concepts such as spontaneity, narrative development, status dynamics, and the transformative power of masks. Drawing from Hall's extensive experience studying with Johnstone and directing The Life Game™ in Poland under his guidance. Keith said, “many performers want to be on the stage, but they don’t want to be in the scene.” In this intensive participants will gain valuable insights into the art of fully engaging with scenes. This workshop is not only beneficial for performers but also for educators interested in incorporating Johnstone's teaching methods into their own practices. Prepare to deepen your understanding of improvisation and enhance your creative abilities in a supportive and enriching environment.

In-Person: Acting and Narrative in Longform with Rafe Chase

Ft. Mason - Bayfront Theatre and BATS Annex Class Time/Dates: August 9, 10, 11 // Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 10:00am-4:00pm Schedule: 3 sessions Prerequisite: Foundation 6 with longform experience. Email bats@improv.org for the code. Tuition: $310 We will work on creating characters, finding their thoughts, needs and emotions. Using archetypical leads and supporting characters from genre, we’ll use skills to develop and sustain rich characters for the duration of a scene or long form.

Online: Narration in Storytelling with Brian Jones

Online Class Date/Time: Monday 6:00-8:00pm // August 12 Sessions: 1 session Tuition: $39 Prerequisite: None! Open to all adults 18+! ————— In the class, we will look at how narration can add to a scene and give it a richer environment with deeper connection between the audience and our characters. In addition to expalnding on the characters motivations and inner thoughts, narration can jump time to the crucial parts in a scene where our characters experience the biggest emotional changes with the highest stakes. We will also look at different genres of narration and how descriptions of the environment can add so much texture in the audience's mind.

In-Person: Playful Mindfulness with Ted DesMaison and Jeanne Lambin

Ft. Mason - Bayfront Theatre Class Time/Dates: August 13, 14 // Tuesday, Wednesday 10:00am-5:00pm Schedule: 2 sessions Prerequisite: None. Open to all adults 18+! For beginners. Tuition: $289 Improv depends squarely upon our ability to get fully present—to our surroundings, to our stagemates, and to our own impulses and inspirations. That said, most of us rarely focus on finding, strengthening, and honing this particular ability. Playful Mindfulness gives us the chance to do just that. Bridging traditional mindfulness teachings with interactive improv exercises, this immersive mini-course will teach you how to: • relate to “failure” so you rebound quickly and enthusiastically • train your mind’s focus with patient, kind, and firm repetition • develop an attitude of curiosity and kindness toward life’s experiences • turn off autopilot and turn on a fuller range of experience and expression • unhitch from self-sabotaging stories so your mind stays nimble in the present moment • choose from a range of nuanced responses rather than relying on hair-trigger reactions Warning: this course may leave you feeling more confident, calm, and connected, both on- and off-stage. Please only register and attend if you’re willing to accept more resilient delight and wonder. ~ ~ ~ Note: This course is designed specifically to dovetail with the subsequent two-day immersive “Quest” course offered by the same instructors. Attendance at both is not required but is warmly and eagerly encouraged. From bushy-tailed newbie to seasoned veteran, all levels of improvisors and mindfulness practitioners are most welcome in either program. Ted DesMaisons is a trained mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) instructor and has studied, performed, and taught improvisation internationally. He has studied intensively with voice and presence coach Patsy Rodenburg and earned recognition as a Patsy Rodenburg Associate. He co-hosts the Monster Baby Podcast on improvisation and mindfulness and is the author of Playful Mindfulness. DesMaisons received an MBA from Stanford and an MTh from Harvard. Jeanne Lambin is a seasoned facilitator, designer, coach, and speaker with a background spanning archaeology, nonprofits, higher education, historic preservation, and the arts. Her passion is crafting unique training experiences that aren’t just about learning but about sparking inspiration and fostering positive change. She uses applied improvisation, storytelling, and other creative interventions to shape immersive experiences that captivate and empower. Lambin received a BS in anthropology from Loyola University Chicago and an MS in historic preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Online: Improvised Hitchcock with Brian Lohmann

Online Class Date/Time: Wednesdays 6:00-8:00pm // August 14, 21 Sessions: 2 sessions Class size: 12 students maximum Tuition: $78 Prerequisite: Foundation 4 or equivalent. Email bats@improv.org for the code and other eligibility questions. ————— Mysterious characters. Suspense. Comic relief. Objects that menace. These are some of the ingredients we will throw into Hitchcock Homage Hot Pot. The average person caught up in an intrigue is the basic broth, which we will simmer fresh each class (unless we get a tasty stew going that we want to serve again the next class.) Join us for a frolic into fear that is inspired by Vertigo, North by Northwest, Spellbound, Notorious, Strangers on a Train and others...CAUTION: there will be screaming.

In-Person: Musical Improv with Brian Lohmann & Joshua Raoul Brody

Ft. Mason - Bayfront Theatre and BATS Annex Class Time/Dates: 6:00pm-10:00pm on Thursday, Friday, 10:00am-5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday // August 15, 16, 17, 18 Schedule: 4 sessions Class size: 16 students maximum Prerequisite: None! Open to all adults 18 and over! Tuition: $429 Children make up songs effortlessly. Why do adults panic and freeze in the face of this playful, natural human expression? This intensive will teach relaxation, listening, introduce several song structures and explore different types of songs that express a range of feelings, emotions and wants. Songs are monologues (or poems) with a melody. Coaching will be given to help you act your songs as well as sing your songs. This intensive is a supportive place to dive into the great joy of making up songs together. Brian Lohmann is part of the improv song duo “The Velours” and has been improvising songs with Joshua since the late 80s when they toured “Johnny Lonely’s Unhappy Hour,” in London and Northern Europe. This class is open to beginners and advanced students and the instructors will work with you at your level.

In-Person: The Quest with Ted DesMaison and Jeanne Lambin

Ft. Mason - Bayfront Theatre Class Time/Dates: August 15, 16 // Thursday, Friday 10:00am-5:00pm Schedule: 2 sessions Prerequisite: None. Open to all adults 18+! For beginners. Tuition: $289 Do you often feel distracted, disconnected, and overwhelmed? Would you like to feel attentive, connected, and curious? Do you often wonder about the role that improvisational mindset can play in helping you do just that? Then you might just need to embark on a Quest! The Quest: Improv for Transformation is an experiential exercise that blends improvisation, storytelling, and urban exploration. The Quest has been conducted in eighteen countries across North America, Europe, and Asia. Participants have described it as, “amazing,” “powerful,” and “great fun.” The Quest invites you to take the improvisational mindset, normally reserved for the stage, out into the world, to sustain that mindset for an extended period, discover what insights are unearthed as a result, and to use storytelling to make sense of your experience. It is a powerful tool to reconnect to the world, be present, pay attention, and to connect to the magic of the ordinary, the extraordinary, and everything in-between. Inspired by an improv structure originally created by Del Close, The Quest takes place in three parts: the workshop, the Quest itself, and the story-sharing. The Quest leads participants on a journey where they experience: Exploring the building blocks of the improvisational mindset, Understanding the improvisational mindset as a powerful means of experiencing the world, Sustaining that improvisational mindset for an extended period, Embarking on an insight-filled adventure, Discovering what happens as a result of that approach, and Reflecting on what insights were uncovered during the experience, Understanding storytelling as a means to make sense of your own experiences, and the experiences of others, Cultivating a deeper understanding of place and how it influences our experiences and shapes who we are. Join us for The Quest to discover how approaching the world with an improvisational mindset can transform your experience and your life. Whether you're new to improvisation, seeking to deepen your skills, this workshop or just want to try something new, the workshop is designed to meet you where you are and empower you to embrace the journey ahead with confidence, openness, and curiosity. ~ ~ ~ ​​Note: This course is designed specifically to dovetail with the Playful Mindfulness two-day immersive workshop offered by the same instructors. Attendance at both is not required but is warmly and eagerly encouraged. Whether completely new to the world of improvisation, or having been a citizen for a loong time, all levels of improvisers, storytellers, and mindfulness practitioners are most welcome in either program. Ted DesMaisons is a trained mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) instructor and has studied, performed, and taught improvisation internationally. He has studied intensively with voice and presence coach Patsy Rodenburg and earned recognition as a Patsy Rodenburg Associate. He co-hosts the Monster Baby Podcast on improvisation and mindfulness and is the author of Playful Mindfulness. DesMaisons received an MBA from Stanford and an MTh from Harvard. Jeanne Lambin is a seasoned facilitator, designer, coach, and speaker with a background spanning archaeology, nonprofits, higher education, historic preservation, and the arts. Her passion is crafting unique training experiences that aren’t just about learning but about sparking inspiration and fostering positive change. She uses applied improvisation, storytelling, and other creative interventions to shape immersive experiences that captivate and empower. Lambin received a BS in anthropology from Loyola University Chicago and an MS in historic preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

In-Person: Dig Deeper with Lisa Rowland

Ft. Mason - Bayfront Theatre Class Time/Dates: Monday, August 19th // 10:00am - 5:00pm Schedule: 1 session Class size: 12 students maximum Prerequisite: Foundation 3 or coach approval. Tuition: $127 Just under the surface of any offer you make on stage is a treasure trove of offers that can help deepen and enrich your scenes. Often, we move on after that first offer, without really taking advantage of what it can offer a scene. This workshop will dig into the things we can focus on to really make full use of the offers on stage, as they're being made, to make scenes more detailed, more vivid, and more effortless.

Online: Improvised Shakespeare with Brian Lohmann

Online Class Date/Time: Thursdays 6:00-8:00pm // August 22, 29 Sessions: 2 sessions Class size: 12 students maximum Tuition: $78 Prerequisite: Foundation 4 or equivalent. Email bats@improv.org for the code and other eligibility questions. ————— What? Woulds’t thou seek to speak as though the Bard had cozened thine own tongue? Then get thee to a funnery. Two days thou wilt be party to the ins and outs of improvising Shakespeare; and like unto a party thou wilt giggle, nay guffaw, nay strain thy spleen while understanding what the heck makes Shakespeare playable, sayable, relevant today-able. To wit we shall: Share our methods for exploring Shakespeare, then employ those methods to the fly-by-the seat of your pants nature of Elizabethan theater. (His actors had to improvise!) When the hubbub’s done: You will be able to get on stage and speak the speech as it doth announce itself to you – spontaneously – with poetry and power. You will play big characters: clowns, rogues, braggarts, queens, witches, heroes and villains. There will be chases and physical comedy, space object sword fights and maybe a dance around a fairy ring, or two. Art thou a tremble at the notion? Trust that after a few “thees” and “thous,” Shakespeare can be fun to improvise. So, why not “screw your courage to the sticking place” and give it a go. All the world’s a stage. Jump on!

In-Person: Acting and Narrative in Longform with Rafe Chase

Ft. Mason - Bayfront Theatre Class Time/Dates: August 22 // Thursday, 10:00am-4:00pm Schedule: 1 session Prerequisite: Foundation 2 or equivalent. Email bats@improv.org for the code. Tuition: $105 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 affect change in others.

In-Person: Boat Court with Dave Dennison

Ft. Mason - Bayfront Theatre and BATS Annex Class Date/Time: Friday 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM PST, Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm // August 23, 24, 25 Prerequisite: F6 or Coach Approval *Please email bats@improv.org for the access code and other eligibility questions* Schedule: 3 sessions Tuition: $327 "Improvised Boat Court is an improv format developed at BATS Improv by Dave Dennison in 2020. It is based on a fictional show Boat Court which has been broadcast for over 25 years by multiple countries around the world. It takes place on the massive ship Boat Court which was created to bring justice to the open ocean. The ship is the largest man-made thing in the world. The show follows the largely separate worlds of the inhabitants of Boat Court. These worlds include: 1. The captain and crew who keep Boat Court functioning. 2. The judges, lawyers, and defendants of the courts. 3. The Interdiction Squad, who bring criminals to justice. 4. The Accounting Department. 5. The doctors, nurses, administrators and patients of Boat Court Hospital. 6. The IT Department. Each show follows 4 story lines in these worlds. The story lines have long arcs. Improvising Boat Court requires starting in the middle of these narratives, by establishing back story and living in the emotional reality of the characters. Improvised Boat Court gives players the opportunity to play in different genres (Adventure, Soap Opera, Police Procedural, Dramedy) in the same show. During the intensive we will focus on establishing character, relationship and backstory and finding variety in the worlds we create."

In-Person: Characters with Regina Saisi

Ft. Mason - Bayfront Theatre and BATS Annex Class Time/Dates: August 26, 27 // Monday, Tuesday 6:00-10:00pm Schedule: 2 sessions Prerequisite: None. Open to all adults 18+! For beginners. Tuition: $169 We will work on creating characters, finding their thoughts, needs and emotions. Using archetypical leads and supporting characters from genre, we’ll use skills to develop and sustain rich characters for the duration of a scene or long form.

In-Person: Dynamic Duos with Tim Orr

Ft. Mason - Bayfront Theatre Class Time/Dates: August 30, 31, September 1 // Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm Schedule: 3 sessions Prerequisite: Performance Experience requried. Email bats@improv.org with your eligibility for the access code. Tuition: $369 During this intensive, we’ll explore the unique challenges and opportunities of two-person improv, and you and your partner will create and perform your own two-person format. Here are some things we’ll work on: - Relationships: establishing details and emotion with clarity and energy. - Scene Starts: jumping into each scene’s reality/locations with commitment and variety. - Transitions: how do we move from scene to scene in either short or long-form. - Characters: commitment, variety, playing both sexes, playing multiple characters, playing each others’ characters, etc. - Formats: do you want to do short-form, long-form, both, neither? Are scenes tied together by theme, by location, by time period, by genre, by furniture? Or some other way? In this workshop, you’ll explore what you want to do together! ~You must sign up for this class with a duo partner. Both of you should sign up for the class and mark each other down on the Order Form!~