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 »

Summer Sessions

Prerequisite: Varies by class
Schedule: 2–4 days (consecutive)
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

This summer BATS is offering a one-week online improv  course for Ages 18-24

Upcoming Classes:

In-Person Weekend Intensive: Advanced Wheres/Actions
August 6 – 8

Fri - Sun, Aug. 6- Aug. 8
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Class Time/Dates: Fri. 6:00pm - 10pm PST; Sat. & Sun. 10:00am - 5:00pm PST
Prerequisites: None! All adults 18 and older welcome!
Class size: 16 students maximum
Class length: 4 - 8 hours per day (20 hours total instruction)
Tuition: $299

In this course, we’ll play and learn techniques which I’ve developed through 30 years of performing and teaching improvisational theatre. These techniques, used together, give you all the skills you need to create dynamic environments in any improv format.

In this class, we’ll learn:

  • How to do space object (mime work).
  • How to say things out loud about the places we’re at, so our fellow improvisers and the audience see them too!
  • How to move through locations (riding horses, running, car chases, etc.).
  • How to create an “unbroken chain of information” so that we can do even very complicated actions and still be clear.
  • How to activate our “seeing” rather than our thinking, so that we can continuously notice our environments – the places where the scenes and stories are happening.
  • How to SLOW DOWN, which makes everything possible.
  • How to juggle what I call the “Big Ying Yang” of improv – that we must be ready to simultaneously lead and follow when we’re improvising!

~ BE ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE! DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING!

 

Coach

Tim Orr

In-Person Weekend Intensive: Characters
August 13 – 15

Fri - Sun, Aug. 13 - Aug. 15
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Class Time/Dates: Fri. 6:00pm - 10pm PST; Sat. & Sun. 10:00am - 5:00pm PST
Prerequisites: None! All adults 18 and older welcome!
Class size: 16 students maximum
Class length: 4 - 8 hours per day (20 hours total instruction)
Tuition: $299

One of my favorite things about improv is playing anyone, men, women, children, a cactus and getting lost in their world! In this class we’ll work on creating character. We’ll find their thoughts, needs and emotional base. We’ll learn how to play anybody and everybody needed in a scene or story. Using our imaginations and a variety of outside prompts we’ll explore the world of people.

GOALS:

  • To physically change our posture, voice and tempo
  • To find the emotional base of the character
  • To create character based on the story/scene
  • To sustain the character by finding the “seed”
  • To play big characters realistically

In this class, we’ll learn:

  • To use our imagination and prompts to quickly build character
  • To explore emotions to see what they bring to a story
  • To embrace both good and evil characters to help tell the story

 

Coach

Regina Saisi

Online Summer Intensive - Foundation 1-3
August 15 - 20

Sun. - Fri. Aug. 15 - Aug. 20
Online

Class Time/Dates: Sun. - Fri. 10:00am 12:30pm PST// August 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 & 20
Prerequisites: None! Open to all adults 18 and older
Class size: 16 students maximum
Class length: 2.5 hours per day (15 hours total instruction)
Tuition: $299

This intensive condenses the fundamentals students would learn in BATS Improv’s Foundations 1, 2, and 3, into five short days! Students will work on spontaneity, listening, and basic narrative principles (Foundation 1). They will also learn how to move and get into their bodies, and create new worlds (Foundation 2). Lastly, students will learn ways to find and create characters to populate these environments (Foundation 3).

Coach

Derek Yee

In-Person Weekend Intensive: The Inclusive Improvisor
August 20 – 22

Fri - Sun, Aug. 20 - Aug. 22
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Class Time/Dates: Fri. 6:00pm - 10pm PST; Sat. & Sun. 10:00am - 5:00pm PST
Prerequisites: None! All adults 18 and older are welcome
Class size: 12 students maximum
Class length: 4 - 8 hours per day (20 hours total instruction)
Tuition: $299

 
Coach

Online Summer Intensive - Foundation 4-6
August 22 - 27

Sun. - Fri. Aug. 22 - Aug. 27
Online

Class Time/Dates: Sun. - Fri. 10:00am 12:30pm PST// August 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 & 27
Prerequisites: None! Open to all adults 18 and older
Class size: 16 students maximum
Class length: 2.5 hours per day (15 hours total instruction)
Tuition: $299

This intensive provides a survey of the curriculum covered in BATS Improv’s Foundations 4, 5 and 6.

In Foundation 4: Scenework and Acting Skills we examine the fundamental elements of a scene (naming the location, characters and relationships and living in them) as well as some basic acting technique (choosing to be a character and embodying that choice).

In Foundation 5: Narrative we take the skills we learned in Foundation 4 and use them to build a longform story.

Foundation 6: Performance, takes those skills to the next level, as we learn the requirements and challenges of improvising a longform story in front of an audience.

This course is for students who have completed Foundation 3 with BATS and would like a taste of the upper level Foundation classes as well as students from outside of BATS who have had extensive improv training and would like to learn the BATS Improv style. It’s also a great class for more experienced students who are looking to revisit the fundamental skills of improvisation.

In-Person Weekend Intensive: Family Drama
August 27 – 29

Fri - Sun, Aug. 27 - Aug. 29
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Class Time/Dates: Fri. 6:00pm - 10pm PST; Sat. & Sun. 10:00am - 5:00pm PST
Prerequisites: Performance Experience.
**This class requires Head of School Approval. Please email a concise list of your improv experience to bats@improv.org to determine eligibility
Class size: 10 students maximum
Class length: 4 - 8 hours per day (20 hours total instruction)
Tuition: $299

**Class will culminate in a line performance in the BayFront Theatre**

As we return to the joy of improvising in person, why not take a deep dive into a format that’s about loved ones gathering together?
 
Family Drama is an improvised 3 Act Stage play set at a family gathering.  The format was created by Dave Dennison and first performed at BATS Improv in 2004 and has appeared regularly on the BATS schedule since then.
 
Family Drama challenges five improvisers to take a few suggestions from the audience and create a family of characters with rich histories individually and in relationship to one another.  It’s a great format for improvisers who aspire to slow down and be in the moment.  The action of the play unfolds in real time in one location in a naturalistic style. Family Drama pushes the players to find the specifics of their characters,  the details of their family, and the deeper emotional truths that connect them.
 
In this intensive, we will work on creating distinct characters and supporting the choices of our fellow players.  Defining and embodying relationships will be a key focus as well as listening: not just to take in and remember information, but to let the truth of what is said have an impact on the character.