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 »

F1 Rebecca

Deep Dive into BATS Summer classes!

Classes listed below are designed for adults 18 and up

Dive deep into the world ofImprov this summer with BATS Deep Dive courses! In BATS deep dive sessions, coaches will transport you beyond the Zoom screen and you’ll find yourself immersed in the world of Shakespeare, discovering the secrets of an improv comedy, or going behind-the-scenes to find out how improvisors move audiences with some of or most popular formats like ‘Bechdel Test’ and ‘Virtual Office Drama’.

Many of our classes require no previous improv or performance experience, just a willingness to play and explore. Take the plunge and dive in with BATS!

 

Improvised Shakespeare: Advanced Performance Ensemble with Lisa Rowland

Class Time/Date: 7-9pm / Thursdays, July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and August 6
Schedule: 6 sessions plus 2 performances at 7:00pm on July 25 and August 7!
Class size: 6 students maximum
Class length: 2 hours (12 hours total) +2 performances
Prerequisites: Improv performance experience and coach approval (not sure if you meet the requirements? Email us at registrar@improv.org)

Tuition: $350

This six-week course will plunge you into the wonderful, vibrant, emotional, colorful and bold world of improvising Shakespeare. Don’t be afraid! The class will name, demystify, and practice the devices and tools often used by the worlds’ best known playwright, making them accessible for improvisation. This class is happening over zoom and will utilize the unique affordances of that platform to deepen our acting, lean into intimacy, and create cinematic affects in our long-form storytelling. Join us to enter a world of high-flying emotion, drama and hi-jinks. The small class size is designed to create a strong ensemble and players will get lots of playtime. This class culminates in a performance.

Click Here to Register

 

Characters and Scenes on Zoom with Dave Dennison

Class Time/Date: 1-3pm / Saturday, July 11, 18 and 25
Schedule: 3 sessions
Class size: 12 students maximum
Class length: 2 hours (6 hours total)
Prerequisites: Experience with Improv Scenework

Tuition: $90

In this 4 week course for experienced improvisers, we’ll explore scenes and characters on the virtual stage. The limitation of being on a screen improvising with someone else on a screen presents a great artistic challenge. Many of the aspects of improv that are familiar to us have been removed, but there are new opportunities as well. Now we are more than just actors, writers and directors, but cinematographers, set and lighting designers and much more.

Click Here to Register

 

The Secret Relationship between Stand-Up and Improv with Larry Dorsey Jr. 

Class Time/Date:2-4pm / Sundays, July 12, 19, 26 and August 2, 9, 16
Schedule: 6 sessions
Class size: 8 students maximum
Class length: 2 hours (12 hours total)
Prerequisites: None! Adults 18 and older are eligible!

Tuition: $240

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!

Click Here to Register

 

Performance 101: Scenes and Games with John Remak

Class Time/Date: 7-9pm / Tuesdays, July 14, 21, 28 and August 4, 11, and 18
Schedule: 6 sessions plus 2 performances at 7pm on August 14 and 22
Class size: 8 students maximum
Class length: 2 hours (12 hours total) + 2 performances
Prerequisites: Completion of Foundation 3

Tuition: $280

Learn effective scene skills and games, optimized for online performance and for first time online performers.

Click Here to Register

 

Sketch Pad Online with Ken Robertson

Class Time/Date: 7-9pm / Wednesdays, July 22, 29, and August 5, 12, 19, and 26
Schedule: 6 sessions plus 2 performances during weekend of August 28-30
Class size: 20 students maximum
Class length: 2 hours (12 hours total) + 2 performances
Prerequisites: None (Although improv experience is recommended)

Tuition: $195

Always on the lookout for funny videos online (the kind that are ACTUALLY funny)? Do you love sharing sketches like “Obama’s Anger Translator”, “Dead Parrot” and “More Cowbell”? Do you wish YOU could create great sketches like that?

Fear not, future sketch-writing mogul! This is the class for you!

You’ll learn the fundamentals of sketch writing and why some sketches stand-out (and why most are immediately forgettable). We’ll work on generating ideas by mining your own experiences, how to develop those into killer premises, creating standout characters for your scene, and working with parody and satire. We’ll dive deep into scene structure and the various sketch forms often used in great sketches, like “fish out of water”, “clotheslines”, “simple but impossible”,” town halls”, and more). And we’ll learn the critical skill of rewriting, what to cut and what to focus on, to make your sketches great from start to finish.

At the end of the class you’ll get to present an online showcase of the best material you’ve created!

Find out how much fun you can have when your angst meets you keyboard (and it’s cheaper than therapy).

Click Here to Register

 

Eavesdropping Performance Class with Rebecca Stockley

Class Time/Date: 4-6pm / Mon.-Thurs., July 27, 28, 29 and 30
Schedule: 4 sessions plus 2 performances at 7:00pm on July 31 and August 8!
Class size: 18 students maximum
Class length: 2 hours (6 hours total) +2 performances
Prerequisites: Completed BATS Foundation Level courses (or equivalent with other groups). Studio Scenework and BATS Performance Level courses desired. However, prior experience performing improv with BATS and elsewhere is acceptable.

Tuition: $250

Join an ensemble of experienced improvisers to rehearse and perform the BATS new online format: EvesDropping. This class will include focus on truthful improv. Giving space to your partners. Explicit scene starts. Work on solo scenes, two person and group scenes, culminating with a showcase performance.

Click Here to Register

 

4 Genres in 4 Days with Tim Orr

Class Time/Date: 10:30am-3:30pm / Sat and Sun. August 1, 2, 8 and 9
Schedule: 4 sessions + 1 performance on August 9th at 6pm
Class size: 16 students maximum
Class length: 4 hours (16 hours total) + 1 performance
Prerequisites: Completion of Foundation 3

Tuition: $240

Genres play a huge part in improv! The way I see it, we are aiming to play actual characters in a specific time and place and situation, not do a “parody” of a genre. We’re attempting to occupy a specific world with our own stories and sensibilities. The more we have a “gut” feeling for a genre and a time – which we can only acquire with more exposure to it, the more comfortable we become playing within it. In this class, we’ll have HOMEWORK! We’ll watch movies/TV series, or in some cases explore articles and photos online, in preparation for the upcoming class.

In this class students will explore Western, Romance, Sci-Fi, and Crime genres

Click Here to Register

 

Improvised Comedy Documentary with Chris Sams

Class Time/Date: 10am-3pm / August 5, 6, 7
Schedule: 3 sessions plus 1 performance August 8 at 7pm
Class size: 12 students maximum
Class length: 4 hours (12 hours total) +1 performance
Prerequisites: Studio scenework or above

Tuition: $195

The confessional booth interview. The voiceover reflecting on past memories. The coveted deleted scenes. Learn the craft and experience the joy of improvising comedy documentaries – perfect for Zoom performance. This class culminates in a showcase performance.

Click Here to Register

 

Actor and Improvisor with Zoe Galvez

Class Time/Date: 7-9pm / Tues. & Thurs. August 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, and 27
Schedule: 6 sessions plus 2 1- hour performances on August 28 & 29
Class size: 12 students maximum
Class length: 2 hours (12 hours total) +2 performances
Prerequisites: Completed beginner Improv course

Tuition: $210

“I can’t believe that wasn’t scripted!” is what you’ll hear after taking this class! Students will work on acting fundamentals like acting for the camera, playing for truth and script analysis, while using improv to engage in elements of deeper scenework & make your improv look like it’s coming from a play. For intermediate/advanced students.

Click Here to Register

 

Pulp Playhouse Stories with Regina Saisi

Class Time/Date: 10:30am-2:30pm / August 11, 12, 13 and 14
Schedule: 4 sessions plus 1performance at 7pm on August 15
Class size: 7 students maximum
Class length: 3 hours (12 hours total) + 1 performance
Prerequisites: Experience with long-form scenework

Tuition: $325

Pulp Playhouse offers improvisers a chance to dive deeply into genre, to create a character and to find the character’s voice as a storyteller.

With a title from the audience, each narrator tells an improvised story and the give and take between narrator and other players begins.

The improvisers start by writing short monologues, adding costumes and an appropriate background, all the while working on narrated stories and the conventions of the different genres.

Pulp Playhouse is a whirlwind mix of scripted character monologues, narration and mid-length improvised long form stories! Find out for yourself!

(Pulp Playhouse is a format created by BATS alum Brian Lohmann)

 
 
Performing Virtual Office Drama with Dave Dennison

Class Time/Date: 10:30am-2:30pm / August 15, 16, 17 and 18
Schedule: 4 sessions + 1 performance on August 18 at 7pm
Class size: 12 students maximum
Class length: 2 hours (12 hours total) +1 Performance
Prerequisites: Experience with Improv Scenework

Tuition: $195

Much of life happens virtually now. The Virtual Office Drama is an improvised format that captures the small dramas of a company soldiering on while sheltering in place. We’ll explore character variety, using our living spaces as ‘sets’ and acting for the Zoom platform.

Click Here to Register

 

Effortless Story with William Hall, Rebecca Stockley and Paul Killam

Class Times/Dates:

  • Thurs. 8/20: 7-10pm
  • Fri. 8/21: 10-3:30 * 90 min lunch break
  • Sat. 8/22: 10-3:30 *90 min lunch break
  • Sun. 8/23 : 10-1pm

Schedule: 4 sessions
Class size: 18 students maximum
Class length: 3-4 hours (18 hours total) + 1 performance
Prerequisites: None-open to adults 18 and olde!

Tuition: $210

Make stories together spontaneously. There are untold stories to discover, explore, and co-create. Explore how your creative voice is influenced by those of your partners. Effortlessly reveal stories from your unlimited imagination in collaboration with your fellow improvisers.

Click Here to Register

 

The Bechdel Test with Lisa Rowland and Dave Denison

Class Time/Date: 10:00am-3:00pm / August 24, 25, 27 and 27
Schedule: 4 sessions + 2 performance on August 28 and 29
Class size: 12 students maximum
Class length: 4 hours (16 hours total) +2 Performances
Prerequisites: Improv performance experience & coach approval

Tuition: $270

Our world of fictional stories seems to belong to men. Statistics show that the vast majority of lead roles, spoken lines, and screen time end up going to male characters. When women show up in fictional stories, they tend to be shallow, uni-dimensional accessories in a man’s narrative!And in spite of our limitless possibilities as improvisors, we can tend to perpetuate these patterns when creating improvised stories as well.

The Bechdel Test* is a format developed in response to the ways that women, specifically, show up (or don’t show up) in popular stories. Taking a non-linear approach to storytelling, The Bechdel Test aims to create full-bodied, complicated, multi-faceted female characters and places them at the centers of their own stories. Asking “what else” instead of “what comes next?” The Bechdel Test highlights the seemingly contrasting elements in characters’ lives, leading us to put women on stage who have nuance and depth. Just like us.

Click Here to Register

 

Perform in ‘The Blank Show!’ with Chris Sams

Class Time/Date: 10:00am-3:00pm/ Friday August 28, 2020
Schedule: 1 sessions plus 1 performance on August 28
Class size: 16 students maximum
Class length: 4 hours + 1 performance
Prerequisites: None–open to adults 18 and older

Tuition: $75

You’ve seen the BATS Main Stage Company play the Blank Show, now here’s your chance to learn the format form the creator, Chris Sams. Learn how the game show genre show genre format works so well in the virtual platform while you enjoy light-hearted fun and loads of laughs along the way.

Click Here to Register

“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.