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 »

summer1Summer Sessions

Prerequisite: Varies by class
Schedule: 2–4 days (consecutive)
Class length: Varies by class
Class size: Varies by class
Tuition: Varies by class

See the Summer Sessions schedule »

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.

Click here for Youth Summer Camp listings 

 

Foundation 2 Intensive

August 2 - August 5, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Schedule: 4-day intensive: 3 hours each on Thursday and Friday (7-10pm on Thursday and Friday) and 6 hours each on Saturday and Sunday (10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday, with a one-hour lunch break each day) 
Class dates: August 2, 3, 4, and 5
Class length: 18 hours total instruction
Class size: 14 students maximum
Tuition: $319 ($299 Early Registration)

 

At the conclusion of the weekend, there will be an optional Micetro performance on Sunday night, right after the last class. It is not mandatory to perform! Both Foundation 1 and Foundation 2 intensives will be invited to participate.

Foundation 1 Intensive

August 3 - August 5, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Schedule: 3-day intensive: 3 hours (7-10pm on Friday) and 6 hours each on Saturday and Sunday (10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday, with a one-hour lunch break each day) 
Class dates: August 3, 4, and 5
Class length: 15 hours total instruction
Class size: 16 students maximum

 

At the conclusion of the weekend, there will be an optional Micetro performance on Sunday night, right after the last class. It is not mandatory to perform! Both Foundation 1 and Foundation 2 intensives will be invited to participate.

Diagnostic with Joe Bill

Saturday, August 4th, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco 

Schedule: One session, 10:00 am - 5:00pm
Class date: August 4
Class length: 6 hours
Tuition: $120
Prerequisite: Studio Scene Work and above

Intermediate students - if you've been studying improv for 3 to 5 years, this class is for you!

Bring the power of depth and point of view to your improvised characters and scenes, learn the vital differences in playing Short Form vs. Long Form characters, and receive personal feedback from guest coach Joe Bill. This workshop is designed for both the aspiring and currently performing improviser, as well as ongoing students of Short Form and Long Form.

 

Coach

Joe Bill

Duo Workshop with Joe Bill

Sunday, August 5th, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco 

Schedule: One session, 10:00 am - 5:00pm
Class date: August 5
Class length: 6 hours
Tuition: $120
Prerequisite: Performance 3 and above

Intermediate/Advanced students - if you've been studying improv 5 to 10+ years, this class is for you!

Pick a partner, any partner: someone you’ve never played with, or someone you’ve known for years. You two will work exclusively as a pair to develop your structure, find the first seeds of a set, discover your Duo Voices, and more. This workshop is a unique opportunity to learn from internationally touring Duo improviser, guest coach Joe Bill.

 

Coach

Joe Bill

The Bechdel Test

August 9 - August 12, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Class Time/Dates: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 9, 10, 11, and 12, 10am - 5pm each day
Schedule: 10am - 1pm, lunch from 1-2pm, 2-5pm
Two performances: Sunday, August 12, 4pm and 6pm
Class size: 12 students maximum: 8 women and 4 men
Class length: 24 hours total of instruction
Tuition: $439 (Early Registration $419)
Prerequisite: Advanced players with significant performance experience.  Approval from the dean is required before registration. Contact regina@improv.org for questions about eligibility and requests to enroll.

 

The Bechdel Test is a lens we can use to look at how women show up in works of fiction.  Named for cartoonist Alison Bechdel, it asks the question, "Is there a scene between two women talking to each other about something other than a man?"

The remarkably low percentage of films and stories that pass this test points to the fact that we all have grown accustomed to creating and seeing stories centering around men.  And as story creators we often perpetuate that pattern. 

Debuting on the main stage at BATS in August 2016, the Bechdel test format aims to explore the complexities, relationships, and stories of women.  Simply deciding to make stories whose main characters are women - good, bad, likeable and not - is a departure from the stories that we often consume and create!

This format includes both men and women - it is not a female-only class, as this is not a female-only issue! The class is for a experienced improvisors with performance experience.

 

 

Effortless Storytelling

August 9 - August 12, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Schedule: 
6-9pm Thursday, August 9
10am-5pm Friday and Saturday, August 10 and 11 (with a 1-hour lunch break)
12pm-5pm Sunday, August 12 (with a 1-hour break)
Class size: 16 students maximum
Class length: 18 hours total of instruction 
Early Registration Tuition: $309
Regular Tuition: $339
Prerequisite: None! Beginning to advanced students welcome.

Creating story can be completely effortless. This course offers a deep dive into YOUR stories. Unleash your imagination with a series of activities both solo and with partners. Demystify the narrative process for short and long stories. Explore co-creating stories with this liberating, challenging, and rewarding experience.

This work will enhance your story telling voice, as well as increase your confidence with narrative. Building your awareness of story through this approach will enrich the practice of the experienced improviser and inspire the beginner.

 

 

 

First Thirty Seconds

Thursday, August 9th, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco 

Schedule: One session, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Class date: August 9
Class length: 3 hours
Tuition: $60
Prerequisite: Foundation 3 and above

Beginning students - if you've been studying improv for less than two years, this class is for you!

In Improvisation scenes, the ending often lies in the beginning. Learn how to begin your scenes with playfulness, vitality, and focus; then dive deep into the psychological and emotional content fueling your first words.

Guest coach Joe Bill explores the readiness mindset, energy dynamics, strategic emotional listening, interpersonal vs. circumstantial dialogue, pattern tracking and more in this exclusive summer workshop.

Coach

Joe Bill

Duo's My Thing with Joe Bill

Saturday, August 11th, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco 

Schedule: One session, 11:00 am - 5:00pm
Class date: August 11
Class length: 5 hours
Tuition: $100
Prerequisite: Performance 3 and above

Intermediate/Advanced students - if you've been studying improv 5 to 10+ years, this class is for you!

Register and meet your duo partner in the class! You two will work exclusively as a pair to develop your structure, find the first seeds of a set, discover your Duo Voices, and more. This workshop is a unique opportunity to learn from internationally touring Duo improviser, guest coach Joe Bill.

 

Coach

Joe Bill

First Thirty Seconds

Sunday, August 12th, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco 

Schedule: One session, 2:30pm - 5:30pm
Class date: August 12
Class length: 3 hours
Tuition: $60
Prerequisite: Foundation 3 and above

Beginning students - if you've been studying improv for less than two years, this class is for you!

In Improvisation scenes, the ending often lies in the beginning. Learn how to begin your scenes with playfulness, vitality, and focus; then dive deep into the psychological and emotional content fueling your first words.

Guest coach Joe Bill explores the readiness mindset, energy dynamics, strategic emotional listening, interpersonal vs. circumstantial dialogue, pattern tracking and more in this exclusive summer workshop.

Coach

Joe Bill

Acting for Improv

August 13 - August 15, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Class Time/Dates: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday August 13,14 and 15, 10am-5pm each day
Schedule: 10am - 1pm, lunch from 1-2pm, 2-5pm
Class size: 12 students maximum
Class length: 18 hours total of instruction
Early Registration Tuition: $349
Regular Tuition: $369
Prerequisite: Studio Scene Work and above

 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 effect change in others. 

 

Coach
Rafe

Rafe Chase

Improvising the Long-Form Musical

August 16 - 19, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco


Class Dates: Thursday, August 16, 6-10 pm (4 hours)
Friday, August 17, 10-6pm (7 hours)
Saturday, August 18, 10-6pm (7 hours)
Sunday, August 19, 10am-12 pm (2 hours) 
Performance Showcase: Sunday, August 19: two 50 minute performances from 1-2 pm and 2:30-3:30 pm
Class size: 12 students maximum
Class length: 20 hours of instruction total, see above schedule for a breakdown of hours each day
Tuition: $499 (Early Registration $469)

Prerequisite: Dean and Coaches' approval. **Please obtain approval BEFORE registering for this intensive. Email Regina Saisi at regina@improv.org to submit your interest and confirm your eligibility.**


This is a rare opportunity to study with both of the most experienced practitioners and teachers of song improvisation in the BATS community at the same time.

They will be focusing on the elements of the long-form musical, culminating in two one-act performances.

This course is NOT FOR BEGINNERS -- experience in SONG IMPROVISATION and LONG FORM is required.

 

 

Foundation 3 Intensive

August 17 - August 19, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Schedule: 3-day intensive: 3 hours (7-10pm on Friday) and 6 hours each on Saturday and Sunday (10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday, with a one-hour lunch break each day) 
Class dates: August 17, 18, and 19
Class length: 15 hours total instruction
Class size: 12 students maximum
Tuition: $309 (Early Registration $289)

 

The BAT

August 22 - August 26, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Class Time/Dates: 
Wednesday 6-10 pm, 
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, August 23, 24, 25, 10am - 5pm each day
Performance showcase: Sunday, August 26th, 6 pm
Class size: 12 students maximum
Class length: 22 hour of instruction
Early Registration Tuition: $379
Regular Tuition: $399
Prerequisite: Prior improvised long form performance experience necessary. Contact regina@improv.org prior to regitration for approval to enroll.

 

The BAT is a voice-only improv format developed by Joe Bill from Chicago. Both the performers and the audience experience The BAT with eyes closed and/or in the dark.


The format starts with a jam of notes, sounds, words and phrases which build to a climax and serve as the inspiration for three stories, told concurrently and switching from one to another in no particular order.


It’s an exciting and original way of developing characters and story, blending the skills of long form storytelling and the free-wheeling vocal expression of our combined voices, almost like a jazz ensemble.

 

 

Captivating Creativity through the Cave Match

August 31 - September 2, 2018
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco

Schedule: 3-day intensive: 6 hours each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (10am-5pm with a one-hour lunch break each day) 
Class dates: August 31, September 1 and 2
Class length: 18 hours total instruction
Class size: 14 students maximum
Tuition: $349 (Early Registration $329)

Performance:  Sunday September 2, 7pm (students can watch or perform for an audience, winner-take-all evening in the Cave Match)

Pre-requisites:  Foundation 3 and above and non BATS students with a minimum of 1 year improv training

 

With a ton of variety and brand-new, boundary-breaking formats, BATS Improv students showcase their creativity and improvisation talents in the competition known as Cave Match, BATS' playful punny twist on other cities' Cage Match.

Learn intriguing techniques and explore new genres and performance formats. You will test out your wild ideas to see what it might look like to stage them, experience class collaboration, develop imaginative techniques to maximize the most of the experience and learn how to master the minutes of the 37-minute timer tickdown. You'll also learn tools and tips for hosting and find out some best practices to make you a better team captain and a sharper more fun improv performance director.

The intensive will leave you empowered and emboldened to be your own team captain and recruit the team and talent you want for future shows. The intensive does not make you eligible for the ongoing BATS Cave Match.

One of “20 Best Improv Comedy Schools Around the World”

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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.