|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (January 2008)|
BATS Improv (formerly known as "Bay Area Theatresports") is a non-profit improvisational theatre company in San Francisco. Founded in 1986, their unique style of acting-based improvisational theatre is well known in improv circles around the world. BATS is the largest improvisational theatre company and school in Northern California.
BATS takes its inspiration from the work of Theatresports creator Keith Johnstone and from San Francisco's own tradition of experimental improvisation. BATS is known for the quality, depth, scope and variety of its improvisational theatre programming.
Since 1986, BATS helped create and define a unique San Francisco style of long-form improvisation—a single-story 2-hour show, complete with intermission—which is distinct from improv seen in much of the rest of the country.
In addition, BATS runs a successful corporate training program, performs improv in schools as a popular participant in the Bay Area's Young Audiences program, and provides free improv workshops through its Laughing Stock program to people living with HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, cancer, and other chronic, life-threatening illness.
Notable BATS performers and alumni include:
Affiliated improv groups include: