Entertainment

BATS Improv celebrates 25 years of creating laughter

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Bay Area theatre company is celebrating 25 years of making people laugh as quick thinking actors create hilarious situations. BATS Improv offers up full-length performances.

I gave the suggestion of workers in a pickle curing factory and the actors at the BATS improv theatre brought the scene to life. It is what this innovative improv theatre company and school has been doing since 1986 -- taking audience suggestions and creating a scene.

There is no script. It is an exercise in creativity -- instantly.

"We're looking to create characters and to a story and tell a story from beginning, middle, and end rather than using the story as an excuse for a joke," said Kasey Klemm, the BATS artistic director.

Overcoming writers block, if you will, exploring qualities you may not know you have.

"One thing that we work on is if you hear a beat, just go with the first thing you think of, but it takes some practice to unwind your filter," said actress Lisa Rowland.

There is a school and they go to businesses to do team building and communications training.

"Helping people talk with each other, do conflict resolution, understand where other people are coming from," said Klemm.

It's about building confidence, too, and a willingness to take a risks as employees or actors.

"In acting you're interpreting something and in improv you're making it up. You're doing the script, you're doing the action, you're doing everything at the same time," said actor Tim Orr.

It seems that anyone can instantly become part of the company, a I tried my hand at improve.

As a tribute to their 25 years of success, the anniversary celebration continues until the end of the year.

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theater, entertainment, don sanchez
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