BATS is the Bay Area theater scene's longstanding reminder not to plan everything so rigidly. A little bit of spontaneity can lead you in unexpected directions, and the joy of turning happy accidents into compelling art drives the veteran improvisational group.
The pinnacle of this year's work, the 18th Annual Summer Improv Festival, runs each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday through Sept. 8, with events that include BATS veterans and guests; there are also workshops for students on Sundays. Main company players (Diane Rachel, Kasey Klemm, Paul Killam, Rebecca Stockley, William Hall, and Zoe Galvez) assemble for tomorrow's Director's Cut! Praise or Punishment, a 105-minute show composed of 13-minute scenes. If the audience judges the scene a "hit," the director has a shot at ending the evening as the most praised, but if the scene is deemed a "flop," they'll be subjected to reportedly humiliating onstage punishments.
Watch a clip of BATS performing improvised Shakespeare below: