Quick Overview

The next Sunday in-person jam is at Snow Park in Oakland on August 18, 2024 at 1pm.
See you there!
Next Event: Wednesday Jam on Zoom tonight at 8pm
You can see all of our events on Meetup.
Our events have requested donations.
Please pay what you are able.
Venmo: (2587)
PayPal & Zelle:

About Us

About Us

Oaktown Improv is a fun and safe place where we can play with expressing ourselves. Following our inner promptings and acting things out onstage is so much fun that it propels us into the moment.

No one says is better than Viola Spolin. “Everyone can act. Everyone can improvise. Anyone who wishes to can play in the theater and learn to become stageworthy. We learn through experience and experiencing, and no one teaches anyone anything.”

The greatest joys in improv usually come through co-creation. When fellow players listen to each other, adjust to each other, build onto what the other is giving them, magic happens.

And, we don’t have to be funny. “Humor is an ideal byproduct of a good show”, says TJ Jagodowski in his book with David Pasquesi Improvisation at the Speed of Life. Humor is a often a natural side-effect of human beings making surprising choices on stage. It’s more important to focus on the reality and the relationship of these human beings than it is to be comedic.

Improv has benefits that go beyond the stage and into normal life. Besides being more able to express yourself, you may also grow to be more at ease in groups of people and be less overwhelmed by fears of public speaking. Some even report the principles of improv help them be more successful in business.

Whether you’re new to improv, or have been improvising for years, we invite you to join us!

Monthly Improv Show

Every 2nd Saturday at 8pm on Zoom

Next date: August 10, 2024

Offerings

Offerings

Sunday Improv Jam in Park (on Zoom if rain is due)
Third (or sometimes fourth) Sundays 1 to 3pm (see our scheduled events)
All are welcome.
Sunday Improv Jam on Zoom
Ongoing on Sundays from 1 to 3pm (except on actual in-person jam Sundays)
All are welcome.
Wednesday Improv Jam on Zoom
Ongoing on Wednesdays from 8 to 9:30pm
All are welcome.

Friday Night Games Jam on Zoom
Ongoing on Fridays from 8 to 10pm
All are welcome.
Monthly Improv Show on Zoom
Every Second Saturday at 8pm.
All are welcome.
Requested Donations
Jams: $10
Monthly show: $10
Class drop-in: $20
Monthly dues – one jam: $40 (includes one jam per week, the show, plus one comp for the show!)
Monthly dues – two jams: $75 (includes two jams per week, the show, plus one comp for the show!)
Location
Our in-person events take place outdoors at Snow Park in Oakland. One corner of the park is at Harrison St. and 19th St. We have a sign, and are usually located toward the opposite corner of the park, between the children’s playground and the lake.

Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves. — Viola Spolin

Tickets

Tickets

Alice & Bonny perform a scene
Improv Show
Saturday, August 10, 2024, 8-9pm
General admission $10
Or, GET TICKETS on eventbrite.com
Tervell & player perform a scene
Improv Jams
Sundays 1pm & Wednesdays 8pm
We warm up with improv games, then do improvised scenes with various partners. These are fun and supportive environments open to all.
$10

Date (optional):

Samantha & Frederic perform a scene
Class Drop-In
Specially Scheduled Dates
These classes are for those that have had an introduction to long-form improv and are ready to take their scenework skills to the next level. We warm up with short-form games and group-mind exercises, then engage in specific scene types designed to strengthen your ability to perform in scenes with varying tempo, emotion and character.
$20

Date (optional):

Lise holding her head during scene
Friday Night Games Jam
Fridays 8-10pm
In this jam, we play improv games and do improvised short-form scenes with various partners. This is a fun and supportive environment open to all.
$10

Date (optional):

Discovery is a quest to uncover what is already there. — TJ & Dave

Coaches

Ben Yates - improv coach
Ben Yates

Ben began improvising in 1993. He has performed with various groups in the Bay Area, including The Clean Comedy Company, Pan Theater, BATS Sunday Players, 'Trapped in a Rumor', and his own 'Zen Improv'. Ben began teaching improv with Under the Sun Studios in 2008 and with Magic Jester Theater in 2010. His teaching style encourages players to bring authenticity into their characters, so that everyone can learn and be affected by human truth and emotional honesty. This is built, however, on remembering the joy that is the base of improvisation. It is play, after all!

Ben Yates
Heather Williamson - improv coach
Heather Williamson

Heather bounded onto the improv stage in 2016 with Oaktown Improv and, being a quick study, soon became a member of the in-house troupe ‘Fun Size’. With her bubbly enthusiasm and AI-like memory, Heather was a natural to start leading jams and classes in 2017. Heather's current claim-to-fame is that during a show, watching one of her favorite groups, ‘3 For All’, she was invited onto the stage where she summarily rocked it with song. Heather's improv philosophy is, “Bring it, pay attention, and kill it!”

Heather Williamson
Stephanie Singer - improv coach
Stephanie Singer

Stephanie began studying with Oaktown Improv in 2017. Coinciding with her time at Oaktown, she has done storytelling as part of StorySlam Oakland and Spontaneous Storytelling Oakland.

In pre-Oaktown days, Stephanie had acted in numerous regional theater productions in the East Bay and Off-Geary in San Francisco. She studied with the acting teacher and coach Jean Shelton for five years in the 1990’s.

As an actor, Stephanie strives to be present to listen and react to the circumstances at any given moment and to allow herself to draw from past experiences. As a teacher, she strives to create a friendly, inviting, non-critical atmosphere and to encourage spontaneity, creativity and joy.

Stephanie Singer
Tezz Yancey - improv coach
Tezz Yancey

Tezz Yancey is a professional Los Angeles based Improviser (Second City, UCB, IO, Comedy Central) actor, singer, dancer, musician, writer, producer and director with over 20 years of performing and teaching experience. He made his Broadway debut at age 14, headlined his own shows in Las Vegas, produced multiple recording and film score projects and is a working film and television actor in Hollywood (Showtime, Disney, NBC, Vet-TV). He trained at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee in musical theater and production and has been blessed to travel the world teaching master classes and workshops. Tezz firmly believes in equality and fairness for all, and brings excellent communication skills to his coaching.

Tezz Yancey

The teeny weeniest emotional discovery that's real beats the hell out of the biggest one that's phony. — Del Close

Contact Us

Contact Us

Oakland Improv Community