All Our Events Are on Zoom – Except the Sunday Jam

The Sunday Jam is now in-person 12pm PDT at Snow Park in Oakland.
Before a Zoom event, the meeting link appears below:
No events taking place within the next 30 minutes.
You can see all our events on our Meetup calendar.
Our Zoom events have suggested donations.
Please pay what you are able. No one turned away.
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About Us

About Us

Oaktown Improv is about truly expressing ourselves. It’s an outlet for expressing our inner promptings. It’s a place to learn to express ourselves more authentically, more consistently, and more powerfully.

We seek the joy in co-creation. When fellow players listen to each other, adjust to each other, build onto what the other is giving them, magic happens.

We endeavor to embody real people in real situations. Though we seek to arrive at it in a real way, our goal is comedy, remembering our own sense of humor and playfulness.

Yet we teach that you don’t have to be funny. “Humor is an ideal product of a good show”, say TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi in their book 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. Because of this, Oaktown Improv is committed to teaching others the way of improv, so they can discover their own joy and find the value of improv for themselves.

Weekly Improv Jam

Sundays 12 — 2pm

Monthly Improv Show

Every 2nd Saturday 8pm

Next show: August 14, 2021

Offerings

Offerings

Weekly Improv Jam (In-Person)
Sundays 12 to 2pm
Open to improvisors of all levels!
Sunday Drop-In Improv Class (on Zoom)
Ongoing on Sundays from 3 to 5pm
All are welcome.
Tuesday Drop-In Actor Style Improv (on Zoom)
On 2nd, 4th & 5th Tuesdays from 8 to 10pm
All are welcome.
Wednesday Drop-In Improv Class (on Zoom)
Ongoing on Wednesdays from 8 to 10pm
All are welcome.

Friday Night Games Jam (on Zoom)
Ongoing on Fridays from 8 to 10pm
All are welcome.
Monthly Improv Show and Jam (on Zoom)
Every Second Saturday 8pm
We also have a performer’s jam before the show at 6:30pm. It is open to all, and you can stay and watch the show for free!
Monthly Open Troupe Showcase (on Zoom)
Every Fourth Saturday 6:30pm
All are welcome.
Cost
Jam: $10
Performer’s Jam: $10 (includes show!)
Monthly Show: $10
Class drop-in: $20
Monthly dues – one class: $80 (includes one class per week, all jams, the show and one comp for the show!)
Monthly dues – two classes: $140 (includes two classes per week, all jams, the show and one comp for the show!)
Location
Our in-person events take place outdoors at Snow Park, Harrison St. at 19th St., Oakland, CA.

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

Tickets

Tickets

Alice & Bonny perform a scene
Oaktown Improv Show (and Jam)
Saturday, August 14, 2021, 8-9:30pm
This also gets you admission into the performer’s jam from 6:30-7:45pm. Come for the jam, the show, or both!
General admission $10
Or, GET TICKETS on eventbrite.com
 
Tervell & player perform a scene
Sunday Improv Jam
Ongoing, Sundays, 12–2pm
We warm up with improv games, then do improvised scenes with various partners. This is a fun and supportive environment open to all.
$10
Date (optional):
 
Samantha & Frederic perform a scene
Class Drop-in: Beginning to Intermediate
Ongoing, Sundays, 3-5pm
This class is 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
Class Drop-in: Intermediate to Advanced
Ongoing, Wednesdays, 8–10pm
This class is for those that are experienced with long-form improv and are motivated to take their scenework skills to the higher levels. 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):

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's natural inclination has been to do character-based improv. He agrees with Jim Carrey who said that if not for his expressive outlet, “I'd be up on the roof with an Uzi!” When it comes to teaching, Ben believes in always returning to a foundation of human truth and emotional honesty.

Ben Yates
Timothy Duryea
Timothy Duryea

Timothy has performed as a troupe player in his hometown of Spokane, at the collegiate level with Southern Oregon University's ‘Next Best Thing’, and is a member of Oaktown Improv's ‘Offsides’. Tim has infused comedy into many other forms of performance including sketch teams, radio programs, and his live musical acts. His improv heroes include Ben Schwarts, Paul F. Tompkins and Andy Daly. At the Sunday open jams, Tim serves as a guide to help players create scenes with real emotions and real stakes.

Timothy Duryea
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
Andy Edmonds - improv coach
Andy Edmonds

Andy originally hails from the East Midlands in the U.K. He discovered Oaktown Improv in 2015, and gradually removed his cloak of invisibility to become a member of the in-house troupe ‘Fun Size’. Along with being a nice break from the intricacies of particle physics, Andy finds improv to be a fun way to get out of his own head. "After all," he says, "you can't spend all day in the pub!" When coaching improv, Andy finds it best to refrain from judgment, allowing players to find their own style, as he did.

Andy Edmonds
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