Tickling the funnybone of the 'burbs since 2015!

about us


Suburban Thunder Improv Company, spawned in the friendly confines of the docile San Francisco Bay Area bedroom community of San Ramon, is unique among improvisers.

Over the past decade, we have scoured the bedrooms of this sleepy neighborhood for closet improvisers - people with a penchant for play in between commutes to their workplaces during the day.

Holding their craziness inside for 8-12 hours a day in the "real world", these vampires of the stage come out at night, incisors flashing.

ST!C is made up of software engineers, seedy consultants, voyeuristic therapists, retired firemen, old men and hot women plus a broad swath of other representatives of the lunatic fringe.

None of us are pros - but we are poetry in improv!

about us

1st Annual Improv Tournament


1st Annual Improv Tournament
Join Suburban Thunder Improv Company for this Head to Head Competition Tournament between improv teams of the TriValley! Come cheer on your favorite team and help them get to the finals!

Featuring local TriValley (and beyond!) improv teams doing what they do best! Each team performs a 25 minute set to win your votes. You get to decide who goes to the finals. Support your favorite team on their journey to victory!


Joining the fun on Friday, October 25 is 5 Play!
5 Play is the popular East Bay long-form improv group that has been captivating audiences around the Bay Area since 2009. Their cast explores the fun, exciting, and silly nature of human relationships in an unforgettable show of completely improvised scenes and stories. 5 Play’s show format consists of a fully improvised story inspired by an audience suggested title. Since 2010, they have performed regularly as the core group at Made Up Theatre in Fremont.  The cast members have improvised together since 2005, and their chemistry as a group creates a unique and high-energy improv show.

Also performing on Friday, October 25 is Suburban Thunder Improv Teens and Encore Improv Troupe.
These two teams bring a new perspective on improv to our stage.

Competing against ST!C on Saturday, October 26th is Ready Players One!
Ready Players One formed in the robot car-infested city of Palo Alto out of the BATS (Bay Area Theater Sports) performance class series. They've been playing together as classmates for two years, and have recently started putting on their own shows in Palo Alto and San Francisco. When not performing or practicing in living-rooms, they like eavesdropping on venture capitalists at Philz and Starbucks, and making bets as to which parts of the city Google will buy next.

Rounding out the performances on Saturday is Improv Anonymous. This is the house team at Plethos Productions in Castro Valley.

STAYED TUNED TO FIND OUT WHO ELSE WILL BATTLE IT OUT FOR THE BRAGGING RIGHTS!


  • 3 TEAMS WILL COMPETE EACH NIGHT (Friday and Saturday) WITH THEIR OWN 20-25 MINUTE SET. 
  • VOTES CAST BY THE AUDIENCE WILL CHOOSE THE WINNER OF EACH NIGHT. (Your team must be available to play on Sunday, 10/27.)
  • WINNERS OF FRIDAY AND SATURDAY SHOWS COMPETE ON SUNDAY FOR ALL OF THE MARBLES! (or a small cash prize!)

SEE YOU AT THE SHOW!

2019-2020 Improv Show Season


  • $10
  • 10/25/2019 08:00 PM - 10/27/2019 09:00 PM
  • 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA, USA

1st Annual Improv Tournament for the Tri-Valley and Beyond! Friday and Saturday, October 25 and 26 at 8pm Sunday, October 27 at 7pm (Finals) Contact ST!C for more information on how your improv team can apply for a spot in our tournament! Send an email to SuburbanThunderImprov@gmail.com.

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  • $10
  • 12/08/2019 02:00 PM
  • 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA, USA

Happy Holidays from Suburban Thunder Improv Company! Be a part of our show with your suggestions and maybe even play an improv game with us on stage! This 75 minute show is geared specifically to kids and their families. Win prizes! Play games! Have some laughs with us!

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  • $10
  • 02/01/2020 08:00 PM
  • 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA, USA

Join us for an evening of live laughs all made up on the spot from your suggestions. All Tickets Always Only $10 (For ages 14+)

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  • $10
  • 03/29/2020 02:00 PM
  • 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA, USA

Get ready for Spring Break with Suburban Thunder Improv Company! Be a part of our show with your suggestions and maybe even play an improv game with us on stage! This 75 minute show is geared specifically to kids and their families. Win prizes! Play games! Have some laughs with us! All Tickets Always Only $10 - For the whole family!

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  • $10
  • 05/09/2020 08:00 PM
  • 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA, USA

Spin the wheel to choose our scenes and games! We will let the whole show be decided by chance. From singing to Shakespeare, from rom-coms to rhyming, and from mystery to mime, we'll have a little bit of everything for the Wheel of Fate to choose for us!

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  • $10
  • 09/08/2019 02:00 PM
  • 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA 94582, USA

Suburban Thunder Improv Company is back from their summer break! It's been a long summer so come on down for some family friendly laughs! Be a part of our show with your suggestions and maybe even play an improv game with us on stage! This 75 minute show is geared specifically to kids and their families. Win prizes! Play games! Have some laughs with us!

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Video of Helping Hands


Sept. 25, 2016 - Monkey See, Monkey Do Family Friendly Improv Show [Performed by Amy, Anthony, and Jack's hands.]

Video of ST!C at Marsh Madness


STiC performs at the Marsh in San Francisco. March 10, 2018 [40 minute set performed by Anthony, Edward, and Lisa]

Video of ST!C at Made Up Theater


2018 Cage Match Tournament - Nov. 15, 2018 vs. Pea Soup Yes, And'ersons and All That Jazz ["Follow The Leaver" 20 minute set performed by Amy, Lisa, Edward, Jack, Anthony, and Kathy]

Want to keep up with ST!C?

Join our mailing list!

We will never sell your email address and will only send you reminders about our upcoming shows and classes.

Classes 2019-2020


TweenProvTM

For beginning Tweens and Middle School improvisors. Learn the fundamentals of improv and improv games. Repeat students will be learning more games and honing their skills! [For Grades 6-8 Only]

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TeenProv: Performance Workshop

For experienced Teen improvisors. More intensive improv studies. These sessions will be geared toward longform. No games this session. [For ages 13-17]

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Advanced Improv For Performance

Advanced improv study for experienced improvisors. Approval of coach required to sign up. [For ages 15+]

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Improv Junior! CANCELED! Check back in 2020 for a new class!!

Beginning improv for grades 4 and 5. Let's have some fun! Guaranteed to make you laugh! [For Grades 4 and 5 Only!]

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All Play!

Improv games galore! Mondays 12/2, 12/9 and 12/16 - 7pm-9pm

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think you know improv?

SNL hits improv on the head!

current ST!C troupe


AMY

the yoga enthusiast

ANTHONY

the accents

EDWARD

the wordsmith

KATHY

the drill sergeant

LINDA

the counselor

LISA

"la capa"

JACK

Our newest Troupe Member!

MIKE

the giggler

guests • alumni • students of improv


Corrinne

Guest Performer

Corrinne is a renaissance woman with many hidden talents! She is currently writing two books!

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Josh

Student of Improv

Josh is a giant space salamander who wanders the cosmos in search of love. In his human form, he performs with the Suburban Thunder Improv Teens.

Rylen

Student of Improv

Rylen loves improv because he likes stage acting and always likes putting on a show. He’s a gamer.

Diana

Alumna

Diana is an amazing mom of adult Triplets! She has recently relocated to Sacramento where she is working on and performing stand up!

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Michael G.

Alumnus

Michael recently had the great opportunity to move on to a new chapter in his story.

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Michael H.

Alumnus

Mike created our Suburban Thunder Improv Company logo and performs with ST!C when he needs a dose of laughter!

SNL explains Improv


Originally aired on NBC. May Dick Wolf's latest series takes an unflinching look at Chicago's improv scene and its members (Tina Fey, Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor, Mikey Day, Luke Null, Chris Redd).

FAQs


How do I get tickets for your show ?

Go to www.SanRamonPerformingArts.com and look for "tickets" in the menu. Then pull down "buy tickets". You'll see our shows in the scrolling list there. You can also call the box office (925) 973-3343. If you suddenly feel like having a laugh, just drop by the box office right before the show. Tickets are always $10! Best value for your buck!

Where do you perform?

We perform at The Front Row Theater, at Dougherty Station Community Center. 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon

Do you have a group discount price?

We sure do! Call the box office for group sales of 10 or more. (925) 973-3343

I need a team building session for my office. Can you come here for that?

Absolutely! We can tailor a session just for your team. We'll help you to better work together, really listen to each other, and trust your instincts. Let us build a class with your specific needs. Email us for more details. SuburbanThunderImprov@gmail.com

Can I bring my 8 year old to an evening show?

Our evening shows are designed for ages 14 and up. Due to mature content (and an occasional naughty word) we would rate our evening shows as PG14.

We do have an all age appropriate show on two Sundays in a season. That is the Monkey See, Monkey Do Family Friendly Improv Show. Your child will love this show! It's silly and funny and fast-paced and your little performer may be picked to play on stage with us!

what is improv?


improvisation [im-prov-uh-zey-shuh n, im-pruh-vuh-]

  • noun: the art or act of improvising, or of composing, uttering, executing, or arranging anything without previous preparation:

im·prov [ˈimpräv/]

  • noun; informal: improvisation, especially as a theatrical technique.


A Short History of Improv

You may have seen "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" and wondered how they can make up all of those funny scenes.  Here is a brief history of modern improv.


Improvisational theatre is as old as time. It pre-dates the invention of writing, since long before we started writing scripts we were telling stories by acting them out. It has its basis in  commedia dell'arte, an Italian Renaissance form of theater in which a traveling comedy troupe would perform farces without a written script. Though the basic scenario was agreed upon, the dialogue and  the pacing of the story often depended on audience reactions.

After the Commedia died off, improv theatre faded into obscurity until it was separately and spontaneously re-invented by two people who have shaped the craft as it exists today -- Keith Johnstone and Viola Spolin.

Keith Johnstone and Theatresports

Keith Johnstone started formulating his theories about creativity and spontaneity while growing up in England, and later brought them into his teaching at the University of Calgary. He felt that theatre had become pretentious, which is why the average man in the street didn't even consider attending it. Johnstone wanted to bring theatre to the people who went to sporting and boxing matches, the same audience that Shakespeare had written for in his day.

Johnstone decided that one approach would be to combine elements of both theatre and sports, to form a hybrid called Theatresports. The trappings of team sports were adapted to the improvisational theatre context; teams would compete for points awarded by judges, and audiences would be encouraged to cheer for good scenes and jeer the judges ("kill the umpire!").

Through Theatresports, Johnstone's ideas have gone on to influence (directly or indirectly) almost every major improv group.

Viola Spolin and Theatre Games

Back in the 1920's and 1930's, a woman named Viola Spolin began to develop a new approach to the teaching of acting. It was based on the simple and powerful idea that children would enjoy learning the craft of acting if it were presented as a series of games.

Spolin's son, Paul Sills, built on his mother's work and was one of the driving forces of improvisational theatre centered around the University of Chicago in the mid-1950's. Along with people like Del Close and David Shepherd, Sills created an ensemble of actors who developed a kind of "modern Commedia" which would appeal to the average man in the street. As with Theatresports and the original Commedia, the goal was to create theatre that was accessible to everyone.

The group that sprang from the work of Sills, Shepherd and Close, called The Compass, was extremely successful. It brought people to the theatre who in many cases had never gone before, and eventually led to the development of a company called Second City.

Through The Compass and Second City, Spolin's Theatre Games have gone on to influence an entire generation of improvisational performers.


what is improv?

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