Farewell Laura Derry!

  • Posted on: 6 January 2021
  • By: alazja_kirk

Friends and community, our beloved Laura Derry will be leaving active membership at BATS Improv and joining the esteemed ranks of BATS Improv alumni! We wish her the very best in what comes next for her and take this opportunity to reflect on the incredible gifts she gave to this community.

This fierce performer joined BATS Improv's performing company in 1993 after taking her first class in 1991. A classically trained actor with a BA in Theater Arts, Laura performed scripted Shakespeare, musicals, comedy, and dramas but was terrified of improv. She moved to San Francisco to get ready to move to New York or Los Angeles and was looking for a way into the San Francisco theater world as a warm-up. While confident onstage and in front of crowds, Laura is both an ambivert and an incredibly shy person. A theater friend recommended taking classes at BATS, which turned out to be a life-changing decision. Laura fell in love with improv and the community, which among many things, gave her the tools to be comfortable being uncomfortable wherever she goes for work or play.

In her long tenure at BATS, Laura has made countless valuable contributions to our community, shaping it for the better at each turn. Laura was the director of our youth summer school program, which she refers to as "helping give kids social skills, disguised as playing improv games" and was a staple teacher of our Improv For Shy People class, in which she got to pass on to others the gifts she received from improv in the start of her career.

Laura's claim to fame at BATS was her in-depth knowledge and direction of several runs of Improvised Star Trek and her authority on how to ride a space object horse. I have never trusted anyone at the reins of a spaceship or a stallion as much as I trust Laura. 

About two years ago, Laura moved out of the city to a sweet forever home in Sonoma County and resides there with her cat Bella. She's a talented archer, an avid hiker and horseback rider, an animal lover, wolf activist (she may also be part wolf), expert griller, and all-around badass.  

Laura will always be a part of BATS, and BATS will always be a home for her, and you can expect to see her at community events in the future.