About Us

OUR MISSION

To teach adults how to play again and humans how to be better communicators through the lens of improv comedy. Anyone can do improv and the skills you pick up along the way will change every interaction you have. The soft skills you will learn will help you find more connection, more possibilities, and more fun in life on and off the stage.

ABOUT US

Moment Improv Theatre is a San Francisco based long-form improvisational theatre and training center. Founded in 2014 by Marcus Sams, it is one of the first African American owned improv theatres and training centers in the United States. Moment produces in-person and online improv shows, has an in-person training program and a uniquely tailored on-camera/online training program, and facilitates teambuilding events for some of the top companies in the world. Moment Improv’s mission is to teach adults how to play again and humans how to be better communicators through the lens of improv comedy. Moment was featured by the SBDC for its reactive agility during 2020 and you can learn more about Moment’s journey in this WeXL interview. To connect with Moment Improv you can do so via their newsletter, FacebookInstagramTwitter or YouTube Channel.

Some interesting facts
about our company

2014

is when we started

100%

of our students are VERY SATISFIED! 

100%

say their minds were blown. (in a good way)

85%

say classes exceeded their expectations.

Moment Improv Theatre is one of only African American owned improv theatre and training centers in the United States.

Who We Are

Marcus Sams

FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR / TEACHER / PERFORMER

Marcus-Small

Marcus Sams is the founder of Moment Improv Theatre as well as the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Improv Festival. He has performed improv since 2001 and has been in 70+ national improv festival shows, including the “Secret Show” at the Chicago Improv Festival, where he opened for BassProv with his duo Liss n’ Sams, featuring Joe Liss of Second City. He was a “Master Teacher” at the Alaska State Improv Festival in 2017 and has been a headlining act and instructor at the KC Improv Festival, Out of Bounds Comedy festival, and Seattle Festival of Improv Theatre, among others.

With agility built into his bloodstream, Marcus transitioned from in-person improv training to online improv training in 5 days and has taught over 2000 hours of online improv instruction between 2020 -2022. He pioneered the online improvisational style known as the F.L.I. Technique and Teleprov and has been producing cutting edge online improv shows since September of 2020.

 

Marcus has taught improv to companies such as Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Airbnb, & Ebay to name a few in a long list. Marcus believes that improv skills are life skills and that anyone can participate in this magical and transformative art form. He has a systematic and heart-centric approach to improv that breaks down improv concepts to their core units and delivers usable tools to the working player. Marcus was originally trained as a stage actor and brings this respect for stagecraft and training to the improv world. He believes that improv is not a crap-shoot and that once one learns the craft of improv, it frees them up to experience a deeper level of play. Marcus has written over 240 hours of curriculum for Moment Improv Theatre and currently teaches 3-5 classes per week. An interesting thing to note, Marcus is also the founder of one of the first African American owned improv theatres and training centers in the United States, established in 2014.

When Marcus is not engaged in improv he also serves on the Union Square Alliance marketing committee, is the co-founder of the Bay Area Film Mixer, and has professional representation through MDT Talent.

Clay Robeson

TEACHER / PERFORMER / SOCIAL MEDIA

Clay-Small

Clay Robeson has been teaching improv since 2001 in both theatrical and corporate settings. An alumni of Improv Asylum in Boston, he has taught improv there, as well as in Atlanta, San Jose, San Francisco and Paris, as well as teaching for companies like Gilette, Proctor & Gamble, eBay and NASA. When not teaching, he performs with Un-Scripted Theater Company, Un-Employed (a two person short form show) and Bookends (a two person improvised musical based on The Last Five Years). Off stage, he is an avid photographer, game nerd, and puppeteer, and you can usually find him volunteering at City Grazing, San Francisco’s non-profit goat sanctuary. His roommate is a Bearded Dragon named Inigo Montoya.

Jon Ott

TEACHER / PERFORMER

Jon Ott is a California Bay Area based standup comedian and improviser who has been performing for over a decade. Originally, Jon studied theater in Stockton, CA through San Joaquin Delta College’s Actors Training Program. Jon also received improv training at Leela Improv Theatre Company, End Games Improv, and Moment Improv Theatre. He has performed for Leela’s Performing Improv Ensemble (PIE) program, Alameda Comedy Club’s “Making $#!% Up Improv,” and Moment Improv Theater’s house team, The Moment Players. Currently, Jon thoroughly enjoys teaching the introductory curriculum for Moment Improv Theatre. Jon’s other interests include Architectural design, Cybersecurity, and Machine Learning. Jon Ott thinks that’s too many things, but Jon Ott’s Psychiatrist assures Jon Ott that Jon Ott is just “well-rounded.”

A Note from the Artistic Director

Our lives are filled with and defined by moments, opportunities to be fully present. At our best, we can meet each moment with confidence and authenticity. And that is what we teach at Moment – how to be mindful, be connected and offer empathy to others. How to be more aware, listen more actively, speak more articulately and have deeper emotional intelligence. How to be great performers on and off-stage, in and out of work and most importantly, how to be great human beings.

The Moment philosophy borrows from the rich history of San Francisco improv theatre, where the “Harold” was born and where many great teachers and students have called home. Our work has deep ties to the tradition of theatre, where authenticity and integrity shape performance and elevate improvisers to the highest level of the craft.

Our mission is to cultivate community, to bolster the vitality and value of improvised theatre in a fun and safe environment as well as to sharpen the working player. At Moment, we teach in-depth classes and provide the community with improv shows that have been said to rival the power of scripted theatre.

We bring this reverence for communication and connection to professional environments to help strengthen corporate culture and inspire a highly engaged, cooperative and productive team through company training, ice-breaking mixers and team-building events. We can also bring a professional improv show to any company gathering with the intention of demonstrating the artform and the joy it offers to everyone who opens themselves to the experience.

At Moment, we believe Improv is life and that we each do it every day in our own way. Improv theatre can often be hilarious, but it’s no joke. We are an improv training center and we will teach you how to have comedic timing, be funny and quick-witted. However, authenticity encourages the deepest reactions – from guffaws in your seat to a gasp at the edge of it. By learning how to be in the moment, react with truth and offer yourself authentically, you will become a vulnerable, communicative presence in the world. And you’ll hopefully get a few laughs along the way.

Come be in the moment with us and – if you let it – improv will change your life.

OTHER NOTABLE PEOPLE AND ENTITIES WE COULD NOT DO THIS WITHOUT

Class Administrator – Lisa Aguirre

House Management – Alexander Devine

Lead Tech – Bryce Byerley

The Un-Scripted Theatre Company

YOU!

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