Business With Passion: 3 For All

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Having met in the late ’80s through the improv company Bay Area Theatresports (now BATS Improv), 3 For All (Rafe Chase, Stephen Kearin and Tim Orr) formed an ensemble in the summer of 1996 to pursue their distinctive brand of high-stakes theatrical improvisation. 3 For All regularly plays to sold-out houses and rave audience reviews in the San Francisco Bay Area. They’ve enjoyed equal success in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, and Amsterdam.

Rafe Chase did not know that “improviser” was a career option while growing up in Oakland, California, yet he intuitively spent an inordinate amount of time pretending. It paid off. Within a few months of taking his first improv class in 1978, he was asked to join the San Francisco group, Flash Family. Since that time Rafe has been a consistent and innovative presence on the improv scene as a member and, in many cases, the director of the groups Riot Squad, BATS Improv, Pulp Playhouse, Improv Theater and True Fiction Magazine. He has taught improv both privately and at various institutions including the American Conservatory Theater and Stanford University. Rafe is also a writer and photographer. His published work includes articles on show business history, the comic poem, “Alice is…” and a coffee table book of his photography titled “Inside The Toy Box“. He is currently writing a book on improv and cinematic longform.

Tim Orr has improvised since 1988 with many San Francisco-based groups, including BATS Improv, Rafe Chase’s groundbreaking longform troupe Improv Theatre, the renowned True Fiction Magazine, and with the acclaimed troupe 3 For All. In 2009, he founded a new improv group, the Improv Playhouse of San Francisco. He has appeared in numerous plays in the San Francisco Bay Area, and received critical acclaim for his leading roles in the improvised feature films, Suckerfish and Security. With Stephen Kearin, Tim co-wrote, and originated the role of Dirk Manly in, An Evening with Dirk & Blaine. Tim has performed (and taught) improvisation at the American Conservatory Theatre, BATS Improv, Stanford University, and many other venues nationally (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Austin, Louisville, Atlanta, etc.) and internationally (Amsterdam, Helsinki, Leuven, Paris, Stockholm). He is currently the Director of the BATS Improv Long-Form Intensive.

Stephen Kearin began improvising in 1986. He was a founding member of both Improv Theatre and True Fiction Magazine and performed with BATS Improv for 14 years. Stephen is currently a member of Impro Theatre in Los Angeles and a founding member of 3ForAll. He has appeared in numerous stage productions, including the stilt-walking Iago in San Francisco Opera’s Otello, as Sally-Sue Weber in A Weber Family Christmas and originated the role of Blaine Bustier in An Evening With Dirk & Blaine. Stephen is the co-creator of “Simlish” and was the principal male voice of The Sims and Sims 2.0. He is featured in the Dreamworks Animation films Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar 2 and Monsters Vs. Aliens and is currently at work on the motion-capture animated film Mars Needs Moms for Robert Zemeckis. Stephen is a visiting instructor at Stanford University and Cirque Du Soleil.

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