The Stanford Improvisors was founded in the spring of 1991 by Patricia Ryan, Sr. Lecturer in the Department of Drama, Stanford University. Her purpose in founding this group was to provide guidance and a curricular structure for a select group of students who had shown promise and aptitude in the study of improvisation. To this end the Stanford Improvisors (the SImps) were chosen to train and perform improvisational games and theatrical forms, especially those techniques developed by Keith Johnstone of the University of Calgary.
In the winter of 1992, the Stanford Improvisors applied for, and were granted, a license to study, perform and teach Theatresports™ from the The International Theatresports™ Institute. This is now the primary purpose of the Stanford Improvisors. The group studies, teaches and performs regularly on the Stanford campus, in the Drama Department and in the community. They are available to local groups to teach workshops or perform.