ROB WATZKE has been performing and teaching improvisation for 30 years, and has applied those principles of improvisation to all facets of his work. He is co-founder and director of the absurdist improvisational troupe, THE BUBALAIRES, and he created SHPLOTZ!, an evening of improvisational theatre with guests like Helen Hunt, Jason Alexander, James Corden, and Dave Foley.  He has written, directed, edited, and acted in theatre, films, television, and web series, winning awards from the National Educational Media Association, the Telly Awards, Clio Awards, and numerous film festivals. Rob has taught improvisation workshops at the American Conservatory Theatre, Walt Disney Studios, USC Marshall School of Business, SAG-AFTRA, UCLA Performing Arts Intensive, and many others. He is currently teaching ongoing improvisation workshops for Turbine Arts Collective, an organization dedicated to creative exploration. Member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA.  Click here for extended bio.  Click here for IMDB.

Past SHPLOTZ players.


Improvisation Workshop

Improvisation should be fun, enlightening, and a release for anyone who chooses to play.  As the art form has evolved into “Improv Comedy”, with the emphasis on being funny and rewards given to those who are good at thinking on their feet, we’ve lost some of the simplicity of where it started:  Human beings using the work to make discoveries about themselves and the world around them.

This is the basis for Improvisational Theatre.  It can be funny and poignant, silly and moving, as long as the actors are in discovery and in the moment.

THE BUBALAIRES, circa 2002

"Rob Watzke is one my favorite improvisers in the world. One of the very, very best.  At the top of his game, he brings to his teaching all the stunning qualities he possesses as an improviser.  Disciplined but wild, steeped in tradition and wildly innovative.  Anyone lucky enough to work with him will learn and delight in his vast experience and utterly unique style."




Workshop Members performed an Improvisation Exploration, after SHPLOTZ

"Rob Watzke's skills as an improviser and as a teacher go to the core of what good scene work is about: finding the human truth in each scene and gracefully bringing it to light."  

- JAY KOGEN  (Emmy-winning producer/writer/actor)

We call our approach SEE-REACT-CHANGE.

For actors, you will get a chance to work in a way that takes the pressure off of you to "make something up" onstage, and practice discovering your scenes and characters through your reactions and impulses.  And for non-actors and those who are just starting, you will be introduced to the work in a way that is fun, playful, and supportive.  As a group, we will learn by watching and playing with people who may be in different places along their improvisational paths, but are joined by the simple exercise of

human beings at play.

This class IS for you if you are:  Curious, supportive, open, and ready to try something new – even if you’ve been improvising for a while.

This class is NOT for you if you are:  Judgmental, self-centered, or already consider yourself an “Improv Expert” who just wants to perform.

When/Where:  Lounge Theatres and Thymele Arts, Hollywood. We currently have our long-running Monday Night Workshop, and our shorter-term Wednesday  Night Workshop.

Cost:  We strive to keep prices reasonable. Our average cost is $25/meeting.  Our workshops are ongoing. We ask most new students to commit to a set period of time, and after that you can come and go on a monthly basis. All workshops are 18-years-old and over.

“Rob Watzke is hands down one of the best improvisers I’ve ever worked with.  He is as

insightful as he is hilarious.  You couldn’t ask for a better person to teach you the art form.”

- PAUL FEIG  (director of Bridemaids, Spy, and Ghostbusters, creator of Freaks and Geeks)

Not everyone explores or responds to improvisation in the same way.  In this class, I’ll help bring who you are into the work, and we'll keep an eye on achieving your goal – whether it’s creating theatre through improvisation, or just getting comfortable in front of people.

“Rob has shared his gift for teaching improvisation to my USC students over the past several years.  His ability to work across students' ages (early twenty's to mid fifty's) and backgrounds (quantitative finance to dance) is unparalleled.  The students leave his class able to grasp the possibility of responding to the moment.  And they always want more of Rob.”

- PROF. JOSEPH PRIESTER (USC Marshall School of Business)

Mondays and Wednesdays are currently full.  To be considered for the wait list, you must take our special One-Night Introduction Workshop, which are usually the last Monday of the month. This is a low-priced Intro to Rob's approach.  All levels welcome.


“As an improvisational artist, Rob Watzke has no other agenda than the agenda of risk and

discovery.  His work onstage is a living video of improvisation in its purest and highest form.”

- GARY AUSTIN  (creator of The Groundlings)

"Rob Watzke has more or less taught me the art of improvisation. By getting up with him, watching and playing with him, I have learned about freeing the imagination and the instincts, about acceptance and conflict within a scene, about character and language, and much about the exciting and humbling experience it is to create spontaneously in front of people. It is a privilege, and one I highly recommend."


“Rob Watzke is the Meryl Streep of improvisation. He's amazing and makes it look so easy. Watching him, you forget he's discovering as he goes, and improvising with him causes you to be braver than ever because you know he's there with you, one of the best.”

- DAPHNE ZUNIGA (actor/activist,

Nominee, INNY Award, Improvisational Theatre: Best Instructor/Coach

Please visit Turbine Arts Collective website for additional workshop information.