Bobbi Block: Improvise what you know – Feb 2017

Bobbi’s back!

Bobbi’s 2016 workshop filled up fast. In Feb 2017 she’s back – don’t miss out!

Bobbi Block, Artistic Director of Philadelphia’s critically acclaimed Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater, returns to NZ in 2017 – and this time we’ve got her lined up for a full weekend intensive and a show.

This unmissable weekend intensive will run from Friday evening (3rd Feb), all day Saturday and Sunday (4th/5th). The weekend will also include Bobbi directing you in her brilliant improvised show, “Secrets”, on Sunday evening (5th Feb).

This is a rare opportunity to work with one of the great international teachers of improvisation. Spaces are strictly limited.

Improvise What You Know

This workshop teaches a honed method to build compelling scene-work exploring authentic relationships. Just as writers are advised to ‘write what they know,’ participants are taught to improvise from their own experiences and meld fact with fiction. This truth-inspired, emotionally-grounded method allows both comic and dramatic moments to arise organically. Participants learn to create a strong emotional point of view and explore both verbal and nonverbal offers (silence, breathing, physical contact with scene partner). Participants also learn how to simultaneously behave as both actor and playwright to build the tension and dramatic arc of a scene. When this method is integrated, the result combines the playfulness of spontaneously-generated work with the integrity of scripted theatre.

About Bobbi

Bobbi Block is the Founder/Producing Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater. Tongue & Groove works in the style of Actors Improv taught in this program. For more information and to view video clips of T&G shows, go to

As well as holding a Masters degree in Theatre, Bobbi has trained with master improvisers at renowned improv theatres around the US including Annoyance, IO and Second City. She currently teaches Improvisation at Temple University and Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Bobbi was invited to create LEAP: The Actors’ Improv Experiment, for the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, for which she taught and directed veteran scripted actors in their first improvised show. Bobbi improvises with Barrymore Award recipient ComedySportz Philadelphia, where she was the Co-Producer and Education Director for 15 years and Artistic Director for 2 years. In addition, she performed long-form improv for twelve years with the popular collaborative ensemble, LunchLady Doris, and performed with the interdisciplinary improvisational theatre company, Playback Philadelphia. She won the 2008 Philadelphia City Paper Award: Actress Who Will Lead Improvisation to the Promised Land.

Bobbi is an Applied Improv Facilitator and Coach and has worked for 20 years around the world teaching Leadership, Collaboration and Presence skills to corporate executives using acting and improv techniques.

Having taught across the USA, Australia, and New Zealand, Bobbi returns to New Zealand in 2017 to teach improvisation to Theatre Studies majors as part of the University of Otago’s summer programme.

About the show, “Secrets”

Bobbi’s signature show, “SECRETS”, has been performed in venues around the globe from as far afield as Amsterdam and Rio de Janiero, to our very own New Zealand Fringe Festival in Wellington. The format creates scenes inspired by anonymously shared secrets provided by the audience. The techniques used produce scene-work of great depth, that are funny, touching and authentic.

Bobbi will direct participants of the workshop in the show, SECRETS, to be performed on the Sunday evening. Participation in the performance is optional but highly recommended.


Just a few of what some of Bobbi’s students have to say…

  • “Learning how to use your own life and the lives of others to inspire realistic scenework and characters was a marvelous experience. After many years of improv with various companies, I really found renewed energy and inspiration in Bobbi’s workshop to go on and bring touching and compelling stories on stage.”
  • “Weeks on, and we are still digesting and finding wide and fruitful application from your instruction. We come out with new techniques for connecting to each other and grounding our work. The troupe was just so engaged and we could see the discoveries play out within each other. For your patience and generosity of knowledge, I truly appreciate your time and hope we can connect again!”
  • “I haven’t enjoyed improv so much in years. And that’s 100% entirely down to your direction, not just the professional approach, but also the way that you have
    brought us together as people and made it safe for me to start really being myself.”
  • “Bobbi has a warm, energetic personality and as a she is articulate, clear and encouraging. There was a range of experience in the group from a variety of improvisational disciplines and Bobbi made the training accessible to everyone with enough room to challenge and grow improv skills. I really like Bobbi’s approach to a more authentic and emotionally motivated improv style. It still has the humour of improv but adds layers and depth which offers the audience a journey through a range of feeling states.”

Workshop Details and Booking Form

Dates / TimesFriday 3rd Feb – 7pm to 9:30pm
Saturday 4th Feb – 10am – 5pm
Sunday 5th Feb – 10am – 5pm
Guided Performance: Sunday 7pm
Location – WorkshopForfar Courts Community Hall
95 Forfar Street, St. Albans
Please park on the street. Forfar Courts parking is for residents only.
Map to Forfar Courts:
Location – ShowPerforming Arts Centre
Heaton Intermediate
125 Heaton St, Merivale,

Participantsmaximum 16 participants
Due to the adult nature of the work, you must be 20+ to participate.
Booking Formbookings are closed


If you have any questions about this workshop, including applying for a cost reduction, please send a message using the contact form.