Starting his own San Francisco classes in 2009 with 7 students, Rob, and later on with Peter, has grown Z/A Studio to over 100 students in 5 classes. In addition to serving as Artistic Director for the Firescape Theatre, Rob has directed several plays including the SF premiere of Engagement, The Importance of Being Earnest, Four Dogs & a Bone, Sexual Perversity in Chicago and Talk Radio starring Peter Allas. Most recently, he produced and directed a widely acclaimed rendition of Yellow Face by David Henry Wang, with sold out shows in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Rob started working professionally at age eleven at The Sharon Playhouse. The next several years included training with Jack O’Brien (Old Globe Theater) and Tony Richardson (British National Theater) and some 60 stage productions from Connecticut to San Diego.
After taking a break to do some globe trotting, Rob arrived in LA to begin learning about Film & TV. He has appeared in Twin Peaks, HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show, Port Charles and starred in the BBC made for TV movie, Murder, Too. Other film credits include the controversial Don’s Plum with Leonardo DiCaprio & Tobey Maguire and Working Trash with Ben Stiller and George Carlin. Rob also worked onstage in LA’s The Matrix Theater’s ,The Tavern and the Beverly Hills Playhouse as the lead in Prelude to a Kiss.
Rob became a student of Milton Katselas in 1991, and over the next decade plus, he dedicated himself not only to his studies but to the growth of other students as well. He is fascinated with the process of actors discovering what elements of the teaching work best for them. Now, teaching as many as seven classes per week and commuting between Z/A’s San Francisco, Los Angeles and Honolulu classes, Rob has for over 30 years helped guide thousands of students to the rewards offered by Milton Katselas’ technique and his vision of ‘a room full of stars.’ He is excited by all the possibilities of expanding his creative efforts with Z/A Studio.
Eureka Theatre’s production of the 2020 touring “Speed The Plow” by David Mamet marks the ongoing connection of Mr. Allas & David Mamet. In 2018, Mr. Allas won rave reviews for his teaming with playwright John Patrick Shanley for his innovative production of the OFF-Broadway Revival of “Danny & The Deep Blue Sea” at the Davenport Theatre in NYC.
Recent San Francisco credits include the award winning Bay Area Theatre Critics (with 9 nominations) for the Bay Area premiere of “All The Way” by Robert Schenkkan. Recent productions include the Smash hit 2017 revival of “The Motherf$#^ With The Hat” and the 2016 San Francisco, U.S. premiere of “Brilliant Lies” by Australia’s #1 playwright David Williamson. Next the critically acclaimed productions of 2017 “Lakeboat” by David Mamet, and “Reasons To Be Pretty” at the Firescape Theatre Co. @ Union Square, where he is Co-Artistic Director.
He began his directing career upon graduation from Fordham University Lincoln Center & Boston University’s School Of Fine Arts at the famed “Circle Repertory Co.” in NYC with “Greek Fables & Tales”, & the premiere of “Winter Chimes” by Robert Haas (Circle Rep Co.), and revivals of “Extremities”(Lincoln Center Lab) by William Mastrosimone, and “American Buffalo” by David Mamet (La Mama).
After taking a 15 year “hiatus”, Peter returned as an actor to film for “Seinfeld”, “The Soprano’s”, “The Blacklist” & “MacGyver” reboot to name a few shows. He is also an award winning stage actor for his role in “My Brother Jack” which earned him a “Supporting actor” award in the Method Fest & Naples Film Fest. Also, in “American Buffalo” as “Teach” at the Washington DC’s Studio Theatre (which set records in 2011) won him a Helen Hayes Award, and in 2016 Carbonell in Southern Florida again with David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross as “Ricky Roma”.
He received nominations in L.A. and T. C. Critics for directing John Patrick Shanley’s “Savage In Limbo” & “Italian – American Reconciliation”.
He is co-founder of Z/A Studio & Associate Teaching of Directing.
* He is also a member of all TV/Film & Theatrical Unions and a certified Stage Fighter.
Jennii Vo Le
Jennii Vo Le is a multifaceted artist, poet, actor, filmmaker, producer, and teacher. She has a strong affinity for connecting with the human spirit and illustrating that despite our differences, deep down we all share something that connects us on a universal scale.
Jennii graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Theatre Arts, where she was trained in playwriting, dance & movement, stage combat, improv, multicultural theatre studies, standup comedy, queer theatre, puppetry, and set building to name a few.
Prior to meeting Rob & Peter, Jennii performed poetry and facilitated workshops at universities and conferences across the country, from UC Berkeley to Bryn Mawr; Minneapolis to New Orleans. Jennii’s work often addresses cultural identity and her poem, “I Am Not Vietnamese,” has been taught in Asian American Studies classes at Harvard and the University of Maryland. After graduation, she worked as an editor for a Vietnamese American magazine and attended studio classes at the American Conservatory Theatre.
Jennii was one of the first original students when Rob began teaching in 2009. During her time studying with Rob & Peter over the years, she has been a facilitator of play reading discussions, a showrunner for agency showcases, and a stage manager for the school and theatre productions, in addition to performing on-screen and on-stage.
In December 2019, she made her theatrical television debut on the Peabody Award-Winning and Emmy Award-Winning television series Watchmen.
In August 2018, she acted in an ensemble cast playing multiple characters in “Yellow Face,” by David Henry Hwang directed by Rob. Her performances were well-received by critics and audience members alike, in which a producer connected her to one of the top talent managements in Los Angeles based on her on-stage performance.
When a casting director brings you in because you’re an actor who can play the violin, but then he tells you that what he really needs is a viola player, and that he will only call you back if in fact you can play the viola… you go out and learn to play the viola as fast as possible.
It is in that moment that you begin to get a glimpse of what it takes to be an actor.
When we share these experiences, and, when we hear, no I don’t think I can do that, and then a fellow artist says, yes, you absolutely can! We teach each other.
I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of the teaching team at Z/A Studio.
Thank you Peter and Rob.
Christine trained at The Beverly Hills Playhouse under Milton Katselas, Al Mancini, Richard Lawson, and Jeffrey Tambor. She also has voice-over training from Kalmenson & Kalmenson and Scott Holst.
She has a number of commercial credits, such as AT&T, Budweiser, and Jared Jewelers (Dir. Howard Deutch). Her on-screen credits include Frasier, The Power Rangers, American East, and Escape Under Pressure. Christine also has extensive stage experience, having part of productions such as TOSK (title role, Lee Strasburg Institute – main stage), Master Class, Let Freedom Ring, 95th Anniversary Armenian Genocide Remembrance, and 100 Year Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Christine also is a private acting coach and a physical fitness instructor with training in tai-chi, chi-gong, meditation, physical fitness, mindfulness.
What our students are saying…
“As soon as I stepped foot in Z/A Studio, I knew I had found my new acting home. The creativity in the room was palpable.
The students’ preparation and commitment to their scenes is inspiring to witness and of course the teachers are phenomenal. The teachers hold space for actors and give you the tools through acting, administration and attitude to elevate you as an actor. The expectation of your work is greatness. To truly know yourself and the character, to go deep with your rehearsals. Most importantly they care for you to be a working professional actor, they will get you ready for the real world, by turning your dreams into action.”