One of Robert Post’s childhood report cards in Columbus, Ohio, gave a hint as to how his future might unfold. Not amused by Robert’s antics, his teacher created a whole new column of categories describing maladaptive behavior. Happily for audiences around the world, Post stuck with antics. The result: a dazzling performance career that continues to defy categories.
The creator of Post Comedy Theatre and Post from the Road (who did make it through elementary school) discovered the joys of the stage at Ohio State University, where he studied theater and dance before hitting the road with a touring mime and improv troupe. The experience of traveling up and down the East Coast in an old milk truck that served as a tour bus, performing everywhere and anywhere, and passing the hat for payment, not only stretched Post’s talents but also developed his knack for playful give-and-take with audiences. He crafted his signature style during intensive workshops with Tony Montanaro, the legendary performer and teacher who ran Celebration Barn in South Paris, Maine. Post credits Montanaro for “flipping the switch,” helping him see how he could combine his love of character work, movement arts, and improvisation.
And so the antics spun on, in a career spanning more than forty years. The sketches that make up Post’s one-man variety show – Post Comedy Theatre – have captivated audiences across the United States as well as in Canada, Mexico, Japan, Turkey, and Europe. He has appeared on the Today show, and he was invited to perform for children in Beslan, Russia, at the school that had been devastated by a terrorist attack in 2004. A PBS special on his work, “Robert Post – in Performance,” won an Emmy. The list of grants and other awards that he’s received is now much longer than his teacher’s listing of maladaptive behaviors.
Post juggles – literally (he can keep the balls in the air) and figuratively, balancing his performance schedule with educational programs in schools, master classes, workshops, and stints as a director. He has directed for opera and ballet companies as well as for schools and universities. He has also served as a visionary coach and mentor for individual performers, much as Tony Montanaro helped him find his own vision. His wide-ranging travels have led to Post from the Road, a delightfully quirky video series featuring his encounters with – and bemused observations on – the weird and wonderful byways of American culture.