Robert a director/dramaturg with a specialty in developing new work. He has emerged from a family of crossword puzzle creators/editors and trained in both experimental theater techniques (Meyerhold, Grotowski and the Whole Theater) as well as more traditional techniques (Meisner and Strasberg) giving him an eclectic background in theater directing and acting that can support and nourish an assortment of theatrical challenges. While his focus is in new work, Robert has also contended with pieces by the modern masters (Mamet, Stoppard, Churchill, Kushner, Sondheim and Finn). With a unique and diverse assortment of training and experience, Robert is highly adaptable and collaborative in both a professional and educational theater setting.
Robert was the Artistic Director of the CDP Program (Collaboration, Development and Production) at the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. This program develops thesis musicals from recently graduated writers and uses undergraduate actors to produce readings and workshops which act as the next step out of Graduate School for these young writers. He has been working with the program since 2008 and took over as the artistic director in 2010 and continues to grow and adapt to the changing needs of the writers and actors. It started as a chance for one show to get a semi-produced production, and has become a venue for three or four new pieces to receive both a developmental reading and workshop, with input regarding structure, tone, theme and character.
Outside of his work with CDP, Robert has collaborated with composer/lyricist Sam Willmott (winner of the 2013 ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award for Lyrics and the 2012 Fred Ebb Award) the development of several projects including Standardized Testing the Musical!!!, Scarlett Takes a Tumble and Yo Vikings! Robert also directed the first workshop of the musical POP! by Maggie-Kate Coleman and Anna Jacobs which has subsequently received a reading and production at Yale Rep as well as several productions throughout the country. He has a continuing collaboration on the play The Art of Bowing with playwright Nathan Davis, who has subsequently begun studying at Julliard under the instruction of Christopher Durang and Marsha Norman. His upcoming project, Leaving Eden, is a collaboration with Obie nominated composer Adam Cochran and writer Jenny Waxman and will have a workshop in Indiana followed by a concert in NYC. He will also direct a new play by Iris Dauterman (MFA Playwright at IU) called Sing to Me Now in the spring.
Robert has worked as a teaching artist and theater specialist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, Indiana University, Lehman College, Playwrights Horizons Theater School and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. His work has ranged from working with K-12 students at NYC public schools, song performance, Meisner technique, directing productions, private acting coaching and teaching professional development workshops for teachers.
Robert received his BFA in Theater with a focus in directing from Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is currently working towards his MFA in directing at Indiana University.