STARS presents ‘How to Survive Middle School’ at the Vilar in Beaver Creek Tuesday

Middle school: “Some people love the ride, other kids, not so much,” said Robert Post, who portrays the wild, unpredictable rollercoaster experience to teach kids that they have a powerful voice through his one-man show, “How to Survive Middle School.”

Post had a learning disability, so he understands the difficulties that come from higher expectations in middle school, in addition to puberty, gossip, self-consciousness and other social and emotional pressures. But he dealt with it all before social media emphasized picture-perfect snippets of lives — and turned ugly.

“These kids are glued to their bright little smartphone and laptop screens, which seem to fill every minute of every day with banter and barbs,” Post said. “The unending stream of commentary too often veers into teasing and even vicious bullying.”

Of course, there’s no pat answer, or simple formula, to make it through middle school, but Post humorously and naturally fuses entertainment and antics with straight, honest talk in his hour-long show. In between his skits, he shows video clips of middle schoolers talking openly about problems and worries they currently experience. The final video showcases high-school students talking about how they made it through middle school and reassuring younger kids that they, too, will survive. Through it, kids realize they’re not alone and that it’s okay to talk about their issues, be it academics, fashion or friends.

“This show is about giving kids encouragement at a time that was a struggle for a lot of us. They hear how my difficulties in school pushed me to be comfortable in my own skin. They listen to their peers tell stories of overcoming the barrage of daily criticism and self-doubt,” Post said. “It’s my hope that this show gives them the courage to see that there’s something unique and amazing in all of us and to accomplish things they could never have imagined.”

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Letters to Post from kids who have seen his show describe him as inspirational, clever and funny.

“The message itself is powerful and relevant,” wrote an eighth grader from Indianola Informal. “There are kids that doubt themselves, but, as seen in the show, they have their own hidden talents.”

An eighth grader from Columbus Adventist Academy said, “It would be good for parents to see this with their kids because it would let parents see what their kids are going through in middle school.”

After presenting sketches depicting “bumblers, dreamers and cartoonish heroes of every stripe,” he improvises and banters with kids in the audience. Post also provides lesson plans and activities for teachers to help students grow through their pains.

Post has appeared on “The Today Show” and performed at the Kennedy Center and has garnered praise from The New York Times and National Public Radio.

Overall, Post just wants to convey to everyone: “There’s this light. Let the light inside guide you.”

Additional STARS performances coming soon:

Mariachi Los Camperos

Friday, Sept. 15, 12:30 p.m. (sold out)

Age range: second grade and up

Tomás and the Library Lady

Thursday, Oct. 5, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Age range: grades K-fifth grade


Monday, Jan. 29, 12:30 p.m.

Age range: third grade and up

BODYTRAFFIC: Bolero by Fernando Hernando Magadan

Thursday, March 22, 12:30 p.m.

Age range: third grade and up

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Tuesday, April 2, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Age range: pre-K-fifth grade (ages 4-10 years old)

Puppy Pals Live!

Thursday, April 4, 12:30 p.m.

Age range: grades kindergarten-fifth grade


Thursday, April 15 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Age range: grades third-seven

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