Tony Montanaro - A Love Story

  • Date: June 3, 2023
  • Time: 07:30 PM - 08:45 PM
  • Location: Celebration Barn Theater, South Paris

Karen Montanaro’s one-woman, multimedia show!

When Tony and Karen met in 1987, Tony was a world-renowned mime artist and Karen was a professional ballet dancer. Tony was sixty years old. Karen was twenty-seven. Tony was ready to leave his former life, buy an Airstream, and hit the road. Karen was suffering from a life-threatening malaise. Thus began a relationship that Karen credits with saving her life, imparting vital lessons in vulnerability, artistry, playfulness, and more playfulness.

Introducing Tony

Tony Montanaro was one of the world’s great masters of mime. A student of both Marcel Marceau and Marceau’s teacher, Etienne Decroux, Tony eventually went his own way, scandalizing the “purists" when he stopped wearing whiteface and started talking on stage.

Tony defined mime as “physical eloquence” with or without words. His approach was more than an invaluable lesson in theatre. It was a lesson in communication: knowing what you want to “say," sensing what the audience “hears," and developing the skills necessary to bring the two together with eloquence and personal style. Tony earned a reputation for helping students find and express themselves using the body as their primary mode of communication.

In 1972, he founded Celebration Barn in South Paris, Maine, where he taught until his death in 2002. During that period, several touring companies, duets, and solo performing careers were birthed in the Barn. In the last fifteen years of his life, Tony toured nationally and internationally with his wife and partner, Karen Hurll-Montanaro.

Introducing Karen

When Karen Montanaro was twelve years old, she fell madly in love with ballet during a rigorous class at the Cantarella School of Dance in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

She went on to dance professionally with the Ohio Ballet and the Darmstadt Opera Ballet in Germany before meeting Tony in 1987 and marrying him in 1989. Tony’s approach to life and work sparked a personal and professional renaissance in Karen that continues to this day. Over the years, she has gained a reputation for, as Main Echo in Hanau, Germany said, “bringing the fusion of pantomime and dance to its highest level of expression.”

Karen is a teaching artist and offers residencies in movement — mime and dance — in public and private schools throughout the United States.

Introducing Robert Post (Director)

Robert has performed his one-man show to rave reviews on Broadway, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and around the world. He crafted his signature style during intensive workshops with Tony Montanaro. In fact, he credits Tony with “flipping the switch,” helping him see how he could be his inimitable self on stage. Robert performs his new show How to Survive Middle School for middle school audiences across the country. His documentary, Post from the Road, is in the works and promises to be as eccentric, entertaining, wild, and soulful as its creator.

Tony Montanaro - A Love Story is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and by Tom and Lois Bergeron.

Run time 75 minutes no intermission


Grant Funded Project

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Celebration Barn Theater

190 Stock Farm Road
South Paris  ME  04281 


Celebration Barn Theater

David Bruin