Three decades of fieldwork as an arts educator, performer, theatre director, and creative dramatist earned Diane Postoian an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Rhode Island College in 2006. Postoian has received funding nationwide from sources such as the Starbucks Foundation, the Verizon Foundation, the June Rockwell Levy Foundation, the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the New York Department of Cultural Affairs, the MetLife Foundation, the Alan Shawn Feinstein Foundation, the Target Foundation, and the TJX for her innovative work of educating from the stage and in the classroom. As an advocate for the preservation of the creative spirit, Ms. Postoian has enlightened and entertained thousands of children and adults by driving home her two life-long passions: Pretend and Literacy in Early Childhood Development and Fighting the Hype in an Overly-Popped Teen Culture.
At 15, Diane worked in an inner-city library where, against her employer’s wishes, she took books outdoors to read. Sitting on a neighborhood stoop, she performed her first story to children who wouldn’t be caught dead in a library. At the end of that day, a child yelled out, “That was too much fun to come from a book.” When Postoian became Executive Director of Rhode Island’s venerable Looking Glass Theatre, a touring company for school audiences, she vowed to keep books ‘fun’ by scripting books on the reading level of her audiences instead of typical plays. Working closely with New York publishers, Postoian spent the enormous amount of time it took to receive adaptation rights from internationally acclaimed authors. The result? When children say, “I love your stories”, she replies, “It’s a book. You can read it yourself!”
Ahead of the curve, Postoian created The Olga! Project in 1999. A powerful, no-nonsense comedy routine, The Olga! Project plows through a number of social taboos helping teens to hold on to their identity and to communicate their feelings. From 2001-2003, when Postoian received funding from the RI Department of Health, she motivated 3,000 students to participate in a letter-writing campaign demanding of Hollywood producers a higher caliber of films for young audiences. She sparked personal responses from CEO’s of both Paramount Studios and The Hollywood Producers Guild.
Diane Postoian has made the creative spirit her business for 30 years. Her lasting energy is fueled by her need to keep child-like curiosity alive in education.