Colbert started his academic career at Virginia’s Hampden-Sydney, where he applied himself to a variety of studies. After dabbling in philosophy he got turned onto theater after working with an influential professor.
Unsatisfied with the theater program at Hampden-Sydney, he applied and eventually transferred to Northwestern University, which boasted an entire school in theater.
At Northwestern he applied himself and worked hard–taking coursework in dance, dramatic criticism, and the history of costume design. He finished the three-year theater major in two, and found his first post-college home in the theater world in Chicago.