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Get to Know Your Violet Actors: An Interview With Bill Baer

Bill Baer’s (Ensemble) voice is a welcome and well-known sound around our town: he was a station host for Fox22, KQFX from 2013-2015 and an on-air radio host for the Zimmer Radio Group from 1995-1998. Bill has appeared on stages all over town for the last nine years. Most recently, you may have seen him here onstage at Talking Horse in Truffles and Nougat in 2016, or in the Broadway Fools cabaret on April first. He has also appeared in plays with Columbia Entertainment Company, Maplewood Barn Theatre, and the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre.

Besides his onstage work, Bill has also directed two shows at Talking Horse: Steeple People in 2015 and Stud Ducks in 2016. Bill currently serves as Talking Horse Theatre's Advertising Sales Manager.

A veteran theatre-lover, Bill gives us his thoughts on how a show comes together, insights to ponder during Violet, and the best things happening in CoMo’s growing theatre scene.

What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process for Violet?

My favorite part of the rehearsal process for Violet is simply the people--my colleagues on-stage are such great actors. But moreover, they're really great folks as well. There's a very nice mix of people I've done multiple shows with, those I've always wanted to do shows with, and new folks I've never met. We are coming along both as a cast, and as a theatre family.

What do you hope the audience comes away from this play thinking about, talking about, or asking themselves?

The easy answer to this is race relations—the old school taboo of interracial love stories. But I hope folks leave thinking about their journey in life. Where do they seek solutions, and what have they always wanted with their lives. To me, this is the core message of the show.

What do you want the audience to know about the arts community in CoMo?

The arts community in CoMo is in its Golden Age. There are two thriving community theatres (CEC and Maplewood) and a new professional theatre in Talking Horse. Mizzou, Stephens College and my alma mater, Columbia College, have top-notch collegiate entertainment departments that churn out professional actors each and every year, and TRYPS and PACE theatres provide quality kids productions with kids who have also gone on to Broadway and Hollywood. Add in independent theatre companies such as the GreenHouse Theatre Project, and you have a plethora of theatre choices. It's very hard to see everything that's going on...and that's a good thing!

What is your #1 karaoke song?

I like to step out of my comfort zone of jazz singing when I karaoke. Favorites include “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” by Travis Tritt, and “Slide” by the Goo Goo Dolls


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