I always start an interview by asking how long our performers and backstage professionals have been living and working in Columbia. Our town can be transient, and it’s not unusual to find folks who have been here only a couple of years (like many of the performers who have been featured in past Antique Carol blog posts, and your intrepid blogger herself). People may come and go on a university or college schedule…or they may be here for the long haul. Such is the case with Soprano Christine Bay, who was surprised to realize that she first performed in town 36 years ago!
While Christine has performed with the Maplewood Barn Theatre, Hormonal Imbalance, and Columbia Entertainment Company (most recently in Mary Poppins, where this excellent photo was taken), and in several Talking Horse fundraisers, this is her first full-length production on our stage.
In “real life,” Christine is a trainer for the office of the State Court Administrator in Jefferson City. You may also occasionally see her at Wilson’s Garden Center, her family’s business, which her husband runs.
What was your musical training?
I have a Bachelors degree in Music Education and a Masters in Vocal Performance from MU.
What is your relationship to the original story of A Christmas Carol?
I watched many, many versions and performances of A Christmas Carol on TV, movies, and both regular and musical stage productions. The message that you CAN change your life combined with a happy ending makes it a welcome Christmas event.
What was the first theatrical event you remember seeing? What was memorable about it?
A high school talent show and a production of Lil’ Abner. Memorable because one of my older sisters and a cousin were in them and I really wanted to be just like them.
What do you want the audience to know about the arts community in CoMo?
There are so many opportunities for vibrant theatre and you don’t have to be a “theatre” person to enjoy them. And if you’re inclined to get involved either on stage or backstage it’s a great way to meet people, be part of a team and make long-term friendships.
What is your favorite non-theatre thing to do around town?
Go out to dinner with friends.
Versions of A Christmas Carol are traditional for families to view around the holidays all over America and the UK. What is your favorite holiday tradition from your childhood or more recently?
Caroling with my family, which sadly, does not happen any more…however, we often get together with friends for a Christmas sing along and sometimes carol at retirement communities.