Meet Bill Borger
Director of Corporate Partnerships + Program Advertising
What do you do in your job?
I have the pleasure of working directly with all of our Corporate and Civic Partners through season, show, education program and event sponsorships; playbill advertising and much of The Muny’s grant writing—especially for grants that support our efforts in the community and with education programs. I also have the opportunity to work with a number of different Muny staff members through this position as we really see this as a hybrid between our marketing and development departments.
Bill, pictured here with Promotions and Preshow Manager Susie Joffe (center) and Intern Sofia Perez, is part of the team that works to make your preshow experience even more fun and entertaining. “We started the free ‘Family Preshow Festival’ a few years ago during the run of the family show. We try to make sure we provide an engaging atmosphere from the time you walk onto our campus until you head for home. It’s a great way for our corporate and civic partners to interact with our audience, but, when combined with our always available free seats and free parking, it also means we are committed to offering access to a complete evening of free entertainment for any visitor!”
How long have you worked at The Muny?
This summer will be my 19th season. I had been working with Busch Entertainment (SeaWorld and Busch Gardens) prior to joining The Muny. It’s incredible how closely the elements of a Muny season line-up with the theme park industry (producing live entertainment and events, food service, multiple guest-facing departments, serving the audience) and my experience working with corporate partners for theme park support. Those, combined with my theatre major and love of musical theatre specifically, have made for a great experience!
What is your favorite Muny memory?
Probably the first time I got to stand on the grand Muny stage and join with all our team members to sing “Auld Lang Syne” after the final performance of the season.
What is your favorite Muny show (you can have more than one)?
This is tough! I definitely lean toward the comedy side, so if I am forced to think about a favorite I would have to include Spamalot, Singin’ in the Rain and Young Frankenstein. Plus, I was blown away by our productions of Jersey Boys, Gypsy with Beth Leavel, The Buddy Holly Story and Billy Elliot.
If you weren’t working at The Muny, and you didn’t have to worry about moving or training or anything, what would you be doing?
One of my favorite things is making people laugh. So, I think I would want to try some stand-up comedy or improv. I don’t know that I could actually do it, but it would be fun to try.
What’s one of your favorite accomplishments?
I’ve been very fortunate to do a lot of really neat things, but two specific highlights come to mind. 1. Fourteen of us from Southwestern College (in Winfield, KS) performed as part of a USO Troupe across the Pacific Command Area from South Korea to the Philippines. We spent nine weeks doing The Unsinkable Molly Brown and a variety show at bases, hospitals and support places where often people were evacuees from Vietnam. It absolutely provided a new appreciation for our place in the world, and I will always appreciate the importance of supporting our men and women overseas. 2. I had the opportunity to perform for two seasons in The Southern Palace at Six Flags Over Texas—and then manage their two main shows for two years after that. That experience was fun and challenging and launched my entire pre-Muny theme park career!
In addition, I’m going to geek out as a proud father for a minute here – so please forgive the gushing, but I’m really proud that our whole family is a theatre family. My wife, Lori, headed up the Drama Ministry and Children’s Music programs for 26 years at Manchester United Methodist Church. She produced a children’s musical every year—and was able to work in some regular shows for all ages (like Godspell and Joseph…). Our daughter, Brianna, continues to work professionally in Chicago and played Anna in the Broadway Asia tour of The King and I. We saw her onstage in Singapore and will always treasure that wonderful experience. Finally, our son, Tom, was also a theatre major. He wrote the libretto for a complete musical that was performed at Parkway West and acted in and directed numerous shows while at St. Olaf College. He now does website programming and continues to write.
What is your personal mantra/motto?
I feel very strongly about the Golden Rule which has no doubt served me for as long as I can remember, but another specific motto or quote I live by is from Goethe: “At the moment of commitment, the entire universe conspires to assist you.” This sentiment has followed me throughout my entire life—just decide and then go for it!
What would you tell your younger self?
“See, I told you that once you learned sales and marketing that liberal arts theatre degree would actually pay off!” Seriously, my theatre degree helps every day!
Where did you go to high school? Hutchinson High School in Hutchinson, KS
First Muny show? Meet Me In St. Louis—1994. We had just moved from San Diego. I remember it being so hot and humid. But I also remember hardly believing this place even existed—it was so huge, beautiful and packed!
Favorite St. Louis attraction other than The Muny? Forest Park—and all the great St. Louis architecture
Favorite season? I can’t begin to pick between spring and fall.
Early Bird or Night Owl? Definitely a night owl
Coffee or Tea? Yes, please!
Righty or Lefty? Righty
Android or iPhone? Android
Favorite St. Louis restaurant? That would have to be Chez Borger—I have a great live-in chef—followed closely by Nathaniel Reed Bakery. It’s not in St. Louis, but I also love Rubio’s Fish Tacos in San Diego.
Beach, mountains or desert? Beach
Favorite superhero? Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy—or possibly Rocket
Favorite road trip snack? Homemade Chex Mix (extra nuts!)—bonus points if the road trip is to any National Park
Favorite holiday? It used to be Memorial Day because the Indy 500 always runs that weekend. Saying that out loud actually sounds kind of weird because I love parties and family gatherings, so let’s go with Thanksgiving – family, great food and beautiful fall weather!
Favorite Muny treat? Ronnie’s Rocky Mountain Cone