Bard on the Beach relies on an incredible team of staff, Company members and volunteers to help put on our Festival every summer. We are so excited to continue our People of Bard series, which will spotlight just some of the wonderful individuals who make our work possible. If you missed our last spotlight on Bard Executive Director Claire Sakaki, you can read it here.

This week, we’re thrilled to be highlighting Bard’s Controller, Tamara Signer!

Tamara’s interest in theatre brought her to Bard just under two years ago, and since joining the company, she has been an invaluable member of our team. As Bard’s Controller, Tamara oversees the company’s financial operations, including payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable, and month-end reporting. We’re so thankful to Tamara for everything she does, and we’re so excited to be talking with her today!

Tamara and her daughter at Bard’s Family Day

What do you enjoy the most about your role at Bard?

From a finance perspective, I enjoy seeing the organization as a whole and how everything ties in. I don’t necessarily know the details and logistics of each department’s activities, but I see how all the departments work together. It’s sort of like this giant gear – in order to get this, you need to do this first. It’s also about the timing of everything, especially HR and Payroll. We’re bringing on over 100 people for the Season, and coordinating it is almost like a giant ballet. I know it may not be interesting to someone else, but it’s very interesting to me, just seeing how we have to plan all our resources to support this organization and keep it going.

What are you looking forward to this Season?

I had heard so much about As You Like It and its 2018 run, so I was really excited to see it on Opening Night. I really like seeing how everything comes together, because it’s like, I’ve seen that bill, and I’ve seen that bill, and oh, that’s what they were talking about. It’s a very different perspective, and it makes it more interesting than just “finance.” Finance is the support for every single department – the background players – so it’s special to see everything come together. That’s also why I like the Company Meet and Greets, since it’s not something that my role would necessarily be privy to. It’s really nice that all the staff are invited so we can see what we’re working towards.

Do you have a favourite memory from past Seasons at Bard?

I found A Midsummer Night’s Dream to be very magical. It’s a really good memory – it was my first Bard Opening Night and my first Bard experience. I was just really in awe, because it was my first time really seeing what this company can produce. Now I’m obsessed and I tell everyone about Bard!

When you aren’t helping to put on a Festival, what do you like to do in the summer?

Just chilling with my husband and daughter. We’re going to go to the beach and pool a lot, but we’re staying close to home. I mean, why not? It’s really nice here right now. We’ve been going to the aquarium a lot. My daughter likes watching the otters and the sea lions. We went to the aquarium on the weekend, and she was perfectly happy standing outside instead of seeing the big fish, but it was very upsetting for her because the penguins are gone now! I said they went to see their cousins in another aquarium – which is true.


Thanks so much for chatting with us, Tamara! Be sure to stay tuned for more instalments of our People of Bard series in the weeks to come.