Mark Baer is lifelong actor, director and producer with a passion for the communities that living theatre creates and cultivates. After gaining a BS in Theatre Performance from The University of Findlay (OH), Mark traveled the Midwest acting with many theatres in small communities including Virginia Shakespeare Festival (Williamsburg, VA), The Warehouse Theatre (Greenville, SC), Kentucky Repertory Theatre (Horse Cave, KY) and Commonweal Theatre Company (Lanesboro, MN). Favorite roles include Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, Joshua in Anouilh's Ring Round the Moon and Hovstad in Ibsen's An Enemy of the People.
In 2002 Mark accepted the position of Managing Director of St. Croix Festival Theatre, a small professional theatre in St. Croix Falls, WI. In his tenure Festival Theatre produced over 20 plays and musicals including the anti-war drama There Shall Be No Night by Robert Sherwood, under Mark's direction. His time in St. Croix Falls only served to strengthen his resolve that live theatre can make a difference in small town America.
Mark received his MFA in Directing from Illinois State University. His ISU productions included Bloody Poetry by Howard Brenton, The Winter's Tale, Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good, and Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. While at ISU, Mark also directed The Birds by Aristophanes at Eureka College, Once Upon a Mattress by Mary Rogers at St. Croix Festival Theatre, and engaged an internship under Peter Rothstein on M.Butterfly at The Guthrie Theatre.
In the fall of 2011 Mark accepted a tenure-track appointment as Asst. Professor of Acting and Directing at Indiana University Northwest. Now in his sixth year, Mark teaches Acting (all levels), Directing (all levels), Voice, and Stage Combat, as well as online classes in Script Analysis and Political Theatre. He produces and directs a play nearly every semester for Theatre Northwest. Recent productions have included Failure: A Love Story by Phillip Dawkins, Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, The Miser adapted by Timothy Mooney, Little Shop of Horrors by Ashman and Menkin, and Hedda Gabler adapted by Jon Robin Baitz. Mark has recently received the 2016 Board of Trustees' Teaching Award. In 2017, Mark was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure. He has been elected Secretary of the IU Northwest Faculty Organization for five consecutive years.
Mark continues to act, direct and produce in Northwest Indiana and beyond. Recent directing work has included Victor Gialanella 's Frankenstein at Chicago Street Theatre, John Goodrum's The Nightmare Room (regional premier) and Robin Hawdon's Perfect Wedding (US premier) for Towle Theatre, and Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire for St. Croix Festival Theatre.
In 2013, Mark became one of the founding members of Gary Shakespeare Company, a non-profit theatre company dedicated to providing free public performances of the work of William Shakespeare. Now looking forward to its sixth season, GSC reached over 1000 audience members in eight different venues around NWI last summer. Mark wears many hats in this young company having performed several roles including MacBeth, directed As You Like It, Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing, and currently serving as the President of the GSC Board of Directors.
Mark now makes his home in Crown Point, IN where he lives with his wife Kelly and daughter Samantha.