Bill Conner has formed his own theatre consulting firm, Bill Conner Associates LLC, based in Oak Park, IL. Conner, a professional theatre consultant since 1982, specializes in comprehensive systems planning and facility design services for assembly and performing arts programs.
“I do what I am doing because it is much more than a job," Conner says. "Because I like it, I am having fun at it, and because I am passionate about it. Every project is a unique problem requiring discovery of the needs and desires of all of the users of a facility. Trust the client—when well informed—to make the best choices for the project.”
Conner enjoys being able to work on all aspects of a project from initial studies through construction and the users moving in; from leading programming sessions through drafting the details. “Precisely assessing the owner's needs and planning and designing a building with systems that meet those needs is the most rewarding part,” he says.
As for the start up of BCA, Conner is enjoying all the details. “It's been exciting and eye opening to start a company, from selecting a name to securing professional liability insurance; and it's been very encouraging that long term clients have remained loyal and trusting.”
Some of the current projects under the BCA banner include Cincinnati Public School K-12 Fine and Performing Arts School; Second Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, IL; and the Crossroads Community Church, Cincinnati, OH. Conner previously worked with the theatre consulting firms Systems Design Associates Inc., Jerit/Boys Inc., and Schuler Shook. Some of the notable projects that Conner has worked on include Detroit Public School's Detroit School of Arts; USNA Brigade Activity Center and Bob Hope Theatre; Willow Creek Church; and Eastview Christian Church, Normal, IL.
Conner is a member and codes officer of the American Society of Theatre Consultants since 1989, a member of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology, and the National Fire Protection Association. Conner also is on the committee for NFPA 5000, The Building Code and frequently testifies at the code change hearings for the International Building Code.