Up north in Johnstown there are two distinct theater cornerstones. The first being the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse. This unique theater has brought joy and entertainment for almost 10 years to the Colorado theater community. The second being the fierce and talented skill of Beth Beyer.
After growing up in Colorado Springs, Beyer attended the University of Colorado Boulder where she studied opera, a skill she admits she has not used since graduating.
Like many up and coming actors after graduation, she began her search for stardom, or any job that would provide a living.
“I worked on a cruise ship right out of college for a year. And when I got off the cruise ship I had to decide, was I going to L.A. or New York and I couldn’t decide,” said Beyer.
In the end, New York City was the direction the young actress chose.
In the Big Apple, Beyer continued to discover her talent, herself and her passion for the theater.
“You know I got my music degree in school, but we didn’t focus on acting at all,” said Beyer. “I didn’t take a single acting class in college or dance or anything like that. So, when I went to New York I really did some dance. I took a lot of time to study acting. And that’s what I think really propelled my career forward. I always felt like I was a good singer. I was like a decent singer, but I was probably not the best singer in the room. But what I think booked my job was the acting.”
After spending 14 years away from Colorado, she knew it was time to come home. Beyer didn’t want to leave just yet, so when she saw that the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse was holding auditions for one of her favorite parts, Adelaide in ‘Guys and Dolls’, she jumped at the opportunity and was offered the part.
“There’s like a kindred spirit. I connect with her really easily and she’s got so many different facets to her and she’s very vulnerable. She’s very naive but she’s also very wise and funny, just funny.”
Since her first encounter with the Candlelight, Beyer has become a staple for almost every production. She has performed in six productions including Dolly Levi in ‘Hello Dolly’ and The Witch in ‘Into the Woods’. Even after all that time, she still says that Adelaide is the role she would always come back to.
When taking on any sort of a role, Beyer admits that it is not easy. While she looks so graceful on stage, Beyer says that without research, none of these roles would come to life.
“A lot of research, whether it’s watching other productions of it, obviously going through the script. I studied acting in New York for four years with this teacher called Penny Templeton and she’s got a very precise process, I guess. And so, I get my book out, I get my tools out and I go through. And I have very specific things I do when I break down a script. So, I spent a lot of time going through the script and breaking it all down,” said Beyer.
Stealing things, I think every good actor steals stuff from other people, little bits and pieces here and makes it your own. A lot of research, a lot of memorization, you want to come in off book for the most part if you can. And then I just kind of see what’s there when I get there versus like who’s working with me. What directors, I worked a lot with Don Berlin at the Candlelight, he’s the main director I worked with there, I worked with Pat Payne too, but mostly Don Berlin who I adore. He always thinks so much before he gets there which, I really appreciate. He’s really broke everything down. He’s very open to having discussions about how he sees it versus how you see it and meeting in the middle somewhere.”
Not all roles come easily. One stood out for Beyer as being a bigger challenge.
“I think it might be Dolly. I really do, the other ones I have done I have connected with pretty quickly. Something when I read that characters like I know her. Dolly was really hard. I don’t know if it’s just because of the Carol Channing, Barbra Streisand facet. But I think any time you take on something that it’s been such an iconic thing you don’t want to be that person. You don’t want to go out there and do an impression of Carol Channing doing ‘Hello Dolly’ or Barbra Streisand. And so, I think it was a little daunting because of those two people. I didn’t want to be them.”
Beyer is not just an actor, she is a mother of two little boys and runs her own business. Between family, business and her acting career, life can get a little hectic, so she has decided to cut down some of her time on the stage. “I mean if I can do you know a show or two a year that means a lot to me. And that are meaty and that I think I can add something to and that I want to dig my heels into, I’m good with that.”
“At this point where I am right now with my family and everything. That’s all I need. I just need to be able to stretch my muscles every once in awhile. So, next year, I am not really doing anything this year, I kind of took this year off. Last year was a lot between Dolly and the Witch, and my business, my family and everything,” said Beyer.
Beth Beyer is a true diamond in our vast Colorado theater community. She has brought many memorable roles to life on stage across the country and right here in our backyard. Despite all her other obligations, this fire ball continues to do it all and is sure to keep it up for years to come.