Shirley and Bill Patton

Shirley and Bill Patton
Shirley and Bill Patton

As I visited with Shirley and Bill Patton in their exquisite Ashland hills home, I got to know two people who have shared a creative life together in theater. Their efforts led to the formation and success of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Shirley is now starring in “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” at the Camelot Theatre in Talent.

SP: Bill was the first person I met when I got off the bus.

BP: She came up to Ashland to audition in the summer of 1958 when I was general manager.

SP: Then he became the executive director. Bill’s position evolved over the years and as the festival grew. As theaters were added with more and more staff, his job description kept changing dramatically.

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