Ashland High students learn the magic in storytelling

Betsy Bishop
Betsy Bishop

Betsy Bishop is the theater director and producer behind Ashland High School’s outstanding theatrical productions. Plays are produced in collaboration with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which provides directors and technical assistance.

Bishop spent her early years as a professional actress. She earned a master’s degree in education from Southern Oregon University and began a long teaching career. Now, as a mother of three grown children, she continues, as a full-time teacher, to mastermind this remarkable theater program. I met with Bishop one Saturday morning on the ASH theater stage.

EH: How did your partnership with OSF begin?

BB: When I was asked to teach theater, I had small children, and I had to be home at night. You can’t have a theater program without having shows. I told the kids, “I’m going to teach the classes, but we have to think of a way that other people can do the nighttime work.” My student, Matt Smith, went down to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and talked to Pat Patton (former OSF associate artistic director) and Pat Patton said, “Of course we’ll help the high school.” And that was the beginning of the partnership. Continue reading Ashland High students learn the magic in storytelling