(1/25/1932 – 5/18/2014)The grande dame of faires in the US, Phyllis Patterson founded the original Renaissance Pleasure Faire & May Market on May 11th, 1963. That event, while not the first event ever of its kind, was the first to have a lasting impact and was the birthplace of the modern renaissance faire as we know it in the US today. Phyllis and her husband went on to found the Great Dicken’s Christmas Faire in 1970. Her creations not only established faires as a viable commercial and fundraising entity, but as a community endeavor that can bring people together.
In the half century that has followed, the community that Phyllis created has grown and bloomed into a family of performers seen around the world and has revitalized vaudeville-style performance for generations of new audiences. That first show has spawned an entire industry of faires and festivals across 46 states and many hundreds of shows (more than fifty different venues in California alone).
Beloved as the one who started it all, Phyllis’s passing in 2014 brought an end to an era and was felt nationwide through the community. We offer this simple tribute, her induction into the Hall of Fame, as a past due recognition of the woman, without whom, there would be no Hall of Fame. For Phyllis.
Richard Weber – 2014 Hall of Fame
As an entertainer, writer, director, costumer, actor-combatant, monarch, merchant, and member of management, Richard Weber is truly a “Renaissance Man of the Renaissance Faire”. Richard began his faire career as a combatant with an acclaimed stage combat company. In 1978, The Ring of Steel participated at the new King Richard’s Faire in Kenosha, WI, and the company was contracted officially in 1979. Richard went on to play the Lord High Sheriff for the next four years.
A founding member of King Richard’s Faire in Carver, MA, Mr. Weber has appeared there every year since its inception and is currently the faire’s costumer and keeper of oral history. In 1996, Richard began at the Virginia Renaissance Faire, opening his hat shop, Masquerade. Masquerade still lives on at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. In 2010, he himself played the role of King Richard at the Chippewa Valley Renaissance Faire (alongside 2007 Hall of Fame honoree Lolly Foy). As a member of the Bobby Rodriguez entertainment staff for over fifteen years, Richard has played a role in shaping shows in: Deerfield Beach, FL; Live Oak, FL; Miami, FL; and the Virginia Keys at Key Biscayne, FL.
Perhaps best remembered for his long-running (1982-present) character Lord Percival DeGage, Richard is known across the faire circuit as a man of integrity. He is beloved by casts far and wide and devotes himself entirely to the faire circuit and its community.