Patricia M. Troxel, highly respected and dearly loved artist and teacher, died on Sunday, April 21 from complications of a fierce four-plus year battle with breast cancer. Patricia was well known to the Central Coast theatre community and community at large in her role as Director and Literary Manager for PCPA Theaterfest, where she directed and dramaturged dozens of plays and taught hundreds of students, and as an Emeritus Associate Professor of English at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Patricia joined PCPA as a conservatory instructor and dramaturge in 1991 after moving to the Central Coast to join the English Department faculty at Cal Poly. Since that time, she has continued to teach in the Conservatory as well as develop the Literary and Dramaturgical program at PCPA.

She served as director on dozens of productions throughout the past 22 seasons, including this season’s The Tempest and The Rivals, Romeo and Juliet, Caroline, or Change; ENRON, Peter Pan, Sylvia, Macbeth, Distracted, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Iron Kisses, The Heart’s Desire, The Weir, The Real Thing, The Chalk Circle, Much Ado About Nothing, Quilters, and Private Lives, and dramaturgy for over 55 plays. She was the co-founder of InterPlay: The Stage Between – PCPA’s staged reading series for new dramatic works and her interest in adaptation and translation was manifest in five scripts for PCPA – Tartuffe, Little Women, A Servant of Two Masters, A Flea in Her Ear and The Imaginary Invalid.

In addition to her work at PCPA, Patricia was active with various regional theatres including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival and InsightOut Theatre Collective. She worked in a variety of capacities for arts organizations and theatres in the United Kingdom, New Jersey, the US Midwest, the Pacific Northwest and locally in leadership capacities for the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival and Centerpoint Theatre Group. Along with her work as a dramatic adaptor and translator, she was the author of several critical studies on contemporary and classical dramatists, including Shakespeare, Molnar, Caryl Churchill, Tom Stoppard and David Hare.

Prior to her time in California, she served on the literary staff of Actors Theatre of Louisville and as an Assistant Professor of Dramatic Literature at the University of Kentucky. In Kentucky, she was active in directing, developing and producing new plays for international conferences, women writers’ collectives, regional arts centers and arts councils. Patricia was also active with international programs in the arts and education, particularly those in the UK. A gifted scholar and educator, Patricia held degrees from Whitman College (BA); UC Davis (MA) and Princeton University (MA & PhD) and her voluminous knowledge and warm spirit were highly prized among her students.

A resident of Arroyo Grande, CA, Patricia was the only child of Harold and Joan Jorgensen of Tacoma, WA, who preceded her in death and leaves behind no immediate family. PCPA Artistic Director and close friend Mark Booher said, “Patricia’s PCPA family includes the hundreds of colleagues, students and friends upon whom her vibrant artistry, superlative intelligence and tremendous kindness has left an indelible, affirmative and powerful legacy. In keeping with Patricia’s passionate care and fierce commitment to life and making art — we are feeling the loss deeply, taking a breath and moving forward as best we may. We will miss her profoundly and will find some portion of our solace and strength in carrying on with the great work before us, into which Patricia poured so much of her amazing force of life.”

Patricia’s wishes were that, in lieu of flowers, gifts be made in her honor to the PCPA Foundation. Click to make a donation.

A public Celebration of Life for Patricia M. Troxel will be conducted on Sunday, May 26 at 7pm at the Solvang Festival Theater, 420 2nd Street, Solvang, CA.
For more information and to RSVP, visit Or, phone Lori Coulter (805) 928-7731 ext. 4114.