‘One for the Road’ with actor-playwright Bill Patton

Lust vs. Love. Faith vs. Doubt. Racism vs. Freedom.

“One for the Road” is about an actor contemplating his own fate. “I am terrified,” he says, “by the knowledge that one day I will lose the ability to choose.” In the course of trying to be sure he has filled the “vessel of his humanity” sufficiently, he summons his own departed spirit, and together they consider the conflicts of his life in order to determine whether the demons and dragons have been conquered to the extent that he feels free to walk through the dark door into the light. The play was written by actor Bill Patton, who lives on St. Helena Island, and directed by Paul Nicholas.

Bill Patton
Bill Patton

Unlike some autobiographical works, “One for the Road” is sincere and engaging, without being self-absorbed. In contemplating his death, he glides right over the night he sipped bourbon with the late, great Tennessee Williams, but spares no detail in revisiting the skeletons in his closet. Patton’s humility throughout is infectious and he enthralls the audience with his charismatic confessions and incredibly diverse history.

“Patton’s candor and humor create a compelling intimacy with his audience as he spins out a highlight reel of Billy’s checkered existence. This lengthy confession becomes another way of saying that life is much too important to take all that seriously,” wrote the Charleston City Paper.

As a former football player for the Charleston High School Bantams, Bill Patton is rooted in the Lowcountry. He is the author of four plays and for the past decade, Patton has been a director and acting instructor in theater programs in Charleston, and in Alexandria and Richmond, Va.

Bill Patton performs “One for the Road” in the black box theater at ARTworks, at 7:30 p.m. October 25 and 26, and at 3 p.m. October 27. Tickets are $17 per person, $12 for students (13+), $7 for children (12 and under) and $12 for groups of 10 or more. For more information, contact 843-379-2787, www.artworksinbeaufort.org, or visit 2127 Boundary Street, Beaufort, S.C.

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