Meet Our “Playtrons!” Episode One

June 25, 2018


TRF has awesome fans. Lots of fans come in shorts and tee shirts, comfy in their sneakers, and they have a fantastic time! We love those folks! But there's another element of people, they're called "Playtrons" in our corner of the world. They're the ones who not only wear costumes, but they really embrace the whole idea of playing into the story- they create personas with names and histories, they get lots of photos taken, and they add a lot of color and spice to the Ren Fest atmosphere. We asked for Playtrons to introduce themselves.

Pictured above is Rachel Rodriguez, here's how she describes her love for TRF:

"My name is Rachel Rodriguez, and I have been attending the renaissance festival for most of my life. Much of my childhood was defined by my love of fantasy and belief in fairies. The Texas Renaissance Festival was my heart's true home: getting little gifts from the green puppet dragon (who my sister and I swore was real), eating turkey legs as big as our heads, and getting my first costume. The festival was the perfect distraction when my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer - a magical place where the real world melted away. Going at least twice is now a tradition. This past year my group was ecstatic about the Heroes and villains cosplay weekend, and attended as characters from "Once Upon a Time," and did themed fairy costumes for our second trip.

Our first stop at the fair is always Sound and Fury. "Hamlet and Juliet" is the best! We never miss the Fire Whip show, and my husband has been chosen for the vasectomy trick, and sassed Adam Winrich the whole time, much to the amusement of the crowd.

"My name is Alli- I've been attending renfest for the past 3 years with a huge group of friends. I travel from NY and we camp out every year- and we NEVER miss the phantom bells. Every year more people join our group. I attended as Lady Milisandra and a barbarian in the past- but I plan on doing Aquaman this year. I made and designed the entire costume myself (I'm into cosplay -AlliZCosplay) and I can't wait for the renfest crowd to see my version of Arthur Curry. I think my scale mail will be well received. Looking forward to coming this year!!!"

"My name is Kayla Pawlyshyn. I am a writer. I have been doing this since I was 16, I am 24 now. My cos name is Captain Jessica Tech. I have handcrafted my outfits as being a captain. Each year they change or I add on. I always loved the joys of escaping life and jumping into character. 'Life is too short to stay upon the shore, so set sail and have a grand adventure.'"-kdp

Photo by Pedro Mata
Photo by Pedro Mata

"I have been going to the fair for quite some time as just a patron with my family. But for the past 4 years, we have been faithfully appearing every weekend … even in the relentless rain. We have even been participants of school days for the past three years. For these last two years (and this coming year as well) I could be seen walking about dressed as Lady Loki. Last year (and thankful returning to the cast again this year) my three oldest (Steven, Garrett, and Patricia) became members of the cast, so I am not only a Playtron but a cast Mom as well." -Heather Terpstra, Cypress, TX

Photo by Moon Dawg
Photo by Moon Dawg

"I have been a playtron/patron for many many years. My first TRF was when I was 14 and I fell in love. I have been there every year for the last 15 and my son has been every year of his life. We love it and camp just to be able to spend more time." Kathryn Graham and son, Charles. (Houston, TX)

Ronita Pitts says, "Last year it was VIXEN THE VICIOUS!! The year before that it was Maiden Roni keeper of the Royal Hounds!! I was introduced to the Faire several years ago and haven't stopped enjoying it since! Where else can you let down your hair, be someone completely different, and still all celebrate our differences with fun & Merriment!!" (Houston, TX)

"My name is Mary Lee Horner and I am a Texas Ren Fest Playtron. I have been attending Ren Fest for almost 15 years along with 10-15 of my family members and friends. It is always one of the highlights of my year to go to three, four, sometimes five weekends of fair. (Work and life permitting) I have bins in my house dedicated to my personalities of fair. And every year I have the best time trying to find ways to improve upon my Faire Wear. I have been a pirate, a witch, a satyress, a wench, a priestess, a rogue, and a barbarian.
Faire is my second home, where I can walk among people who don't judge, who are full of life and joy, who welcome everyone from all walks of life. The one thing that stops me from trying out to work at Ren Fest is my own job, otherwise I would practically live there. This is my passion, one of my loves in this life. Being at Faire has always brought the most joy to me. So much so that I have brought most of my family and friends into this world of Faire. We don't hold back when it comes to what we become at Ren Fest.
I also have to thank you for being there for so many people and bringing so much happiness to us. What in the world would we do without the Texas Renaissance Festival?" (Cypress, TX)

Mary's right- what would we do? All of us here at TRF love where we work. We love the Festival, and we are glad to share that love with you.

Next time, meet some of our playtron gents!