Cassandra and Bill

Where to Propose in Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR

How We Met

Our story is definitely not the most conventional… On September 15, 2015, I was standing in the lobby of the Circle in the Square Theatre where I was attending a conservatory when the most gorgeous man I had ever seen walked past me and through the door to the theatre. I assumed that he was one of the new actors being brought into the theatre’s show at the time since the cast was undergoing some changes, and as our classes were in the same building, I figured I would see him around.

Flash forward a couple hours later to our Speech and Dialect class where we were all waiting for our teacher who was 5 minutes late. In my annoyance, I went on about how this teacher was probably going to be 80 years old, and the class was going to be so boring that year. The door finally opened and to my surprise, in walked Gorgeous Lobby Man. “Hey everyone, I’m Bill. Sorry, I’m late.”

Over the course of the year, we became great friends and developed a wonderful working relationship. We bonded over our love for food, whiskey, the Yankees, being native New Yorkers and actors in this city, all while understanding each others’ sarcastic sense of humor. Once classes ended, we decided to finally grab drinks and actually hang out. We realized we had so much in common and parts of our stories were so similar. As he walked me home that evening along the Hudson River, he pulled me in and kissed me, and the rest is history.

How He Asked

We had designed our ring together so I knew the proposal was going to happen, just no idea when. I had a sneaking suspicion that he was going to ask while he was in town visiting me to see the show I’m currently in, but I was trying not to psych myself out in case it didn’t happen. When we woke up the morning of April 24th, something felt really off. I turned to him and said, “there’s a disturbance in the force.” For someone who isn’t a very good liar, he played it off and acted like everything was normal. We spent the day together until I was ready to go to work for our evening performance of Oklahoma! (which, I’m very proud to say, is the first LGBTQ+ version of the show!).

Cassandra's Proposal in Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR

Bill and I had spent the previous year in Ashland while he was in a show here and the company at Oregon Shakespeare Festival has become our family. In true family fashion, when he sounded the call, they mobilized! At the end of our show, we finished our last bow of the curtain call and as the applause died down, over the speakers I could hear, “um, Cassandra Lopez?” I look to my left, and standing, center stage, is Bill. I then look out into the audience and see not only my mom and two of my best friends, but every empty space in the theatre–aisles, doorways, light booth, stage entrances–filled with members of the OSF company.

Much of this was a blur, but I remember him getting down on one knee, and at some point me shouting to the audience, “I said yes, by the way!” The night ended with a champagne toast & engagement party at our post-theatre spot, planned by our wonderful friends Jordan and Kate. (Shoutout to superwoman stage manager Mandy for helping Bill coordinate the proposal!)

I am so grateful for Bill’s time and effort in crafting a proposal that was everything I could have hoped for. It was so fitting for us in encompassing not only the magic of love, but of theatre, which are the two strongest kinds.