The Marsh Presents Marsh Youth Theater’s MainStage Summer Performance Ensemble in a Performance of Gary Soto's Novio Boy

Marsh Youth Theater’s Novio Boy plays on Friday 7:30 pm and Saturday, August 15 at 2:00 pm in The Marsh Studio Theater, 1074 Valencia Street in San Francisco.

San Francisco, CA, August 03, 2009 --( Acclaimed author Gary Soto's Novio Boy is a lighthearted story about the awkwardness and excitement of young love in a Mexican American community. Ninth-grade Rudy has asked eleventh-grade Patricia out on a date and, to his amazement, she has agreed. Now Rudy has to come up with the money, the poise and the conversation to carry it off. This play follows his desperate search for guidance from family and friends through the hilarities of the date itself and all the way to a happy conclusion. Novio Boy is a Chicano play through and through with dialogue in “Spanglish”. MYT’s musical version will feature a wonderful blend of Latin-based dances including mariachi, cumbia and a touch of reggaeton.

Gary Soto's first book for young readers, “Baseball in April and Other Stories,” won the California Library Association's Beatty Award and was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. He has published many novels, short story collections and plays and is the author of eleven poetry collections for adults, most notably “New and Selected Poems,” a 1995 finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the National Book Award. In 1999, he received the Literature Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the Author-Illustrator Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association and the PEN Center West Book Award for “Petty Crimes.” He divides his time between Berkeley and his hometown of Fresno.

MainStage Performance Ensemble is Marsh Youth Theater’s signature program. Since its first performance six years ago, the ensemble has grown from 11 to over 40 children, bringing together students from all over San Francisco in two annual full-length shows to present to their schools and community. Emily Klion, Marsh Youth Theater’s founding Creative and Program Director, seeks scripts with a multicultural focus, working in collaboration with local and international writers, choreographers and visual artists,

Marsh Youth Theater’s goal is to provide high quality theater arts education and performance opportunities to talented youth, regardless of financial circumstances (payment is on a sliding scale and nobody is turned away for lack of funds.) In 2001, Marsh founder Stephanie Weisman wanted to reach out to children in the theater’s Mission District neighborhood. She approached Klion, and together the two of them started Marsh Youth Theater. While maintaining its Mission District focus, the program now has 250 participants on-site at The Marsh as well as reaching 400 additional children through a partnership with local public schools. Starting with aerial flying classes for toddlers and including courses in dance, circus and stagecraft, the program is designed to build the children’s theatrical skills from the ground up, exposing the students to the vast world of multicultural arts. The aim is to offer something for everybody, regardless of past arts experience.

Marsh Youth Theater’s Director Klion has had an illustrious career as a children’s musical theater producer, composer and musical director. She received her MA degrees from Mills College in music composition, studying with such luminaries as Terry Riley, Lou Harrison and Indian singer Pandit Pran Nath. She received a Thomas Watson Fellowship for a year-long study of raga in North India. For twenty years, Klion was a certified Orff Schulwerk music specialist at Bay Area schools including Mills College Children’s School and San Francisco Day School where she directed its popular summer theater intensive. Klion received the Bay Area Critic’s Circle Award and the Hollywood Dramalogue Award for her musical score of Tony Pellegrino’s critically acclaimed show, “Deer Rose,” which received the Will Glickman Playwright Award. In 2006, she received the Rex Foundation’s Jerry Garcia Award for promoting creativity in youth and in 2008 Marsh Youth Theater’s production of Katherine Paterson’s Jip, His Story was the proud recipient of the American Harmony Award for Musical Theater.

For Calendar Editors

When: August 14 & 15, 2009

Showtimes: Friday, August 14 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, August 15 at 2:00 pm

Where: The Marsh, 1062 Valencia Street between 21st & 22nd Streets

Tickets: $12 General Admission; $6 Student Rate
For tickets, call 800-838-3006 or visit

For more information call 415-826-5750 or visit The Marsh website at

For a high-resolution downloadable press image, please visit:

The Marsh
Diana Rathbone