In the episode “Kids on Stage,” Spark goes behind the scenes as 40 kids from San Francisco tackle the premiere of “Jip, His Story” at Marsh Youth Theater (MYT) in the Mission District. The play is based on the children’s novel of the same name by National Book Award winner Katherine Paterson.
Over 14 weeks, the fifth- through ninth-graders learn to sing, dance and act, many for the first time. They also pitch in with set production, learning the importance of all the jobs behind the scenes. For this production, seventh grader Keith Seales was selected to play the lead role of Jip. Under the direction of Danny Duncan, Seales and the other MYT Mainstage Performance Ensemble members memorized lines and learned to sing and dance to 18 musical numbers.
As program director of MYT, Emily Klion ensures its commitment to making high-quality theater education available to any child who wants to take part, regardless of financial circumstance. In addition to the Mainstage Performance Ensemble, MYT offers a broad range of classes in acting, music and theatrical production, including Flying Poles, a workshop developed by aerialist Jo Keiter, in which students learn to dance off the ground on low flying poles.
More about The Marsh
The Marsh is a unique space dedicated to providing a breeding ground for new performance. It began in 1989 as a Monday night performance series at the Hotel Utah, organized by founder Stephanie Weisman and original collaborator Peggy Howe. In 1990 the series moved to Morty’s in North Beach, then to Café Beano, where The Marsh began presenting more than 150 performances a year. In December 1992, The Marsh moved to its current home on Valencia Street.
Where: 1062 Valencia St., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 826-5750