The Marsh hits the big two-oh this weekend. The one-of-a-kind theater founded by Stephanie Weisman in 1989 has contributed much more than its fair share to performance arts in the Bay Area and beyond. To mark the event, the Marsh is planning a one-of-a-kind celebration this Saturday, June 19: 12 continuous hours of performance, memories, and festive behavior featuring a remarkable assortment of talent under one roof. Seriously, if these were heads of state it’d be like the G20 times two, and the security hassles would suck hard for blocks around. As is, you can just go and watch and talk to these people, who are way cooler anyway.
For more of the lowdown on the birthday plans and insider thoughts on the Marsh at 20, I had thought of talking to a dozen or so of the leading lights slated to be there. But not having a lot of energy this morning, I decided instead to just call Mary Samson — currently crafting her own Marsh solo show and one of Saturday’s Marathon MCs — at her daytime desk at the Guardian.
Mary: Hello, this Mary Samson.
Me: Hi Mary, it’s Rob.
Mary: I already had lunch.
Me: No, I wasn’t going to ask about lunch.
Mary: I’ve got dinner plans too, and a reeeally long yoga class on either side of that.
Me: No, Mary, I just wanted to ask about the Marsh.
Mary: Oh, the Marsh! Shoot.
Me: I understand you’ll be MC’ing a portion of this Saturday’s mammoth 20th-anniversary marathon and wondered if … wait a minute. You already had lunch? But it’s only 10:00.
Mary: So call it brunch. What’s your point?
Me: Well, this is a really big deal, isn’t it?
Mary: That’s right, Ron.
Mary: The Marsh has been a hotbed of solo performance for two decades. It’s helped launch the careers of some of the best talent to emerge from the Bay Area since Boss Ruef. And about 40 of them will be there between 12 noon and 12 midnight this Saturday — including Marga Gomez, Charlie Varon, Josh Kornbluth, Francesca Fanti, Brian Freeman, Jeff Greenwald, Joan Mankin, Bob Ernst, Dan Hoyle, Merle Kessler, Don Reed, Ann Randolph, Ron Jones AND my personal favorites Liz White Salk and Mark McGoldrick!
The Marsh's 20th Anniversary and Performance Marathon
Sat/19, noon-midnight, $20-60
Marsh, 1062 Valencia, SF