The MST is blessed by a staff of insanely talented theater professionals, educators and volunteers.  Each year, this group dedicates their time, engery and vision to help nuture the next generation of artists.  

2012 Staff

Emily Gates (Executive Producer and Musical Director, Legally Blonde) has been teaching her students about life through music for over 30 years. Emily was named Teacher of the Year in Novato and Marin County and won a Golden Bell Award for teaching excellence. She is an inductee into the Marin Women's Hall of Fame, and in 2006 the Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise named her as Novato Sunrise Citizen of the Year. She also leads an adult choir Mondays@6.

Pat Nims (Artistic Director, Director Spring Awakening and Legally Blonde) is an award winning director and graduate of San Francisco State's Theater Arts program. He has directed many high school and college productions.  Being invited by Emily Gates to return to theater as a volunteer with San Marin High School's musical theater program inspired him to establish MST.

Brendan Peter Kierans (Technical Director, Lighting Designer Spring Awakening) has studied theatre technology at various schools (School Of The Arts, City College of San Francisco and Foothill Community College) as well as under a number of award-winning designers. Brendan has an extensive background in theatrical events, corporate electrics, carpentry, design, and set up. Brendan has corporate as well as artistic clients. This is Brendan's first year with MST.

Lisa Conlon (Company Coordinator) is honored to be a part of the 2012 production team and to work with MST's dedicated young company. She has a B.A. in Music from UCLA and has sung on recordings, stage, and in voice-over for television, and currently sings with Marin Oratorio. Lisa has taught music at the elementary level, is now a Resource Specialist. She earned an Autism authorization and is working on a Master's in Special Ed. at Dominican University. Lisa is the mother of three young artists, Matt, Emma, and Jane Reagan.

Jim Poulos (Director, The Importance of Being Earnest) is excited to be back for his second season at MST, having directed Songs for a New World last season. He is best known for playing Mark Cohen in Rent and Huck Finn in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, both on Broadway. He has worked with such directors as Hal Prince, Susan Stroman, Michael Greif, Jerry Zaks, Scott Ellis, and Paul Gemignani. Jim is a San Marin graduate living in New York City with his wife, Actor/Director, Melissa Rain Anderson.

Drew Gasparini (Musical Director, Spring Awakening) is an award winning composer/lyricist as well as a native Novatoan and a graduate of San Marin High (2004). Since moving to New York his works have been presented all over the country. He has written music/lyrics for his musicals Crazy, Just Like Me (2011 Best Of Fest Winner of New York Musical Theatre Festival, Off-Broadway debut in 2013), Circles (NYC reading this fall, and premiere in AUS 2013), Inappropriate Stories Told At A Bar, and his serial-killer love story, Make Me Bad. Concerts of his music have been seen at Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, and his songs can be heard on the new television show, The Next Big Thing. Drew is an alum of the BMI Lehman Engel fellow-ship for theatre writers. twitter@DrewGasparini or

Kate Kenyon (Choreographer, Legally Blonde) has been dancing for 20 years, and teaching dance and choreographing for over 9 years. A graduate of Chapman University, she earned B.A.s dance and primary education, and also performed for several years with the Young Americans. Kate owns Rhythms Dance Center where she coaches their award-winning dance team, RDC Extreme, and teaches at San Marin, choreographing for many musicals and the show choir.

Valerie Oga (Choreographer, Spring Awakening) a graduate of San Marin High School (2010), found her passion for dance at the age of 14 when she retired from competitive gymnastics. While at SMHS she performed in orchestra (cello), show choir, and in musicals both in the orchestra and as part of the cast. Her most memorable show was Crazy for You as Tess. Valerie teaches dance to youth and currently attends Cal State Fullerton where she is majoring in dance.

Martha Paulos (Scenic Designer) is an award winning author, printmaker and sculptor. Her work has been displayed at various art galleries throughout the country. She has been involved summer musical theater since she was a child. Martha's designs and painting have been seen in many SMHS musicals over the last few years, and this is Martha's fourth season with MST.

Marina Nims (Costume Designer, Spring Awakening) has been costuming for MST since its inception. She draws inspiration from the seemingly limitless creativity of the actors and crew. She fiercely embraces the mantra Reduce-Reuse-Recycle and encourages donations of notions, fabric, and fabulous clothes to the MST costume collection.

Jane Savage (Costume Designer, Importance of Being Earnest and Legally Blonde) returns for her second year designing costumes for MST. She graduated from Sonoma S.U. with a B.A. in Theatre Arts, where she received the Denise Kirchner Memorial Scholarship for Costumes each year. She most recently designed for SSU's production of Oklahoma!. Jane has two Theatre Arts Certificates from Santa Rosa J.C. and her costume designs for Naomi Iizuka's Anon(ymous) were entered in the American College Theatre Festival.

Cheryl Tillotson (Hair and Makeup Designer, The Importance of Being Earnest & Legally Blonde) could at a young age be found rifling through her mother's closet, dancing in the living room with a Jello mold and scarf on her head. As she grew older her dances and costumes became more elaborate. Along the way she had three kids and now returns for her fourth year with MST. She has costumed for MSA and Santa Rosa JC.

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About Marin Summer Theater

Marin Summer Theater (MST) is an award winning non-profit theater company for students of performing arts between the ages of 13 and 23. The MST company prepares and presents three fully-staged productions in a six-week summer season. MST's mission is threefold: To present exciting, professional quality drama, musical theater and musical revue productions; to keep tuition as low as possible so that cost is not a barrier to participation; to create a diverse company of college and high school students.

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