We recently suffered the loss of Marilyn Shaw, a longtime literary committee member, Magic supporter, and friend. Magic staff, artists, and volunteers will miss her greatly.
Friends and family are holding a memorial celebration in Marilyn’s honor here at Magic Theatre in Fort Mason on Monday, May 7th at 7pm. There will be food, drinks, and a reading celebrating Marilyn’s life. We would love to have you join us and share your memories!
Marilyn N. Shaw (12/20/1922 to 3/29/2012)
Marilyn Shaw, who devoted her working life to aiding non-profit community groups and to passionately supporting the arts, passed away at her San Francisco home in her sleep on March 29. She was born on December 20, 1922 in Fairfield, Iowa, to Orville Nott and Florence Lois Yount. After high school, she moved to Los Angeles to attend Los Angeles City College and University of California at Los Angeles where she earned a Liberal Arts degree in 1946. Marilyn started her professional career in the Public Relations group at the Los Angeles Community Chest then moved to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for three years, then returned to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, she again worked for Community Chest Los Angeles followed by the Pasadena Community Chest, the Pasadena newspaper, the Tournament of Roses committee, and again for the Los Angeles Community Chest. During her time in Los Angeles, she served as a volunteer usher for several theaters and that experienced evolved into a lifelong passion for the performing arts. She met and married her husband Ralph Theodore Shaw during her final employment with Los Angeles Community Chest. Marilyn and Ralph moved to Del Mar, north of San Diego, where they raised their sons Theodore R. L. Shaw and Christopher A. Shaw. Marilyn was extremely active; she started the school library in Del Mar, served on the Del Mar Union School District School Board, led efforts to expand Torrey Pines State Preserve through the purchase of the extension, was a leader in the effort to preserve Crest Canyon, and oversaw the final efforts to complete the theater building for La Jolla Playhouse, on the campus of UC San Diego. Subsequent to her husband’s death, Marilyn moved to San Francisco to follow her dream of encouraging and aiding the arts. In her 30 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, she aided a host of organizations with their public relations, served on boards of directors, took administrative posts, and ran fund-raising campaigns. Among music groups she aided were Pocket Opera, Mid-Summer Mozart, Paul Dresher Ensemble, and Left Coast Ensemble. In terms of drama groups, Marilyn was a vital cog in the original Eureka Theatre Company, and was on the literary committee of the Magic Theatre. She was most passionate about helping to develop new work for the theater. To this end, she was an energized supporter of Afro Solo, PlayBrokers, The Playwrights’ Lab, and the Playwrights Foundation. She loved to mentor and nourish local playwrights to develop their work by presenting staged readings with professional actors and directors, and getting audience feedback to the writers. For example, she served for years as the producing director of The Playwrights’ Lab, in Marin County, and founded the San Francisco company PlayBrokers. Several years ago, hundreds in the arts community in San Francisco honored her with “An Evening to Celebrate Marilyn Shaw.” She didn’t want that much attention focused on herself, protested the title and got them to change it to “An Evening Celebrating Marilyn Shaw and Her Artist Friends.” Throughout her life, Marilyn enjoyed art, music, reading, and traveling – especially to Russia, Europe, and the south Pacific. She was eternally curious and looking to make new friends. She had a positive and nurturing way that was endearing. She is survived by son Ted, his wife Sue Peerson, and their son Calvin, of San Diego; son Chris, his wife Andrea, and their daughters Christiana Candida (CC) and Deering Elizabeth (Desi), of Woodside. Her family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name to the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego or the Playwrights’ Lab in San Francisco.
You can read the obituary on the U-T San Diego website here.