MP cover from blad

Marin’s Mountain Play is like a Broadway show—only higher!

Ptak’s book is as colorful and entertaining as the big outdoor productions staged in the 4,000-capacity Cushing Memorial Amphitheater, built of native serpentine stone by the Works Progress Administration during the Depression on the mountain’s east peak.”

—Paul Liberatore, Marin IJ, Writing the book on 100 years of Marin’s Mountain Play

My book, Marin’s Mountain Play–One Hundred Years of Theatre on Mount Tamalpais, was published in 2013, and is available for purchase at select independent bookstores and from the Mountain Play Association. I’ve loved doing signings and readings with some of the talented folks from the Mountain Play, especially when they broke into song! Here’s a summary of the book: In 1913, a trio of hikers first suggested producing plays in a natural amphitheatre located two thousand feet above sea level on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California. The Mountain Play was born that year and—despite fog, rain, rattlesnakes, heat, cold, bomb threats, and financial worries—the annual shows continue to enchant audiences a century later. Illustrated with one hundred years of photos from the Mountain Play archives, the book describes the theatre’s lively history as well as some of the people behind the plays—people like playwright Dan Totheroh who concocted a legend about a sleeping lady atop Mount Tam that, for better or worse, has become part of local lore. Like landscape architect Emerson Knight and the Civilian Conservation Corps who built the theatre’s stone seating. Like director James Dunn who staged plays on the mountain for thirty years. And like producer Marilyn Smith who brought enchanting Broadway musicals to the mountain. Plus lots more!

Past Book Events

“Two Love Stories and an Ode to the Mountain Play”
with Marin authors Christie Nelson and Betsy Fasbinder
Dominican University
Archbishop Alemany Library Reading Room
50 Acacia Avenue
San Rafael

Outdoor Art Club
1 West Blithedale
Mill Valley

With cover artist Tom Killion and Mountain Play Association Executive Director Sara Pearson
PLUS: ice cream sandwiches for sale made with Straus Creamery organic ice cream and Bovine Bakery cookies by Claire Ptak, pastry chef, and cookbook author
Point Reyes Books
at the Dance Palace Community Center
503 B Street
Point Reyes Station

Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera

Marin History Museum
at the San Rafael Farmers’ Market
San Rafael

Savory Thymes Series
Mill Valley

Book Depot
Mill Valley
Followed by the Mountain Play’s 100th birthday party in the plaza!

Readers’ Books
130 East Napa Street

West Point Inn Heritage Night
On Mount Tamalpais
Advance tickets required

Past Art Exhibits

August–September, 2012
Group Show
GRO 14th Annual Box Show
Gallery Route One
Point Reyes Station

January 2–31, 2012
Group Show
Collage x 6
Fairfax Library, Fairfax, California

November 3, 2011
A Fall Reading Series: Elisabeth Ptak, Jules Evans, Roy Mash, Rosaleen Bertolino
Words at the Bird
Blackbird Café, Inverness, CA

October–November, 2011
Group Show
El Dia de los Muertos Petaluma Fine Arts Exhibition
Petaluma Arts Center, Petaluma, CA

August–September, 2011
Solo Collage Exhibition

Dance Palace Lobby Gallery, Point Reyes Station, CA

March, 2011
Group Show
Geography of Hope, Reflections on Water

Toby’s Gallery, Point Reyes Station, CA

October–November, 2010
Group Show
El Dia de los Muertos Petaluma Fine Arts Exhibition
Boomerang Gallery, Petaluma, CA

September–December, 2010
Solo Collage Exhibition
Inverness Library, Inverness, CA


Marin IJ
First Time GRO Box Show Contributor Finds Freedom in Collage

“Like most writers and editors, Elisabeth Ptak is understandably fussy about getting everything perfect. So when the Inverness resident started making collages two years ago, it was a bit unnerving — and yet unbelievably freeing — to accept that there is no right or wrong when it comes to collage; it’s an imperfect medium.”
—Vicki Larson

Hand/Eye Magazine

Editor and writer Elisabeth Ptak makes collages that are as rich and nuanced as a good book.”
“Imperfect Beauty”

Sparsely, Sage and Timely Blog

“A fascinating exhibition of collages by Elisabeth Ptak of Inverness…”
—David K. Mitchell, Sparsely Sage and Timely Blog

West Marin Citizen

“The brightly colored collages…reflect her joy in manipulating diverse images...”
—Claudia Chapline, Artswell, West Marin Citizen