NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the student-directed one-act play “The Yellow Boat” by David Saar at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, in Regents Suite A in the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA campus.

Directed by Benjamin McElroy, Frisco senior theatre major, “The Yellow Boat” is based on the true story of David and Sonja Saar's son, Benjamin, who was born with congenital hemophilia. According to McElroy, Benjamin’s imagination “can make the sound of his parents work into a dance, a piece of paper becomes a world all his own, and the shapes he draws bloom into beautiful stories.” With the rise of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, Benjamin contracts HIV, and friends abandon him and his family. As Benjamin gets worse, a nurse named Joy reminds him of his powerful imagination and artistic abilities. “A joyous celebration of the playwright’s real son’s story, ‘The Yellow Boat’ reminds us that we all can find inspiration even in the worst of experiences,” McElroy said.

The cast features Bethany Boerger, Flower Mound freshman, as Benjamin; Astrid Paola Maldonado, Katy junior, as Joy; Kiya Green, Waxahachie junior, as Mother; Deonate Whaley, Texarkana freshman, as Father; Dylan M. Mosera, Plano freshman, as Eddie; Edna Rodriguez, Dallas freshman, Chorus 1; Jessiana Tores, Dallas freshman, Chorus 2; Zoie Dorn, Keller sophomore, Chorus 3; and Alexis Moore, Cushing freshman, Chorus 4.

The crew includes Euless junior Ariana Cox as stage manager; Arlington sophomore Gabriella Rick, assistant stage manager; Houston junior Thomas Peek, scenic designer; Denton junior Connor Molen, costume designer; Austin senior Juliana Hedges, lighting designer; and Haslet junior Grace Goodman, sound designer. Faculty production advisor is Professor Scott Shattuck.

McElroy will graduate in December with a Bachelor of Arts in theatre and a minor in management. While at SFA he directed “Assault Toast” and acted in “The Taming of the Shrew,” “Our Town” and “Rideshare/Overshare.” He was assistant director for Outcry Youth Theatre’s presentations of “Big Fish” and “The Little Princess.” He is also vice president of “The Fredonia Players,” SFA’s resident Shakespeare troupe.

Tickets are $4. To purchase tickets, visit the SFA Fine Arts Box Office online at or call (936) 468-6407. Available tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information about the play, call the School of Theatre at (936) 468-4003 or visit