KQED Public Television's Emmy Award-winning series Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories continues with the broadcast premiere of Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco, today, November 11, 2012, at 10pm on KQED 9. Directed by Austin Forbord and executive produced by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, this vibrant, energetic documentary celebrates the history and impact of the raucous San Francisco theater movement and has been called "a valuable record of regional innovation… an entertaining documentary mixing intriguing archival materials with explanatory insights from observers on both sides of the footlights" (Variety). Through compelling interviews, vivid archival footage of early performances, photographs, and video of productions, Stage Left illustrates the important, intriguing and sometimes outrageous theatrical innovations of Bay Area artists that changed the art form worldwide. For more information, visit stageleft-movie.com and the Truly CA website at kqed.org/trulyca.
Winner of the "Best California Film" at the 2011 California Film Awards (among other film and festival awards and accolades), Stage Left is the first film to bring the Bay Area's rich theatrical tradition to the screen. The film traces the evolution of contemporary theater from the founding of the avant-garde collaborative theater company, The San Francisco Actor's Workshop, in 1952, to present day.
Stage Left features commentary by beloved icons of the San Francisco and national theater, including Herbert Blau (co-founder, SF Actor's Workshop), R.G. Davis (founder, The SF Mime Troupe), Peter Coyote (Emmy Award-winning actor and activist), Bill Irwin (Tony Award-winning actor and clown), Robin Williams (Academy Award-winning actor), Oskar Eustis (Artistic Director, Public Theater), Tony Taccone (Artistic Director, Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Scrumbly Koldewyn (founding member, the Cockettes) and many more. For a complete list of interview subjects featured in the film, please visit: stageleft-movie.com/players/
"Our intent for Stage Left is to inspire contemporary theater artists by revealing the rich, storied history of innovation found at its roots," says Austin Forbord, Director of Stage Left. "Motivated by a climate of political and social activism, a particular multicultural mix, and a geography that is seismically unstable, San Francisco theater artists, for the last six decades, have focused on pushing the boundaries of the form." Forbord continues. "Their interest in redefining performance-where it takes place, how it is staged, and what it encompasses-has had a lasting influence on theater in the United States and around the world. As most of these works aren't heavily documented or archived, we wanted to showcase some of the pieces and players that make Bay Area theater such an experimental, multidisciplinary and political hotbed."
"Stage Left is a beautifully-crafted documentary that will be of interest to theater-buffs and newcomers," said Lisa Landi, Series Producer of Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories. "This is a uniquely Bay Area story - of camaraderie of misfits, of experimentation, and of art as a conduit for social and political change - and I know that the KQED audiences will take great joy in discovering this unknown part of our common history."
Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories is a KQED production presented in association with Cal Humanities, which aimsto find and promote the best documentaries about California. This season's five films were selected from more than fifty submissions and will receive specifically tailored support packages, including post production services and editing equipment, technical support, web and promotional assistance and other professional development services. Since its launch in 2005, Truly CA has received two Northern California Emmy Awards.
Austin Forbord is a video artist, filmmaker, dancer and choreographer. His film Stage Left won the award for Best California Film at the California Film Awards and will be featured as part of KQED's Truly CA documentary series. Mr. Forbord has been nominated for three Isadora Duncan Dance Awards in performance and design and won the award for visual design in 2007. Austin has performed with a diverse group of Bay Area dance companies and has created video designs for dance, theater, and opera. Mr. Forbord produced and directed the documentary film, Artists in Exile: A Story of Modern Dance in San Francisco (2000), and several short movement films. Currently, Austin is working on Normal People, a documentary film about Sarajevo, Bosnia, and an NEA funded documentary about the vocal group, Kitka, for their 30th anniversary. His Production Company, Rapt Productions, is the primary source for video documentation, video marketing and promotional materials, and video design for the San Francisco Bay Area dance community. For more information, please visit raptproductions.com.