Three years ago, documentary filmmaker Austin Forbord set out to create a comprehensive look at the rich theatrical history of post-World War II San Francisco, from the experimentation and headline-grabbing antics of the ’60s to the glittery free-for-all of the ’70s and up to present day. The completed film, which amazingly condenses that history into less than 90 minutes, screens twice this week at the 34th Mill Valley Film Festival….
There are big names — Robin Williams, Peter Coyote, Bill Irwin — and then there are the pioneers themselves. Chief among them is Herbert Blau, co-founder with Jules Irving of the seminal Actors Workshop. From 1952 to 1965, Blau’s company was one of the most forward-thinking companies in the country, producing plays by the likes of Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Jean Genet, often in some of their first American productions…The impact of the Actors Workshop is felt throughout the documentary. Artists who worked with Blau went on to create the San Francisco Mime Troupe — another landmark San Francisco company — and Mabou Mines, an influential New York company, among others.
I seem to be posting a lot about San Francisco history. Must be a nostalgic time of year. This is from an article about a new documentary called “Stage Left,” which has excerpts on vimeo.