Press, Reviews, and Testimonials

Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco 

Marin Magazine –  Features Stage Left, November Issue 

…a showcase for the best documentary films about California made by independent filmmakers. 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.
The Bay Citizen
 Featured events calendar on
Stage Left

Filmmaker Austin Forbord’s eye-opening doc about the history of Bay Area theater is a must-see…
SF Arts 
Featured theatre events on
Stage Left

Lady Brain Radio – Podcast interview with Austin Forbord on Stage Left, November 12, 2012

Viewers who are unfamiliar with San Francisco theater or its history need not worry. The film is a well-edited summation of critical points of San Francisco’s theater history.
Review of
Stage Left, November 9, 2012

KQED – Review on Stage Left, November 9, 2012 

KALW – Open Air radio interview with Austin Forbord about Stage Left, November 8, 2012

Bay Area Reporter – Review on Stage Left, November 8, 2012

The Bold Italic – Features Austin Forbord, November 5, 2012 

The documentary is a brisk and exhilarating look at the sometimes chaotic world of theater in the Bay Area.
CineSource Magazine Review on
Stage Left, October 29. 2012 

Mutiny Radio – Podcast interview with Austin Forbord, October 28, 2012

…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)…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.
Broadway World Review of Stage Left, October 11, 2012 

Variety – Review of Stage Left, October 21, 2011

SF Chronicle – Review of Stage Left, October 2, 2011

…an exciting overview of the last few decades’ leading talents–a must for dance-on-film showcases, and also meriting attention from general-interest fests, arts-oriented broadcasters, and adventuresome rep programmers. …‘Artists’ is a well-paced package that captures its subjects’ idealistic zeal without becoming too fawning.
 review of
Artists in Exile, September 21, 2000

(Stage Left) is a fantastic chronicle of the very vibrant and often incredibly innovative work of Bay Area theater artists.
Zoë Elton, Mill Valley Film Festival programming director, on
Stage Left


Reviews for Projection Design 

Ravishing and delicate, haunting and playful, somber and romantic, the production fused story, music and stagecraft into an engrossing evening…As Glass’ music hall-inflected score built an air of exuberant congestion, a bank of tilted video screens above the onstage orchestra refracted the gaiety into Orphée’s inner fever dream.
SF Chronicle
 on Ensemble Parallele’s 
Orphee. March 1, 2011

Many aspects of the production reach a level close to perfection… Austin Forbord’s videography is some of the best I’ve seen anywhere for an opera. His projections from the driver’s point of view in Gatsby’s yellow roadster were highly effective, and his use of the “T. J. Eckleburg, Oculist” billboard became a coup de theatre when its glasses suddenly lowered down and surrounded Gatsby and paramour Daisy on the stage.
SF Classical Voice
 review of Opera Parallele’s 
The Great Gatsby, February 10 2012

All praise, then, to Mr. Rucker… putting together a team of designers whose work makes his production look like a couple of million bucks. Erik Flatmo’s Art Deco sets are glitteringly tawdry, Alex Jaeger’s costumes are as authentic as a Stutz Bearcat, and Austin Forbord has covered the scene changes with a smart series of film sequences (including well-chosen clips from “The Jazz Singer” and Raoul Walsh’s “Going Hollywood”) that greatly enhance the show’s festive air.
The Wall Street Journal 
review on Aslo Repertory’s
Once Upon a Time, February 10, 2012

Ensemble Parallel’s production of the Philip Glass opera Orphée was a many-splendored thing. Not only did the production feature the usual operatic suspects (vocals, instrumental music, set, and costume design), but the audience at Herbst Theatre this weekend was also treated to elements drawn from film…Staufenbiel found compelling ways of enlarging the boundaries of the stage…using video screens to show action that would have necessitated different settings.
SF Weekly
, on Ensemble Parallele’s 

Ensemble Parallèle’s oft-devastating, 90-minute multimedia wow of a production was whole and complete unto itself…Media artist Austin Forbord and set/lighting designer Matthew Antaky furthered unified the effort, creating a cumulative impact greater than the sum of its considerable parts… As Duykers lectured and hectored his deeply troubled servant, an onstage video crew projected his every grimace and eyebrow raise in perfectly focused black and white on a screen behind the duo. The portrayal, mesmerizing in its obsessively lurid detail, emphasized the weight of Wozzeck’s burden in its larger-than-life proportions. That the video was fed through a computer program that projected it slightly out of synch further heightened the hallucinatory aspects of Berg’s score… Several images and scenes continue to haunt the memory. One is the…constantly shifting, faintly projected parallel lines in the background, symbolic of everything from the ensemble itself to the instability and lack of connection between characters, were something special.
SF Classical Voice, on Ensemble Parallele’s Wozzek, January 30, 2010

Throughout, Austin Forbord’s live videos contributed excellent tonal nuances and a sense of at times almost painful intimacy.
Rita Felciano, San Francisco Bay Guardian, on Joe Goode Performance Group’s
Stay Together

Austin Forbord’s videos are perfection.
KQED Arts & Culture
on Joe Goode Performance Group’s

The media projections were expertly executed by Austin Forbord, though at times they distracted from the dancing simply because they were so interesting themselves. They definitely added clarity to the piece as a whole and solidified what the movement was trying to convey.
Critical Dance
on Robert Moses’ Kin’s
Word of Mouth

Austin Forbord’s video design both challenges and extends the many thematic connotations. Pelton and his collaborators are to be congratulated.
Voice of Dance
on Stephen Pelton’s
September for Sale

The role of Mann’s collaborators should not be underestimated. They understood what she wanted and gave her what she needed. …the suggestive video images by Forbord on three huge screens blew open ODC’s cramped performance space.
Rita Felciano, Dance Magazine, on Contraband/Sara Shelton Mann’s
Monk at the Met

Austin Forbord’s Motion Study for the Grief Cycle was one of the evening’s simplest, but purest pieces. The live video feed created double perspectives which competed for attention… most intriguing, was the way it posed questions about shifting planes of reality.
Rita Felciano,, on Rapt Performance Group’s
Motion Study for the Grief Cycle