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Bring "Stagestruck: Confessions from Summer Stock" to PBS!'s video poster
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The bittersweet life in old-fashioned Summer Stock Theater comes alive in interviews & re-enactments. A feel-good movie with a message. Read more

Orleans, MA Documentary
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This project was successfully funded on August 30, 2011.

The bittersweet life in old-fashioned Summer Stock Theater comes alive in interviews & re-enactments. A feel-good movie with a message.

Orleans, MA Documentary
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Liz Argo
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Liz Argo

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About this project

American summer stock theater is a piece of American history that we should keep alive forever. As Kurt Vonnegut says in the film Stagestruck, "People would work this hard for nothing, and they would, because that's theater." Stagestruck captures all the hard work and magic from those bygone days of resident summer stock theater. Living together, loving together and creating art together was an experience unlike any other.

Stagestruck: Confessions from Summer Stock tells of America’s first summer stock theatre-in-the-round, the Orleans Arena Theatre located on Cape Cod.  Part expose, part homage, the interviews, old stills, and re-enactments tell the tale of a steamy, creative, industrious, and humble theater business venture carried on from 1950 until 1976 by the talented company members, producers Betsy and Gordon Argo, and the Argo children. 

As the oldest child of the founder-producers of the Orleans Arena Theatre, the filmmaker, Liz Argo, adds her emotional intimacy to the story. Liz relives and shares her experiences growing up in the sometimes raw and unstable, but always loving and exhilarating world of professional resident summer stock theatre.

Author Kurt Vonnegut is an engaging addition to the interviewees, providing humor and insight to the telling of the family's experiences as devotees to their beloved theater. 

Stagestruck won the "Filmmaker Takeover Film Festival" held at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in 2010. The film needs only finishing funds to meet the requirements for distribution through American Public Television. Your donation will help bring "Stagestruck" to the air and into America's homes, where it can remind us of our American entrepreneurial roots and our rich theater heritage.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $3 or more

    1 backer

    Donate and know that you are a part of the American theater experience!

  • You selected
    Pledge $12 or more

    2 backers

    You'll get a special thank you in the movie credits for keeping American theater alive and a wrist band with: "Theater Lives!" to let people know you're keeping it alive.

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    20 backers

    You'll get a special thank you in the movie credits for keeping American theater alive and a a DVD of the movie 'Stagestruck' shipped to you.

  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    29 backers

    You'll get a a tee shirt featuring a Kurt Vonnegut self-portrait Kurt painted in the 1960's, as well as the movie credit and a DVD of 'Stagestruck'.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    14 backers Limited (26 left of 40)

    You'll get two tickets to a show in the original theater that was home to the theater company of 'Stagestruck' from 1950 - 1976 and A TOUR conducted by 'Stagestruck' Director, Liz Argo, of the original theater, including backstage, and of the original housing for the company....

    And the movie credit, a DVD of the movie 'Stagestruck', and a tee shirt.

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers Limited (38 left of 40)

    EXTRA! VONNEGUT INTERVIEWS & PRINT! You'll get a 1.5 hours of unedited video of the two separate interviews with Kurt Vonnegut conducted by Liz in his home on the Cape in 2005 and a limited edition print of an original, signed, SELF PORTRAIT PAINTED BY KURT VONNEGUT in the 1960s

    as well as the movie credit, DVD of the movie 'Stagestruck', and tee shirt.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    ONE NIGHT TOUR / SLEEP-OVER PACKAGE! Spend a night on Cape Cod! You'll be set up in the delightfully appointed home that used to house the original theater company of 'Stagestruck'. You'll get A TOUR conducted by 'Stagestruck' Director, Liz Argo, of the original theater, including backstage, and of the original housing for the company and two tickets to a show in the same theater that used to be the home of America's first summer stock theater in-the-round! You'll also be named in the credits, receive an autographed copy of the DVD of the movie 'Stagestruck' and the 1.5 hour DVD made of the unedited compilation of the two separate interviews with Kurt Vonnegut. And of course you'll receive the limited print of a self-portrait painted by Kurt Vonnegut and a tee shirt!

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    GALA PACKAGE! Spend a long weekend on Cape Cod! You'll be set up in the delightfully appointed home that used to house the original theater company of 'Stagestruck'. Stay for any Friday night through that Sunday night. Spend your days at the beach, dine at Kurt's favorite restaurant and then go to the show in the same theater that used to be the home of America's first summer stock theater in-the-round! You'll also be named in the credits, receive an autographed copy of the DVD of the movie 'Stagestruck' and the 1.5 hour DVD made of the unedited compilation of the two separate interviews with Kurt Vonnegut. And of course you'll receive the limited print of a self-portrait painted by Kurt Vonnegut and a tee shirt!

Funding period

- (60 days)