PBS airs Bristol native’s film tonight

The Orleans Arena Theatre company Members of The Orleans Arena Theatre company pose by their sign in 1951.
The Orleans Arena Theatre company

Members of The Orleans Arena Theatre company pose by their sign in 1951.

Set your DVRs for 9 p.m. tonight, July 12.

That’s when Boston’s PBS station WGBH (Channel 2) will air Bristol native Liz Argo’s film, “Stagestruck: Confessions From Summer Stock.”

The documentary is a nostalgic look back at America’s first summer stock “theater-in-the-round” — the Orleans Arena Theatre in Cape Cod.

The one-hour film employs dramatic re-enactments, historical photos and interviews with past company members to capture the challenges, joys and hijinks associated with the residential summer stock experience.

It includes rare interviews with author Kurt Vonnegut, an Orleans Arena Theatre alumnus in the 1950s and ’60s, who interjects humor and insight as he reflects on his time at the American art colony and on its founders, Betsy and Gordon Argo, Liz’s parents.

Betsy Argo, who was behind the hiring of Trinity Repertory Co.’s founding artistic director, Adrian Hall, has a home in Bristol and taught drama for many years at Roger Williams University.

She has another daughter who’s also made a name for herself in the area of documentary film. Allison Argo is the founder of Argo Films, which has one many awards, including six Emmys. As a documentarian, she has produced, written, edited, and narrated over a dozen highly-recognized films. She works hand-in-hand with PBS and National Geographic in creating her documentaries.

Liz Argo’s “Stagestruck” will air on other local PBS stations in July and August. For more information and to view the trailer, visit www.argoproductions.com.

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