Stage Left Studio
Stage Left Studio was created by Cheryl King in New York City in 2005. Over the 10 years it was a venue, the theater company had two Manhattan locations–438 West 37th Street, and 214 West 30th Street.
In 2015, Cheryl shuttered the venue and moved to Sonoma County, CA. Now Stage Left Studio has a new branch, Stage Left Sonoma.
Dubbed “the matriarch of the Off-off Broadway solo show scene” (NYT), Cheryl created two benefit festivals to showcase solo shows and small cast plays. All performances were held at Stage Left Studio.
The Left Out Festival featured the work of LGBTQ+ artists and net proceeds were donated to Bailey House, providers of services to people living with HIV/AIDS. This annual three-week festival showcased over 200 playwrights, directors and actors from across the country over its 8-year run.
The Women at Work Festival featured solo shows, plays and other performance art by and/or about women and net proceeds were donated to The Girl Effect. This annual three-week festival showcased over 150 playwrights, directors and actors from across the country over its 7-year run.
THE PRODUCTION COMPANY
Cheryl King Productions was the beginning of what would become Stage Left Studio.
Cheryl King created Cheryl King Productions in 2000, when Gary Austin requested that she create a performance-based educational retreat in Santa Fe, NM. Cheryl came up with the Santa Fe Project, a weeklong retreat at The Immaculate Heart of Mary Conference Center. The instructors were Gary Austin, Wenndy Mackenzie, Cheryl King, Carol Fox Prescott and Hilary Chaplain. The retreat was repeated in 2001, and in those two years nearly 50 students studied acting, writing, improv, clowning and voice with these instructors. Each year the retreat was concluded with performances.
The next project for Cheryl King Productions was Cheryl’s own solo show “not a nice girl” which she produced and performed in Los Angeles, in Ft. Collins, CO and in Odense, Denmark, as well as the Midtown International Theatre Festival.
In October 2003 she created the New York Solo Play Lab, with John Chatterton as co-producer, at John’s theater, Where Eagles Dare, at 347 West 36th Street in NYC. Their partnership continued until March 2006, and in that time they presented nearly 250 artists in that solo showcase.
In October of 2005, she created her own company, and venue, Stage Left Studio, and began teaching there. Cheryl ran the theater as both a producing company and a venue for hire.
The opening production at Stage Left Studio was three shows in repertory – her own solo show “not a nice girl”, Pandora Scooter’s show “Samuraization” and Katie Northlich’s show “Character Forum: A Thesis”. She followed those up by directing and producing Beth Bongar’s “Jews Don’t Join the Circus.”
In April 2006 she initiated a weekly showcase at Stage Left, and named it “what’s happening.”
By early 2010, Stage Left had become a well-known venue for solo shows in NYC, with over 200 shows per year, both solo shows and small cast plays. Village Voice named it “New York’s Best Sexy Theatre” for its monthly bawdy cabaret, Forbidden Kiss.
Stage Left hosted two annual festivals for the last eight years of its NYC existence – The Left Out Festival, a celebration of LGBTQ+ performance art, and the Women at Work Festival, a festival of plays by and/or about women. Net proceeds of those festivals were donated to Bailey House, an organization providing services for people living with HIV/AIDS, and The Girl Effect. dedicated to the empowerment of girls worldwide.
Stage Left Studio became a member of LITNY, League of Independent Theatre New York, and Cheryl a member of the board of directors.
Click to read
Village Voice names Cheryl King’s “Forbidden Kiss Cabaret”
New York’s “Best Sexy Theatre”
In the summer of 2010, Cheryl moved Stage Left to a more capacious and accessible space on 30th Street, near Herald Square and MSG. With performances nightly, and matinees on weekends, it became the go-to place for solo artists in NYC. The beautiful space was covered with art, and boasted a topline lighting grid, with excellent sound system, projector and screens. It became well known as an ideal location for shows, readings, screenings, film and video shoots..
THE CHERYL KING WORKSHOPS
For a number of years before opening Stage Left, Cheryl taught across the US and internationally.
A co-producer of the annual Funny Women Fest in Chicago, she taught standup comedy and her own innovative Body Language workshop.
Every six weeks she traveled to Los Angeles for two-week stays, teaching intensive 8-hour, two-day Body Language workshops, writing workshops, and Standup Comedy workshops.
When Stage Left began producing shows on a nearly nightly basis, she ceased her regular trips out of town, to concentrate on teaching and other projects in New York City.
In addition to her regular schedule of private coaching and directing, Cheryl taught a writing workshop called Writing Your Heart Out on Tuesdays for the entire time she ran the theater space.
Cheryl currently offers Writing Your Heart Out via Zoom and In-Person Acting and Improv classes in Santa Rosa, CA.