in Performances, UCB/Bancroft Library/BAMPFA

The Edge

The Edge is an avant-garde company of actors and artist, founded and directed by Frank. The Edge is focused on subversion, on magic on altering reality … and is not afraid of combining individual arts together.

We met Jonathan when he answered one of our CALLBOARD ads. CALLBOARD is a straight Bay Area theater listing publication that we would sometimes list in.

Our ad read:

Cutting Edge Productions is casting for males & females for THE EDGE, a company of experimental theatre and performance art.

Jonathan had moved to San Francisco from the mid-west with his wife and was scheduled to study at ACT (American Conservatory Theater) in the fall and had been looking for something to do for the summer and signed on to work with Frank as part of Frank’s weekly workshop in Performance that we did at a local private kids’ school in a space we rented.

We met Suzanna when she attended one of our first “Wrapping/Rocking” performances at The Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco in 1986. She worked with Frank for a few years. 

Mary was living with us at this point. She had been working with Frank since the 1970s and had been part of the Outrageous Beauty Revue.

Here is the text from a poster for the UCB series that featured The Edge:

Friends of the Studio

presents

free series of live performances

by

The Edge

in Frank Moore’s

Experimental Reality

supported by a grant from The National Endowment for Arts

7 P.M. at Rm. 125 Dwinelle, U.C. Berkeley

Thursday – September 4, September 18, October 2, October 30, November 13, December 4, 1986

Experimental Reality is not passive entertainment. Experimental Reality is not television.

Experimental Reality is a taboo-breaking series of improvised mischievous avant-garde performances which at first appear childishly simple, but which devilishly suck the audience into a surreal and sensual underground where even serious can become silly without social straight-jackets to spoil their fun. Each piece is designed to goose your mind and morality … among other things. These pieces make the audience an active element in the magic of art theatre.

Frank Moore is a nationally recognized controversial performance artist who always tries to create a dream reality in which anything is possible. He will use this series to develop productions for San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City.

The Edge is an avant-garde company of actors and artist, founded and directed by Frank. The Edge is focused on subversion, on magic on altering reality … and is not afraid of combining individual arts together.

Another performance, July 1986, Walden School, Berkeley, California.
Frank & Jonathan “King Lear” with Suzanna and Mary

Frank created a brochure:

Here is what Frank wrote in December 1986, at the end of the year of his NEA grant:

From NEA Fellowship October 1, 1985 – October 1, 1986:
Grant #51-4111-0456
December 2, 1986
 
What my N.E.A. Fellowship did for my art career this year was give me a new freedom. I could put my ideas directly into action without being limited by a lack of money. But this new freedom was not totally financial. Having the N.E.A. opened up performance and lecture venues which had been before denied to me.
 
But it also opened minds to my art and philosophy, making it much easier to get spaces, audiences, and actors for my work. My work could thus go much further in its content … it could explore new depths of magic.
 
The year started with a performance tour of southern California. This included performances at University of California at San Diego, the Anti Club in L.A. and Babel – a group show in L.A. Through this tour I met such performance artists as Eleanor Antin, Rachel Rosenthal, Allan Kaprow. These meetings gave me more of a sense of an artists’ community in which to do my work. This tour also planted the seeds for a group of young artists who work in my productions in L.A.
 
After this tour, The Inter-section for the Arts in San Francisco asked me to do my “Wrapping/Rocking” for two nights.
 
The Southern California tour stirred up the desire in me to have an avant-garde performance company in the Bay Area. To this end, I founded The Edge. I started leading a weekly workshop for my new group in a rented gym.
 
With The Edge, I have developed my bi-weekly performance series at University of California at Berkeley into a free and freeing taboo-breaking event with an average audience of 30 questioning students.
 
In private performances with a number of people of all walks of life, I have refined my concept of EROPLAY and of performance. I have been asked to give lectures at the San Francisco Art Institute three times this year. I also broadcasted my art and philosophy in a four-hour live program on KPFA public radio.
 
The year climaxed with an L.A. five-hour performance of my “Cave of Dream”, which I consider to be my best work to date. In it, I combined The Edge with my L.A. group to form a cast of 15 to create a complex surreal basket of reality. This performance alone would have been impossible for me without the freedom of the N.E.A.
 
Moreover, the N.E.A. created a momentum which will carry over next year to a performance in Denver at the Art. Dept. Gallery and an East Coast tour, including a production of “Cave of Dream” in N.Y.C. at Franklin Furnace.
 
Frank Moore

Write a Comment

Comment