Our 16th season ends with a delectable foray into musical theatre, Noël Coward's Oh, Coward! (And a rare foray too--the Pear has staged only three musical works in 15 years.) This delightfully intimate revue, devised by Roderick Cook, features four performers accompanied on piano. Coward’s songs and sketches about British high and low society, the theatah, mad dogs, Englishmen, and other noteworthy subjects sparkle with the Master’s dry-as-a-martini wit. Our production will be co-directed by Elizabeth Craig and Diane Tasca.
Spring means Slices—a collection of original, short plays from the members of the Pear Playwrights Guild, directed by Troy Johnson and Robyn Ginsburg Braverman. A stunning variety of stories and settings, rich characters and surprising plot twists will occupy the Pear stage, brought to life with a single cast of highly versatile actors. This annual short-play showcase has become a favorite among Pear audiences and never fails to amuse, intrigue, and inspire.
Featuring short plays written by: Leah Halper, Barry Slater, Barbara Anderson, Paul Braverman, Bridgette Dutta Portman, Ross Peter Nelson, Steve Koppman, and Evan Kokkila-Schumacher
This romantic comedy, directed by Jeffrey Lo, is based on the French classic, Cyrano de Bergerac. A high school English teacher--and the only Korean American man living in a dusty Wyoming town--falls for a new teacher, a bright, gorgeous Asian-American woman. But she is attracted only to white men — such as the handsome but fairly dim P.E. teacher. Savagely mirthful and often moving, this play was deemed "funny, sharply written, [tackling] the topic of race head-on, with both barrels blazing.”
Inspired by a true story, this play follows Miss Helen, a South African widow who harbors an unconventional artistic impulse. She is caught between an old friend who urges her to conform and a young friend who encourages her to follow her heart. Time included the play in its “Theatre: Best of the Decade” list, praising Fugard’s compassion and the play’s “Ibsenesque conflict.” The play will be directed by the Pear’s new Artistic Director Elizabeth Craig and will feature emeritus Director Diane Tasca as Miss Helen.
Once more offering less-than-traditional holiday fare, we celebrate the season with a satire, written and directed by James Kopp. A small theatre in Northern California fears closing its doors after mounting costly shows with poor sales. Hoping to appeal to a larger audience, the Artistic Director puts up Dickens' classic "Christmas Carol." Coming through with signature Koppian humor (à la Geeks vs. Zombies and Super Villain!!), the show also gives serious consideration to the compromises between art for art’s sake and art that pays.
Written in 1882, Ibsen's story of a scientist undermined by others’ greed still rings disturbingly true. Dr. Stockmann has discovered terrible industrial pollution in the town's springs, which had promised to revitalize the economy. Unwilling to pay for decontamination, the mayor — the doctor’s brother — accuses the scientist of fabricating the story, turning most of the town against his brother and his family. Ibsen examines the moral dilemmas inherent in whistleblowing, as well as the often ephemeral nature of truth itself. Directed by Elizabeth Kruse Craig.
This insightful and provocative play, directed by Caroline Clark, examines a slice of history when physicians treated various female (and male) ailments by the use of an electric vibrator, applied to private parts in a treatment room. It's a fascinating and often funny glimpse into a patriarchal society, in which women are not given the words or concepts to articulate their needs. The New Yorker called Ruhl's play “her best to date.”