An Evening of Short Plays

Spring means Slices- a collection of original, short plays from the members of the Pear Playwrights Guild. An eclectic variety of stories and settings, rich characters and surprising plot twists will occupy the Pear stage, brought to life with a single cast of versatile actors. This annual short play showcase is a Pear audience favorite: amusing, intriguing, and inspiring.

May 3 — May 19

Tickets $32/$28 seniors & students

Pear Slices is like a box of chocolates — there's something for everyone's taste! Each spring Pear Theatre patrons gather at Mountain View's intimate theatre company for this collection of original, short plays from the members of the Pear Playwrights Guild. Pear Slices 2019, directed by Robyn Ginsburg Braverman and Troy Johnson, previews on May 2, with press and Opening Night on Friday, May 3, followed by a champagne gala. The show runs Thursdays through Sundays through May 19. All performances are held at the Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida St., Mountain View. Tickets can be purchased by clicking on the link above, or calling (650) 254-1148.

Now in its sixteenth year, Pear Slices 2019 presents eight vignettes in one performance: a stunning variety of stories, settings, and plot twists, penned by local playwrights and brought to life night after night with a single cast of highly versatile, local actors.

In “Deuce Cooper: Pier Pressure” by Paul Braverman, audiences rejoin 2017's comically hardboiled private detective as he navigates a 1940's noir landscape of convoluted code words, sexy Russian spies, covert safe houses, and a deserted pier at midnight. Laughs and plot twists will come hard and fast as Deuce works to keep one step ahead of his vaguely dirty cohorts.

From the pen of Leah Halper comes “TickTock Bio Clock,” a sympathetic glimpse into a couple trying to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization. Between the expense, the exhaustion, and the raw-nerve expectations, one couple must find a way to support each other as they pursue the family they've always wanted. VB Leghorn's “The Supreme Question” is a fascinating foray into the nature of our legal system and its evolution. In this play, we find a theoretical future courtroom in which an omniscient, dispassionate artificial intelligence — not humans — will decide the fate of a case. How black and white is justice, really, even after removing partisanship and personalities? Is empathy a necessary ingredient for true justice?

Set in a bridal shop, Meghan Maugeri's “Mothers of the Bride” brings us the slightly awkward trio of a bride-to-be, her mother, and her stepmother. While one mother is unfailingly positive and supportive, the other is unceasingly critical. As the bride makes trips to and from the dressing room modeling various gowns, the two older women must come to terms with each other, their future son-in-law, and how they will support their daughter in the next stage of her life.

Elyce Melmon brings a sweet note to Slices with “Open the Door for the Stranger,” in which a widow prepares a Passover seder for her family. She's invited the new gentile man in her life, but at the same time is completely unsure of entering into a new romantic relationship. While resting in her garden — perhaps dreaming, perhaps not — Becky will be able to talk out her worries and get some advice from her mother.

“Mister the Bear” by Bridgette Dutta Portman takes us to sunset on the bank of a river, where Brian suffers the appearance of his younger sister Cara, who died years ago yet still wants him to mend her favorite toy. He will discover that sometimes we can't move forward until we see, honestly, what's still holding us back.

In Douglas Rees's fanciful “Eschaton,” a pawn shop owner meets a mysterious customer looking for a special horn. While initially he claims it's a family heirloom, it turns out instead to be the horn of the angel Gabriel intended to usher in the Apocalypse (which is 100 years overdue, due to the lost horn). Sofi soon finds her place of business the site of a supernatural battle for the end of the world.

Finishing up the short plays to be presented is Barry Slater's “Collision,” in which a seemingly unexpected fender-bender will turn out to be a much more dire encounter for one of the drivers. A mysterious woman knows far more than she ought to about the person on the other side of the “accident.”

The cast, each playing multiple characters across plays, consists of Ray D'Ambrosio, Becca Gilbert, Alice Highman, Bill C. Jones, Jackie O'Keefe, Leslie Newport Wright, and Daniel Zafer-Joyce. Kelly Weber Barraza stage manages, Betsy Kruse Craig and Troy Johnson provide set design, David Hobbs and Robyn Ginsburg Braverman create the sound design, and Meghan Souther designs lighting.

Pear Theatre is one of the only theatres in the Bay Area to host its own playwrights development group, known as the Pear Playwrights Guild. Playwrights meet regularly to share their writing, whether short plays or full-length works. Newer playwrights get the benefit of the more experienced writers' knowledge of plot development, character development, and action that sounds good on paper but may not translate well to the stage. Short plays from the Guild are considered for each year's Pear Slices, and longer plays often see full productions at the Pear, such as “What You Will” (Max Gutmann) and the recently completed premiere production of “Sojourn” (Evan Kokkila-Schumacher).