Where: 1110 La Avenida, Mountain View, California
By: Diane Tasca, based on the short story "Night Bus," by Samuel Hopkins Adams
When: September 17-October 4, 2015
By: Nina Rainee
When: November 6-22, 2015
What: "The Mountaintop"
By: Katori Hall
When: January 15-31, 2016
What: "The Beard of Avon"
By: Amy Freed
When: April 8-24, 2016s
What: Pear Slices 2016
By: Various playwrights
When: May 13-29, 2016
What: "August: Osage County"
By: Tracy Letts
When: June 24-July 10, 2016
Tickets: $10-$35; Visit http://thepear.org/201516-plays
shows off its new building
Saturday, August 15, 2015, was a joyous day at The Pear Theatre in Mountain View, California.
It was so hot that day that when Pear Founder and Artistic Director Diane Tasca and Mountain View Mayor John McAlister "cut the ribbon" with a huge pair of ceremonial scissors that wouldn't cut melted butter, they were facing out toward just two or three photographers and a few hardy volunteers all the rest of us were already inside the building, hiding in the shade.
It was so hot that day that the black flooring inside the brand-new and huge (by previous Pear standards) auditorium was spotted everywhere with little puddles of sweat and spilled champagne within 10 minutes of opening.
It was so hot that bottles of cool water emptied almost magically, as soon as they appeared.
But it was a joyous day, because after 13 years in a tiny space on nearby Pear Avenue, in a theater that sat 40 in the audience and offered one count it, one bathroom for audiences and casts (plus a rented and wobbly Porta-A-Potty in the parking lot), The Pear is putting final preparations on a beautiful new theater that will seat as many as 99 ticket-buyers and that features a luxurious two bathrooms for the audience inside, even and a bathroom just for cast members.
And here's the deal: It is a happy thing because The Pear has staged a lot of really good work its tiny former space, given some playwrights a place to test their new work, and has contributed healthily to the overall San Francisco Peninsula theater scene.
It will be fun to see what The Pear does with a real theater.
The new facility, designed by San Jose architect John Duquette, besides a relatively large, black-box auditorium, has an actual rehearsal space the Ray Bachetti studio, named for her late husband by Pear supporter Carol Bachetti and a large dressing room and even a storage loft and set-construction area.
In the old days, once a set was built into The Pear Avenue Theatre, rehearsals and set construction for coming shows took place at Tasca's home, and at schools.
There will still be lines for the bathrooms: There is only one toilet in each of them. Still, it's a big step up from the old days.
The old theater was housed in a tilt-up concrete building, which has been taken over by Google, which owns a lot of real estate in Mountain View, and has big plans for it all. The behemoth company is wrestling with the city over what it wants to do; that is its own drama, or comedy.
The new Pear occupies about the back third of a building at 1110 La Avenida in Mountain View, in a building owned by the Sobrato Group, which has a considerable history of support of the arts. The new Pear is about three blocks from the old Pear location, and about two blocks from the Computer History Museum.
Thanks to nearby Shoreline Amphitheatre and the even nearer Century Theaters and the Sports Page (big-deal hang-out for techies), there can be plenty of traffic in the area. Get friendly with Tasca, and she might share the little-known route hacks she and her casts use to get through to the Pear.
The new Pear Theatre is to open on September 19. 2015 (following two previews), with "The Walls of Jericho," a new play written by Tasca based on the short story "The Night Bus" by Samuel Hopkins Adams. That story is familiar to fans of Frank Capra's 1934 film "It Happened One Night," starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable.
Should be fun.
Email John Orr at email@example.com