Theater & Dance
News
Pear Theatre ribbon-cutting

When: Saturday, August 15, 2015
Where: 1110 La Avenida, Mountain View, California
Website: thepear.org
Pear Theatre
2015-2016 season

What: "The Walls of Jericho"
By: Diane Tasca, based on the short story "Night Bus," by Samuel Hopkins Adams
When: September 17-October 4, 2015

What: "Tribes"
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

Tasca, McAlister
John Orr / Regarding Arts
Pear Theatre Founder and Artistic Director Diane Tasca and Mountain View Mayor John McAlister pose for publicist Carla Befera and frequent Pear actress Mary Price Moore at the ribbon-cutting and walk-through of The Pear on Saturday, August 15, 2015. You'll notice there is hardly any crowd. That's because most people were already in the building, which was slightly cooler than the scorching heat outside.
The Pear Theatre
shows off its new building
From the tiny, 40-seat box to a flexible space seating as many as 99, with lots of extras, even bathrooms!
August 22, 2015

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.

Jo-Ellen Ellis
Carla Befera / The Pear
Jo-Ellen Ellis, who has supported the Pear since its first performance, dons a festive fruit-bejeweled hard-hat at the ribbon-cutting of Pear Theatre’s new space on Saturday, August 15, 2015. Those opaque doors are to be replaced by glass doors.

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.

Joy.

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.

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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 johnorr@regardingarts.com

Tasca, McAlister, Smith
John Orr / Regarding Arts
The Pear Theatre Founder and Artistic Director Diane Tasca, left, and Mountain View Mayor John McAlister, with some help from frequent Pear creative force Jeanie K. Smith, cut the ribbon for the walk through of The Pear's new theater, on Saturday, August 15, 2015. It was quite the process; those scissors couldn't cut warm butter.
McAlister, Orr, crowd
John Beamer photo
A view of the auditorium of the new Pear Theatre on Saturday, August 15, 2015, as supporters and reporters give the facility the once over. Way back in the far corner, where the cool people hang out, are Mountain View Mayor John McAlister, who did ribbon-cutting honors, and Regarding Arts' John Orr, who drank as much cool water on that hot day as he could get his hands on. This view is from the control booth. On the other side of the wall to the right are the set shop, dressing room and the Ray Bachetti rehearsal studio.
Bachetti, Tasca
Carla Befera / The Pear
Carol Bachetti, left, a longtime Pear Theatre supporter who dedicated the Ray Bachetti studio to her late husband, and Artistic Director and Founder Diane Tasca at the ribbon-cutting of Pear Theatre’s new space on Saturday, August 15, 2015. They are in the new performance space. Over Tasca's left shoulder is the window to the control booth.
Lyman, McAlister
John Orr / Regarding Arts
Chase Lyman, left, of the Sobrato Group, which owns the building in which The Pear Theatre is leasing space, and Mountain View Mayor John McAlister, at the ribbon-cutting and walk-through of the new theater, on Saturday, August 15, 2015.
Seating
Seating
Seating
Courtesy of The Pear
The three main configurations of The Pear's new audience space, as designed by architect John Duquette.


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