Pear Theatre in Mountain View is moving ahead in today’s virtual world with a season announcement/subscription kick-off party June 12.
Pear Artistic Director Sinjin Jones will host the Pear’s annual fundraising gala in a virtual format from 2 to 4 p.m., with a different host handling one of four segments. Describing the event as having a “telethon” vibe, Jones says it will feature actors giving rehearsed readings from each show in the Pear’s upcoming season.
Performers include Michael Champlin, Betsy Kruse Craig, Mike Rhone, Martin Rojas Dietrich and Amy Marie Haven.
Jones says there will also be representatives from the production side—set, costume and lighting designers—and testimonials from longtime Pear subscribers.
“Our goal is to sell subscriptions, of course, but we’re also hoping to raise an additional $5,000 and donate a portion of that to organizations supporting social justice,” he adds.
On June 26 Pear Theatre opens its second virtual production, “This Street and the Next,” a series of short videos that ticketholders can view in whatever order and at whatever time they choose.
Originally, the Pear was scheduled to open “Side by Side by Sondheim” as the final show of its 2019-2020 season. But Jones says, “It became obvious to us that a digital production of that show just wouldn’t work for us. We still hope to present this show in the future, but for the current reality, we knew we had to change gears.”
Thanks to the enthusiastic Pear Playwrights Guild, Jones says, the upcoming creation is completely the company’s brainchild.
“It was conceived for the current situation we’re all in right now,” he explains. “It uses overlapping narratives to explore the strength of the human spirit even in difficult times.”
Storylines include a couple whose wedding plans are affected by the pandemic, a man who lives alone and comes to recognize the difference between alone and lonely. A third plotline has two men who are navigating online dating, and a fourth involves a married couple who, due to shelter-at-home requirements, explore the demands and meaning of work.
Later in the video, a minstrel wanders through the storylines, helping to show connections between them.
The “Streets” cast consists of Dave Leon, Juliet Green, Marco Neves, Rhone, Haven and Kruse.
Pear Playwrights Guild members who collaborated on this project are Douglas Rees, Diane Gribschaw, Barbara Anderson, Robin Booth, Carol Wolf, Leah Halper and Peggy Powell.
Pear season subscribers and others who had already purchased tickets to the Sondheim production automatically have tickets to the online production of “This Side and the Next.” The collection of short videos will remain online for an unspecified period of time.
Non-subscribers and -ticketholders can purchase a $15 ticket for the show. A $30 ticket will enable viewers to see “This Side and the Next” and have access to a “backstage pass” of videos and live interactive digital events. Screenings will be done on Vimeo accessed through special links that will be given out through the Pear Theatre website.
For more information, call 650-254-1148 or visit www.thepear.org/this-street-and-the-next.
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