Pear Theatre’s “Pear Slices 2019” – a collection of short plays from members of the Pear Playwrights Guild – is scheduled to preview Thursday, open Friday and run through May 19 in Mountain View.
Now in its 16th year, “Pear Slices” presents eight vignettes, all performed by one cast. Actors Ray D’Ambrosio, Becca Gilbert, Alice Highman, Bill C. Jones, Jackie O’Keefe, Leslie Newport Wright and Daniel Zafer-Joyce each play multiple characters. The behind-the-scenes crew includes stage manager Kelly Weber Barraza, set designers Betsy Kruse Craig and Troy Johnson, sound designers David Hobbs and Robyn Ginsburg Braverman and lighting designer Meghan Souther.
The eight plays include:
• “Deuce Cooper: Pier Pressure.” Paul Braverman first brought the comically hardboiled private detective to “Pear Slices” in 2017. This time around, Deuce navigates a 1940s noir landscape of convoluted code words, sexy Russian spies, covert safe houses and a deserted pier at midnight.
• “TickTock Bio Clock.” Leah Halper’s drama is 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.
• “The Supreme Question.” VB Leghorn delves into the nature of the U.S. legal system and its evolution. The setting is a theoretical future courtroom in which an omniscient, dispassionate artificial intelligence – not humans – decides the fate of a case.
• “Mothers of the Bride.” Set in a bridal shop, Meghan Maugeri’s play features 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.
• “Open the Door for the Stranger.” Elyce Melmon’s drama centers on Becky, a widow preparing 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.
• “Mister the Bear.” Bridgette Dutta Portman’s drama takes place at 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 people can’t move forward until they see, honestly, what’s still holding them back.
• “Eschaton.” Douglas Rees’ play follows pawnshop owner Sofi as she meets a mysterious customer looking for a special horn. While he initially claims it’s a family heirloom, the instrument turns out to be the lost horn of the angel Gabriel that is intended to usher in the Apocalypse – which is 100 years overdue.
• “Collision.” Barry Slater’s play depicts a seemingly unexpected fender-bender that evolves into a 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.”
Performances are slated 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida St.
Tickets are $15-$35.
For tickets and more information, call 254-1148 or visit thepear.org.