Stepping Out

Pear’s ‘Fairfield’ closes Sunday

Mountain View-based Pear Theatre’s production of “Fairfield” – Eric Coble’s contemporary comedy that examines the personal bias inherent in discerning appropriate from inappropriate – opened online last month and is set to close Sunday.

Aldo Billingslea and Pear’s artistic director Sinjin Jones serve as co-directors of the play, presented as a pre-recorded video.

Fairfield Elementary is a progressive, integrated school in a progressive, integrated community where Black History Month goes horribly wrong. One bad role-playing exercise by an over-eager first-grade teacher and suddenly Black and white parents, principals, superintendents and teachers are fighting for their educational lives, just hoping to reach the Feb. 28 “CelebrEthnic Potluck” in one piece.

Billingslea is known in Bay Area theater circles as an actor – both stage and screen – and director, as well as the founder of The Juneteenth Theatre Justice Project. He is also a professor of theater at Santa Clara University, where he teaches courses in performance and performance studies, including seminars on August Wilson and American theater from the Black perspective.

Jones came to Pear a year ago, bringing a broad range of artistic experience that includes directing, performing, choreography, arts education, creative writing, and devised and immersive theater, along with photography, lighting design, sound design and stage management. In 2019, he received an Honorable Mention for the Tony’s Excellence in Education Award.

The “Fairfield” cast includes Cheri L. Miller (as Angela Wadley), Annalisa Tkacheff (Laurie Kaminski), Jennifer D. Bradford (Vanessa Stubbs), Terrance Smith (Daniel Stubbs), Janine Saunders Evans (Molly Flemmingsen), Robert Sean Campbell (Scott Flemmingsen) and Keith C. Marshall (Mr. Snyder).

Behind the scenes, Kelly Weber Barraza serves as stage manager, U. Jonathan Toppo is the fight coordinator, Stephanie Johnson provides lighting design, Kevin Davies designed the set and props, and Naomi Arnst oversaw costumes.

Tickets, $30-$37, will grant access to a password-protected video of the show.

For tickets and more information, call 254-1148 or visit thepear.org.

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