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HEDDA GABBLER at Pear Theatre this October

HEDDA GABBLER at Pear Theatre this October

Pear Theatre continues its season with Henrik Ibsen's intense "Hedda Gabler," directed by Theatre Bay Area Deputy Director Dale Albright. "Hedda Gabler," starring Pear Artistic Director Betsy Kruse Craig in the title role, previews on October 11, with press and Opening Night on Friday, October 12 (followed by a champagne gala). The show runs Thursdays through Sundays through October 28. All performances are held at the Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida St., Mountain View. Tickets can be purchased by or calling (650) 254-1148.

Stuck in a loveless marriage, bored, possibly pregnant, and facing financial constraints from her new husband, Hedda manipulates the people around her to try to improve her situation, but only brings herself more tragedy. Was Hedda a spoiled woman, toying with lives out of boredom and selfishness? Or a woman desperate for love and autonomy, trapped in a society that allowed her neither? A powerful personality incompatible with the social conventions of her time, Ibsen's inscrutable 'antiheroine' has intrigued (and enraged) audiences for almost 130 years.

Ibsen was well known for writing plays whose female characters expressed the frustrations of being marginalized and undervalued. "A woman cannot be herself in contemporary society; it is an exclusively male society," he once wrote in his notes to "A Doll's House." Freedom of choice for women, respect for their capabilities, and open honesty between spouses are central Ibsen values. It is no accident that the play is titled "Hedda Gabler," Hedda's maiden name, even though the play begins with Hedda's return from her honeymoon and the start of her new life as Hedda Tesman. Ibsen wrote of this: "My intention in giving it this name was to indicate that Hedda as a personality is to be regarded rather as her father's daughter than her husband's wife."

"Hedda is a classic because it will always be relevant," said director Dale Albright. "It's fascinating to see this brilliant woman fight against the limitations of her day. Her choices are brazen and terrifying. This production will be surrounded by audiences on all sides, so it will bring them into the production in a very visceral way ... I think people will always be compelled by what she does."

Albright directed the existential comedy 'sequel' "The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler" last year at Dragon Productions, and has brought two of the cast members from that production to this one (Troy Johnson as Hedda's new husband George Tesman and Damaris Divito as her childhood friend Thea Elvsted). He requested that Pear Theatre Artistic Director Betsy Kruse Craig take the title role, and although she hadn't planned on appearing on stage this year, Craig agreed after discussing it with Albright and Founding Artistic Director Diane Tasca. (Craig's agreement with the Pear Theatre requires that she direct or act in at least one production per season, and she is not directing this season.)

The rest of the cast includes Michael Champlin as Eilert Lovburg, Ron Talbot as Judge Brack, Celia Maurice as Juliana Tesman, and Gretta Hestenes-Stimson as Berte. The design and crew team includes set designer Ting-Na Wang, lighting designer Valerie Clear, costume designerMelissa Sanchez, choreographer Michael Saenz, and stage manager Rachel Bratt.

Pear Theatre began as the Pear Avenue Theatre in June 2002, under the leadership of Artistic Director Diane Tasca, by a group of theatre artists who believe that audiences are eager for plays that challenge as well as delight and move them. Pear Theatre produces intimate theatre by passionate artists, whether classic works or cutting-edge plays. Now in its sixteenth season, The Pear attracts theatre artists and audience from all over the Bay Area for its award-winning and high-quality productions; and its ongoing commitment to excellence was recognized by the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle with the Paine Knickerbocker Award, an annual special award for a Bay Area company contributing to the high quality of theatre in the region.

Pear Theatre moved in 2015 from its original 40-seat warehouse space to a new, state-of-the-art black box theatre close by, with capacity of 75-99 seats depending on the configuration of the production. This exciting move allows The Pear to continue its tradition of intimate theatre while taking on new challenges and opportunities. In August 2017, Betsy Kruse Craig took the helm as the new Artistic Director, beginning with this season.

TICKETS: $15 (Previews) - $35; savings available for seniors & students.

For information or tickets, visit or call (650) 254-1148.

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