Pear Theatre Presents MAJOR BARBARA by George Bernard Shaw
Pear Theatre continues its 2016/2017 season with George Bernard Shaw's classic MAJOR BARBARA, a thought-provoking look at human nature, religion, and social engineering. As the country prepares to elect a new President, the relationships between business, morality, and human welfare becomes more relevant than ever. MAJOR BARBARA, directed by Betsy Kruse Craig and assistant directed by Jeanie K. Smith, previews on October 27; with Press and Opening Night on Friday, October 28, followed by a champagne gala. The show runs Thursdays through Sundays, through November 20. All performances are held at the Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida St., Mountain View. For tickets ($10-$35) and information the public may visit www.thepear.org or call (650) 254-1148.
"Can poverty and happiness coexist? Is money the root of all evil, or of all good?" asks director Craig. "Shaw created this very funny play, with these diverse characters - some lovable, some exasperating, all very human. And into this comedy he inserts questions, ideas - leading the audience into a philosophical mine field. Shaw is essentially asking audiences to question their preconceived notions with this play. As he once said, 'Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.'"
The title character of Major Barbara is a selfless, strong woman who has joined the Salvation Army with a desire to serve the downtrodden and save men's souls from wickedness. She also happens to be the daughter of the wealthy military industrialist, Andrew Undershaft; whose business of munitions provides him the opportunity to employ many of those same downtrodden and allow them a chance to support themselves. Each desires to convert the other to their notion of salvation, as the social mores of the last century slowly erode.
Which is a greater danger, the decline of morality and virtue, or rampant poverty, sickness, and deprivation? Are wealth and warfare to be despised if they are the fastest means to lifting the general populace out of misery? Is saving souls a worthy enterprise if it comes only in exchange for bread and board? Coming at the height of the election season,MAJOR BARBARA shines the light of Shaw's analytical wit on serious questions that continue to impact state of our union.
Major Barbara will be played by Briana Mitchell, and Andrew Undershaft by Todd Wright. Bryan Moriarty plays Barbara's fiance, Adolphus Cusins. The rest of the cast, who each take on multiple roles, includes Monica Cappucini,Michael Saenz, Becca Gilbert, Michael Weiland, Nicolae Muntean, and Vanessa Alvarez.
The production team includes Stage Manager Kelly Barraza Weber, Set Designers Norman Beamer and Betsy Kruse Craig, Lighting Designer Sara Sparks, Sound Designers Jeanie and GorDon Smith, and Costume Designer Elly Jessop.
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 fifteenth season, The Pear attracts theatre artists and audience from all over the Bay Area for its award-winning and high-quality productions; and last year The Pear's 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.