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AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE Comes to Pear Theatre, 10/ 20

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AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE Comes to Pear Theatre, 10/ 20 Pear Theatre examines the clashes and conflicts of society and politics with Henrik Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People," adapted by Rebecca Lenkiewicz. When a town's economic future is at stake, its leader would rather vilify a good man and risk harm to its own citizens than do the right thing. "An Enemy of the People" is directed by Ray Renati, and previews on October 19. Press and Opening Night is Friday, October 20, followed by a champagne gala. The show runs Thursdays through Sundays, through November 12. All performances are held at the Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida St., Mountain View. Tickets ($15-$35) can be purchased by visiting www.thepear.org or calling (650) 254-1148.

Written in 1882, Ibsen's story of a altruistic man undermined by people concerned with profit still rings disturbingly true. Dr. Stockmann has discovered serious contamination in the town's new bathing complex, an enterprise which had promised to revitalize the town economy. Unwilling to undertake the expense of correction, however, the town mayor - his own brother - accuses Stockmann of fabricating the story to enrich himself, and manages to turn most of the town's population against the doctor and his family. Ibsen examines the moral dilemmas inherent in whistleblowing, as well as the sometimes ephemeral nature of truth itself.

Who should determine the course of a society - the intellectuals, defending science and reason even if it means impending ruin? The majority opinion, whether or not based in reason? The captains of industry, whose funding can make or break a community? The truth-tellers, whose righteous declarations are not always welcome? The smooth talkers, who can easily calm or enrage a crowd?

This production will feature Rebecca Lenkiewicz's adaptation of Ibsen's work, which premiered in London in 2008 and saw a successful Broadway run in 2012. Lenkiewicz's version is stripped down, almost austere, with several minor characters eliminated. The Guardian praised the London premiere, saying "Ibsen thrives in small spaces. Rebecca Lenkiewicz's adaptation, avoiding the soft soap of Arthur Miller's version, never tries to disguise the anti-democratic nature of Ibsen's protagonist. This is Ibsen stripped to the bone and delivered with rare urgency." Entertainment Weekly, reviewing the Broadway production, said the new adaptation "navigates Ibsen's wordplay - thorny intellectual arguments and blistering monologues peppered by snippets of banter - with both respect for his time and awareness of our own. Enemy plays as an all-words, white-knuckle thriller without so much as a gun to raise the stakes. The dialogue supplies all the dramatic heat, and thanks to Lenkiewicz, there's enough to all but set the stage on fire."

"An Enemy of the People" features Steven Guire Knight as Dr. Thomas Stockman, Hannah Mary Keller as his wife Petra Stockmann, and Rich Holman as his brother and town Mayor, Peter Stockmann. Rounding out the cast are Matt Brown as Billing, Michael Craig as Captain Horster, John Musgrave as Dr. Stockmann's father-in-law Morten Kiil, Mohana Rajagopal as Katherine Stockmann, Anthony Silk as the printer Aslaksan, Ron Talbot as the newspaper publisher Hovstad, and Jerry Hitchcock and Mihaela Robb, as townspeople. The design and crew team includes costume designer Kathleen Qiu, lighting designer Meghan Souther, and stage manager Caylyn Skoog.

Director Ray Renati is well known to Pear Theatre audiences, having directed more than a dozen shows there, including "A View from the Bridge," "The Mountaintop," "Fool for Love," and "Mrs. Warren's Profession." His shows frequently receive accolades from local reviewers as well as Theatre Bay Area award adjudicators and Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle members. An actor as well, he has appeared onstage in numerous Pear productions ("Pygmalion," "Superior Donuts," "The Guys," "Pear Slices") as well as theatres throughout the Bay Area and beyond, and has performed in numerous commercials, television programs, and independent films. Renati is also a professional photographer.

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 www.thepear.org or call (650) 254-1148.


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