The Pear Avenue Theatre proudly presents
Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage Director Troy Johnson Producer Diane Tasca Stage Manager Sara Sparks Lighting Design Sara Sparks
Set Design Ron Gasparinetti Costume Design Patricia Tyler
Sound Design Gordon Smith & Jeanie Smith Presented with permission from Dramatists Play Services, Inc. This program is available online at www.thepear.org
The Ensemble (in order of appearance) Esther Mills .................................. Alicia Stamps Mrs. Dixon .................................. Kendra Owens George Armstrong ......................... Michael Wayne Rice Mrs. Van Buren ........................... Maggie Mason Mr. Marks ................................... Jarrod Pirtle Mayme .......................................... Yhá Mourhia D. Wright
Time: 1905 Place: New York City (various locations); Panama
There will be a 10-minute intermission between Acts 1 and 2.
The Production Team Director ........................................ Troy Johnson Producer ....................................... Diane Tasca Stage Manager ............................. Sara Sparks Production Manager ................... Patricia Tyler Set Designer................................. Ron Gasparinetti Lighting Designer ....................... Sara Sparks Costume Designer ...................... Patricia Tyler Sound Designers ......................... Gordon Smith & Jeanie Smith Assistant Director ....................... Melinda Marks Master Carpenter ........................ Charles McKeithan Publicity Directors ...................... Jeanie K. Smith & Shannon Stowe Postcard Designer....................... Patricia Tyler Program Consultant ................... Susan Petit Website Designer ........................ Ray Renati
About the Playwright and the Play
The many honors Lynn Nottage (b. 1964) has received include the 2010 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, a 2007 MacArthur Foundation award (“Genius Grant”), and a 2005 Guggenheim fellowship for playwriting. Born in Brooklyn and raised there by her parents, a psychologist and a teacher, Nottage graduated from Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, then worked for Amnesty International for four years before devoting herself to writing. Her plays have been produced Off-Broadway and in many regional theatres. Besides Intimate Apparel (2003), her works include Mud, River, Stone (1998); Las Meninas (which premiered at San Jose Rep in 2002); Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine (2004); Ruined (winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama); and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (2011). She is married to the stage director and documentary film producer and director Tony Gerber. Nottage employs a variety of styles to explore issues primarily of race, class, and gender. For example, Las Meninas is a broad farce centering on the relationship between Queen Marie-Thérèse, wife of Louis XIV, and a black dwarf from Dahomey; Fabulation is a satiric fable about an African-American career woman’s re-discovery of her underclass roots; and Ruined reveals with tenderness and compassion the damage caused by civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially the effects on women of rape, mutilation, and prostitution. Nottage’s identification of herself as a “contemporary playwright in a postmodern world” calls attention to her social consciousness. Intimate Apparel, which was named the best play of the year by the New York Drama Critics Circle and the Outer Critics Circle, is both her most often produced and her most personal play. It is also one of her most realistic. Nottage’s great-grandmother Ethyl Boyce, a creator of ladies’ undergarments, inspired Esther, the central character; in addition, the real-life Panama Canal worker she corresponded with appears under his own name. Yet Intimate Apparel is also a work of imagination about women in Lower Manhattan in 1905, from socialite to prostitute. Even when there are men in their lives, these women are on their own emotionally and/or financially. And sometimes they offer emotional support to one another. So they share a sisterhood despite differences of race, class, and morals. The intimate garments that Esther makes underscore this intimacy: it is no coincidence that the entire play takes place in bedrooms (which may also be places of business). The women’s hopes for true love face a variety of obstacles. The most poignant relationship is between Esther and Mr. Marks, who are separated by race and religion although united by their love of beautiful fabrics and their respect for each other. The other male-female relationships are warped by gender stereotypes and financial inequality. Fortunately Esther, like her landlady, can make a living by providing a service for other women; she does not have to depend on men. Nottage has said that she had Edith Wharton in mind when she wrote Fabulation, which she conceived as a companion piece to Intimate
Apparel (although it is set a century later), and I suspect that Intimate Apparel owes something to Wharton’s The House of Mirth. That novel, set like Intimate Apparel in New York and published in 1905, the year of this play’s action, tells the story of white socialite Lily Bart, who fails tragically in her search for love and social status. In contrast, Nottage’s play celebrates Esther, who, despite obstacles and burdens, has a strong determination to show that she is, to use her own word, “worthy.” Like the crazy quilt she has made from scraps of leftover fabric, her life is an improvisation that combines practicality and beauty. —Susan Petit
Acknowledgments The Pear thanks the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to this production: Melissa Estuesta Palo Alto Players Meg Fisher
Save the Date!
Sunday, January 13, 7pm: In the Beginning by Elyce Melmon What kind of man would have the audacity to revise the English Bible? Surely not King James, known for his crude behavior and foul mouth! Come hear this thoughtful and funny new play by Pear Playwright Elyce Melmon about the paradoxical personality that fosters the lyrical interpretation destined to become the standard for centuries. Tickets online and at the door; pay-what-you-can (suggested donation $10).
Who’s Who in This Production Maggie Mason (Mrs. Van Buren) is very happy to be a part of this beautiful show at the Pear. New York credits: These Seven Sicknesses and Arok of Java (Exit, Pursued by a Bear); Right to the Top (staged reading written and directed by Amy Freed). Bay Area: Christmas Carol, Arms and The Man (Center Rep); Henry V (SF Shakes); Period of Adjustment (SF Playhouse); Why We Have A Body and Or, (Magic; Or, Best Actress nomination, Bay Area Critics Circle); You, Nero and Arabian Nights (understudy) (Berkeley Rep); Rock ’n’ Roll (San Jose Stage); Possibilidad (SF Mime Troupe); Hamlet, As You Like It (Pacific Rep); Future Me (TheatreFIRST); Oskar and the Big Bully Battle (TheatreWorks). Film/ television: Grange Hill (BBC), Gemma Lyons, 3 seasons; Mirad, a Boy from Bosnia (BBC), starring Jeremy Irons (who directed) and Sinead Cusack. Kendra Owens (Mrs. Dixon) has performed in The Vagina Monologues (The Center for Spiritual Living and the Engage Her conference, Berkeley), A Raisin in the Sun and Nickel and Dimed (Pear), Doubt (Pacific Repertory, Carmel), The Sugar Witch (Northside and New Conservatory), Waiting to Dance (Renegade Theatre Experiment), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Willows), Anton in Show Business (Palo Alto Players), Ooh Bla Dee (Understudy, TheatreWorks), The Crucible (Cañada College), Long Time Since Yesterday and Romeo and Juliet (San Jose State), and Gem of the Ocean (The Next Stage). She is honored to be a part of this production of Intimate Apparel. Thanks to God, my daughter, and friends for their support. Jarrod Pirtle (Mr. Marks) is thrilled to make his debut at the Pear with this wonderful cast and crew. He was most recently seen as Tom in the Northside Theatre production of Dinner with Friends and as Mike Hogan in A Moon for the Misbegotten at the Tao House in Danville. Some previous credits include Padraic in The Lieutenant of Inishmore with Palo Alto Players; Allan in the San Francisco premiere of Foresight; Picasso in the Annex Theatreworks production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile; and Eddy in Fool for Love and Frederick in Enchanted April, both at Northside. Jarrod would like to thank the amazing and beautiful May for her love and support. Michael Wayne Rice (George Armstrong) “Don’t call this a bio. Call it ‘Interesting tidbits about the show!’ #1 I am MichaelWayneRice.com #2 The cast/crew is actually quite a talented ragtag group. #3 The director of the show is the kindest, gentlest, most trusting, ego-less man in theatre. #4 The Assistant Dir is young but offers quite insightful and astute observations. #5 ‘Hands’ are a major theme for 4 out of the 6 characters. #6 The Pear Avenue Theatre and Diane Tasca have produced 2 African American playwrights in about a year and a half. That is a very rare, and brave thing to do in the world of theatre.” Alicia Stamps (Esther Mills) is Alicia is pleased to make her Pear debut with Intimate Apparel. She was last seen as Rivers and Tyrrel in Richard III (Actors Ensemble of Berkeley). Previous roles include Banquo and Lady Macduff in Macbeth as well as Sebastian and Trinculo in The Tempest (SF Shakespeare
Festival) and Bottom/Pyramus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Dogberry in Much Ado about Nothing (Woman's Will). She holds a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts and is a Resident Teaching Artist with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Up next, she can been see as LeBeau in Impact Theatre's As You Like It. Many thanks to this amazing cast and crew! Yhá Mourhia D. Wright (Mayme) graduated from Santa Clara University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in theater arts. Since her time at Santa Clara, she has appeared in numerous productions throughout the South Bay and Peninsula. Her most recent productions include Tin Pan Alley Rag at Tabard Theatre, in which she played Treemonisha and Hattie; she also performed the role of Nettie in The Color Purple The Musical at Stanford. Her first role after graduation was at the Pear Avenue Theatre, playing Beneatha in A Raisin in the Sun, and she is happy to return to the Pear once again in this production of Intimate Apparel. Ron Gasparinetti (Scenic Designer) hails from Newark, NJ, but has lived in the Bay Area for the past 15 years. Currently Ron is the production manager, technical director, and resident scenic designer at City Lights (SJ). He has been a part of nearly 500 productions in his 32-year-long devotion to theatre. Some favorite creations: Humble Boy (Dragon), Proof (City Lights), The Clean House (Bus Barn), and Metamorphoses (Pear). His work has also been seen at Los Altos Youth Theatre, Shady Shakespeare, 42nd St. Moon, and New Conservatory. See more of his work at www.TheSetGuy.com. Troy Johnson (Director) Intimate Apparel is the second full-length production Troy has directed for the Pear, and he has been very lucky to secure an amazing cast and a very talented cadre of designers and staff. Previously at the Pear he directed Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July and co-directed six iterations of Pear Slices; he will co-direct his seventh set of Slices later this season. Recent directing credits elsewhere include Avenue Q for Stage 1, Crimes of the Heart and Enchanted April for Broadway West, and The Jungle Book for Festival Theatre Ensemble. As always, Troy would like to thank YOU for supporting live theatre. Melinda Marks (Assistant Director) This is Melinda’s first show at the Pear in any capacity, and she is thrilled to begin here with such a wonderful production. She is currently an M.A. candidate at San Jose State in the field of Performance Studies. Previous directorial credits include A Christmas Carol, Barefoot in the Park and The Importance of Being Earnest. Gordon Smith (Sound Design) has done sound design for several shows at the Pear (Cherry Orchard, Metamorphoses, Hay Fever, Raisin in the Sun, Fifth of July, Angels in America: Part One), as well as A Streetcar Named Desire for the Dragon. He continues to enjoy learning more about the process of theatre, from casting to opening, and thanks his lovely wife for introducing him to this world. Jeanie Smith (Sound Design) has directed locally for over ten years, including this season’s The Cherry Orchard and award-winning productions of The Seagull, Belle of Amherst, Long Day's Journey into Night, and Metamorphoses at the Pear Avenue Theatre. She
directs at other local theatres, is a member of the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, and holds a PhD. in Drama. Sara Sparks (Stage Manager; Lighting Designer) has previously been the stage manager for The Real Thing, Pear Slices 2012, Familiar Strangers, Fifth of July, Connecticut Yankee, and Death of a Salesman here at The Pear. Other favorite positions include lighting designer for Crimes of the Heart (Broadway West), production assistant for Every Christmas Story Ever Told, light/sound board operator for Red, White, and Tuna (San Jose Stage Company), and spotlight operator for Fly By Night (TheatreWorks). Sara graduated from UCSC with a degree in theatre arts. Patricia Tyler (Costume Design) has designed costumes and props for over 40 shows in the Bay Area. Some of her recent acting credits include Angels in America (Rabbi, Hannah, Ethel); Our Town (Mrs. Webb); The Illusion (Alcandre), among many others at the Pear; Seascape (Nancy) at Dragon Productions; The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Gloria, Mother Teresa) at City Lights; Moon Over Buffalo (Charlotte) at Bus Barn; and All My Sons (Kate) at DMT. Her background includes puppetry (Lunatique Fantastique), improvisation (The Second City), mime (Seattle Mime Theatre), and film (Hemingway & Gellhorn, Dumbarton Bridge, and Trouble in Mind).
Donors to the Pear Root$ : $1000 +
Anonymous * Arts Council Silicon Valley * Evelyn Beamer Norman Beamer & Diane Tasca * The BootStrap Foundation Robyn & Paul Braverman * The Carter Family Foundation Catherine Garber * Kathleen Hall & Leslie Murdock Sharmon Hilfinger & Luis Trabb Pardo * Richard & Anita Inz Ann Kuchins * John Lowney * Roberta Morris & Phil Buchsbaum Valerie Pagendarm * Mark & Theresa Rowland Jan & Don Schmidek * Silicon Valley Community Foundation Abe & Marian Sofaer * Theatre Bay Area Lloyd Watts * Dr. Thomasyne Lightfoote Wilson Branche$ : $200 - $999
Connie Allen & Doug Grieg * Beverley & Lee Altschuler * Anonymous Carol & Ray Bacchetti * Rhoda Bergen * Martin Billik * Robyn & Paul Braverman * Sandy Cademartori * Rosalee & Bob Clarke Jean Colby * Jo Ellen Ellis * Diane Ellsworth * Carol & Ken Emmons * Rebecca Ennals * Nancy Enzminger * Genevieve Firestone Oscar & Theda Firschein * Ryan Fong * Tom & Charlene Giannetti Sharon Graham * Kurt Gravenhorst * Florence & Franklin Howard Barbara Ingram * Robin Jeffs * Margy Kahn Terry & Mauri Kearney * William & Peg Kenney * Coralia Kuchins The Phil Kurjian Fund * Joan Little & Marty Ragno Elizabeth Lowenstein * Margaret Lynch * Rina & Tom Mandey Elyce Melmon * Robert & Eloise Morgan * Carole & Edward Mullowney * Mary Murphy * Ross Nelson * Alan Phinney * Boaz & Aliza Porat * Lindi Press * Bob Purvy * Jo Ann & Doug Rees * Ray & Katherine Renati Vivian Schatz * Martha Seaver Edna & Dan Shochat * John D. Stephens * Dana St. George & Gerry Gras * Patti & Wally Summers * Gloria Symon * Time-Warner, Inc Mary Lou Torre * Onnolee & Orlin Trapp * Don & Sylvie Way Barlow Westcott * Mike Wilber * Renee Winick * Adam Wisnewski
Pear$: $100 - $199
Creighton Asato * Anne & Greg Avis * Candice Basham * Roslyn & Arthur Bienenstock * Judith Bishop * Tom & Polly Bredt * Lawrence Breed Louise & Robert Burton * Ariel & Pat Calonne * Louis Caputo Mary Carter & Mark Roberts * Harve & Sandra Citrin * Joseph Colletti
Susan & Harry Dennis * Charlotte Dickson * Walt Doucett & Sally Hayse Dave & Ruth Eakin * Emily & Par Edsell * Sharon & Grant Elliot * Kathy & Bruce Fitzgerald * Frank Friedlander * Victor & Beverly Fuchs * Bennett & Joan Gates * Dr. & Mrs. B.D. Gaynor * Adrienne Gillespie * Lynn Gordon & David Simon * Martha & Bob Helseth * Gabrielle Higgins & Bill Steinmetz Jeffrey Hungerford * Charlotte Jacobs * Kevin & Melinda Johnson * Christina & Deepak Kamra * Pat Kapowich * Kay Mahon * Terrence McCarthy Brenda Miller * Mary & Thomas Nee * Jim & Barbara Newton * Laura Nuhn Jill Oâ€™Nan * Judy Ousterhout * Natalie & Peter Panfili * Boaz Porat * Alex & Laura Praszker * Frances & Donald Ragno * Jennifer & Donald Ragno Betty & Joe Renati * Tracy & Cynthia Rogers * Gary Rohloff * Antoinette & Dey Rose * Susan Rosenberg * Bill & Sherrean Rundberg * Thomas & Noel Ryan * Elaine Sausotte & Michael Keys Hall * Amy Schenone * Rebecca Schenone * Norma Schleunes * Steve Schumann * Christina & Maurice Sciammas * Lewis Silver * Laura Stefanski * Maggie Streets * Carol & Douglas Tanner * David & Ondrea Tricaso * Elizabeth Truro & James Quinn Lynne Weber * Robert Wenzlau & Julie Jomo * Caryn Huberman Yacowitz
Blossom$: To $99
Josephine Abel * Marlene Anderson * Midori Aogaichi * Shawna Bateman Jane Benson * Mitchell Bolen * Gordon & Sharon Bower * Marina Brodskaya Mr. & Mrs. Frank Carney * Daryl Carr * Harold Chapman * Judy Chiasson Sarah Church * Frank & Lorraine Collins * Dorothy Comstock * Caroline Cooper * David & Anne-Ly Crump-Garay * Jean Cudlip * Nancy Davidson * Allison Davis * Martie DeGutis * Monica Devens * Bill Dodd * Joseph Durand * Deborah Dutton * Doris Dyen * Nicole & Donald Ellis * Liz Elms James & Dorothy Fadiman * Jewel Seehaus Fisher * Ronald Gentile * Jo Gilbert * Adrienne Gillespie * Elaine Goldman * Dean Goodman Irene Grenier * Frances Hancock * Toni Heren * Byron Hubbel * Patricia Hughes * Christy Jerkovich * Jim Johnson * Earl Karn * Siobhan Kenney * Phyllis Koch * Hilda Korner * Lisa LaRocca * Ernest Lieberman * Dena McFarland * Kathleen McGeary * Cheryl McNamara Richard Medugno * Tekla & Eric Nee * Clare Novak David Payne * Patricia Peterson * Susan Petit * Jack & Susan Pines * Christine Wills Price Toby Reitman * Lester Roberts * Steven Rock * Diana Roome * Elaine Rossignol * Robert Rothrock * Jean Scandlyn * Janine Schenone * Matt Schenone * Ray Schenone * Gerry Schoennauer * Allegra Seale * Julia Seiff * Barbara & Skip Shapiro * Myrna Soper * Verna & Robert Spinrad * Nancy Ginsburg Stern * Burton Sukhov * Kevin & Barbara Susco * Beverley Taylor * Patricia Tyler & Ben Marks * Hava & Oskar Vierny * Sherry Waki * Kristin Walter Marilyn Walter * JoAnn & Bob Will * Lisa Wiseman * Vivie Zau * Irene Zubeck
KICKSTARTER: $11,291 The Pear offers a special thank-you to those who helped to make our Kickstarter campaign a roaring success. We raised $11,291 thanks to the generous contributions of these backers: $10+ Sharareh Bass * Rhoda Bergen * Carolyn Bickford * Randy Carnefix * Michael Champlin * Kitty Dowgert * Rani Fischer * Susannah Greenwood * Alan Herrmann * Martin Horowitz * Efim Kelman * Richard Meyer * Michael Moerman * Mary Mourkas * Jackie Roach * Earl T. Roske * Ilya Sherman Jonathan Shue * Margaret Simmons * Bjorn Svensholt * Rose Wyman * Barbara Zoeller $25+ Jeanne Ahearn * Larry Barrott * Ralph Bernstein *Alexandra Bogorad Vivian Brown * Bear Capron Alice Carter * Melanie Chartoff * Mona Clements * Carol David * Patricia Davis * Charlotte Dickson * John Ennals * Annette Glanckopf * Shannon Guggenheim * Leah Halper * Debra Hara * Charlotte Jacobs * Caroline Lavelle * Elizabeth Lowenstein * Ben Marks * Maria Marquis * Dena McFarland * Betsy Moore * Dinna Myers * Sandy Napel * Susan Pines * Robert Rothrock * William Rundberg * Rebecca Schenone * Leah Schultz * Peter Stangl * Ariel Strod * Patricia Tyler * Cynthia Vail * Francine Weinberg $50+ Connie Allen * Cara Arellano * Susan Barkan * Max Beckman-Harned * Jane Benson Jayne Booker * Monica Cappuccini * Rosalee Clarke * Jim & Cate DeGraw Karen deMoor * Monica Devens * Karen Duncan * Kenneth Emmons * Bobbi Fagone * Oscar & Theda Firschein * Kathy Hall * Jeff Hungerford * David Lieberman * Zipi Montano * Richard Meyer * Jill O’Nan * Lucy Owen * Natalie Panfili * Sean Pieper * Tim Perkins * Rebecca Rohrkaste * Bettina Rosenbladt Edna Shochat * Judd Smith * Nancy Stoll $100+ BootStrap Theatre Foundation * Robyn Braverman * Sue & Jim Champlin * Carolyn Compton * Kurt Gravenhorst * Louise Grimm * Angela Grindon * Joe * Beatrice Heintz * Lynnea Johnson * Margy Kahn * Mauri Kearney * Joel Kellman * James Kleinrath * Kristen Lo * Elyce Melmon * Elaine Meyer Roberta Morris * Susan Petit * Lindi Press * Ray Renati * Allegra Seale * Ellen Smith * Jeanie Smith * Marian Sofaer * Gloria Symon * Sam & Mary Winklebleck * Lisa Wiseman $150+ Kathleen Bennett * Jo-Ellen Ellis * Kurt Gravenhorst * Barbara Ingram * Tim Toppole * Onnolee Trapp $250+ Carol Bacchetti * John & Janet Creelman * Cynthia Gregory * Ann Kuchins * Valerie Pagendarm * Margaret Lynch * Eric Rice * Joseph Sturkey * Joyce Tenover * Mary Lou Torre $1000
David Stewart Zink
NEXT UP AT THE PEAR
The Apple Never Falls a new play by Paul Braverman February 22 – March 10
It’s 1964, and a Strangler stalks a terrified Boston. Frankie Payne, the gin-soaked but not quite burned-out detective (whom we first met in No Good Deed) struggles with toxic family ties and learns the hard way that the apple never falls far from the tree.