Mothers of the Bride opens the 2021-2022 Season at Pear

(clockwise from top) Kaylyn MacKenzie, Kim Seipel, Caitlyn Lawrence Papp, Francheska Loy, Sandy Sodos
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As Pear Theatre begins its 2021-22 season patrons will have the choice of seeing the world premiere of a poignant comedy, Mothers of the Bride, by local favorite Meghan Maugeri, either in person or On Demand. This show is presented live at the theater (with a recorded, On Demand version available to view one time by computer) — and, for subscribers, will be offered as a bonus show (not counting against the total subscription price). Mothers of the Bride opens August 20 (preview August 19) and runs through September 12. Tickets ($20-$42) will be available online beginning July 24; more information is available by visiting www.thepear.org/season-20 or by calling (650) 254-1148.

(left to right) Sandy Sodos, Kaylyn MacKenzie, Caitlyn Lawrence Papp

Mothers of the Bride began as a 10-minute piece receiving widespread acclaim in the 2019 Pear Slices, and was developed into a full-length piece with input from other members of the Pear Playwrights Guild. The show was then fine-tuned with audience input after being presented as a staged reading in the Fresh Produce Festival at Pear Theatre. Now ready to see a fully staged production, Mothers of the Bride celebrates the Bay Area play development.

“I’m passionate about telling stories that explore gender and gender roles,” said director Katie Hipol Garcia. “Meghan Maugeri does a beautiful job of showing the complexities of what it is to be a wife and mother, and what it means to different people. I aim to showcase the women Meghan has created: Identifiable and relatable characters, who grow deeper with us as we watch their stories unfold.”

left to right) Kim Seipel, Francheska Loy, Sandy Sodos

It is a wedding dress that is the center of the play but this allows for many interactions and many stories. Hannah is the bride-to-be who is very excited about her upcoming wedding. But as she is trying to select a dress she is managing interactions between her mother and step-mother and her mother-in-law to be and step mother-in-law to be. That brings many women and many women’s stories into play.

The cast includes Francheska Loy as Hannah the bride-to-be, Kim Seipel as Hannah’s mother Kristy, Sandy Sodos as Hannah’s stepmother Beth, Caitlyn Lawrence Papp as mother-in-law-to-be Ginny, and Kaylyn MacKenzie as stepmother-to-be Liv. Kelly Weber Barraza stage manages, Pati Bristow provides costumes, Kevin Davies designs the set and props, Brittany Mellerson handles sound design, and Katherine Craig serves as lighting designer. Tessa Corrie directs with Assistant Director Amy Lizardo. The wedding dresses were fun to see.

(left to right) Kim Seipel, Francheska Loy

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 musical revues or cutting-edge plays. Now in its nineteenth 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. 

(left to right) Kaylyn MacKenzie, Francheska Loy

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. After two years of growth under Artistic Director Betsy Kruse Craig, Pear Theatre is newly under the leadership of its third Artistic Director, Sinjin Jones.

In the effort for safety, the mask wearing players are somewhat difficult to understand On Demand and an in person viewing in the special environment of the theater is likely to be more rewarding.

All photos and photo captions by Mario Ramirez