A&E

After two seasons, Pear Theatre artistic director to bow out in January

Betsy Kruse Craig will be taking a new position at Stratford Middle Schools

After two years as the artistic director at Pear Theatre in Mountain View, Betsy Kruse Craig will be stepping down in January to accept a new promotion as program director of speech, debate and performing arts for Stratford Middle Schools. In addition to teaching, which she has been juggling simultaneously with her position as artistic director, she will now oversee the theater directors at Stratford's schools in Milpitas, Fremont and Sunnyvale.

"Picking up the Pear Theatre mantle after Diane Tasca was both an honor and a challenge," Kruse Craig said in a statement announcing her departure. "I'm immensely proud of the new programs we've initiated, as well as the progress we've made in preparing for the ongoing challenges of being a solvent nonprofit arts organization in Silicon Valley."

The Pear Theatre board of directors will conduct a search for a new artistic director over the next six months. Kruse Craig's final season at Pear Theatre includes performances of "An Ideal Husband" by Oscar Wilde, which opens later this month, "Sweat" by Lynn Nottage and "You/Emma" by Paz Pardo.

While accepting the new offer was a "tough decision," Kruse Craig said, "being an artistic director takes a lot of time and dedication, and in the end I realized I would not be able to continue with the level of involvement I want to put into that, if I'm working more on the education side." She added, "I'm grateful to the Board for their understanding, their confidence in me over these two years, and their support of my efforts there."

Performance dates for Kruse Craig's final shows with Pear Theatre:

• "An Ideal Husband," Aug. 23-Sept. 15

• "Sweat," Oct. 18-Nov. 10

• "You/Emma," Dec. 6-Dec. 15

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