DMT to Present Thornton Wilder's SKIN OF OUR TEETH, 5/21-6/14
THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH will have 15 performances, including one preview, May 21 through June 14, 2015, at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre, 22311 N. Third St. in Hayward, CA. Tickets are $10-$29, and are available through the Box Office at (510) 881-6777 or online at www.dmtonline.org.
DMT's production of THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH is directed by Artistic Director Susan E. Evans and features an impressive ensemble of Bay Area actors: Dale Albright as Mr. Antrobus, Cynthia Lagodzinski as Mrs. Antrobus, Lauren Hayes as Sabina, Alan Coyne as Henry, Wendy Wyatt-Mair as Gladys, Eve Tieck as The Fortune Teller, and Reg Clay, Caitlin Evenson, Laurie Gossett, Radhika Rao, Wayne Roadie and Jon Wat as the Ensemble.
"A play of cosmic and cockeyed proportions has come to town. Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth is formless and fantastical." - New York Herald Tribune, November 22, 1942.
The 1943 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Best Drama, The Skin of Our Teeth is a timeless classic of the American stage, as wacky and moving today as it was over 70 years ago. Wilder's archetypal Papa and Mama, George and Maggie Antrobus, have been married for a mere 5,000 years; they have two "perfect" children, Gladys and Henry, and a vamp for a maid. Just a typical American family living in a New Jersey suburb, but also the first family of the human race, and they must survive the Ice Age, the Flood and War - all by the skin of their teeth. The Skin of Our Teeth manages the near impossible feat of being an allegory about all of humanity and the boisterous chronicle of one family.
"Wilder draws from a variety of styles - from vaudeville and burlesque, melodrama, surrealism, absurdism, German Expressionism, even Brechtian Epic Theatre. He was an incredibly erudite man, well-read and well-traveled. He very much wanted to escape the confines of realistic theatre, and we will be exploring this theatrical self-consciousness, or meta-theatricality, as much as possible," Director Evans says.
First and foremost a humanist, Wilder's work reflects his unfailingly optimistic belief in man's ability to ultimately survive, to endure, and hopefully to learn something along the way. The playwright very consciously intended The Skin of Our Teeth as a war play, providing a basic message of hope at a time of tremendous world-weariness, a fact European audiences well understood and embraced, even more than American ones. The New York Times Magazine called The Skin of Our Teeth a "rousing testament of faith in humanity."
"There's an almost uncanny prescience about this play," comments Evans. "Did Wilder foresee climate change and man-made environmental disasters and global turmoil when he wrote three Acts about an Ice Age, a Great Flood and an Apocalyptic War? And what happens in the unwritten Act IV? It's left for us to tackle."
The Skin of Our Teeth previewed in New Haven, moved to Baltimore and opened on Broadway on November 18, 1942, directed by Elia Kazan, with the flamboyant and difficult Tallulah Bankhead as Sabina, Frederic March as Mr. Antrobus and Montgomery Clift as Henry. The play has enjoyed countless revivals, including one in Paris in 1955 starring Helen Hayes, George Abbott and Mary Martin, a postwar production in London directed by Laurence Olivier with Vivien Leigh as Sabina and a 1975 Kennedy Center/American Bicentennial Theatre production starring Elizabeth Ashley. In 1948, Thornton Wilder himself performed the role of George Antrobus in summer stock productions.
The Douglas Morrisson Theatre creative team for The Skin Of Our Teeth is comprised of designers with credits from numerous Bay Area theatres including Martin Flynn (scenic designer) and Courtney Flores (costume designer). Adding to the immediacy of this production, composer and sound designer Don Tieck will be playing keyboard plus a variety of Foley, alongside a cellist and percussionist who act as fellow Foley artists.