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Photo Flash: First Look at Thornton Wilder's THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH at Artists Rep

Artists Repertory Theatre is thrilled to present The Skin of Our Teeth, a timeless comedy by Thornton Wilder that has amazed audiences for generations with its unique theatrical style, huge, and not always human, cast and an epic story that spans centuries. The Skin of Our Teeth is a play in three acts, Artists Rep's production will include 3 to 10 Community Guest Stars in walk-on roles for every performance and will employ multimedia projections, live video feed and a cornucopia of masks. Check out photos below!

This comedic masterpiece takes on the entirety of history, with one ordinary American family who lives through it all. Dad's just invented the wheel, Cain is throwing rocks at the neighbor kid, mammoths and dinosaurs lounge in the family room and mom frets about how to get all those animals on the boat two by two. Through Ice Ages, biblical floods and political conventions, the Antrobus family of Excelsior, New Jersey perseveres. With a huge cast and time-set across the ages, this theatrical allegory captures the human spirit - of brilliance, idiocy and ultimately sweet survival.

"I love this play wholeheartedly," wrote Artists Rep Artistic Director Dámaso Rodriguez, who is directing this production. "And, despite a dozen years or so in positions at theatres where I have had either full control over choices or some input affecting programming, the play has evaded me. The cast is usually determined too large or the design needs too demanding. Despite its status as a 'classic' and Pulitzer-winner, it is still usually considered not familiar enough to general audiences to be anything less than a big, bold box office risk. Part of the problem is that I won't accept just any production; I want to live up to Wilder's extraordinary, relentlessly relevant vision. The play is so important that it deserves everything MR. Wilder asks of producers and directors. His characters exist in 'every time' and 'everywhere,' and his play has the power to capture (and relieve!) the anxiety of any community in any moment."

Artists Rep will share The Skin of Our Teeth with our audience and community in a way that is rarely possible: we are inviting members from the community, as many as 300 over the course of the run, to join us onstage at every performance to play a variety of small roles, such as refugees, conventioneers and philosophers. A wide range of community members, community groups and youth groups are in the show for each performance. From local celebrities, to high school and under-served youth, to board members, to donors and ushers, to staff and average Janes and Joes, these Community Guest Stars will take the stage alongside esteemed, professional actors. As part of the cast for the night, will have a short pre-show orientation, a definitive backstage experience for duration of the show and take a bow with the cast at curtain call.

Thornton Wilder (1897-1915) was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works explore the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and two plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth. Wilder's farce, The Matchmaker, was adapted as the musical Hello, Dolly! He also enjoyed enormous success as a translator, adaptor, actor, librettist and lecturer/ teacheR. Wilder's many honors include the Gold Medal for Fiction and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Directed by Dámaso Rodriguez

Photo Credit: Owen Carey

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