Wilbury Group Launches Into 2018 With THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH
The Wilbury Theatre Group launches into 2018 with a bold new staging of Thornton Wilder's tragicomic masterpiece The Skin of Our Teeth directed by Wilbury Founder/Artistic Director Josh Short with music direction by Matt Requintina (Spring Awakening), January 18 through February 4 at their new home and performance space at 40 Sonoma Court, Olneyville.
Thornton Wilder (1897-1975) is an incredibly unique playwright and novelist who is the only American author to win Pulitzers for both drama (Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth) and a novel (The Bridge of San Luis Rey). He wrote The Skin of Our Teeth with "thoughts about endurance and fortitude in War." The suburban New Jersey Antrobus family at the heart of his narrative-George, the inventor of the alphabet and wheel (played in the Wilbury production by Tom Roberts); Maggie (Sarah Leach), inventor of, among other things, the apron; their restless children, Henry (Jason Roth) and Gladys (Shannon Hartman); and Sabina (Melissa Penick), the family's maid and George's mistress-lives through the Ice Age, the Great Flood and war.
The ambition of The Skin of Our Teeth lies not only in its perspective on human history and World War II-in which Wilder himself served, missing the Broadway opening as a result-but also in its theatrical innovation. It is a play within a play that blurs boundaries between reality and fiction. Drawing from the traditions of vaudeville, burlesque, farce, and satire (with allusions to Homer, Moses, Plato, and in this production, the music of Warren Zevon), the highly ambitious production calls for a company of 15 actors/musicians/artists who play, among other roles, members of the modern American Family, dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, chorus girls, and Refugees.
"The Skin of Our Teeth is an American play without equal," says Wilbury Founder/Artistic Director Josh Short. "As an incredibly ambitious and theatrical piece it set a new bar for all playwrights the world over for generations to come. It manages to embrace the spectacle of live theatre while retaining a beautiful sense of humanity, and the message of hope that Wilder delivers is so poignant and so beautiful, that in the current political climate it feels like exactly what we need to hear."THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH is presented January 18-February 4, 2018 at The Wilbury Theatre Group, 40 Sonoma Court, Providence RI. Tickets are $15-$35. Call 401.400.7100 or www.thewilburygroup.org/skin-of-our-teeth.
Meet George and Maggie Antrobus of Excelsior, New Jersey, a suburban, commuter-town couple (married for 5,000 years), who bear more than a casual resemblance to that first husband and wife, Adam and Eve: the two Antrobus children, Gladys (perfect in every way, of course) and Henry (who likes to throw rocks and was formerly known as Cain); and their garrulous maid, Sabina (the eternal seductress). Whether he is inventing the alphabet or merely saving the world from apocalypse, George and his redoubtable family somehow manage to survive - by the skin of their teeth.
Completed by the author less than a month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, The Skin of Our Teeth (1942) broke from established theatrical conventions and walked off with the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Combining farce, burlesque, satire, and elements of the comic strip, Thornton Wilder depicts an Everyman Family as it narrowly escapes one end-of-the-world disaster after another, from the Ice Age to flood to war.
"Wonderfully wise...A tremendously exciting and profound stage fable." -- Herald Tribune
"Extraordinarily good...one of the finest American plays of the 20th century, a modern classic that ought to be seen as often as Our Town." - Wall Street Journal
"Always theatrical and absorbing...As it is one of the most original American plays ever written and may have introduced Brecht, Pirandello and James Joyce to the New York stage in a home-grown native style, it must be seen. Wilder's history of the human race covering The Ice Age, The Flood, and World War II proves to be topical all over again with its talk of climate change and refugees almost as though it weren't 75 years old." -- The New Yorker
"For an American dramatist, all roads lead back to Thornton Wilder...The Skin of Our Teeth is a remarkable gift to an America entrenched in catastrophe, a tribute to the trait of human endurance." -- Paula Vogel, Foreword, The Skin of Our Teeth
Directed by Josh Short
Music by Matt Requintina*
Costume Design by Meg Donnelly
Light & Projection Design by ?Andy Russ
Set Design by Keri King
CAST Tom Roberts, Mr. Antrobus Sarah Leach, Mrs. Antrobus Jason Roth, Henry Shannon Hartman, Gladys Melissa Penick*, Sabina David Tessier*, Announcer/Emcee Beth Alianello, Ensemble Aaron Blanck, Ensemble Angelique Dina, Ensemble Joey Macari, Ensemble Matthew Gorgone, Ensemble Ari Kassabian, Ensemble Brian Kozack, Ensemble Maggie Papa, Ensemble ???????Phoenyx Williams*, Ensemble Choreography by Kristen Minsky Technical Direction by Justin Carroll
Assistant Dirs. Meredith Healy & Logan Serabian
Production Assistant Jessie March
Assistant Stage Management by Elizabeth Craig
Stage Management by Paul Trinh
*Resident Artists at The Wilbury Theatre Group.
Founded in 2010, The Wilbury Group is an ever-evolving collaboration of artists committed to presenting adventurous audiences with the highest quality professional theatre. Founded on the belief that quality theatre should be an affordable and accessible means of enrichment to the community; The Wilburys present contemporary, experiential theatre that simultaneously engage, inspire, and provoke thought among audiences.
As an important arts organization in a quickly changing world, the Wilbury Group maintains a commitment to offering students and audiences from throughout New England access to our programs through our outreach, education, and new work development programs. A promising and important cultural organization in Providence, The Wilbury Group is proud to serve our diverse and evolving community.