Trinity Universityâ€™s main stage production of Thornton Wilderâ€™s â€œThe Skin of Our Teethâ€ will open at 8 p.m. tonight in Stieren Theater. Directed by Trinity professor Kyle Gillette, â€œThe Skin of Our Teethâ€ is the final production of the season for Trinity theatre.
â€œâ€˜The Skin of Our Teethâ€™ condenses all of human history into a single family that lives in suburban New Jersey. The Antrobuses, credited with inventing the wheel and the alphabet, face disaster after disaster, from ice age, to flood, to war,â€ Gillette said. â€œAs each apocalypse comes, they just barely survive through a combination of ingenuity, resourcefulness and luck.â€
Wilder is most widely known for his play â€œOur Town,â€ but â€œThe Skin of Our Teethâ€ is a completely different experience. The two plays share some common elements, such as the depiction of ordinary life and inclusion of characters that seem to step out of their role to directly address the audience at various points throughout the play. However, the energy that colors â€œThe Skin of Our Teethâ€ makes the play unique.
â€œThe show is absolutely exhausting. By the end of it, we all feel like we just ran a marathon. Everything about it is just on a larger scaleâ€“the cast, the set, the lengthâ€“itâ€™s definitely a full night of theatre,â€ said junior Kate Cuellar.
While â€œOur Townâ€ features a nearly bare set, the set required for â€œThe Skin of Our Teethâ€ is a bit more complex.
â€œThe playâ€™s layers of reality and its sheer sprawling complexityâ€“including a cast of nearly 30 massive scene changes, the Atlantic City Boardwalk, a house that moves, is destroyed and gets reassembledâ€“made organization and timing difficult,â€ Gillette said.
The challenges presented as a result of the playâ€™s intricacy allowed Gillette to incorporate new methods for perfecting the timing in sections of the play.
â€œKyle is so creative and so fun to work with. We were working on fluidity and pacing of the show because there were too many pauses that didnâ€™t mean anything, and actors were reading too slow or too fast,â€ said sophomore Sarah Perkins. â€œWe actually did an entire run of the third act as an operaâ€“we were all singing our lines, and it was probably the best thing I have ever done as an acting exercise. It was Kyleâ€™s idea, and he just sprung it on us. As a reward, Kyle sang our notes at the end.â€
The production will run tonight through Sunday, April 13, and it will pick up again after the week of Easter with shows on Wednesday, April 23 through Saturday, April 26.