February 20, 2013

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Theatre Presents Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth” Feb. 21-27

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University Theatre and Dance will present Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth” Feb. 21-27 on the Lab Theatre stage.

Finished by Wilder less than one month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, “The Skin of Our Teeth” is a three-part allegory that combines elements of the comic strip, farce, burlesque, and satire to depict an “everyman family” — the Antrobuses — as they narrowly escape one end-of-the-world disaster after another, from the Ice Age to flood to war. Audience members who have read and studied the Bible will notice many parallels between members of the Antrobus family and a few characters from the sacred scripture.

“The play does have its serious moments, but it is unapologetically comedic in its outlook,” said Dr. Jimmy Bickerstaff, assistant professor of theatre at VSU and the show’s director. “It is inventive, intelligent, and funny.”

Although originally set in the fictitious town of Excelsior, N.J., Bickerstaff decided to localize Wilder’s play, and Act I opens at the dawn of the Ice Age, in modern-day Alpharetta, Ga. George Antrobus, the father, is busy inventing the wheel, the lever, the alphabet, and the multiplication tables as he and his family face certain extinction due to a wall of ice heading in their direction. 

Act II takes place in Charleston, S.C., as opposed to Wilder’s Atlantic City, N.J., as the entire Antrobus family gathers to watch their husband/father be officially sworn in as president of the Ancient and Honorable Order of Mammals. Inside the convention, the atmosphere is one of celebration. Outside, the weather is foreboding, going from sunshine to drenching rain.

In the final act, the Antrobus family returns to their home in North Georgia. Mother and daughter emerge from a cellar after a seven-year war. Father and son return home after fighting on the front lines. The family questions the ability of the human race to rebuild itself after continually attempting to destroy itself.   

“The Skin of Our Teeth” opened on Oct. 15, 1942, at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, Conn., moved to the Plymouth Theatre on New York City’s Broadway on Nov. 18, 1942, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Tickets for “The Skin of Our Teeth” are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $8 for children and non-VSU students, and free for VSU students. Tickets for groups of 10 or more at a single performance are $7.

“The Skin of Our Teeth” opens at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, in the Lab Theatre on the second floor of VSU’s Fine Arts Building, which is located at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street. Additional performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, through Saturday, Feb. 23; 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24; and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, through Wednesday, Feb. 27. The show is performed with two 10-minute intermissions.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office at (229) 333-5973 between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Contact Dr. Jimmie Bickerstaff at (229) 333-5820 or jbickerstaff@valdosta.edu to learn more.

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Director: Jimmy Bickerstaff

Dialect Coach: Jacque Wheeler

Technical Director: Michael Driggers

Stage Manager: Abigail Vincent

Scenic and Lighting Designer: Ruth A. Brandvik

Costume Designer: Patrice Trower

Cast: Charlotte Grady (Sabina), D’Amante Wilson (Mrs. Antrobus), Carlie Johnson (Dinosaur, Miss E. Muse, Convener, Broadcaster), Ryan Ponsell (Wooly Mammoth, Hippocrates, Convener), Diamond Do’zia (Gladys Antrobus), Will Stanley (Henry Antrobus), Sam Raffield (Mr. Antrobus), Matt Tito (Telegraph Boy, Moses, Convener), Kenya DeLouis (Homer, Convener, Camera Op), Patricia Angier (Miss T. Muse, Fortune Teller, Convener), Rebecca Morris (Miss M. Muse, MC, Clown, Casino Dancer, Convener)

Production Staff: Christopher Bailey (vocal music arrangements), Dennis R. May (assistant director and properties master), Genna Kasun (assistant stage manager, master electrician, and scene shop assistant), Matthew Moran (sound designer/engineer), Travis Hunnewell (assistant lighting designer), Ryan Ponsell (assistant technical director and scene shop assistant), Esther Iverson (faculty costume design advisor), Rebecca Morris (master carpenter and scene shop assistant), Abigail Vincent (light board operator), Kamron Glover (sound board/projection operator), Artise Newton (running crew), Alice Roberson (running crew), Carlie Johnson (wig stylist), Kathy Raess-Young (costume shop supervisor), Elie Siegel (scene shop assistant), Patrice Tower (costume shop assistant), Rebecca Huguet (costume shop assistant), THEA 2750, THEA 3720A and THEA 3720B (scenic construction crew), THEA 3720C (costume construction crew), Caleb Spivey (box office manager), Blake Fountain (house manger), Kelsey Russo (house manager), Mark McLeod (video and editing and VSU-TV camera man), Karl B. Wildman (VSU-TV news anchor), Tiffany Nicole Easterlin (VSU-TV video reporter), Latesha Bennett (VSU cleaning woman)