Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s showtime.
For the last five weeks, I’ve had the pleasure to update Collegiate Times readers on the production of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “The Skin of Our Teeth.”
The cast and crew have worked out several pieces of anatomy to bring this show to fruition, and I’m proud to be a part of that. I’m happy to say that we have one hell of a play on our hands.
“The Skin of Our Teeth” premiered in October 1942 and tells the allegorical story of the Antrobus family of Excelsior, N.J., as they try to build a better world in the face of ice ages, floods and war.
We’re opening up to the public to show them how we have built that world and audiences are going to get something really special. This is a tough show, with a lot of heavy themes and situations, but it’s a wonderful comic-fantasy and a visual feast.
The final week prior to the show has been the most intense part of the rehearsal process.
Last Saturday, the cast and crew spent the entire day in Squires Studio Theatre for tech rehearsal, which is the process of integrating lights, sounds and projections into the performance.
“Skin” normally takes about two and a half hours to perform, but we only got through the play once in the nine hours we spent in the theater. That should give you an idea of how slowly tech can move.
The good news is that the cast and crew were so “on” that we got out of rehearsal almost two hours early. What does that mean?
We have our stuff together.
In addition to tech, the big addition to the show this week was wardrobe. I touched on costuming last week, but it’s worth reminding readers just how much clothing adds to a character.
Inhabiting the world of the show is the actor’s job, and the ability to do so can be understandably diminished if you’re just wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Put on a costume, and you have no choice but to feel like the character.
A friend of mine asked me about the acting process when I started the column.
“So, basically you’ll be out every night for the next month playing dress up?”
Yeah, pretty much. Like anything else, it is slightly more complicated than that, but the “dress up” is one of my favorite parts of the process.
Acting, technical aspects and costumes have been meticulously worked on, and now we feel comfortable enough to open the show. For more than a month the cast and crew have sacrificed multiple nights downtown and plenty of sleep and relaxation to “Skin.”
One more thing has to happen to make this show work. The audience needs to show up. This column has been my way of sharing my love of the stage with CT readers, and I’d like to invite you to see the finished product.
“The Skin of Our Teeth” runs Feb. 18 to 21 and Feb. 21 to 27. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $9 for the general public, and $7 for students and seniors.
I’ll be back next week to say goodbye and to discuss how our venture has fared now that we’re going live.