Wilbury Group Opens 2018 with Thornton Wilder's Masterpiece, The Skin of Our Teeth

PROVIDENCE, RI: 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.