Ambitious, Jaw-dropping, Audacious
The Skin of Our Teeth
Artists Rep’s 5th production to extend in the 2015/16 season
WHO: Artists Repertory Theatre
WHAT: The Skin of Our Teeth
By Thornton Wilder. Directed by Dámaso Rodriguez.
WHEN: May 17 – June 19, 2016
- Regular run: Wednesday-Sunday @ 7:30pm; Sundays @ 2pm; Wednesday, June 1 @ 11am; Sunday, June 5 @ 7:30pm (Open Captioned); Saturday, June 11 @ 2pm (ASL Interpreted)
- EXTENSION DATES: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, June 16-18 @ 7:30pm; Sunday, June 19 @ 2pm
- Post-show discussions following Sunday 2pm matinee performances, except June 19
- No show June 4 due to Starlight Parade
WHERE: Artists Repertory Theatre, Alder Stage, 1516 SW Alder Street, Portland
TICKETS: $48 regular price; $25 preview/student/under 25
- Buy Tickets: 503.241.1278 or artistsrep.org
Portland, Oregon | May 31, 2016. Artists Repertory Theatre is delighted to extend The Skin of Our Teeth through June 19. This is the fifth production to extend this season, The Miracle Worker extended twice. Portland audiences are stunned by Artists Rep’s over-the-top, strikingly rendered production of Thornton Wilder’s timeless comedy that has amazed audiences for generations with its unique theatrical style, huge, and not always human, cast and an epic story that spans centuries yet reflects the issues of the era in which it is produced.
Artists Rep’s The Skin of Our Teeth includes 3 to 10 Community Guest Stars in walk-on roles for every single performance and employs massive multimedia projections, live video feed and a cornucopia of masks. This is a play in three acts and runs approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes, including two intermissions.
This comedic masterpiece takes on the entirety of history, with one ordinary American family who lives through it all. Dad’s just invented the wheel, Cain is throwing rocks at the neighbor kid, mammoths and dinosaurs lounge in the family room and mom frets about how to get all those animals on the boat two by two. Through Ice Ages, biblical floods and political conventions, the Antrobus family of Excelsior, New Jersey perseveres. With a huge cast and time-set across the ages, this theatrical allegory captures the human spirit – of brilliance, idiocy and ultimately sweet survival.
“I love this play wholeheartedly,” wrote Artists Rep Artistic Director Dámaso Rodriguez, who is directing this production. “And, despite a dozen years or so in positions at theatres where I have had either full control over choices or some input affecting programming, the play has evaded me. The cast is usually determined too large or the design needs too demanding. Despite its status as a ‘classic’ and Pulitzer-winner, it is still usually considered not familiar enough to general audiences to be anything less than a big, bold box office risk. Part of the problem is that I won’t accept just any production; I want to live up to Wilder’s extraordinary, relentlessly relevant vision. The play is so important that it deserves everything Mr. Wilder asks of producers and directors. His characters exist in ‘every time’ and ‘everywhere,’ and his play has the power to capture (and relieve!) the anxiety of any community in any moment.”
“Fearlessly rendered by Artists Repertory Theatre, this laugh-a-second, multi-millennia mindbender shouldn’t be missed…”
-Lee Williams, The Oregonian/OregonLive
“…Wilkerson’s expansive scenic design, like the play itself and the unlikely survival of its contaminated but resilient species, brilliantly defies the odds: if the stage were blown out any further, it’d be slopping over onto Burnside Street.”
-Bob Hicks, ArtsWatch
COMMUNITY GUEST STARS
Artists Rep shares The Skin of Our Teeth with our audience and community in a way that is rarely possible: we are inviting members from the community, as many as 300 over the course of the run, to join us onstage at every performance to play a variety of small roles, such as refugees, conventioneers and philosophers. A wide range of community members, community groups and youth groups are in the show for each performance. From local celebrities, to high school and under-served youth, to board members, to donors and ushers, to staff and average Janes and Joes, these Community Guest Stars will take the stage alongside esteemed, professional actors. As part of the cast for the night, will have a short pre-show orientation, a definitive backstage experience for duration of the show and take a bow with the cast at curtain call.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Thornton Wilder (1897-1915) was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works explore the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and two plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth. Wilder’s farce, The Matchmaker, was adapted as the musical Hello, Dolly! He also enjoyed enormous success as a translator, adaptor, actor, librettist and lecturer/ teacher. Wilder’s many honors include the Gold Medal for Fiction and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In Concert at Artists Rep presents Portland Sings! with some of Portland’s finest singers: Hailey Kilgore, Hudson Hale, Camille Trinka, Vin Shambry, Josie Seid, Del Lewis and director Courtney Freed. Mothers, Daughters, Fathers, and Sons – Songs about Family, is a musical celebration honoring our most intimate and complicated human bonds. This evening of beloved songs gathered from Broadway and beyond will take place on the set of The Skin of Our Teeth with musical direction by Portland piano dynamo, Mont Chris Hubbard. One performance only: Tuesday June 7, 7:30pm. Tickets are $20. More information here.
The Skin of Our Teeth
By Thornton Wilder
Directed by Dámaso Rodriguez
Sara Hennessy* Sabina
Don Alder* Mr. Antrobus
Linda Alper*^ Mrs. Antrobus
Val Landrum*^ Gladys
Shawn Lee* Henry
Sarah Lucht*^ Stage Manager/Conveener/Various Animals
Michael Mendelson*^ Moses/Conveener/Bingo Caller/Various Animals
Chris Harder*^ Homer/Conveener/Various Animals
Vana O’Brien*^ Announcer/Doctor/Broadcast Official/Various Animals
Lauren Modica* Fortune Teller/Ensemble
Dámaso J. Rodriguez Telegraph Boy/Young Mozart/Various Animals
Eva Rodriguez Woolly Mammoth/Other Various Animals
Sky Jude Dinosaur/Other Various Animals
Megan Wilkerson^ Scenic Designer
Gregory Pulver^ Costume Designer
Kristeen Willis Crosser^ Lighting Designer
Rodolfo Ortega^ Sound Designer
Jane Holmes Wig Design
Josie Benedetti Assistant Costume Designer
Emily Wilken Props Master
Mary McDonald-Lewis^ Dialect Coach
Luan Schooler Dramaturg
Jonathan Cole Fight Choreographer
Michelle Jazuk* Production Stage Manager
D Westerholm* Assistant Stage Manager
Esther McFaden Production Assistant
Joshua Rippy Assistant Director/Guest Star Coordinator
Sundance Wilson Henry Lead Wardrobe
Grace Owens Deck Crew/Youth Supervisor
Charlie Capps Deck Crew
Alan Cline & Duncan Lynch Board Ops
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers
^ Artists Rep Resident Artist
ARTISTS REPERTORY THEATRE
Portland’s premiere mid-size regional theatre company is led by Artistic Director Dámaso Rodriguez and Managing Director Sarah Horton. Founded in 1982, Artists Repertory Theatre is the longest-running professional theatre company in Portland. Artist Rep became the 72nd member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) in May 2016 and is an Associate Member of the National New Play Network (NNPN).
Artists Rep’s 2016/17 season offers a stylistically diverse season of seven imaginative and entertaining plays that grapple with family and the pursuit of happiness. The season features one World Premiere commissioned by Artists Rep’s new play development program Table|Room|Stage, along with five Northwest Premieres (including a musical) by some of the best emerging contemporary playwrights in the country, and one re-imagined classic featuring an all-female cast. The 2016/17 selections emphasize the aesthetic and scope of work Artists Rep has been committed to producing for almost 35 years as Portland’s premiere mid-size regional theatre.
Artists Rep productions feature the work of a core group of 24 multidisciplinary theatre professionals. Hailing from around the country, our Resident Artists are nationally renowned and award-winning actors, directors, writers, designers and educators who have chosen to make Portland and Artists Rep their artistic home. Working together and independently, they create inventive and theatrically rich experiences for our audiences while playing a major role in defining Portland’s cultural landscape.
Artists Rep is also home to the ArtsHub, serving as a community arts center, where our performance venues and lobbies buzz with creative energy and Portland’s arts-loving audiences can gather. We offer a home within our facility to a diverse range of artists and arts organizations. They can thrive here with access to affordable administrative, performance and rehearsal space, as well as a myriad of support services. Over the last year, hundreds of performances, events and happenings by Portlanders found a place in our building.
Artists Rep’s mission is to engage diverse audiences in fresh, thought-provoking and intimate theatre. We are committed to world-class acting, directing, design and stagecraft that support new playwriting and aspire to embody great literature, moving audiences to truly feel — to experience — storytelling in a way that only the best live theatre can.
The 2015/16 Artists Repertory Theatre season is presented by Ronni Lacroute/WillaKenzie Estate and David and Christine Vernier. The Skin of Our Teeth is presented at Artists Rep with support from Work for Art, Mentor Graphics, Maletis Beverage, AH Creative, Jenny & Carter MacNichol and Julie & Robert Ball. Our season media sponsors are The Oregonian and KINK. Other season support comes from the Regional Arts Culture Council, Oregon Community Foundation, Collins Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation and Work for Art.
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