East Theater’s performance of “The Skin of Our Teeth” captivates audience

Rachel Brill ('15)/ Eastside Staff

With the supposed end of the world closely approaching, the theater department’s choice to perform Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth for the fall play seems appropriate. The show opened on November 30.

The play follows the Antrobus family through three acts as they attempt to overcome an ice age, a flood, and a war, each time only making it by “the skin of their teeth,” a phrase which comes from the Book of Job in the Bible.

“Every other play I’ve done has been set in one time period and the story has progressed from beginning to end. In this play you have so many different dynamics that it feels like you’re doing three mini-plays,” said Alexandra Maresh (’14) (White Cast), who plays the main character, the Antrobus family’s maid Lily Sabina (Dakota Judge (’13)—Red Cast).

The play contains many biblical allusions. George Antrobus (Joey Ciurlino (’13)—Red Cast; Brandon Weinberg (’14)—White Cast) and his wife Maggie (Molly Nugiel (’13)—Red Cast; Diana Faye (’13)—White Cast) represent Adam and Eve. Their son, Henry (Max Hoffman (’14)—Red Cast; Damian Stuchko (’13)—White Cast), who has killed his brother, represents Cain. In fact, that was his original name.

“[The play] has a lot of different history included,” said Nugiel.

That’s for sure. Only the most intellectual of audience members will pick up on all the biblical, mythological, and historical allusions jam-packed into this play.

Not only is the play rich with symbolism, it is also quite funny.

 “It has a wacky sense of humor to it,” said Ciurlino. “It’s very farcical, satirical. It pokes fun at different people.”

Lily Sabina repeatedly breaks the fourth wall and talks directly to the audience as the actress playing the character, an unconventional device which Wilder employs to great success. Similarly, in a humorous scene in Act III, the “stage manager” Fitzpatrick (Ryan Berlin (’14)—Red Cast; Molly Apple (’14)—White Cast) is required to conduct a quick rehearsal with an “usher,” a “dresser,” and others who will replace the actual actors who have taken ill.

The acting in the play was phenomenal. The leads as well as the background actors were convincing, a tribute to both the abilities of East students and to Mr. Weaver, the director of the play.   

East Theater has once again put on an amazing show.