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VSU hangs on by the skin of their teeth

Written by Von Kennedy


Students and members of the community came in droves throughout the week to “travel through time.”

For the last week, the second floor Lab Theatre stage in the Fine Arts Building was home to VSU’s adaption to Thornton Wilder’s play, “Skin of Our Teeth.”

The last showing of “Skin of Our Teeth” was Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

The play is about the Antrobus family and their servant, Sabina surviving catastrophic events throughout time.

The Pulitzer prize-winning drama was originally written after Pearl Harbor in 1941 and first performed in early 1942.

Each scene in the play is full of action, moments of morality and unannounced comedy.

The cast includes VSU students Sam Rattfield and D’Amante Wilson as George and Maggie Antrobus, their children Henry and Gladys played by Will Stanley and Diamond Do’zia and their comedic, yet scatter-brained maid Sabina, played by Charlotte Grady.

Unlike the original play, the story does not take place in the imaginary town of Excelsior, NJ. Dr. Jimmy Bickerstaff, director of Skin of Our Teeth, changed the setting to the north Atlanta city of Alpharetta, Ga.

“One of the things Wilder wanted to do was be interactive with his audience and put an element of surprise in the performance,” Bickerstaff said. “So that’s one thing I wanted to do. Also the language in the script fit well with the dialect of this part of the country.”

In conjunction with the “southern” tone added to the play, Dr. Bickerstaff also let the cast members and stage manager (Abigail Vincent) be themselves in order to add an element of color to the show.

“The breaks in the play were all in the script, not just for Sabina’s character,” Bickerstaff said. “But in the script, everyone is a professional actor doing a show in New York City. I just gave everyone their own identity for a university setting.”

Dr. Bickerstaff also notes that some of the larger breaks in the play, like the fact the entire cast was sick from lemon meringue pie, were in Wilder’s original script.

All in all, in Dr. Bickerstaff’s eyes, the cast he assembled did an amazing job.

“I was very happy with the entire cast and they all worked very hard,” Bickerstaff said. Everyone is a theatre student and is trained to work with dialogue like this for their future profession. We did a lot of laughing during rehearsals and the show came out great.”

Some audience members thought the show was great as well.

“I thought the director and cast did a great job, Margaret Young, 52, of Lake Park, Ga., said. “I couldn’t stop laughing at Sabina.”

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