Theatre Intime brings Wilder classic to the stage

The Fortune Teller (sophomore Mary Reid Munford) forecasts stormy weather and impending doom during Theatre Intime's production of Thornton Wilder's classic play "The Skin of Our Teeth." Curtain times are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 and Dec. 6-8, and at 2 p.m. Dec. 8 in the Hamilton-Murray Theater.

At left: Mrs. Antrobus (senior Ashley Johnson) storms by her husband (junior Shawn Fennell), while her children Gladys (freshman Nushelle de Silva) and Henry (freshman Gregor Schubert) wonder how to hush their mother's embarrassing behavior.

Sabina (sophomore Heather May), reigning seductress of the Atlantic City boardwalk, shares her woes and works her charm on Mr. Antrobus, president of mankind.  

The Announcer (freshman Bianca Mathabane) introduces the audience to the colorful world of Atlantic City. At left: From right, the Bingo Parlor Announcer (senior Courtney Jones), the Lifeguard (freshman Will Martinez) and the Announcer mock the persistent Fortune Teller as disaster approaches. Photos: John Jameson

Theatre Intime tackles the whole of human existence in its production of Thornton Wilder's classic play "The Skin of Our Teeth" Thursdays through Saturdays, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 and Dec. 6-8.

Show times are at 8 each evening at the Hamilton-Murray Theater; there also will be a 2 p.m. matinee on Dec. 8.

An epic of theatrical gags with the gravity of grand tragedy, "The Skin of Our Teeth" introduces its audience to the definitive human family. Meet the Antrobuses: father, mother, children and maid, along with the usual pet mammoth and pet dinosaur. It's just another day in the hectic business of being alive, as they tackle walls of ice, floods, wars and adultery -- all from the comfort of their own living room.

Vast in scale and ambition, this masterpiece earned Wilder a Pulitzer Prize when it was first produced on Broadway in 1942. It celebrates the ageless themes of humanity's resilience, inventiveness and will to survive.

"The Skin of Our Teeth" is directed by junior Shannon Lee Clair, and stars undergraduates Shawn Fennell, Ashley Johnson, Heather May, Gregor Schubert and Nushelle de Silva. The large ensemble cast also includes Bianca Mathabane, Will Martinez, Dan Posen, Aaron Schneider, Tim Pollio, Mary Reid Munford, Courtney Jones and Sara Shaw.

The behind-the-scenes work also is being handled by undergraduates. The show is stage managed by Laura Johnson and production managed by Lovell Holder. Sets are designed by Andrew Ferguson, while Michael Gordon designed the sound. Nienke Boer and Rena Chen act as props masters. Heather May and Elyse Powell designed the costumes. The set is constructed by Ferguson, a master builder, and the lighting is done by master electrician Mike Hasling.

Theatre Intime is a student troupe whose beginnings trace to February 1920, when five Princeton students staged their first performance -- a parody of the Ballet Russe -- in a dorm room. Theatre Intime takes its name from the French word for "intimate," which best describes the 200-seat theater in which it performs. Students are solely responsible for every aspect of the theater -- from acting to directing and fundraising to administrating.

Tickets for "The Skin of Our Teeth" are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors, faculty and staff, and $6 for students and children. Advance ticket sales are available online through University Ticketing or by calling the Frist Campus Center ticket office at (609) 258-1742. Tickets also will be available at the theater 45 minutes prior to each performance.