Travel through trying times in “The Skin of Our Teeth,” Falcon’s Eye Theatre’s first production at the new Three Stages at Folsom Lake College.
How trying? The Thorton Wilder play takes the Antrobus family through the Ice Age, a great flood and the apocalypse in this Pulitzer Prize winning play. But don’t despair, director David Harris said, explaining, “It’s intended as a comic allegory.”
“The Skin of Our Teeth” fits (but not quite perfectly) into many genres, Harris continued, tragedy, comedy, even burlesque. But the exaggerated emotions of the characters — George and Maggie Antrobus and their two children, Henry and Gladys, as well as Sabina, who takes on a couple of roles — really pull the audience into this improbable, calamitous and, ultimately, uplifting adventure.
“(The play explains) that what it is to be a human being is always the same … and it’s a beautiful thing,” Harris said. “The human condition is something we all need to cherish.
“The greatness of Wilder’s message is humbling for a director to approach,” he continued.
Harris said Wilder’s “amazing philosophy” pulled him to “The Skin of Our Teeth,” a production he acknowledges has its challenges (at one point about 20 characters are on stage), but, he explained, he wanted Falcon’s Eye’s first play at Three Stages to be “something that would have universal relevance, something that would be meaningful to the community.”
Harris founded Folsom Lake College’s Theater Arts Department four years ago and though he admits, “Our history is brief,” he’s bringing depth to the department by selecting plays like “The Skin of Our Teeth.” The play features both experienced and new actors.