Interior: Antrobus' Home
Act 1 Effect
"I don't understand a word of this play."
Mrs. Antrobus, Henry, Gladys, Dinosaur, and Mammoth.
Sabina & Mrs. Antrobus
The barricade: Mr. Antrobus arrives home.
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Feeding the immigrants.
Act 2: Atlantic City
Boardwalk full stage.
Act 2 Intro
Mr. Antrobus' speech to the convention.
Act 2 Boardwalk
A storm approaches.
Act 2 Out
Tidal wave approaches.
Act 2 Out
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The Skin of Our Teeth
In a forward to the script, Paula Vogel laments how Thornton Wilder's work, despite being considered some of American theater's masterworks, has been "relegated" to primarily local & community theater staging. It's easy to see how Wilder's version of meta-theatrical writing breaks the fourth wall into a scripted Broadway world of yesteryear, but that in itself, is the charm of his work. In order to justify the scripted way the "actors" speak when breaking character and interacting with the audience, it made most sense to turn this production into a literal play-within-a-play.
Upon entering the thrust format of the Forum theater, audiences were presented with a smaller false-proscenium and an on-stage audience. The juxtaposition of a small "church basement theater" (complete with mid-century folding chairs, on-stage concessions, and institutional architectural details like terrazzo tile & practical power/microphone outlets) against the larger existing theatrical space was further emphasized with the fly out effect of the false proscenium unit. From the first few lines of act one, the audience– both through design of the space and through Wilder's storytelling– shifts from spectator to spectated. With no back-stage masking and subtle lighting emphasis on fly-rail system & otherwise hidden architecture, emphasis shifted between the isolated on-stage play, and the world the play exists within (which in this case was a theatricalized version of The Theater itself).