Baylor Theatre Presents Pulitzer Prize-Winning "The Skin of Our Teeth"

Jan. 28, 2011

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If you'll be attending Baylor University theatre department's upcoming play, "The Skin of Our Teeth," don't expect to simply sit back and relax.

In fact, leave all your expectations about theatre at the door, said Sherry Ward, a lecturer in Baylor's theatre arts department.

"This is more than just going to see a play. This is an interactive experience," Ward said. "It's very unusual. The level of audience involvement is more than what you usually get from going to just watch a play."

The Pulitzer Prize-winning production will open in Mabee Theatre in Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center Tuesday, Feb. 1, and run through Sunday, Feb. 6.

Written by Thornton Wilder, the play tells the story of a classic American family in the 20th century that encounters the onset of an ice age, a great flood, and the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

"The play is rich and multi-layered," Ward said. "It was ahead of its time in terms of dealing with world crises, but in a funny way - it turns dramatic world events on their head."

Baylor graduate student Shelby Hibbs is directing the play as her thesis project - a culmination of two years of research. A native of North Little Rock, Ark., Hibbs graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas with a degree in theatre arts.

"Wilder constantly breaks the illusion of the performance to remind us that we are watching a play," Hibbs said. "We should not be completely enraptured in the story but remain critics of the events of the play."

Hibbs immediately connected with the play, Ward said.

"The faculty was unanimous in wanting her to do this. It's exciting to deal with a play that is innovative and allows for creativity, but has very real relationships as well," Ward said.

The New York Times described the play as "an intellectual vaudeville about war and survival through the ages." The original production ran for 355 performances on Broadway.

The event is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased for $15 online. All but three performances are currently sold out.

Times for the play are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 to 5 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 5 and 6.

For more information, visit www.baylor.edu/theatre.

The Mabee Theatre is inside Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center at 60 Baylor Ave.

by Susie Typher, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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