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Lafayette College Theater will present Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth at 8 p.m. November 3-6 at the Williams Center for the Arts. Tickets are $6 and may be ordered by calling the Williams Center Box Office at 610-330-5009.

There will be a special brown-bag preview at noon Nov. 3 at the Williams Center. Lunch may be purchased for $3.

The Skin of Our Teeth is directed by Suzanne R. Westfall, associate professor of English at Lafayette. The winner of the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for drama, it is the second of four productions in “The American Season: 1999-2000,” a series highlighting the American experience and how American playwrights interpreted it for the stage over the past 100 years.

Inspired by James Joyce’s novel Finnegan’s Wake — in which Mr. Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker (HCE, or “Here Comes Everybody”), his wife Anna Livia Plurabelle, and their children represent the archetypal family — Wilder constructs his uniquely American version of Everyman in George Antrobus, the inventor of the alphabet, the wheel, and the hundred. With his wife Maggie (aka Eve) and his children Henry (aka Cain) and Gladys, the family personifies the indomitable human spirit that suffers through the cataclysms of the Ice Age, Noah’s flood, and Everywar, only to begin the struggles all over again in the endless cycles of time.

Westfall says, “First produced in 1943, when the Fascists were stomping over the face of Europe, Skin of Our Teeth definitively reflects the terrors of the dark forces of nature and culture, but also serves as a testimonial to humanity’s ability to survive all disasters. Occasionally the Antrobuses, like us, wonder if the human race is really worth saving, but in the end, we always clean up the mess, pick up the books, and rebuild the world.

“Coincidentally, the end of this century also marks the centennial of Thornton Wilder, novelist, playwright, and three times a Pulitzer Prize-winner, for Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth, and the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey,” Westfall continues. “He also wrote The Matchmaker, the basis for the musical megahit Hello Dolly. Skin is, in many ways, the comic flip side of Wilder’s most famous play, Our Town, which many have called the quintessential American play.”

Bobb Hawkey, a junior from Hainesport, N.J., plays George Antrobus. Maggie Antrobus is played by Kate Yokum, a first-year student from Mamaroneck, N.Y. Gladys Antrobus is played by Susan Donnelly, a junior from Philadelphia, Pa. Henry Antrobus is played by Joshua Boydstun, a first-year student from Ardsley, N.Y.

Rebecca Novia, a sophomore from Easton, Conn., plays the challenging role of Sabina, the Antrobus family’s maid. Her acting credits include roles Lafayette productions of The Time of Your Life, Six Characters in Search of an Author, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Dumbwaiter.

“It is a very challenging part to play because her character is very extreme and often switches to different personalities,” Novia explains. “She believes that everyone will die and lives in fear for her life. However, this disappears in the second act when she seduces President Antrobus and steals him from his wife. In the third act, Sabina is the person who knows what is going on in the world. She serves as a narrator. As well as these personality changes, Sabina is played by a snotty actress as ‘a play inside a play.'”

Assistant Director Sandy Veresink, a sophomore from Easton, Pa., finds the play a difficult one to interpret.

“From the ice age to another world war, this comedy covers centuries and shows how people have survived the test of time,” says Veresink, who has performed in Lafayette College Theater productions of The Time of Your Life, Six Characters in Search of an Author, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Working. “There is no place I’d rather be than on stage, but being an assistant director has provided me with a whole different view of the production. As assistant director, I’ve been working with individual members of the cast on breath control, as well as other aspects of vocal work. It has increased my appreciation for all the people working behind the scenes, whom we actors always take for granted.”

The technical crew also includes assistant director Susanna Hoffman, a senior from Douglaston, N.Y. Set design is by Richard A. Kendrick, the College’s technical director of cultural programs. The stage manager is Megan Thomas, a junior from Greenbelt, Md. Assistant stage managers are Perrin Wilson, a senior from Blairstown, N.J., and Meghan McGuinness, a junior from Hoboken, N.J.. Costumes are by D. Polly Kendrick, Parrott Designs. Sound and music are by Tim Frey.

The complete list of student cast members and their roles:


Sunnyvale — Katherine Rewinkel ’03 (Miss M. Muse, Beauty Contestant)


Easton — Rebecca Novia ’00 (Sabina)


Boston — Zakia Dilday ’02 (Historical Figures)

Seekonk — Andrew Bostian- 2002 (Judge Moses, Conveener, Mr. Tremain)

Williamstown — Laura Cece ’00 (Miss T. Muse, Beauty Contestant)


Gorham — Andrew Difazio ’02 (Refugee, Broadcaster)

New Jersey

Brigantine – Becca Stanley ’02 (Miss E. Muse, Ivy)

Hainesport — Bobb Hawkey ’01 (George Antrobus)

Mahwah — Elissa Ebeling ’02 (Historical Figures)

Montvale – Jen Allen ’01 (Fortune Teller)

Trenton — Jonathan Pushman ’02 (Historical Figures)

New York

Ardsley — Joshua Boydstun ’03 (Henry Antrobus)

Mamaroneck — Kate Yokum ’03 (Maggie Antrobus)

Staten Island — Amanda Carey ’03 (Historical Figures)

Valhalla — Terrence Monte ’03 (Announcer, Conveener, Refugee)


Albrightsville — Gretel Raibeck ’03 (Historical Figures)

Chambersburg — Adrian Fang ’03 (Homer, Chair Pusher, Fred Bailey)

Philadelphia — Susan Donnelley ’01 (Gladys Antrobus)

Phoenixville — Chantal Pasquarello ’02 (Doctor, Hester)

Stroudsburg — James Azarelo ’03 (Telegraph Boy, Conveener, Refugee)

West Chester — Andrew Platt ’01 (Historical Figures)

Willow Grove — David Gross ’02 (Professor, Conveener, Refugee)


Wassenaar, Netherlands — Vilas Menon ’02 (Historical Figures)

Categorized in: Academic News