Saturday, May 05, 2007

Skin of Our Teeth - Intiman

Skin of Our Teeth
April 28 – June 2, 2007
Tickets and Information

The much beloved and recognized Thorton Wilder (Our Town, The Matchmaker and Shadow of a Doubt) brings to life Skin of Our Teeth, an intricate analysis of the human existence through the eyes of historical figures and modern-day men and women. The Intiman’s production of Wilder’s classic play utilizes every resource available to create a stimulating and captivating experience for the audience. An original Intiman element to the widely known play is the character Mr. Antrobus played by Howie Seago’s, a deaf actor, director, producer, teacher and performer.

Seago’s work in the Seattle area includes the co-founding of the Deaf Youth Drama Program at the Seattle Children’s Children in 1993 and countless performances. Additionally he has taken part in theatrical and cinematic creations internationally and off-Broadway. His work has been recognized though a myriad of awards including, but not limited to, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actor and the Dramalogue Award. On screen his work has included the co-creation of Rainbow’s End, an Emmy Award-Winning PBS television series for deaf children in addition to countless other works. In Skin of Our Teeth, his use of American Sign Language while his fellow actors express his character’s spoken dialogue, Seago brings a very unique story-telling element to the Intiman’s production. Taking on the majority (though not all) of Mr. Antrobus’ spoken lines, Laurence Ballard does an amazing job of playing along side Seago’s skillful portrayal of the character.

Photo by Chris Bennion

Also standing out were Anne Scurria (Mrs. Antrobus) and Kate Wisniewski (Fortune Teller and others). Scurria’s aria-like monologues and commanding stage presence bring dynamism to the performance that is not to be missed. Meanwhile, Wisniewski’s comic timing and dramatic precision are not only potent enough for themselves, but also to the degree of carrying several of Mr. Antrobus’ lines.

Bartlett Sher’s direction of Skin of Our Teeth is ambitions to say the least yet extremely effective in its execution. The sheer size and grandeur of his conceptualization is breathtaking from the audience’s perspective. The depth of Wilder’s story and its relevance to our current world is eerily accurate while remaining under its ever-so post-modern lens. Also using Michael Yeargan’s brilliant set design, every element came together effortlessly on the stage giving each aspect its own opportunity to shine and come together in a seamless collaboration.

Thorton Wilder’s Skin of Our Teeth is a classic in its own right and ever more unique in the Intiman’s production. Bringing together all of the design elements with a strong ensemble and Seago’s exhilarating talents, this show is not to be missed.

Review by Nigel Andrews and Rick Skyler

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