On Directing "The Skin of Our Teeth"

Publication Year



directing, theatre, playwriting, Thornton Wilder, stage production, production technique


Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory | Performance Studies | Playwriting | Theatre and Performance Studies


The purpose of this paper is to present an ordered examination of a student director's contact with a play. In directing Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth, my intent was to present a production true to the intent of the playwright, which also drew on potentials in the script for presenting the audience with something approaching a "total theatre" experience. In my examination of the production, through which I sought to accomplish this intent, I have attempted to record those background materials, techniques, and outlooks which moved and guided me in the course of the production. This record contains an interpretation of the play based upon a background in Wilder's career and ideas, a directing perspective, a concept for directing Skin, a belief presentation of those techniques used in the production of the play to fulfill that concept, and critique of the production. Appended to the paper are: the individual character sketches, written by the actors in developing their roles, a brief presentation of the production organization, materials on the technical facets of the production, the production book itself, a complete record, attached to the script of the blocking, business, and technical effects of the play.

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