Methodist youth group on stage in Wilder’s ‘Skin of Our Teeth’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003

NATCHEZ &045;&045; War … pestilence … perseverance … life … family … charity … and many, many more issues are explored in one, three-act play to be presented later this week.

The Jefferson Street United Methodist Youth Group, known for its intense dramas that deal with major matters in life, will present a comedy, &uot;The Skin of Our Teeth,&uot; Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings in a dinner-theatre format.

Ironically, Thornton Wilder wrote the play in 1942, at the onset of World War II. Now, it is being performed during the throes of the war against Iraq. The play earned Wilder the Pulitzer Prize that year.

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The play will feature a cast of about 30, some veterans of the stage in other Youth Group performances such as &uot;Inherit the Wind,&uot; &uot;The Crucible,&uot; &uot;Our Town,&uot; &uot;Heaven Can Wait,&uot; and &uot;A Tale of Two Cities.&uot;

Youth Group Director John Hudson, also Adams County Youth Court judge, said he and his troupe are excited about the play.

&uot;The mission of our drama ministry … is to find a play that is entertaining while revealing eternal truths.&uot;

He said &uot;The Skin of Our Teeth,&uot; combines comedy with epic truths.

&uot;The Skin of Our Teeth is about George Antrobus, his wife and two children, and their general utility maid, Sabina, played by Holly Hall.

&uot;Mr. Antrobus represents Adam,&uot; said Will Carter, who plays the lead male role. &uot;He represents every man throughout the ages,&uot; Carter said, adding that Antrobus, &uot;shows that no matter what happens, you can always pull through.&uot;

In fact a lot does happen in the play.

Antrobus and his wife, played by Sue Ann Bernard, must survive fire, flood, pestilence, locusts, the ice age, the black plague, war and depression. During their struggles, they are accompanied by their two children, Henry (Thomas Ater) and Gladys (Noble-Bates Young), and two pets from the prehistoric age: a mammoth (Austin Green) and a dinosaur (Nathan Leigh).

Throughout their journey, a mixture of friends and strangers float in and out of family’s life.

Mrs. Antrobus tries to keep the family together, despite their travails.

While Mr. Antrobus represents Adam, Mrs. Antrobus represents Eve, Bernard said.

And while Mr. Antrobus is off inventing things, such as the wheel, the alphabet and numbers, Mrs. Antrobus is trying to maintain a stable home life.

&uot;She cares about her husband and her family, but she can be controlling,&uot; Bernard said.

Throughout the play, the Announcer (Parker Brown) helps explain the settings and scenes.

Hudson said &uot;The Skin of Our Teeth&uot; has been on the list of plays to perform for many years, but that the right group of young people was needed to pull off the production. &uot;This season, we have the group that has the right chemistry needed for this play,&uot; he said.

Hudson said he has enjoyed directing young people. &uot;It’s wonderful to see them grow in to their role. They have had to portray some fairly dramatic figures.&uot;

He said often the young people take on the roles with little or no knowledge of the individuals they represent. But, in the end, he said, the young people learn about their character and their character’s role in history.

&uot;They are pretty resilient,&uot; Hudson said. &uot;You can direct them and get mad at them and they bounce back from that.&uot;

He said &uot;The Skin of Our Teeth,&uot; provides the young cast the opportunity to demonstrate comedic skills blended with dramatic representations of the characters. He said the audience should be prepared to learn the play’s ultimate message. &uot;We want the audience to feel a sense of hope that through all of the obstacles that we meet, that we will endure through God’s grace.&uot;



4What: &uot;The Skin of Our Teeth&uot;

4Who: Jefferson Street United Methodist Youth Group

4When: Friday, April 11: 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 12: 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 13: 6 p.m.

4How: Tickets are $12, adult; $10, youth; and $3.50, children

A nursery will be provided

For tickets, call (601) 442-3795


Sabina: Holly Hall

Mr. Antrobus: Will Carter

Mrs. Antrobus: Sue Ann Bernard

Henry: Thomas Ater

Gladys:Noble-Bates Young

Dinosaur: Nathan Leigh

Mammoth: Austin Green

Telegraph Boy: Will Godfrey

Announcer: Parker Brown

Mr. Fitzpatrick: Alex Allain

Fortune Teller: Megan Roberts

Broadcast Official: Palmer Rinehart

Mr. Tremayne: Elliott Ater

Hester: Suzannah Ketchings

Ivy: Jessica Marchbanks

Fred Bailey:

Chase Laukhuff

And 14 more