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Lincoln Center announces The Skin of Our Teeth for 2022

The Lincoln Center Theater has announced that it will be producing Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Skin of Our Teeth next spring at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York. The production will coincide with the 125th anniversary of Mr. Wilder’s birth, and will mark the Beaumont and Broadway debuts of LCT Resident Director Lileana Blain-Cruz. Previews will begin on 31st March and it will open on 25th April.


Winning the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, The Skin of Our Teeth illuminates the endurance of the human spirit by following the Antrobus family of Excelsior, New Jersey, as they persevere through an Ice Age, a biblical flood, and war.


"The Skin of Our Teeth is a play for right now,” said Ms. Blain-Cruz. “It’s a title that has been in my consciousness for a long time and while searching for the perfect play with which to make my Beaumont debut I re-read it. I was so deeply moved by Thornton Wilder’s story of a family going through apocalypse after apocalypse, over, and over, and over again - and the urgency to get back up and try again. The necessity and beauty of the power of language and stories to heal and move people forward is what we need now more than ever, and The Skin of Our Teeth more than fills that need."


Thornton Niven Wilder (1897 – 1975) was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works, exploring the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience, continue to be read and produced around the world. Wilder is the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and drama—for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927) and two plays, Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1942). His other novels include The Cabala, The Woman of Andros, Heaven’s My Destination, The Ides of March, The Eighth Day, and Theophilus North. His other major dramas include The Matchmaker (adapted as the musical Hello, Dolly!), The Alcestiad, and his Broadway record-breaking translation of A Doll’s House. The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden and The Long Christmas Dinner are among his celebrated shorter plays. Wilder also enjoyed success as an essayist, translator, research scholar, teacher, lecturer, actor, librettist and screenwriter. His screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943) remains a classic psycho-thriller to this day. Wilder's many honors include the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Book Committee's Medal for Literature, The Order of Merit (Peru), and the Goethe-Plakette (Germany). In 1930, with royalties received from The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Wilder built a home for himself and his family in Hamden, CT. Although often away from it for as many as 250 days a year, restlessly seeking quiet places in which to write, Thornton Wilder always returned to “the house the Bridge built”. He died there of a heart attack on December 7th, 1975.


The Skin of Our Teeth will have sets by Adam Rigg, costumes by Montana Levi Blanco, lighting by Yi Zhao, sound by Palmer Hefferan, and projections by Hannah Wasileski, all of whom are making their Beaumont debuts. Casting for the production will be announced at a later date.

Lileana Blain-Cruz is a director from New York City and Miami. A Resident Director of Lincoln Center Theater, her LCT credits include Pipeline and the LCT3 productions of Marys Seacole (Obie Award) and War (also Yale Repertory Theatre). Recent projects include Dreaming Zenzile (St. Louis Rep.) with future productions at McCarter and New York Theatre Workshop; Hansel and Gretel, a film for Houston Grand Opera; Afrofemononomy (Performance Space New York); Anatomy of a Suicide (Atlantic Theater Company); Fefu and Her Friends (Theatre For a New Audience); Girls (Yale Repertory Theatre); Faust (Opera Omaha); Fabulation, Or the Reeducation of Undine (Signature Theatre); Thunderbodies and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Soho Rep.); The House That Will Not Stand and Red Speedo (New York Theatre Workshop); Water by the Spoonful (Mark Taper Forum/CTG); The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World (Signature Theatre, Obie Award); Henry IV, Part One and Much Ado About Nothing (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Bluest Eye (The Guthrie); Salome (JACK); and Hollow Roots (the Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater). Upcoming projects include The Listeners (Opera Norway). She was recently named a 2018 United States Artists Fellow and a 2020 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist. She is a graduate of Princeton and received her MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama.