The Skin of Our Teeth 'selected because it parallels what's happening right now.'

November 5, 2010

Hononegah High School's production of The Skin of Our Teeth Blends Comedy and Far-Reaching Themes
By Erika Strebel
The Beloit Daily News

High School Skin of Our Teeth.jpgHenry (Brennen Steines) warms himself at the fireplace as his sister Gladys (Leigha Sander) and Mrs. Antrobus (Erica Bush) follow, in a scene from the first act of "The Skin of Our Teeth." Staff photo by Erika Strebel
ROCKTON, IL -- Hononegah High School students will be taking their audiences through a wild romp through eras and historic events like the Ice Age and the Great Flood with their latest production: "The Skin of Our Teeth" by Thornton Wilder.

"The time period is every time," said senior Andrew Mertzenich, stage manager. "The place is everywhere."

The play focuses on the trials and tribulations of the Antrobus family (Erica Bush, Zachary Cole, Leigha Sander and Brennen Steines) and thier maid, Sabina (Laura Williams). The characters stand in for humanity through the ages.

And if whizzing through thousands of years of history isn't enough, the cast is completed by two family pets: A mammoth named Frederick (Eric Holmes) and a dinosaur called Dolly (Daniel Owen).

"It's a lot of fun," said Owen. "To be a big prehistoric creature waltzing around the stage is just fun in general."

Also, watch out for parallels to the Bible and surprise appearances by Moses and Homer.

This season's play was selected because of its parallels with what's happening right now, said Matt Mazur, director and fine arts teacher.

"(The play) is about tough times and the community is going through tough times," he said. "I wanted to work with the students on a producing a play that shows everyone that we will get through this."

While the play is a comedy, it also has something to say about the human condition.

"I think the main reason I chose this play is because it makes you laugh," said Mazur. "It reminds you about who you are and where you're going."

The students have been preparing for opening night for more than a month. Some challenges have included memorizing lines, remembering blocking and figuring out how to get into character -- all amidst homework and other activities.

"The kids have been excellent," said Mazur. "I am very blessed to be teaching at this high school. They are young professionals."

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