Thornton Wilder (1897-1975) is a novelist and playwright whose works celebrate the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience. He is the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both drama and fiction: for his novel THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY, and two of his plays, OUR TOWN and THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH. His play THE MATCHMAKER, was adapted as the musical HELLO, DOLLY! Wilder’s many honors include the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Visit the Thornton Wilder family website to find out more
THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH is an exuberantly theatrical play that presented many creative challenges for its creative team, including putting dinosaurs and an iceberg onstage. Find out below how the director and designers embraced these challenges and brought this play to life. Click on the artists’ names to read their bios.
Lileana Blain-Cruz joined Lincoln Center Theater as a resident director in 2020. She has directed She has directed four plays for the theater: PIPELINE, MARYS SEACOLE, WAR and THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH, which is her Broadway debut. Blain-Cruz grew up in New York and Miami and has an MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama.
Blain-Cruz has written in a Director’s Note that THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH is a “production […] meant for RIGHT NOW. [It is] a play that gives us a moment to grieve - to begin to PROCESS the enormity of events we are still currently processing in the space of a world that contains all times - ALL calamities and apocalypses.” She continues, “It’s about a family of “Everymans” - and it’s exciting to me to imagine that Everyman family - in its American iconography - through a Black family - to place them at the center of this massive epic journey that asks us to consider who we are as a people - that asks us, in the middle of impending epic doom, to trust and hope in each other and in our collective journey through the chaos of living.”
WATCH director Lileana Blain-Cruz speak about her production of THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH and making her Broadway debut.