From dinosaurs and mammoths, drug-using announcers, and a floating bloated Donald Trump, the Cal Poly Pomona theater and dance department delivered “The Skin of Our Teeth” for five nights from March 15, 16, 21 and 23 at 8 p.m., and a matinee at 2 p.m. on March 24.
The production showcased three acts.
The first two acts ended with a world-ending doom, and the third act sealed the night in a light-hearted manner.
The play started the first act with the announcer, who starts off the play, and later has a hilarious coke bit that had the audience shaking with laughter.
However, the first lead actress audiences were introduced to, Sabina, starts the monologue, but often breaks the fourth wall.
It was subtle in its interaction but the audience at times did not know how to deal with the requests being made to the audience.
Other characters also spoke directly to the audience. The fortune teller had a bit where she roasted a few of the audience members (pro tip: don’t sit near the front row).
On top of speaking with audiences, certain sequences involved the “stage manager” who interacts with Sabina, in a bit of an awkward manner.
The interaction between the two could be awkward because the audience didn’t know what was going on.
The audience members could be seen shifting uncomfortably in their seats as the audience didn’t know if it was part of the play, or if a lead actress would really be kicked out of the theater department.
Besides these sequences where it could get awkward, the play really shone in its practicality.
Besides the acting, the effects of the production were really its main strength.
The tiniest detail could be heard. The fireplace could be heard crackling, the fiery wind could be heard when the front door opens and no detail was left unused as some effects left the audience laughing.
During a specific sequence where the stage crew was preparing for the next era in the play, it made me feel as if I was in a rocket about to launch. The sound and visuals were aesthetically pleasing.
Also, the production was visually pleasing. The lights were really the main factor in keeping the audience engaged in the play.
The characters wore bright clothing that made them easy to see and it really brought out the actors’ performance.
The costumes were top-notch as well, as each act centered around a different era, so the actors were dressed according to the specific time frame.
The actors looked comfortable in their wardrobe, so it felt professional in terms of good production.
However, one does not have to be an expert on the ice age era to know that humans at the time were not sporting high-tube socks. Other than this detail, the wardrobe department was one of the production’s main strengths.
There are some biblical references that can leave the audience wondering about a specific scene. References from Moses to Noah’s Ark were some of the biblical events the play touches on, but little was probed on the references.
In its rhetoric, the play was very well done. The lighting and props were used for their maximum effect. Nothing on set was redundant as each prop or lighting cue was crucial to making the play come to life.
In hindsight, the sequences with the stage manager and Sabina were a bit awkward for those that don’t expect the interactions.
But upon further analysis, it’s part of the play. The fact that the production can make the audience feel uncomfortable at times, signals that the production is very well done.
The play can be confusing considering the references and a lot can go on at once, but the play is more of an allegory of the stages of mankind and the journey humans must face as a species.
As a student production with a dose of Trump and a cocaine-using announcer, the play was visually appealing and incorporated great acting from students.
The production did a good job in bringing “The Skin of Our Teeth” alive for CPP students.
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