On the latest STACie adventure to the Big Apple, their journey led them to the Theater For A New Audience where they got to see quite a show. The Skin of Our Teeth. It was a spectacular tragic comedy about the struggles a family faces along with a few other lessons that also references several famous historic and biblical events including the Ice Age, the Great Flood, and post WWll. Although the songs were great and the jokes caused the entire house to laugh hysterically the show had much deeper meanings.
The main story takes place in the suburbs of New Jersey and follows the Antrobus family (Maggie, George, their children Gladys and Henry, and their maid Sabina, who is also George’s Mistress) through their thousands of years of life. When you live for that long, your problems pile up pretty high and sting a little extra. But nonetheless, families will always have some type of problem. What defines a family, however, is how they react and respond to their problems. I understand that the show is trying to convey that families should always stick together, especially in hard situations. But for some people that’s not so easy. For me it’s not so easy. I don’t get along with my parents at all. We fight and argue more than anything else and after so many years I have had enough of my parents pushing me around and treating me as their second chance at a life they never got to live. Most people would just say to suck it up and just get on with life. Well you know what, I have. I have turned the other cheek so many times that now I can’t take it anymore. I understand that people have worse lives than me and there are people in worse situations but I can’t continue to live my life as some puppet who is always controlled by these invisible strings. Getting through tough family times is most definitely a challenge but sometimes there’s no way out of your problems.
So here I am, sitting in the theater, laughing hysterically at the jokes, when all of a sudden, a fortune teller character begins her monologue:
“I tell the future. Keck. Nothing easier. Everybody’s future is in their face. Nothing easier. But who can tell your past, —eh? Nobody! Your youth, —where did it go? It slipped away while you weren’t looking. While you were asleep. While you were drunk? Puh! You’re like our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Antrobus; you lie awake nights trying to know your past. What did it mean? What was it trying to say to you? Think! Think! Split your heads. I can’t tell the past and neither can you. If anybody tries to tell you the past, take my word for it, they’re charlatans! Charlatans! But I can tell the future.”
This is by far my most favorite part of the play. It took me forever to find it online, but I finally did it. Anyways, after hearing this, a reality arose in me. Predicting the future isn’t really that hard. You can anticipate what’s going to happen based on probability but the past is much more complex. Everything happens for a reason but discovering that reason is the absolute hardest thing to do. Even before watching the play I would always question my past decisions, especially my stupid ones, and ask myself, “Why did I do that? How would things be different if I didn’t do that? What would happen if I did this instead of that?” Everyone does this, and don’t say you don’t because I know you do. I don’t think anyone will really understand their past entirely, although I do believe that we know our pasts better than anyone else.
The Skin Of Our Teeth is probably my favorite show that I have seen so far because I love the themes it portrays and the lessons it forces to teach the audience through the wondrous performing arts. The bizarreness of it all made total sense while the reality of it got through to you in a more deranged form. Out of the two lessons I wrote about in this post, I choose to focus more on discovering the meaning of my past to better prepare myself for the predicted and unpredicted future that is yet to come.