Galsworthy's plays are known for their social conscience, and The Skin Game is no exception. The 1920 drama pits the noveau riche manufacturing family the Hornblowers against the landed gentry Hillcrists. The Hornblowers, who are stung by the Hillcrists' refusal to accept them into society, decide to erect a pottery factory within spitting distance of the Hillcrest estate. Seeing that this will decrease the value of their property and defile their ancestral home, the Hillcrists first try to buy the land out from under the Hornblowers. When that fails, they resort to blackmail, threatening to reveal a scandalous secret about the wife of one of the Hornblower sons.
The show first ran on Broadway in 1920 for 176 performances. It was later made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock.
Eleanor Reissa (Those Were The Days) will direct the new staging.
John C. Vennema and James Gale play the principal combatants, the principled but timid Mr. Hillcrist and the vulgar, forward-charging Mr. Hornblower. Also in the cast of 12 are Nick Berg Barnes, Denis Butkus, Monique Fowler, Leo Kittay, Diana LaMar, Nicole Lowrance, Pat Nesbit, Carl Palmer, Stephen Rowe, and Richard Waddingham. Scenic design will be by Vicki R. Davis, with lighting design by Traci Klainer, costume design by Traci Christensen, and sound design by Bruce Ellman.
Galsworthy, born in 1867, is best known in America for his multi-novel "The Forsyte Saga," which was made into a famously popular television mini series in 1967, and then again in 2002. His plays, which include The Silver Box, Strife, Justice and The Fugitive looks at social, industrial and political inequities in British society. His work was frequently produced in the West End and on Broadway in the first decades of the 20th century, and sometimes had a social impact. Justice, for instance, spurred a campaign for prison reform. His early plays were produced by famed man of the theatre, Granville Barker (whose work has also found a home at the Mint). Since many of his dramas are linked to specific social problems of their day, they are rarely revived today. His last Broadway appearance was in 1931. Galsworthy won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1932.