The Skin of Our Teeth company member Maya Jackson recently used her time during the production's lengthy tech rehearsals to practice another art form: photography.
“Tech is unique time in the [rehearsal] process. Even as someone who is in the show, you have these moments that you don’t usually get to really watch your colleagues at work, or moments that you may have not seen before. The cast also gets to see these moments suspended [in time] because they are adding the technical elements, lights, costumes, and sets, and we are seeing them all together for the first time. It is kind of an ideal circumstance for taking pictures in a lot of ways,” Jackson shared with us.
Jackson was introduced to photography by her father, a photographer himself, at a young age, but she never took to it and was drawn to the theatre. During the pandemic, she decided to pick up the art form again.
“Photography became this thing that allowed me to continue to be creative in a moment of creative pause for the theatre industry,” shares Jackson. “I started off taking portraits of Black women. I wanted to highlight the beauty in the world that is often undercut, under-represented, and underserved, and I wanted to show these women in my life the way that I see them and [show] the honor that they deserve.” Taking her friend’s' portraits was a way for her to see her friends while remaining social distanced.
When asked what drew her to shooting backstage photos of The Skin of our Teeth, Jackson said she was drawn to the project because this show and cast has unique intersection of people. “They are just gorgeous humans, but there is definitely something about this experience and this cast and this show and this moment that feels like I needed to capture it in time.”
Jackson hopes that her photo series will help capture the memories of this time and and the feelings of making the show with this company. “Rarely have I been in a cast that looks and feels the way this cast feels,” said Jackson. “For a person of color, it also feels momentous because it is giving me the opportunity to be in an environment that I’ve always hoped for, not having to only be one of in a room, but to be one of many—to really be able to bring the fullness of who I am. It has been a process that has allowed other people to be the full expansiveness of who they are as well.”
The cast features James Vincent Meredith as Mr. Antrobus and Roslyn Ruff as Mrs. Antrobus with Paige Gilbert and Julian Robertson playing their children Gladys and Henry, respectively. Gabby Beans plays Sabina, the family's maid, and Tony winner Priscilla Lopez is the Fortune Teller.
Joining them are Eunice Bae, Terry Bell, Ritisha Chakraborty, William DeMeritt, Jeremy Gallardo, Avery Glymph, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Noor Hamdi, Tyrone Mitchell Henderson, Maya Loren Jackson, Anaseini Katoa, Cameron Keitt, Megan Lomax, Kathiamarice Lopez, Lindsay Rico, Julian Rozzell, Jr., Julyana Soelistyo, Phillip Taratula, Beau Thom, Alphonso Walker, Jr., Adrienne Wells, and Sarin Monae West.
Contributing additional material for this production is playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. The production features set design by Adam Rigg, costumes by Montana Levi Blanco, lighting by Yi Zhao, sound by Palmer Hefferan, and projections by Hannah Wasileski.
The Skin of Our Teeth opens April 25 at Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont.
See the rest of the series below: