APPLETON, WIS. — Thornton Wilder’s 1942 Pulitzer Prize-winning play “The Skin of Our Teeth” comes to Lawrence University’s Stansbury Theatre May 14-15 at 8 p.m. and May 16 at 3 and 8 p.m.

Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

The comically anachronistic tale focuses on the trials and misadventures of the nuclear American family. With biting wit, Wilder examines the perseverance of the human race through all of life’s disasters and the lessons of history to provide answers for the future.

“Wilder’s deft juxtaposition of the familiar with the unlikely takes us on a wild romp through history and humanity,” said Kathy Privatt, associate professor of theatre arts and James G. and Ethel M. Barber Professor of Theatre and Drama, who will direct the production.

Wilder creates archetypal characters like the protective mother, the prodigal son, and the seductive maid to tell the story of the Antrobus family in this universal drama. Wilder’s loose conception of time and non-continuous plot bring the characters into extreme situations during each act.

The family travels from the dawning of the Ice Age to the moments before the Great Flood (of Noah). Written in 1942, Wilder anticipates the eventual end of World War II: the final scene takes place in the aftermath of a great world war that even included animals.

“Choosing to direct this play was giving myself permission to spend artistic energy on a favorite script,” said Privatt. “World events in the last year have made it a tremendously topical play, including its underlying message of hope.”

Seniors Eric Ohlrogge and Nora Taylor play Mr. and Mrs. Antrobus while sophomores Jeff Rudisill and Erika Thiede play the Antrobuses’ children, Henry and Gladys, respectively. Sophomore Katie Cravens portrays Sabina, the family’s maid.