Number of Acts: 1
Number of Principals (Male): 4
Number of Principals (Female): 1
Preferred Ensemble Size: 6
Total Cast Size: 11
Two of the male principals double as other characters
Genre & Style:
Adapted from the 2007 Sundance Award-winning indie horror film by Mitchell Lichtenstein, Teeth tells the story of Dawn O’Keefe, an evangelical Christian teen with a powerful secret: she has teeth in her vagina. When the men in Dawn’s life try to exploit her, she is forced to choose between survival or destruction.
O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, CT, 2018 (workshop, dir. Portia Krieger); 54 Below, NYC, 2017 (concert); Sundance Institute, NYC, 2017 (workshop, dir. Marlo Hunter); Sundance Institute, MA, 2016 (workshop, dir. Marlo Hunter); Musical Theatre Factory @ Playwrights Horizons, NYC, 2016 (showcase, dir. Marlo Hunter); Ars Nova, NYC, 2014 (workshop, dir. Ed Iskandar); Ars Nova, NYC, 2013 (concert, dir. Stephen Santa); developed through the Ars Nova Uncharted program, 2013-2014.
5 Things You Should Know
- Vagina Dentata (Latin for “toothed vagina”) is prevalent in the folklore of many peoples, including South Americans, Hindus, Ainus and Maoris. The various tales serve as a deterrent against rape and sexual encounters with unknown women, and typically feature, in some form or another, a toothed Goddess and a Hero determined to overcome her.
- Anna and Michael’s score is a vibrant and contemporary romp that references a whole slew of pop-rock music influences. If you listen carefully, you may hear nods to The Temptations, Boyz II Men, Larkin Poe, Peter Cetera, Tori Amos, and Beyoncé, as Dawn traverses from the Christian world of Promise Keeper Girls to the mythical world of Dentata.
- Teeth is adapted from a Sundance Award-winning cult classic film of the same name, written and directed by Mitchell Lichstenstein. The film takes an unusual topic and provocatively pushes the boundaries of the form it’s working in. Using both humor and earnest dramatic moments, Michael and Anna speak to issues of today including the clash of anti-social “incels” (involuntary celibates) and evangelical Christian “purity” ring culture.
- Between attacks on reproductive rights at the state and federal level and trans women under continuous threat of state and domestic violence, the autonomy of women’s bodies is in serious question making the story of Teeth an urgent one that will resonate with anyone who cares about the plight and destiny of women across the globe.
- In musical theater today, there is a dearth of stories that center the lives and concerns of complex female protagonists. Teeth more than fits that bill by featuring a young woman who learns to rescue herself from those who would oppress her.