The Antrobus family represents all of humanity in The Skin of Our Teeth, Thornton Wilder's strange, 1940s play about the end of the world, and the playwright clearly saw Mrs. Antrobus as a conventional housewife. But in Billie McBride's hands, she was less a submissive helpmate than a woman intent on protecting her family, and so strong in her beliefs that she could withstand almost anything. She was also hyper-competent. "I can starve," she remarked calmly at one point. "I've starved before. I know how."