The Parthenon

Theater students prepare for the opening of ‘Miracle Worker’

Buffy Six and Sebastian Morris

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“The Miracle Worker” by William Gibson tells the story of Hellen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, and how they learned from one another. The show is coming to the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse beginning Oct. 4, under the guidance of guest director Bryan Conger.

The play centers on a six-year-old Helen Keller who does not yet understand that words have meaning and tangibles attached to them. Adapted from Keller’s autobiography, “The Story of My Life,” the play follows Keller’s relationship with Sullivan, who taught Keller, a blind and deaf individual, how to understand language.

“Annie became Hellen’s anchor to the world,” Sam Kincaid, box office manager, said. “This story really shows how Annie taught Hellen by signing into her hand and later teaching her to speak and write.”

A veteran of Marshall’s theater program, Story Moosa, will play Annie Sullivan. Kelsey Hofe, a junior in the program, will play Hellen Keller.

“I am thrilled to be portraying one of my favorite activists in this production,” Hofe said. “This is the part of her story that we don’t normally hear about that shows her when she was locked away in the dark and confusing world of her mind.”

Hofe has no lines in the play, but she is constantly moving on set. It’s a very movement heavy show, and the cast has fight choreography every night during rehearsal.

“We have to stay very healthy and hydrated,” Hofe said. “It’s very hard on our bodies.”

Hofe also said this story has inspired her, and she said she hopes it will inspire the audience as well.

“I want people to appreciate what Helen Keller did for the world,” Hofe said. “I’m really excited to portray someone like her.”

Moosa said she is delighted to join familiar faces on stage again, creating the world in which this miracle takes place.

“This has been the most demanding, involved and exciting show I have been a part of,” Moosa said. “Her (Annie Sullivan’s) toughness and integrity, along with her personal history, really drive you through the play, and I’ve had a really great experience with exploring those textures and how it has changed me as an actor.”

The cast and crew is a mix of new and experienced faces. One of the new faces to take to the stage is sophomore Emily Davidson. Although this is her first performance, she has worked with the costume crew for previous shows. Davidson will be playing several roles.

Students can get tickets Monday through Friday 1 from 4:30 p.m. at the box office in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse. The show starts Oct. 4 and runs through Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. It continues Oct. 12 through Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Kincaid said he hopes the audience finds hope and inspiration through the show.

“With this production, we have tried to strip away any artifice and get to the heart of that story,” guest director Bryan Conger said. “Helen Keller was one of our greatest political activists, who fought fearlessly for the civil liberties of all people. I can’t think of a better person to be exploring at this current time in our country’s history.”

Buffy Six can be contacted at [email protected]

Sebastian Morris can be contacted at [email protected]

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