The Parthenon

‘The Miracle Worker’ showcases the life of Hellen Keller

Buffy Six, Reporter

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Helen Keller’s life story and relationship with teacher Annie Sullivan were brought to life on stage in Marshall University’s School of Theater’s performance of “The Miracle Worker” directed by Bryan Conger.

Sullivan, who suffered from an eye disease at a young age but later had surgery to correct it, worked with Keller, a blind, deaf child, and her protective family to teach her how to communicate with the world. Keller learned to trust Sullivan and learned to convey the world inside her head out into words with her hands.

The play began by Keller’s family discovering she is deaf and blind after recovering from an early childhood disease. The scene moved to an older Keller playing with local children but getting frustrated when she could not communicate.

The audience then met Sullivan, where she learned that she was being sent to the Keller household to try and teach this blind, deaf girl to communicate. Throughout the play, the audience sees flashbacks of Sullivan’s past, when her and her brother were in an asylum.

During the second act, Sullivan made a deal with the Keller family. She agreed to stay in the garden house with Hellen for two weeks to teach her manners and language. At the end of the two weeks, Sullivan accomplished teaching her manners, but Keller still could not communicate.

The play ends with Keller saying one word, “water.” Sullivan then begins to teach her words like mother, teacher and papa.

Conger described the play as “the miraculous effects a teacher and student can have on each other and the power of education.”

Keller was portrayed by junior Kelsey Hofe, while Sullivan was portrayed by theater veteran Story Moosa who said this role left an impression on her.

“I think Annie has all the facets of a great character that an actor really digs into over the course of three acts,” Moosa said.

Buffy Six can be contacted at [email protected]

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