Helen Keller was an activist, author, teacher and pioneer who was also deaf and blind. The remarkable story of Keller’s early life—she was born with hearing and sight and lost both abilities after a terrible illness at just 19 months old, then learned to communicate and live a full life thanks to her teacher, Annie Sullivan—is chronicled in the William Gibson play The Miracle Worker. East End audiences will have an opportunity to see a production of The Miracle Worker in 2018 when WPPB’s Bonnie Grice brings the play to life onstage at the Southampton Cultural Center. The Miracle Worker will be a joint production between Southampton Cultural Center’s Center Stage and Grice’s own theater troupe, boots on the ground, and is currently in the middle of a funding campaign to cover the costs of the ambitious and exciting project.
Grice has big plans for The Miracle Worker, which will be performed in April. “I’m keeping the faith,” says Grice, who notes that the fundraising campaign has been a little slow to start. “I so firmly believe that this story is meant to take wing in Southampton.” Grice plans to cast two area students in the lead roles of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, with auditions planned for December. “It’s giving the kids the chance to experience the Center Stage experience at Southampton Cultural Center,” Grice says. She’s also working with Southampton High School’s sign language program to teach the cast how to sign, and wants the sign students to have special seats onstage during the show.
“I want history to come alive,” says Grice, who loves the Victorian era and wants to enrich audiences. “I just think that this story is meant to be told, especially now…it has such a powerful lesson. And why not show something positive?”
Six performances of The Miracle Worker are planned, three of which will be performed for the public, with the other three for school audiences. Joan Lyons will direct. The fundraising campaign has two weeks left, with $7,000 still needed. Click here for more information and to donate.
Watch the video below to learn more about the project.