Deaf, blind and mute Helen Keller lives out a dark and silent existence that expresses itself only through violent and spoiled behaviour. As a last resort, her family hires a young teacher, Anne Sullivan, to help.
Discovering a mind and spirit waiting to be released, Anne sets forth against all odds to help Helen break through her physical barriers and become the powerful person she truly is.
The Miracle Worker by William Gibson is the next production in Gallery 7 Theatre’s 2017/18 Mysteries of Life Theatre Season.
Running April 6 to 14 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre, this Tony Award-winning drama explores love, grace and mercy in the midst of searching for a much-needed miracle.
Directing this powerful and inspirational production is Jessica Garden.
“The Miracle Worker was the first play that I saw as an undergraduate,” she explains. “I was mesmerized by the compelling performances and deeply moved to learn more about the story. In the same way that Helen’s mind and soul are awakened through the discovery of language and her own personhood, I felt as though I too were being awakened.”
Garden is the associate producer of Dark Glass Theatre in Langley, and is an artist, administrator and a passionate social justice advocate. She studied theatre and literature at Trinity Western University and recently directed the world premiere of Throne for the Vancouver Fringe Festival.
“The play emphasizes the importance of finding hope in the face of trauma and retaining that hope by connecting with others,” she continues. “The play so beautifully emphasizes the importance of spiritual connection and is especially relevant in a time where matters of the soul are often ignored in favour of political gain, social media popularity and status.”
Performing the physically demanding role of Helen Keller is Rebecca Laurenti, who last appeared in Gallery 7’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher. Her precocious, yet caring teacher, is played newcomer, Meghan Hanet. Playing the role of Mr. Keller is Peter Shaver while Cristin Schieder takes on the role of long-suffering Kate Keller. Michael Holman takes on the role of James Keller and Shannon Pauls plays Aunt Ev. Rounding out the cast are Grant Brittian, Walt Derksen, Dalton Nelson, Sheila Schipper, Dylan Schroeder, Emma Simons and Jenna Veenbaas.
Garden is supported by an incredible team of designers hailing from across the Lower Mainland. Set design is by Dustin Froese, costume and make-up design is by Shelby Wyminga, lighting design is by Matthew Piton and sound design is by Bethany Somerville. Props design is by Jim Harrison, fight choreographer is Shephen Elcheshen and the stage manager is Maria Denholme. Production photography is by Dianna Lewis Photography.
The Miracle Worker runs April 6-7 and April 11 – 14 at 7:30 p.m. with matinees on April 7 and 14 at 2 p.m. For tickets and more information, please visit www.gallery7theatre.com or visit House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford, 604-852-3701 or 1-800-665-8828.
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