The story immortalized on screen by Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke is a Tony Award-winning play.
Explore the boundaries of the senses as you venture inside this true story of young Helen Keller, who was blind, deaf, and struggling to connect. Her teacher, Annie Sullivan, is our courageous guide to reach Helen’s isolation and connect her with the outside world.
Keller lost her sight and hearing at 19 months due to illness, yet despite her disabilities, she became an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist, and lecturer. Keller has become a worldwide symbol for children to overcome any obstacle.
“Directing The Miracle Worker is inspiring yet challenging. Through my research, it’s incredible what Helen Keller accomplished in her life being blind and deaf. Still, we also need to recognize Annie Sullivan, her teacher, which goes along with Prime Stage’s education and accessibility outreach.” said the Prime Stage production’s director Wayne Brinda, Ed.D.
“Language grows out of life, out of its needs and experiences…Language and knowledge are indissolubly connected; they are interdependent. Good work in language presupposes and depends on a real knowledge of things,” said Annie Sullivan.
After an education at specialist and mainstream schools, Keller attended Radcliffe College of Harvard University and became the first deafblind person in the United States to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Keller campaigned for those with disabilities, women’s suffrage, labor rights, and world peace. In 1909, she joined the Socialist Party of America. She was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union.
5th grader Kendall Knotts portrays the role of Helen Keller. She is no stranger to the stage. She has been seen as Madeline in Madeline’s Christmas, as Jojo in Seussical Jr, as Charlie in Willy Wonka Jr, and in the ensemble of Captaiin Louie Jr, where she learned ASL and was fortunate to work with students from the Western PA School for the Deaf.
Holland Taylor portrays Annie Sullivan, making her Prime Stage Theatre debut. She earned her B.A. degree in Theatre Performance at Xavier University in Cincinnati.
“The story of Helen Keller is profound personally for me because it speaks to overcoming any obstacles an individual might face whether it be disabilities, or mental health or a job that you might find it impossible to do. I think audiences should come and see the show because it recognizes disabilities. It also recognizes teachers as miracle workers in our world, said Holland Adele Taylor (Portraying Annie Sullivan).”
Prime Stage is partnering with the Helen Keller National Center in Maryland and the Greater Pittsburgh Guild for the Blind to ensure the authenticity of their production.
Prime Stage has discovered that Helen Keller has a Pittsburgh connection, and a member of the Oakmont Historical Society, Gary Rogers, will provide a post-show discussion on that connection after the opening night performance on Saturday, November 4th, at 7:30 pm.
The play opens possibilities for conversations between parents and children about the importance of language and the challenges of teaching children with disabilities.
TICKETS AND DETAILS
The Miracle Worker has performances from November 3rd to 12th, 2023. All performances are at the New Hazlett Center for Performing Arts. Runtime is approximately two hours with one 15-minute intermission. Age appropriate for audiences grade 6 through adults.
For more information and tickets, visit Events – Prime Stage
- Preview: Friday, November 3rd at 7:30 pm – Pay What You Can
- Opening Night: Saturday, November 4th at 7:30 pm
- Sensory Inclusive: Saturday, November 11th at 2:30 pm – Pay What You Can
- Audio Describe: Sunday, November 12th at 2:30 pm
- ASL / Live Caption: Sunday, November 12th at 2:30 pm
For more information about Prime Stage’s accessibility outreach, visit www.primestage.com/accessibility.