MIRACLE WORKERS: Annie Sullivan (right) as Helen Keller and Mary Katelin Ward as her teacher.
Broadway and regional theater actors again dot the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s cast as the Rep presents “The Miracle Worker,” the story of Helen Keller, opening Friday, March 18.
The show runs through April 10. The Rep will offer a sneak preview of the show on Thursday, March 17, featuring a discussion led by director Brad Mooy beginning at 7:15 p.m.
Showtimes Friday and Saturday are 8 p.m. Sunday’s showtimes are at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Keller was deaf and blind, but through the persistence of Annie Sullivan, Keller’s teacher, she was able to learn to communicate through sign language and some speech. Her story inspired the New York staging in 1959 of “The Miracle Worker,” which won the Tony Award for Best Play. A film version won an Academy Award, and two TV movies were made of the story. “The Miracle Worker” was revived off-Broadway in 1987.
Mooy, the Rep’s artistic associate and literary manager, who is in his 17th season with the theater, says, “The Miracle Worker is a heroic classic filled with vital conflict and brisk comedy. It energetically dramatizes what it means to learn.
“I’m drawn to the play’s optimistic message – through love, discipline, faith and determination, miraculous feats are possible.”
The cast of 18 includes 14 local youths in various roles. Mary Katelin Ward, a sixth-grader at Crestwood Elementary School in North Little Rock, plays Helen Keller. Ward has acted in five other Rep productions.
Margot Ebling, with several NYC theater credits, plays Annie Sullivan. Mike O’Carroll, who originated the role of J.P. Morgan in “Ragtime” on Broadway, and Mary Proctor, who has performed regionally, are Helen Keller’s parents.
Tickets are $28 and $20 and available by calling 378-0405 or toll-free 866-684-3737. Some half-price tickets are available for the Thursday sneak preview. Discounts for other shows are available by purchase online.
A benefit show for Camp Aldersgate, “A Night on the Town,” is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 22. It will include heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks before the show. Tickets are $50 (call 225-1444). Regular shows resume Wednesday, March 23, at 7 p.m.