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Historical drama takes the stage at Mundelein High School

January 25, 2023 12:35 PM

Mundelein Theatre will bring the story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan to the stage in their production of The Miracle Worker on February 2-4. This story of a blind and deaf girl and the teacher who was able to reach her is one of the most well-known and inspirational stories of the twentieth century.

Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday-Saturday, February 2, 3 and 4. There is also a performance at 3:45 p.m. on Friday, February 3. Additionally, the understudy cast will hold a performance on Saturday, February 4 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. The matinee performance on Friday is only $2 for MHS students. Tickets can be purchased online at www.mundelein Tickets will also be on sale at the door, 30 minutes prior to each performance.

A production for the whole family, The Miracle Worker tells the story of Helen Keller, who lost her hearing and sight in infancy. As a young girl, Helen is introduced to Annie Sullivan, a teacher educated at the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston, and her life is forever changed. Originally written for television and based on Keller's autobiography, The Miracle Worker was adapted for the Broadway stage in 1959. It won four Tony Awards, including Best Play, and the 1962 film adaptation earned Academy Awards for the two lead actresses, Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke.

“Producing a play based on actual people can be a particular challenge,” said Director Jonathan Meier. “The students did a great job of taking the historically available information about these people and melding that with their own experiences to shape their unique characterizations.”

Junior Taylor Gates, who portrays Helen Keller, said she has to be very cautious of her surroundings while maintaining the illusion of being deaf and blind.

“I have to watch out for my fellow cast mates and stay in control while portraying the wild movements of Helen,” Gates said.

Junior Julia Myrant, who portrays Annie Sullivan, had a bit of knowledge about sign language prior to this show.

“In playing the role of Annie, I have had a great opportunity to enhance my signing abilities,” she said.

Others in the cast are Leandro Ocampo (Capt. Keller), Hadyn Nuttall (Katie Keller), Will Gonzalez (James Keller), Rey Palacios (Aunt Ev), Zoë Van Krey (Viney), Adriyanna Tesimu (Anagnos), and Alexander Benassi (Jimmie). Rounding out the cast are Emilio Burgos, Jasmine Tigley, Marissa St. Clair, Gracie Greenfield and Olivia Cachot. The Assistant Directors are Andy Lacroix and Mari Hoover. The Stage Managers are Marianna Van Eycke and Makenna Wald.

The understudies for the show are Parker Dumalski (Annie), Stephanie Aquino (Helen), Jacob Hutter (Capt. Keller), Abigail Marquardt (Kate Keller), Alex Torralba Rivera (James Keller), Mia Joshi (Aunt Ev), Vesta Albano (Viney), and Eli Nerdin (Jimmie).


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