Immortalized onstage and screen by Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, this classic play tells the story of Annie Sullivan and her student, blind and deaf Helen Keller. Set in the 1880s around the Keller homestead in Tuscumbia, Alabama, The Miracle Worker dramatizes the volatile relationship between the lonely teacher and her charge.
“This is a very enlightening, educational, and moving play,” says Christie Coran, who plays the role of Annie Sullivan. “It carriers a powerful message for families and kids of all ages.”
Helen, trapped in her secret world, is violent, spoiled, and treated by her family as almost sub-human. Only Annie realizes that there is a mind and spirit waiting to be rescued from the dark, tortured silence. Following scenes of intense physical and emotional dynamism, Annie’s success with Helen finally comes with the utterance of a single word.
The role of Helen Keller will be played by Kara Strohm, who previously appeared in the title role of Annie, produced by Dreamers Theatre Group. “Kara is doing an amazing job,” says Coran. “She’s the best Helen I’ve ever seen. Audiences are in for a real treat.”
Coran herself has appeared in over 40 community theatre productions in the DeKalb area. Her recent leading roles include Jo March in Little Women and Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. She has been accepted into NIU’s BFA acting program this fall, and feels a special connection to this play. “I find this show particularly inspirational, especially since I have a brother with autism,” says Coran. “The message of hope and of reaching through to someone with special needs is very moving.”
Coran will be performing on Friday, May 21, and Sunday, May 23. Alyssa Torres, who is understudy for the role and also a veteran of several productions, will be performing on Saturday, May 22.
Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30, and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $5.00 for children and students, and $10 for adults. Tickets are available at the door one hour prior to curtain. The Stevens Building is on the NIU campus behind Pizza Hut and McDonald’s on Lincoln Highway. A map with directions is available on the Annex website. Annex Theatre Company is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering expression, excellence, and insight in the theatrical arts for individuals in high school and older. For more information, call 815-331-6133 or visit them on the web at www.annextheatrecompany.org.