‘Miracle Worker’ brought to the spotlight

Erin Brush | Managing Editor

The drama club is working miracles.

Last Saturday was opening night for this year’s fall play, “The Miracle Worker”, which follows the life of Helen Keller, a blind and deaf little girl. According to lead actress Jessica Cooper, who plays Helen, the story closely follows Helen’s life.

“The show is about Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan,” Cooper said. “Helen Keller is trapped in her own body. She had a fever at a young age that left her blind and deaf. The story is really about her family and how they’re dealing with the illness and how they’re dealing with functioning day to day.”

According to stage manager Ri Moodie, the most challenging aspect of the play was its complexity.

“Because it is about Helen Keller, we have to kind of live up to the real event that happened and that’s the hardest thing, tech-wise,” Moody said. “It’s tough to follow along with what they do on stage because when I’m calling cues I have to listen to what they’re saying and there’s a lot of banging around.”

Cooper said her biggest challenge was to capture the spirit of her character.

“I think the hardest part, besides being blind and deaf, was just getting into the mindset because Helen is very smart and she knows how to get what she wants,” Cooper said. “And it was hard for me to try and be this stubborn, frankly spoiled, little girl.”

According to Cooper, the show’s mix of drama and comedy allows the audience members to connect with it.

“My favorite scene is the breakfast scene, which is between me and Leah Hall, who plays Annie Sullivan,” Cooper said. “Helen is going around and taking food from people’s plates and Annie doesn’t let her take from her plate. So they have this whole fight sequence where they’re throwing things, eating food, running, hitting each other, and it’s fun. I actually got hurt a couple weeks ago when I split my lip. Leah has this part where she dumps a pitcher of water in my face and the pitcher we used a first was metal and it hit me in the face. I was bleeding but it’s part of the job.”

Cooper said the show’s feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

“It makes me so happy to hear people are enjoying the show and relating to it,” Cooper said. “Even though Helen’s circumstances are something we can’t fathom, it’s still relatable. We’ve all had big obstacles that we have had to find it in ourselves and in others to overcome them.”

“The Miracle Worker” will continue at 8 p.m. this Friday and Saturday in the Black Box Theater.

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Photos by Erin Brush