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Helen Keller Story Told on OWU Stage with 'The Miracle Worker'

March 15, 2002

[ 'The Miracle Worker' Cast Photo ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- The Ohio Wesleyan University Department of Theatre and Dance is proud to present The Miracle Worker, written by William Gibson. The play will be performed on April 5, 6, 12, and 13 at 8 p.m., and on April 14 at 2 p.m. in Chappelear Drama Center.

The Miracle Worker is a play derived from the true story of Helen Keller, her teacher Anne Sullivan, and their breakthrough in communication. It is about triumph and persistence of the human spirit, shown through the non-traditional teaching methods a determined teacher must adopt in order to reach her pupil. Anne creates a means for Helen to learn, even though she has been blind and deaf since infancy.

"This is an award-winning, classic American play about the difference one individual can make and the triumph of a teacher," says director and OWU theatre professor D. Glen Vanderbilt Jr. "It is a play about breaking through sensory barriers and the power of one individual to alter another's life through patience, determination, energy, and love. We dedicate this production to teachers everywhere, who have shaped us and led us to be the best we can be."

The department is excited to open this unique performance to a wider audience by providing a sign language interpreter during the Saturday, April 13 performance. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen complications, the audio-describer for the Sunday, April 14 matinee has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The department is also honored to have Dana White as a guest lighting designer. White has designed several original productions, including the world premieres of Raindance and Book of Days (winner of the Grand Prize "Best Play of 1998"), both by Lanford Wilson, and Matchgirl with Columbus Dance Theatre. Recent work around central Ohio includes Galleria de Danse and Oklahoma! -- both at Otterbein College. White designed the lighting for Escanaba in da Moonlight, All Night Strut!, and Tropical Pickle at the Gem Theatre in Detroit, Mich. He serves as an associate artist at the Purple Rose Theatre (Chelsea, Mich.) and a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829. White is associate professor of lighting, sound, and stage management at Otterbein College.

The Miracle Worker features sophomore Kate Campbell as Anne Sullivan, senior Shannon Felker as Helen Keller, senior John Foughy as Mr. Keller, and sophomore Sarah Anderson as Mrs. Keller, accompanying a total cast and crew of more than 30 students. The scene design is by Professor Vanderbilt and costume design is by staff member Melanie Miles.

The costs of tickets are $7 for the general public, $6 for faculty and staff, and $5 for students and senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased through Chappelear Box Office at 740-368-3855 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Group discounts are available with prior arrangement through the Box Office.