North Central University Theater Department redefines acting in “The Miracle Worker”

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North Central University Theater Department redefines acting in “The Miracle Worker”

The Theater Department at North Central is putting on “The Miracle Worker” based on a true story of Helen Keller.

By: Kayla Horn

Each fall semester, the North Central University Fine Arts department puts on a fall play. This year, the department has chosen “The Miracle Worker.” The play was chosen by the assistant professor in the College of Fine Arts, Wayne Matthews.

This play follows the story of Helen Keller and will be performed in the Anderson Chapel Nov. 9 to Nov. 18.

The cast this year is unique because it is not solely comprised of North Central students. There is a co-op of home-schooled students who are also participating in the production. To find actors, a board of casting members decides if the student matches the role not only in ability, but also in appearance and height. For example, the character of Helen is played by a nine-year-old from a homeschool group instead of a college student.

Through this partnership, the cast is able to mentor young actors. As Professor Matthews said in an interview, “[the cast] is not interested in theater for theater’s sake, and they have a desire to bring up others around them. They want to help people see the world in a new way.” The play “The Miracle Worker” does this well and represents what the theater program at North Central values. In an interview with Professor Matthews, he stated the story is one “of hope and the resilience of the human spirit, of potential… of not dismissing people because of something we would consider a disability on their part where often they could be dismissed by society and thought to be less than. But in fact, they are so incredibly valuable and have so much incredible potential.” This show encompasses those belief and values.

According to the editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica, the play was originally written by William Gibson in 1959. The original script was written for the teleplay and was changed significantly for the theater. The show opened on Broadway on Oct. 19, 1959, and ran 719 performances. It also received four Tony Awards.

Tickets are available online: $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and children under the age of 12.