The Clarke Community High School spring play, “The Miracle Worker” is the story of Helen Keller performed by 21 Clarke High School students.
The play is directed by Don May and the assistant (student) directors are Victoria Swartz, Breanna Selsor and Noemi Vega.
“It’s a big cast of around 20, which we usually don’t have that big of a cast,” said May.
The students work to tell the story of Annie Sullivan and her student, blind and mute Hellen Keller. “The Miracle Worker” dramatizes the volatile relationship between the lonely teacher and her charge. Keller is trapped in a secret, silent world, unable to communicate. She grows to be violent, spoiled, almost sub-human and treated by her family as such. Only Sullivan realizes that there is a mind and spirit waiting to be rescued from the dark, tortured silence. With scenes of intense physical and emotional dynamism, Annie’s success with Helen finally comes with the utterance of a single, glorious work: “water”.
“What she went through and what her teacher went through is just a really neat thing,” said May. “She’s not just all the Hellen Keller blind jokes.”
Many students are involved in the play behind the scenes as well. There are 10 students doing makeup, eight in charge of props, six in charge of sound, 11 worked on publicity, seven on costumes with the help of local volunteer Sarah Hettinger, seven will be running lights and 14 in charge of staging.
“I would guess that most of these guys didn’t know much about Hellen Keller at all before this and what’s cool is tat a bunch of them have now learned sign language, or at least the alphabet...The just became kind of curious and learned it,” said May.
The play will run 7:30 p.m. April 12-13 at the Clarke Community High School Auditorium. It lasts approximately two hours. Reserves seats are $7, general admission seats are $5 for adults and $4 for students.