Volume 75, Issue 22
April 9, 2004

The Miracle Worker a touching rendition of Annie Sullivan's "unlocking" of Helen Keller

Brooke Burkett

"She is like a little safe, locked, that no one can open. Perhaps there is a treasure inside."

It's safe to say that the story of Helen Keller is commonly known. This past weekend, however, senior Tanya Briddell directed a unique version of the story of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker.

The play shed light on the well-known story of Helen Keller and the courageous efforts of her teacher, Annie Sullivan.

The part of Keller was played by Darcy Elburn, an eighth grader from Sudlersville.

"Overall, I feel the production was a success," said Briddell.

Lynn Pistone, Harry Wright, Amanda Darda, Joseph Gates, Alaina Anderson, Tamika Sudler, Anna Hall, Rob Ranneberger, Melissa Pasterkiewicz, Victoria Larson, Kim Boughan and Madeleine Perry made up the cast of The Miracle Worker.

The bat that has been trapped in the theater lately made yet another appearance as well.

The Miracle Worker served as a dual thesis for both Director Briddell and Pistone, who played the role of Sullivan. The show was one of the first combined theses that the drama department has produced to this date.

A prominent theme of The Miracle Worker was the exploration of the important relationship between students and their teachers.

Briddell would like to be involved in a teaching program after graduating this spring from Washington College. Therefore, it was a natural decision to choose a play that has such a strong interest in the power of learning and language.

"I chose this play because I plan on teaching middle school language arts and/or drama, and this play depicts one of the most powerful teacher-student relationships in history," stated Briddell.

Pistone commented she thought the show was a great success, but yet is saddened at the idea that her days on the stage of Tawes Theatre are drawing to a close.

"I've received compliments that The Miracle Worker was one of the best shows produced her in a while" Pistone stated.

"Knowing that my thesis is over is a relief, but it's sad. After all of our preparation, we only get two nights to perform."

Many students attended the production this past weekend. Senior Jen Anderson stated, "I enjoyed the play. The story of Helen Keller has a powerful message and it was shown in a unique and touching way."

Sophomore Julie Smith commented, "I thought that the play was really entertaining. I would really have loved to play the part of Helen Keller!"

Briddell said, "It was my hope that this show would relay a message about love and self-definition; audience members have commented on the show's touching quality."