April 24, 2012

The Miracle Worker


The Indiana Repertory Theatre’s 40th season closes with the classic drama, The Miracle Worker. The inspirational play is based on the true story of the blind and deaf girl Helen Keller and her sign language teacher, Annie Sullivan.  
 
The success of the show depends on the performances of its two main characters: Nora Fiffer as Annie Sullivan and Ciarra Krohne as Helen Keller. Both actors are incredible. Krohne is only 12 years old and yet she embraces her role with such abandon that it’s easy to forget you aren’t really watching Keller herself.


Fiffer does a wonderful job portraying the young, formerly blind teacher who is haunted by her own demons. She’s rough around the edges, but she’s tenacious and that’s exactly what Helen needs. Their stubborn natures clash as they test each others’ wills. Keller’s parents love her, but their tender care and coddling is more harmful than they realize. It takes Sullivan’s brassy impertinence to stand up to them before things can really change for Helen.
 
The set is one of the IRT’s best. Designed by Robert M. Koharchik, it is a huge rotating two-story house that fills the stage. Everything from the green shutters to the infamous water pump in the yard is remarkable. Taking advantage of IRT’s policy to allow patrons on stage on opening night, audience members could see that it was just as impressive up close.
 
The production is a superb combination of strong performances by the entire cast and a story that resonates. It’s an excellent way to close a strong season and it leaves audience members looking forward to more great things from the IRT this fall.


*Side note, as someone who uses sign language to communicate with my brother, I find Helen and Annie’s story so inspirations. Without being able to use sign language, there are so many people who would have no way of communicating. I’m so grateful for teachers like Annie Sullivan who had the patience to work individuals to teach them the language.
 
 
Don't Miss the Show



The Indiana Repertory Theatre is located at 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, one-half block west of the Circle Center Mall between northbound Illinois St. and southbound Capitol Ave. "The Miracle Worker" runs until Sunday, May 20 on IRT's Main Stage. Times for performances can be found at www.irtlive.com or by calling the IRT box office at (317) 635-5252. To purchase tickets call (317) 635-5252 or order online at www.irtlive.com



Photos Courtesy of the Indiana Repertory Theatre

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