Theatre and Sign Club see ‘Miracle’

Delaney Garrlets, Reporter

Both the theatre classes and the Sign Club went on a field trip to go see the play “ The Miracle Worker” at the Coterie Theatre.

On Oct. 8, the theatre class went to the show, and on Oct. 22 the Sign Club went.  They both left during the school day and returned directly after the 75-minute show.

The play “The Miracle Worker” is about a young blind and deaf Helen Keller being assisted by Annie Sullivan, who had previously worked at a teaching institute for the blind.

This production of “The Miracle Worker” used something called shadow casting, which is when people use American Sign Language (ASL) in the background of the play to mirror what the actors are saying.

People in Sign Club mostly understood the sign language involved in the play.

“I understood a lot of it, and it was a very educational experience. It helped refresh all my sign skills,” Thomas said.

Heather Kaufman, sophomore in theatre, enjoyed the show.

“They had some interesting use of props. They had a water pump. She’d throw things and water would splash you. It was a small enough theater that they could do that,” Kaufman said.

It was a beneficial trip for both the theatre students and the Sign Club. The Sign Club members got to see a real world application for ASL, and the theatre students got to see a new and intriguing play with a concept that they had never seen before. Two very different clubs had an opportunity to see a play pertaining to the both of them.

This play has a few different themes, one of them being the human will to try and persevere and the other being that a good teacher can change someone’s whole life if they’re willing to learn from them.

Keller was lonely for much of her young life and would have continued to wreak havoc on her family if Sullivan had not come to help.

The entire play is based around Keller at a young age, and it “showed a lot of the history of Helen Keller, and I really liked the way they did it,” Kaufman said.

It was a “play well worth seeing, and I would definitely recommend people to see it, even if they don’t know ASL,” Thomas said.

This show is no longer available at the Coterie Theatre, but it’s possible to find both the movie adaptation and read the full script online.

Sofija Thomas, sophomore in Sign Club, really enjoyed the production.

“I would recommend it. It was very educational, and I enjoyed the interpreting part of it, “ Thomas said.

Keller was blinded in her infancy and later discovered to be deaf. She would torment her family, not understanding her surroundings. Her parents decided she needed professional help rather than just being babied by her parents, and so that’s when Sullivan came in.

The original play, written by William Gibson, first premiered on Oct. 19, 1959, and closed after 719 performances on July 1, 1961.