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Woodbridge Senior High School The Miracle Worker

By • Feb 9th, 2012 • Category: Cappies

It takes amazing perseverance in the face of adversity to overcome disabilities as detrimental and heart-breaking as that of the historical Helen Keller. With hard work and determination, however, it was seen that such afflictions are not insurmountable in Woodbridge Senior High School’s recent production of The Miracle Worker.

The Miracle Worker, written by William Gibson and adapted from his 1957 film of the same name, debuted on Broadway in 1959 and enjoyed a successful run of over 700 performances and won multiple Tony Awards, including Best Play. Set in the late 1880s, the show is based on Helen Keller’s autobiography entitled The Story of My Life, in which she relates the difficulty of growing up blind and deaf. The Miracle Worker focuses on a period in Helen’s youth where she is taught obedience, manners, and eventually language by the young Anne Sullivan. Caught between the love of her mother, the bullheadedness of her father, and the indifference of her half-brother, Helen overcomes various obstacles, both external and internal in nature.

The repertoire of thespians at Woodbridge Senior High School staged a very honest, believable, and sophisticated version of this inspirational play. Although there were some performers who were not fully committed to their characters and had trouble with diction, the production, as a whole, represented a well-rehearsed gradient of emotion. One particularly impressive actress was Kaitlyn Rhyne in her genuine portrayal of the affectionate Kate Keller, Helen’s mother.

The most remarkable performance of the night was that of the talented Mia Amado, who played the deaf and blind Helen Keller. The beautiful intricacy of her realistic interactions with both her surrounding environment and her fellow performers contributed to her outstanding portrayal of this hardship-stricken girl. Never breaking character and completely maintaining the illusion of a blind and deaf girl, Amado epitomized professionalism and excellence on the stage.

Clara Hoch played the titular character of the show, Anne Sullivan. Hoch’s strong resolve and determination allowed her to establish herself as a sturdy source of emotion throughout the entirety of the play. One facet of her performance which propelled her to greatness was the amazing physical chemistry between Hoch and her co-star Amado. During the remarkable dinner scene, these actresses solidified the notion that the most captivating moments of the play were when none was speaking.

Woodbridge Senior High School’s technical production was exceptionally well-thought-out and versatile. The Keller house was constructed through a series of frameworks and platforms, which proved to be very effective in upholding the representation of the building while allowing for the actors to be easily seen. Another notable point of the various technical elements was the focused, meaningful lighting, which, through light and dark moments, signified the affliction of blindness.

The cast of Woodbridge Senior High School’s performance of The Miracle Worker was a tight-knit, sharp representation of the captivating nature of this moving tale. All in attendance at this miraculous play were certainly taught, in the words of Helen Keller, that “we can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough.”

by Joseph Biagini of Westfield High School

Photo Gallery

Clara Hoch, Mia Amado, Diesel the dog, Harrison Simpson, and Kaitlyn Rhyne Harrison Simpson, Justin McIntyre, Emma Berry, Clara Hoch, Kaitlyn Rhyne, and Mia Amado
Clara Hoch, Mia Amado, Diesel the dog, Harrison Simpson, and Kaitlyn Rhyne
Harrison Simpson, Justin McIntyre, Emma Berry, Clara Hoch, Kaitlyn Rhyne, and Mia Amado
Clara Hoch, Mia Amado Mia Amado, Clara Hoch
Clara Hoch, Mia Amado
Mia Amado, Clara Hoch
Caitlyn Bishop, Mia Amado, Anthony Powell, and Hannah Taylor
Caitlyn Bishop, Mia Amado, Anthony Powell, and Hannah Taylor

Photos by Terri Caretti

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