Theater Info for the Washington DC region

2nd Star Productions The Miracle Worker

By • Sep 3rd, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of 2nd Star Productions’ production of The Miracle Worker [MP3 5:03 2.3MB]. (And, how exciting is this: this review is our 300th podcast entry!)

Laura: This is the review of The Miracle Worker performed Friday night by 2nd Star Productions at the Bowie Playhouse in Bowie Maryland. This is Laura.

Mike: This is Mike. The Miracle Worker was a well performed show. It was pretty snappy. I had a good time watching the show.

Laura: I really liked the pacing of this show. The overall show time was a little over two and a half hours with one intermission and one pause. It was a fairly long show, but it moved along. I also enjoyed the physicality of the show. I thought Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan did very well.

Mike: The Miracle Worker is a play by William Gibson. It is the story of Helen Keller, a deaf and blind girl in the 1880’s. And her teacher, Annie Sullivan who comes from Boston, fresh out of college, to help teach Helen how to live her life and to give her family some relief. It’s a story that has won Academy Awards, and it is very popular on theater stages. It gives a young actress an opportunity to shine. I think in this show the actress playing Helen Keller did a really good job.

Laura: This was very much a character driven show. You had a lot of intense moments, a lot of deep conversations. I especially liked Annie Sullivan’s memories of her growing up in a home and the brother that she loved and cared for. I just really liked the way they did those “memory moments” I guess you’d call them. I thought they were very well done.

Mike: Helen Keller was played by Vivian Wingard. She had no lines throughout most of the show. She was deaf, blind and mute. She could grunt and slap the table with her hands. She did a pretty good job. A few times you could see her eyes kind of tracking some of the other actors on stage, but I think that’s just because we’re people and that’s just what happens. I think she did a pretty good job with it.

Laura: One of the things I thought was neat about Helen Keller was even though she was deaf and blind, everyone assumed therefore that she was mentally retarded. But the wheels were definitely turning in her head. The scene in the dining room between the family and Helen going around picking food up off the table however she wanted to. Then when she got to Annie, trying to reach for food off of her plate and Annie pushing her away. You could see the anger. You could see the “I’m not getting my way and I’m getting really upset about it.” I liked that scene a lot.

Helen Keller’s teacher, Annie Sullivan, was played by Rebecca Placella. She did a very good job. She didn’t let anything get by her. She wasn’t about to let Helen be a wild child and do whatever she wants. She knew there was a mind in there. She knew that Helen wanted to speak, to communicate. She just had to get through that window and teach her and show her life works and how the right way is to behave. I really liked her.

Mike: The infamous food fight scene, the battle of wills between Annie and Helen was very nicely done. It lasted a good ten minutes and was very emotional and very intense. I think both actresses did a great job with it. There was some fight choreography going on that I’m not going to give away, but it was very nicely done.

Laura: Yes, it was very nicely done. It was very physical and very powerful. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to happen. I also liked the set for The Miracle Worker. They had a kitchen/dining room. Then they had the outside courtyard area and then the room that was Annie Sullivan’s room. They did a good job about not walking through the walls. They kept each room separate.

Mike: The set designer was Jane Wingard. Something that is really nice is that at the Bowie Playhouse, they have the ability to have set pieces flown down. They used that very nicely for the train station, the school in Boston and the garden house.

Laura: One of the things I thought was neat was when the maid came out to fill a pitcher with water at the pump. Real water actually came out of the pump. I thought that was a really neat effect.

Mike: The Miracle Worker is being performed by the 2nd Star Productions at the Bowie Playhouse in Bowie Maryland through Saturday the 22nd. Shows are Friday and Saturday nights at 8 and Sunday matinees at 3. The Saturday the 22nd show is at 3 as well.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • A Doctor: Rich Church
  • Kate Keller: Tania Rosa Bindhoff
  • Captain Keller: Edward Kuhl
  • Martha/Student: Rachael Church
  • Percy/Jimmie: Zachary Fadler
  • Helen Keller: Vivian Wingard
  • Viney/Crone: TiaJuana Rountree
  • Unt Ev/Crone: Susan Weber
  • James Keller: Stevie Mangum
  • Ila/Crone: Debe Tighe
  • Annie Sullivan: Rebecca Placella
  • Mr. Anagnos: Fred Hahn
  • Beatrice: Lindsay Benefield-Haayes
  • Alice: Nicole Todaro
  • Laura: Katie Dymek
  • Sarah: Audrey Young
  • Belle: Trinity


  • Directors: Jane B. Wingard, Charles W. Maloney
  • Producer: Jane B. Wingard
  • Stage Manager/Properties: Joanne D. Wilson
  • Set Design/Scenic Artist: Jane B. Wingard
  • Scenic Assistants: Mary Dodson, Vivian Wingard
  • Set Construction: Lynne Wilson, Joanne Wilson
  • Lighting/Sound Design: Garrett R. Hyde
  • Lighting/Sound Technician: Pete Dursin, Al Chopey
  • Costume Coordinators: Mary Dodson, Suzi Reams
  • Load In Crew: Garrett Hyde, Pete Dursin, l Chopey, Duane Rouch, Jane Wingard, Joanne Wilson, Marty Hayes, Hank Drahos, Bill Davis, Stevie Mangum, Steve Andrews, Lynne Wilson, Barry Genderson
  • Publicity: Lyne Wilson, Beth Schultz, Jane B. Wingard
  • Webmaster: Lynne Wilson
  • House & Concession Manager: Jane B. Wingard
  • Volunteer Coordinator: Patti Mangum
  • Box Office: Jane Wingard, Patti Mangum, Geraldine Verrier
  • Lobby Display: Jane B. Wingard
  • Photography: Debe Tighe, Joanne Wilson, Lynne Wilson
  • Program: Lynne Wilson
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