Vision Impaired Kyra Ynez Seiglel Set to Understudy Abigail Breslin in THE MIRACLE WORKER

The New York Times reports that the producers of Broadway's upcoming revival The Miracle Worker have cast a vision impaired actress to understudy Abigail Breslin in the role of Helen Keller. Kyra Ynez Siegel of Oregon has officially landed the role after flying in for an audition two weeks ago. 

Writes the Times: "After an injury when she was 9, Miss Siegel, who will become one of the few disabled actresses working in a major Broadway production this season, can see only shapes and colors out of her right eye, she said in an interview by e-mail."

To read the full feature on Siegel, click here.

The revival of Tony winning THE MIRACLE WORKER celebrates its 50th Anniversary of original's opening on Broadway.

Directed by Kate Whoriskey (Ruined), THE MIRACLE WORKER will star Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) and Tony Award nominee Alison Pill (The Lieutenant of Inishmore) as Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, iconic roles made famous by Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke in the Tony Award winning play and landmark feature film adaptation.

THE MIRACLE WORKER will be staged in the round for the first time at Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50 Street). Previews will begin on Friday, February 12, 2010 toward an official opening Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Additional casting will be announced shortly.

Set in the South in the 1880s, THE MIRACLE WORKER tells the story of real-life Medal of Freedom winner Helen Keller, blind and deaf, and the extraordinary teacher who taught her to communicate with the world, Annie Sullivan.

Young film star Abigail Breslin will make her Broadway debut in the role of Helen Keller. She made her breakthrough feature film appearance as Mel Gibson's leading lady at the tender age of five in M. Night Shyamalan's 2002 film Signs, and received an Academy Award® nomination for her critically-acclaimed title role performance in the runaway hit comedy Little Miss Sunshine.

Alison Pill returns to the stage following starring on Broadway in Mauritius and in the Off-Broadway hits reasons to be pretty and Blackbird, for which she received Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award nominations. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her Broadway debut in The Lieutenant of Inishmore. She recently appeared in the hit feature film Milk opposite Sean Penn and the acclaimed HBO series "In Treatment."

Director Kate Whoriskey most recently staged the acclaimed and much-extended world premiere of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize winning play Ruined at the Goodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club and Inked Baby at Playwrights Horizons. Theater credits include regional productions of Heartbreak House, The Rose Tattoo, Antigone and Intimate Apparel, as well as Off-Broadway's Fabulation. Whoriskey was recently named artistic director of Seattle's Intiman Theatre.

Playwright William Gibson first adapted the story of Helen Keller and her teacher into a television teleplay called "The Miracle Worker" in 1957. He made his Broadway debut as a playwright with the love story Two for the Seesaw, starring Henry Fonda and Anne Bancroft, and received his first Tony Award® nomination for the show. The Miracle Worker followed in 1959, with Bancroft as Sullivan and Patty Duke as Keller. The piece won the Tony Award® for Best Play in 1960. Gibson's other works include Golden Boy, Raggedy Ann, A Cry of Players and Golda's Balcony. He passed away in 2008 at the age of 95.

David Richenthal has produced several multi-award winning productions, including Death of a Salesman, Long Days Journey Into Night, The Crucible and I Am My Own Wife. Tomorrow evening his production of the revival of Finian's Rainbow opens at the ST. James Theatre on Broadway.

THE MIRACLE WORKER originally opened at The Playhouse Theatre on October 19, 1959 and was awarded the 1960 Tony Award® for Best Play in addition to garnering leading lady Anne Bancroft a Tony Award® for Best Actress in a Play for the role of Annie Sullivan and a Theatre World Award for newcomer Patty Duke for her portrayal of Helen Keller. Both actresses received Academy Awards® for their work in the feature film adaptation. 

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