Florida Rep Opens American Classic and Tony-Winning Best Play THE MIRACLE WORKER

Florida Rep Opens American Classic and Tony-Winning Best Play THE MIRACLE WORKER

Florida Repertory Theatre's 20th anniversary season continues with William Gibson's hopeful and uplifting true story, "The Miracle Worker," an American classic which was immortalized on the screen by Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft.

The production runs in the Historic Arcade Theatre Feb. 13 through Mar. 7 with four nearly sold-out previews Feb. 13-15. Priced at $55/$45 for regular performances and $35/$25 for previews, tickets are available at www.FloridaRep.org and by calling the box office at 239-332-4488.

"We are proud to continue our tradition of bringing an American classic to vivid new life with 'The Miracle Worker'," said Producing Artistic Director, Robert Cacioppo. "This play is one of the most revered true stories of perseverance and determination, and its message of hope and the tenacity of the human spirit is a timeless one we must never forget. Annie Sullivan's strength and Helen Keller's bravery helped shaped a generation, and their story is still relevant and important for all of us."

This timeless American classic tells the inspiring true story of how a determined teacher was able to save young Helen Keller from her isolated silence. Just before the turn of the 20th century, desperate for help, the Keller Family hires a young woman to help their blind and deaf daughter learn to communicate with the outside world. Annie Sullivan sees that Helen is more than a violent child trapped behind a wall, and against tremendous odds, she frees Helen's spirit and opens her mind. The multiple Tony-winning play is a moving, inspirational, and electrifying story of perseverance, friendship, and hope.

Florida Rep ensemble members, Viki Boyle, Patricia Idlette, William McNulty, and Peter THomasson return to the Florida Rep stage in this production and are joined by familiar guest artist, Kate Hampton. Making their Florida Rep debuts are Dillon Feldman and Broadway veteran, Betsy Hogg as Annie Sullivan. The production features a number of young actors who've worked extensively in Florida Rep's diverse education programs and are led by Liza Jayne Longenhagen as Helen Keller. Representing elementary and middle schools across Southwest Florida are young actors, Keehnon Jackson, Marianna Young, Ben O'Brien, Cadence Bambrey-Zedd, Hannah Cruz, Sophie Cruz, MacKenzie DiNicola, Shennan Nelson, Natalie Ross, and Grace Ryan.

Viki Boyle returns this season after appearing in "Outside Mullingar." Patricia Idlette, William McNulty, Peter THomasson, Keehnon Jackson, and Liza Jayne Longenhagen were last seen in last year's hit production of "To Kill a Mockingbird." Kate Hampton makes her fifth appearance at Florida Rep including this season's "How the Other Half Loves." Dillon Feldman makes his mainstage debut after appearing in the theatre's Young Audiences productions of "The Giver" and "Curious George: The Golden Meatball."

As Annie Sullivan, Betsy Hogg also makes her debut after performing both in New York and regionally with credits that include "Peter and the Starcatcher" (Broadway), "Speech and Debate" (Barrington Stage Company), and "The Miracle Worker" (Queens Theatre).

Maureen Heffernan, another Florida Rep favorite, directs the production after helming previous nationally acclaimed Florida Rep productions, "Sylvia" (2011 and 2017), "Dancing at Lughnasa," and "The Little Foxes." Aside from working at Florida Rep, Heffernan has been recognized as a leader in arts education throughout the country and as an innovator in arts programming for special populations. She was the founding Artistic Director of the Unlimited Potential Theater Company of Very Special Arts in New Jersey. She also inaugurated the Drama Therapy Program for the Center for Cognitive Rehabilitation at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Heffernan is joined by an expert team of designers including ensemble fight director Greg Longenhagen ("Disgraced"), lighting and set designer Jim Hunter ("To Kill a Mockingbird"), costume designer Alexandria Vazquez ("Sylvia," 2016), sound designer John Kiselica ("How the Other Half Loves"), rehearsal stage manager Joshua Quinn ("The Last Night of Ballyhoo"), and production stage manager Melissa Nathan (Florida Rep Debut).

The run also features a signed performance on Sunday, March 4 at 2PM. Approximately 50 seats are held for hearing impaired patrons. Two signers from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center will be positioned in front of those seats during that performance.

New for the 2017-2018 Season, weeknight performances in both performance venues (Tues.-Thurs.) begin at 7PM. Weekend evening performances remain at 8PM and matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday are still set for the popular 2PM curtain time.

"The Miracle Worker" is generously sponsored by Naomi Bloom & Ron Wallace and Campo Felice

"The Miracle Worker" plays in the Historic Arcade Theatre February 16 - March 7 with discounted previews February 13-15. Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7 PM, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM, and 2 PM matinees on Wednesday, Sunday, and selected Saturdays.

Priced at $55/$45 for regular performances and $35/$25 for previews, single tickets are now on sale through the box office at 239-332-4488 and online at www.floridarep.org. Subscriptions for the 2017-2018 season offer the best seats and the biggest savings.

Florida Repertory Theatre performs in the Historic Arcade Theatre and the ArtStage Studio Theatre on Bay St. between Jackson & Hendry with limited free parking in the Fort Myers River District. Visit Florida Rep online at FloridaRep.org, and by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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