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Artists Rep Extends THE MIRACLE WORKER

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Artists Repertory Theatre is pleased to announce that The Miracle Worker will extend through January 10, 2016. The theatre is delighted that Portland audiences are excited to see this production of one of the most inspirational and triumphant stories of the human spirit ever told this holiday season. Following in the footsteps of our runaway hit musical Cuba Libre earlier this year, The Miracle Worker is the second show of Artists Rep's 2015/16 season that has extended prior to the official opening night.

"This miraculous and true tale of hope, redemption and triumph is exactly in line with the spirit of the season, while being a story that believers (and non-believers) of any faith can share with loved ones of almost any age," said Artists Rep Artistic Director, and the play's director, Dámaso Rodriguez. He continues, "This is an ever-relevant play, an inspiring, extremely moving story that captures the deep complexities of human connection and the power of language-in all its forms."

Told through the dream-like lens of memory, The Miracle Worker is a play based on the lives of Helen Keller, who became DeafBlind as an infant, and her teacher, Anne Sullivan, who enabled her to become one of the most influential women of the 20th Century. As the play begins, Helen is a wild child with almost no ability to communicate with the world around her. Nearly at the point of giving up all hope, the Keller family brings the determined, once-blind and sign language-skilled Sullivan into their home in a final attempt to reach Helen. Together with the Keller family, the characters make a transformation that powerfully attests to what the human spirit can achieve.

The Miracle Worker offers two famously challenging, visceral roles (originated by Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke) that require highly physical, intense staging and a high skill level regardless of age. Artists Rep Resident Artist Val Landrum plays Anne Sullivan, and one of Portland's very best and most experienced child actors, Agatha Olson, plays Helen Keller. These two performers arrived to the rehearsal process already having built a close acting relationship that began with Artists Rep's production of The Big Meal (2013), which Rodriguez also directed. They are supported by an extraordinary cast of some of Portland's finest actors including Susannah Mars, Michael Mendelson, Don Alder, Joshua Weinstein and Josie Seid, alongside an outstanding design team to give this American classic the high-caliber production it deserves.

The Miracle Worker was first presented onstage at the Playhouse Theatre in New York City on October 19, 1959. It was directed by Arthur Penn and starred Anne Bancroft as Sullivan and Patty Duke as Keller. It won the Tony Award for Best Play. The 1962, the film adaptation earned an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Both Bancroft and Duke won the Academy Award for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.

The cast and creative team for The Miracle Worker features eight Artists Rep Resident Artists: Kristeen Willis-Crosser (Lighting Design), Val Landrum (actor), Mary McDonald-Lewis (Dialect Coach), Susannah Mars (actor), Michael Mendelson (actor), Amy Newman (actor), Rodolfo Ortega (Sound Design) and Joshua Weinstein (actor).


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