‘Miracle’ happening this month

Theatre Guild performing Gibson’s classic production

Published: Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 3:17 p.m. CST
(Photo courtesy of the Morris Theatre Guild)
Anne Ficht-Kowalcyk (Annie Sullivan) and Avery Hannig (Helen Keller) re-enact the famous pump scene in “The Miracle Worker,” which will be performed this weekend, Feb. 8-10, and next, Feb. 15-17, at the Morris Theatre Guild. The Sunday, Feb. 10 performance is already sold out, but tickets remain for the other shows.

Indeed, the “Miracle Worker” will appear at Morris Theatre Guild at 7 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, and the play will continue next weekend as well, Feb. 15-17, at the same times.

Morris Theatre Guild is pleased to present the classic play, “Miracle Worker,” by William Gibson. This production is sponsored by the Morris Lions Club as part of their 75th Anniversary celebration.

This story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, is special to the Lions Clubs, because Helen Keller spoke to the Lions International Convention in 1925, and issued a challenge to the Lions to become “Knights of the Blind,” which has focused many of their programs on vision problems.

“This cast has been wonderful, and we have learned so much about Helen Keller as we rehearsed this show,” director Judy Miller said.

Cast member Phil Cunningham, who plays Captain Keller, Helen’s father, found her original speech to the Lions, and brought it in.

Cast member Emma Meyer has been to Perkins Institute for the Blind, where Annie Sullivan was trained, and says it is still very important today.  Cast member Anne Ficht-Kowalcyk, who plays Annie Sullivan, has learned sign language as part of her preparation, and everyone has done research on costumes and her history.

Eleven-year-old Avery Hanning, who plays Helen Keller, has been practicing by keeping her eyes closed as she goes around her house, to experience the isolation Helen must have felt.

Miller praises Lighting Designer Jeff Harris, saying, “This is definitely one of the most challenging shows I have done, and certainly one of the most rewarding.”

The Feb. 10 show is sold out, but tickets are available for the remaining shows by calling (815) 942-1966 or visit

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