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@ Your Leisure - Feb. 28, 2013

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Caroline Carney and Gary Roberts
Caroline Carney and Gary Roberts

Cerissa Marsh and Bronwyn Doebbeling
Cerissa Marsh and Bronwyn Doebbeling

Beth Ray-Scott and Andrew Cable
Beth Ray-Scott and Andrew Cable

@ Your Leisure - Feb. 28, 2013

Ricks-Weil presents Helen Keller story in ‘The Miracle Worker,’ honors Keller’s legacy with Lions Club glasses donation drive

By John Belden


7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and March 8-9, and 2:30 p.m. March 10 at the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts, 122 W. Main St., Greenfield. Free student tickets, one per paid adult admission, with prior reservation. Greenfield Lions Club will be accepting donations of new and gently-used glasses. For tickets and information, call (317) 410-6319.

GREENFIELD — Helen Keller was not born deaf and blind, but by the time she was two years old, she had lost both those senses. A child of well-to-do Alabama parents in the 1880s, she started out in a spoiled, almost feral childhood. But one year, her parents found a way to give their daughter a chance at a more normal life, hiring Anne Sullivan, the woman who would be declared a “miracle worker” for the way she broke through little Helen’s limited perceptions and brought her into contact with the wider world.

The story of that breakthrough has been immortalized in William Gibson’s play “The Miracle Worker,” which will be presented by the local Ricks-Weil Theatre Company this Friday, Saturday and March 8-10 at the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts, 122 W. Main St. downtown.

Keller grew up to become the first deaf-blind woman to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, and became a world-famous writer, speaker and activist. One of her appearances was before the 1925 Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio.

According to the Lions Clubs’ website, she charged the organization to become “knights of the blind in a crusade against darkness.” The Lions have been involved in helping the blind and visually impaired since.

At all performances of Ricks-Weil’s “Miracle Worker,” the Greenfield Lions Club will accept donations of new and gently-used eyeglasses and reading glasses.

As another community service, since Keller’s story has long been taught in schools, Ricks-Weil will give one free student admission with paid adult admission. Ticket reservations are required for this promotion.

The central Indiana cast, mostly from Hancock County, includes (pictured above, from left) Beth Ray-Scott as Aunt Ev Keller, Andrew Cable as James Keller, Cerissa Marsh as Sullivan, Bronwyn Doebbeling as Helen, and Caroline Carney and Gary Roberts as Kate Keller and Cpt. Arthur Keller, Helen’s parents. Other performers include Hanna Varrone, Gwyneth Doebbeling, Bradley Thompson, Mike Dapoz, John Thompson, Ellie Shanahan, Tara Powell and Elizah Tillett. The director is Kathy Hoefgen.

Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. for all performances except 2:30 p.m. for Sunday, March 10. Call (317) 410-6319 for tickets and information.

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