|The Miracle Worker|
|Written by||William Gibson|
|Date premiered||19 October 1959|
|Place premiered||Playhouse Theatre|
The play is set in Tuscumbia, Alabama, where an illness renders infant Helen blind, deaf, and consequently mute. Pitied and badly spoiled by her parents, she learns no discipline and grows into a wild, raging creature by the age of six. Desperate, the Kellers hire Anne Sullivan to serve as a governess and teacher for their young daughter. After several fierce battles with the little girl, Annie convinces her parents she needs two weeks alone with the child if she is to achieve any progress in her education. In that time, she teaches Helen discipline and language through the use of her fingers, a breakthrough that has a direct effect on everyone's life and the way they live it.
Patty Duke remained with the play for its entire run. Suzanne Pleshette eventually replaced Anne Bancroft.
Time called the play "fairly makeshift, at times clumsy, and, when sound-tracking voices from the past, occasionally embarrassing" but praised "the extraordinary performances, the magnificent teamwork of Anne Bancroft and ten-year-old Patty Duke, and the brilliant direction of Arthur Penn."
Gibson, Penn, Bancroft, and Duke reunited for a highly acclaimed 1962 film adaptation. Gibson and Penn were nominated for Academy Awards and both actresses won Oscars for their performances.
DIRECTOR: Richard Olivier, Bill Kenwright Ltd.
THEATRE: National Tour to Wyndham's Theatre
DIRECTOR: Kate Whoriskey
THEATRE: Circle in the Square Theatre