Production Year 2015
The inspirational 1880’s story of the life of Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan, will come to life on stage. Trapped in a secret, silent world and unable to communicate, the blind and mute Helen Keller is violent and spoiled. Only Anne Sullivan, her teacher, realizes that there is a mind and spirit waiting to be rescued from the dark silence. Her attempts to reach Helen are finally realized as Helen achieves the ability to communicate through words and is lifted out of the dark confusion and into the light of understanding. Truly uplifting for all ages!
Director – Danna Andrade
Producer – Elise Chambers
Stage Manager – Barbara Prescott
Hellen Keller – Played by Megan Huizinga
Annie Sullivan – Played by Carol Graham
Captain Keller – Played by Richard Teskey
Kate Keller – Played by Karissa Teskey
James Keller – Played by Joe Hawkins
Aunt Ev – Played by Chloe Pavic
Dr. Anagnos – Played by Caleb MacKinnon
Doctor – Played by Steve Jackson
Viney – Played by Lyn Faulds
Jimmy – Played by Ronan Fulton
Percy – Played by Keegan Fulton
Martha – Played by Olivia Wirtz
Crone – Played by Carrolleigh Cecile
Crone – Played by Deborah Barnes
Crone – Played by Lori Swift
School Girl – Played by Celest Caskanette
School Girl – Played by Kate Murphy
School Girl – Played by Anna Leaper
School Girl – Played by Ava Gibson
School Girl – Played by Telsie Jackson
Servant – Played by Chrissy Jackson
Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan vacationing at Cape Code in July 1888 (image from Wikipedia)
Helen Keller: Helen was born on June 27, 1880 at her family homestead, Ivy Green, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Her father was a captain in the Confederate Army. Her mother, Kate Adams, was the Captain’s second wife and Helen was their first child. She had two older step brothers from her father’s first marriage. Helen was born with the ability to see and hear but at the age of 19 months she developed an illness and high fever which left her blind and deaf.
By the age of 6, Helen was becoming too much for her Mother to handle. One day she spilled water on her apron and tried to dry it out by putting it near the fire. It was not drying fast enough so she held it closer to the heat and soon her clothing caught fire. Her nurse, Viny, heard her sounds and smothered the flames. Only her hands and hair were burnt. Helen was uncontrollable, mischievous, and expressed her frustration at not being understood by breaking things. She liked to play with keys and one day she locked her mother in the pantry. Helen gleefully sat nearby and could feel her mother pounding on the door. It was 3 hours before anyone found her mother and let her out.
Her parents considered putting her in an asylum but were appalled by the conditions of the place.
In 1886, Helen’s mother read an article by Charles Dickens about a blind and deaf woman, Laura Bridgman, who was successfully taught the manual alphabet, language, and mathematics. She sought out Dr. Chisholm who referred them to Alexander Graham Bell. He referred them to the Perkins Institute for the Blind and from this school, a recently graduated student, Anne Sullivan, was sent to be Helen’s instructor.
Anne was born on April 14, 1866 to impoverished, illiterate, unskilled Irish immigrants who came to America during the Great Potato Famine. She was the oldest of 3 children. At the age of 5, she developed trachoma, a bacterial eye disease. Her parents couldn’t afford the medication and Anne became clinically blind. At 9 years old, her mother died of Tuberculosis and her alcoholic father sent them to live with an aunt and uncle. Her relative kept the healthy baby, Mary, but sent blind Anne and crippled Jimmie back to their father. He, in turn, abandoned them to the Tewksbury Almshouse. Three months later, Jimmie died from his debilitating hip ailment and Anne was all alone.
The conditions in the almshouse were deplorable and during an inspection, Anne convinced an inspector to enrol her in the Perkins School for the Blind. Travelling there by train, she was elated but soon notice the looks of pity from her fellow passengers. At the school, she faced further humiliation as she could not read, write nor add sums. At the age of 14, she was place in a class with 5 year olds. Her manners were rough and she was argumentative, often getting into fights with teachers and other students. While there, she befriended Laura Bridgman who taught her the manual alphabet. She had several operations on her eyes that improved her vision. By the age of 20, she had top marks and graduated as the valedictorian of her class. However, there were no jobs available to a woman with poor vision.
The year after her graduation, the Keller’s contacted the director of the Perkins Institution who recommended Anne for the job.
by Waren Graham
Edna and Jake Dortmund are ready for a hectic Christmas! There is a big announcement at Jake’s work, two of their five kids are going to visit a distant aunt, and Edna’s brother is sleeping on their couch… again! Add to that, the unexpected arrival of two grandmas; Jake’s granny and Edna’s granny!
One is the demure, lovable granny but the other is outspoken, feisty, and ready for anything. She’s tackling all the family issues whether they want her to or not! When both grannies get into the act, the family wonders if there is possibly one Granny too many?
Come to the theatre and find out!
Director – Carol Graham
Assistant Director – Karen Benusik
Producer – Wendy Calvank
Stage Manager – Danna Andrade
Stage Manager (performances) – Shawn Calvank
Granny, Donna – Sylvia Fairbank
Granny, Janis – Gwen Trone
Jake Dortmund – Dave Englesen
Edna Dortmund – Bonnie Harris
Josh Dortmund – Joey Hawkins
Gloria Dortmund – Chantal Laton
Junior Dortmund – Ronan Fulton
Uncle Don – Warren Graham
Aunt Tara – Maureen Grandis
Lily – Julia Soetemans
Giles Millet, Manager – Jimmy Plunkett
Jason Gore, Plumber – Doug Wright
Dilbert, Postal Employee – Steve Jackson
Ethyl Mertzog, Postal Employee – Bronwyn Wannacott
Lucy Baldwin, Postal Employee – Chloe Pavic
Kid at door – Telsie Jackson
Kid at door – Tristan Jackson
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