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Kidsday review: ‘The Miracle Worker’

We saw a preview performance of the play “The Miracle Worker” at the Circle in the Square Theater in Manhattan. This play is the story of Helen Keller, a blind and deaf girl, and Annie Sullivan, her teacher, who broke the barrier of silence and taught Helen how to communicate. We had read the play in our English class and were thrilled to see it come to life.

The play was extraordinary, and the actors’ performances were captivating. Abigail Breslin, as Helen Keller, and Allison Pill, as Annie Sullivan, were outstanding. They clearly showed the tension between the characters. The actors who portrayed the other members of the Keller family were also great, and we particularly liked the character of James, Helen’s older half-brother, because his lines added some humor to an otherwise serious play. He stood out. The minor characters, even if only on stage for a few minutes, were well played by the actors.

“The Miracle Worker” was performed “in the round,” which was a first for all of us. We liked this. Every seat was an orchestra seat, and whether you were in the first row or the last, you had a good view. Scenery was very simple and there wasn’t much of it, but it still showed the setting. It was raised and lowered onto the set, not brought on and off, as usual. The lighting definitely contributed a lot to the setting and the mood.

Having read the play before made it easy for us to understand it and made us appreciate it even more. We recommend this “The Miracle Worker” to everyone!

After the interview, we went across the street to The Palm restaurant and sat down with actress Abigail Breslin. Abigail is an almost-14-year-old actress who has been in many movies. She is most famous for “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Nim’s Island,” “ My Sister’s Keeper”, “No Reservations” and “Raising Helen” in which she performed with her brother, Spencer Breslin.

She talked about what she does in her free time. She told us that she loves to shop, listen to music and watch movies. Just like us!
She told us her favorite movie to act in was “Nim’s Island.” She told us she loved working with all of the animals and loved being in Australia for several months.

She said “The Miracle Worker” is her first play, and it is very different performing on stage than filming movies. Abigail said that in movies, you do not have much rehearsal time, but you have multiple takes to get a scene right. In plays, you rehearse for months and then, during a show, you only have one chance to nail it. In “The Miracle Worker,” there is one very difficult scene between Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller, and she told us they rehearsed that one scene every day, all day, for an entire week.

We also had time to chat with Abigail informally after our official interview, and we were very interested in her stories about recent injuries on stage, while rehearsing or performing. She still had Band-Aids on her hands covering cuts that she got when a hard doll broke and caused her to bleed for 12 minutes during a show, before she could exit the stage.

The time we spend with Abigail Breslin was awesome, and we all agree this night will be a night to remember for all of us.

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