Perkins Students Guest in Roxbury Community Theatre Production Of "The Miracle Worker"


Director Marshall Hughes (3rd from left) brought the Roxbury Repertory Theatre production of The Miracle Worker to Perkins School for the Blind on November 6. Perkins student actors surround Elise Hana, who played Helen Keller. L-R: Kerryne Ohlson, Minh Farrow, Hughes, Leslie Gruette, Hana, Michelle Smith.

Perkins Students Guest in Roxbury Community Theatre Production Of The Miracle Worker
Watertown, MA – On Thursday, November 6, Roxbury Repertory Theatre brought their production of The Miracle Worker to Perkins School for the Blind. In his best-known play, William Gibson weaves together a triumphant tale of the human spirit, a commentary on how the world at large views people with disabilities, a historic landmark in American education, a uniqueinsight into family dynamics and a heroic story of love and dedication between two souls. The story of Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan has its roots at Perkins School for the Blind even before Ms. Sullivan graduated in 1886.

RRT co-founder, Marshall Hughes, directed the show. Scenes between Perkins’ second director Michael Anagnos and Sullivan, his star pupil, depict the mentor encouraging and cajoling the first-time teacher before she heads to the Keller home in Tuscumbia, Alabama. The farewell scene at Perkins expresses the affection between Annie and younger pupils who were portrayed by current Perkins students, with additional direction by their drama teacher, Jennie O’Brien.

Four Perkins students performed with RRT during the October run in Boston at Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center [www.rccmainstage.com]. As a special treat for Perkins School and its neighbors, the theatre company trucked their actors and set pieces to Watertown for one special performance. “Being here at Perkins among so many artifacts and memories of Annie and Helen was a powerful inspiration for the whole cast and an important collaboration between our communities,” said Hughes. “As a director, it was enlightening to work with actors who are blind. Minh, Leslie, Kerryne and Michelle immediately bonded in with their fellow actors. Jennie was amazing in her support, and Perkins was gracious to let us come in and take over Dwight Hall.”

Most of the action occurs in Alabama, comic mishaps intermingling with poignant drama. Of her young teacher’s arrival, Keller later said, "The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me."

Students, staff, Watertown residents, family and friends gathered in Dwight Hall to relive this powerful chapter of Perkins history. Thundering applause greeted the curtain call.


RRT: Theater for All

Our experience at the RRT Mainstage performance of The Miracle Worker was so positive, that we look forward to bringing our students to other productions in the future. Thank you for making quality theater accessible!

--Betty Stone, Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences


So says Nate Martz, theater-goer and man-about-town

I was digging the shadow box and the flying kitchen set.
Scout is a pretty talented little actress if I do say so.

Thank you for a wonderful performance of "The Miracle Worker"

Dear Mr. Hughes,

I want to thank you for directing such a WONDERFUL play as The Miracle Worker.  My
daughter, Alexa, and I saw it last night.  We had the opportunity to meet you briefly and
you gave me your card.

I have to tell you that Alexa talked about the play all the way home.  (We had a one hour
drive back to Warwick, R.I.)  When we got home she had to stay up to tell my husband all
about it.  She was very moved by this experience and she even cried a little bit for
Helen -- that is how well acted this performance was.  She had read a book on the lives
of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan before, but seeing this portion of their lives depicted
dramatically was a whole new experience for her.

As I mentioned to you, we just moved to Rhode Island from New York City at the start of
September.  One of my main goals for my two children was to continue their participation
with the arts.  I am so happy to have discovered Mainstage because it is an affordable
and worthwhile experience for my children.  Although my son is still too young to attend
a long dramatic performance, I look forward to bringing him in a few years.

So, in brief, I simply want to offer you and the entire cast and crew of The Miracle
Worker my heartfelt congratulations for delivering such an outstanding performance.  I
plan to tell the Head of School where my daughter attends, with the hope that they will
be willing and able to have the students participate in field trip to Mainstage.

So thank you once again...and thank you for being so welcoming to Alexa last night.  This
was truly a wonderful experience for her.

Best regards,
Clarise A. Brooks Major


What People are Saying

I am writing to express how deeply moved I was to see the ‘Miracle Worker’ last Saturday.

What a wonderful piece of work you guys have created!

The effort and love that your team has poured into this production clearly seeps through every scene.

What gripped me most was that the actors and technicians seem to be not just ‘putting up’ the show, but ‘feeling’ each line and movement of it. I strongly resonated with the content of the play too, having been a firm believer in ‘benefit from deficit’.

I am so glad that I witnessed the ‘Miracle Worker’ which portrays human condition and relationships at so many levels, and through so many layers.

All the very best for upcoming shows.

Best regards,


Applications Developer

RCC Institutional Research


Next at RRT: "The Miracle Worker"

"The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me."

Roxbury Repertory Theatre proudly announces the upcoming presentation of The Miracle Worker by William Gibson.

This gripping and intense drama chronicles the start of the relationship between teacher Anne Sullivan and her blind-deaf-mute student, Helen Keller. Their story inspired the world.

With Elise Hana as Helen and Julie Dapper as Anne.

Teachers! Bring your class to the theater! Special morning performances for schools bring history and literature to life. Call us at (617) 541-5380, or email rrt@rccmainstage.com for ticket information.

Find in-depth study guides for this classic of American drama at edHelper.com.


Brecht Unplugged Recap

Despite the illnesses and bad weather, the show ended on a high note. We hope all who joined us enjoyed the show--or at least walked away thinking about things (like say war, the theater, Bertolt Brecht, society, and Roxbury Repertory Theatre).

Thanks to a fantastic cast and crew including director Maureen Shea, designer Mirta Tocci, producing director Marshall Hughes, artistic director Robbie McCauley, assistant director Camille Thompson, the amazing Rebecca Finkelstein as stage manager, technical director Craig Zemsky, dramaturg Elizabeth Mueller, Tom Pendergast-musician extraordinaire, and she-who-does-it-all Pam Green. And like I said, the cast--the stupendous, super-contentious, happening cast: Chris Wrenn, Dinan Messiqua, Mel Penley, Cheryl Murphy, Chris McCoy, Nick Neyeloff, Garry Bates, Alan Rias, David Curtis, Alex Smith, Riode Jean-Felix, Herby Charmant, Fary Jean-Felix, Rasheed Jean-Felix, Michael Truppi, Julie Dapper, Jeung Soon Takeda, Fran Renehan, Sadie Roze Zavgren, and Donna Spurlock (what a gal). Brecht would be proud of you all, I think. What do I know. There are more photos to come!

See you at the next show.


Awesome Opening

We enjoyed a terrific opening night performance.

Unfortunately, due to the weather, the Friday, February 22 performance is cancelled.


Opening Night!

Opening night is tonight, but I want to thank the few, but proud, who joined us for Press Night last night. Due to the rampant flu virus that took out a few of our ranks, last night was truly our final dress. There were fewer bumps than expected, however.

Word on the street is: we have a show! AND it's good. AND it is thought provoking, which is the point.

Thanks again and good health to the cast for the rest of the run! "Break a leg" seems daunting now, but go ahead. Just keep the fevers down.


Educators! Make Brecht Unplugged a Learning Experience

Bertolt Brecht believed in theater being a learning experience. A place where players and audience alike confronted their world and began to think. The theater was not a place to watch a story unfold and escape from reality, but rather a place to learn about reality.

Share the experience of Brecht Unplugged with your students, and then share this study guide. Get them thinking about what Brecht was saying about the world we live in.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Mueller, Dramaturg.