Tweet El Cea: Helen Keller

sábado, 31 de octubre de 2009

Helen Keller

On Wednesday, the producers of the Broadway revival of the play "The Miracle Worker," about the early life of blind and deaf hero Helen Keller, announced that they'd chosen the young actress who will play her on stage this winter: 13-year-old Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin. The decision has unleashed immediate complaints from groups representing blind and deaf actors who feel that an actress from their community should have been considered for the role.

Sharon Jensen, executive director of the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, told the New York Times "We do not think it's OK for reputable producers to cast this lead role without seriously considering an actress from our community." Jensen recognizes the difficulty Broadway plays are having attracting audiences right now, but says "I understand how difficult it is to capitalize a new production on Broadway, but that to me is not the issue. There are other, larger human and artistic issues at stake here."

For his part, the show's producer, David Richenthal, claims that the production was unable to find a blind or deaf child actor with the star power to bring in enough of an audience to justify the show's large budget, saying "It's simply naïve to think that in this day and age, you'll be able to sell tickets to a play revival solely on the potential of the production to be a great show or on the potential for an unknown actress to give a breakthrough performance," he said. "I would consider it financially irresponsible to approach a major revival without making a serious effort to get a star." The show will, however, be making an effort to find a blind or deaf actress to play Breslin's understudy -- but they won't make any promises.

The original Broadway production of "The Miracle Worker," which focuses on Helen Keller's relationship with Anne Sullivan, the teacher who taught her to communicate, debuted in 1959 with the actress Patty Duke as its star. Later, movie and TV versions of the play starred actresses Duke, Melissa Gilbert, and Mare Winningham in the role of Keller, none of whom were blind or deaf.

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