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"The Miracle Worker" Fundraising Campaign: Bringing Helen Keller's Story To The Stage April 2018

Anastasia Lennon

As of Halloween, there is just under two weeks left to donate to help bring The Miracle Worker, the remarkable story of Helen Keller, to the Southampton Cultural Center (SCC).

Thus far, the fundraiser - held by the Southampton Cultural Center and Boots on the Ground - has raised $2,500, leaving $6,000 to be raised in the next two weeks. There are various donation levels that recognize donors with mentions in the theater program, free tickets to the play and opening night party, social media shout-outs, and more.

The play, directed by Joan Lyons and produced by Bonnie Grice, is an adaptation of William Gibson's 1959 play. The production is being brought to the SCC in collaboration with Boots on the Ground, a theater company founded in 2016 by Bonnie Grice.

The Miracle Worker begins with Helen Keller when she is just one-year-old. After contracting a fever, she loses her sight and ability to hear, thereby becoming a deaf-mute. Fast forward six years and Ms. Keller is a tantrum-throwing, rambunctious, and wild seven-year old due to her inability to communicate with the outside world. Her parents seek help and find Annie Sullivan, also blind, who becomes Helen's governess and teacher. A powerful relationship between Helen and Annie develops as Helen finally gains the ability to communicate. Annie's teaching obviates the loneliness with which Helen had lived, and imparts her with discipline and a love of learning.

Helen Keller once said, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." Together the community can help bring this production to life and share Helen's unbelievable story.

"This will be a daunting challenge, emotionally and physically," Grice reflected, "but I know that our whole community will benefit from Helen Keller's story - a story of achievement in the face of incredible odds by a little girl who was consumed by darkness only to find her light."

Boots on the Ground is a theater company that dedicates itself to telling the stories of Long Island, with focus on late Victorian and Edwardian eras. Auditions for the main roles of Helen and Annie will be held in December and are open to all local students. Three free shows will be offered to all Southampton students.

To donate, visit www.scc-arts.org or send a check by mail addressed to SCC/The Miracle Worker, PO Box 5008, Southampton, NY 11969. All donations can be made out to "The Miracle Worker." For more information about Boots on the Ground, please visit www.facebook.com.

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