The Miracle Worker to close on 4 Apr 2010

The 50th Anniversary production and first Broadway revival of William Gibson’s The Miracle Worker, directed by Kate Whoriskey (Ruined), will play its final performance on 4 Apr 2010 at Circle in the Square Theatre following 21 previews and 38 regular performances. The show had been selling tickets through to 1 Aug 2010.

Producers David Richenthal and Dini von Mueffling said: “We are saddened to announce that The Miracle Worker must close. Having the opportunity to share this powerful story with a new generation of theatergoers has been remarkable. We could not have asked for a more extraordinary cast, creative team and group of dedicated producers.”

The early closure does not come as a great surpirse. In a statement issued at the beginning of Mar 2010 the producers where already talking about an early closure for the show if ticket sales did not improve. At that time lead producer David Richenthal said, “The box office has not ignited as we had hoped.” and added, “If we don’t witness a significant increase in the box office over the weekend we will need to take a close look at our ability to keep the production open.”

The play opened at the Circle in the Square on 3 Mar 2010 to mixed, but mostly mediocre reviews: No miracle to this story (newyorktheatreguide); Sadly pedestrian (NY Times); Terrific family drama (NY1); Remains dramatically and emotionally effective (Variety).

The Miracle Worker is directed by Kate Whoriskey (Ruined), and stars Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) and Tony Award nominee Alison Pill (The Lieutenant of Inishmore) as 'Helen Keller' and 'Annie Sullivan,' iconic roles made famous by Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke in the Tony Award winning play and feature film adaptation.

The play also features Matthew Modine (Captain Keller), Jennifer Morrison (Kate Keller) Tobias Segal (James), Daniel Orsekes (Doctor/Anagnos), Michael Cummings (Percy), Simone Joy Jones (Martha), Yvette Ganier (Viney) and Lance Chantiles-Wertz (Jimmie).

The Miracle Worker is set in Alabama in the 1880's and tells the real life story of Helen Keller, a girl who at a very young age is left blind, deaf and dumb after surviving an attack of scarlett fever. Unable to communicate with the world the girl suffers fits of frustration which manifests itself in violent tantrums.

Her desperate parents seek help from the Perkins Institute' who send Annie Sullivan, a visually impaired young woman, to tutor Helen. Through kindness, persistence and forcefull stubborness, Annie finally breaks through the barriers that seperate the frustrated Helen from the rest of the world and teachers the girl a method by which she can communicate with the people around her.

The original Broadway production of The Miracle Worker played from 19 Oct 1959 - 1 Jul 1961 at the Playhouse Theatre. That production, directed by Arthur Penn, starred Anne Bancroft as 'Annie Sullivan' and Patty Duke as 'Helen Keller.' The production won four 1960 Tony Awards: Best Play; Best Director; Best Actress in a Play (Anne Bancroft) and Best Stage Technician (John Walters).

The play was made into a succesful 1962 movie - also directed by Arthur Penn and which also starried Anne Bancroft as 'Annie Sullivan.' and Patty Duke as 'Helen Keller.' The movie won two Academy Awards: Best Actress in a Leading Role (Anne Bancroft) and Best actress in a supporting role (Patty Duke).

Alison Pill as Annie Sullivan and
Abigail Breslin as Helen Keller
More production photographs