The Miracle Worker opens at Golden Chain April 4

March 18, 2014 

The Golden Chain Theatre opens its 47th season with the William Gibson drama "The Miracle Worker" based on Helen Keller's autobiography "the Story of My Life," immortalized on stage and screen by Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke.

The play presents the heart warming story about Annie Sullivan and her pupil, Helen, whom she must teach to understand language to communicate with her family as they prepare to send her to an asylum.

Trapped in a secret, silent world, unable to communicate, Helen is violent, spoiled, almost sub-human and treated by her family as such. Only Annie realizes that there is a mind and spirit waiting to be rescued from the dark, tortured silence, and her success with Helen finally comes with the utterance of a single, glorious word — "water."

Keller, eventually becomes the future voice for all deaf and or blind people for the next century.

The role of Helen is played by Wasuma Elementary School student Amber Persson, 13. Persson first performed at the theatre a few years ago as a Patti Law dancer, then continued with parts in two Jennifer Piccolotti musicals. She has now graduated to her first staring role portraying one of the most coveted and demanding children's roles in theatre history.

Co-starring with Persson will be Golden Chain Theatre veteran actress Tawni Jackson in the role of Annie Sullivan.

One member of the cast will be very special to Amber —the woman playing her mother Kate Keller, is Amber's real mother Sarah Persson.

Other cast members include Jennifer Varner (Aunt Eve), who won the Golden Chain 2013 Best Actress in a Lead Role for her portrayal of Veta in "Harvey." Peter Clarke, the currant president of the Golden Chain Board of Directors, who played Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in "Jack the Ripper," will play Captain Keller, Helen's father.

Additional cast members include Ken Marks, Keith Treadway, Marlie Kelsey, Julie O'Brien, Tyler Smith, William O'Brien and Skyler Brasher.

"The Miracle Worker" is directed by Jason Turner, who also directed "Jack the Ripper." Turner's Golden Chain acting credits include playing Elwood in "Harvey," and Montague Leech in "Dark Deeds."

Set and light design are by Turner and Nathan Avery who also designed "Harvey." "Dark Deed," and "Jack the Ripper."

The production runs for three weekends – April 4-6, April 11-13, and April 18-19 (no performance on Easter Sunday). The Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m. with Sunday performances at 2 p.m.

Tickets: Adults: $12, seniors (55+) $10, students and active military $8. Group rates are available.

Reservations: (559) 683-7112, email at, or

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