by Kate Capodanno
The Cranford Dramatic Club’s production of The Miracle Worker ends its three- week run this Saturday. The show proves to be an enjoyable night at the theater with a standout performance by Annie Reynolds, the actress portraying Helen Keller.
The Miracle Worker provides audiences with a glimpse into the life of the iconic Helen Keller and the struggles her teacher, Annie Sullivan (Corinne Chandler), faces as she tries to teach her pupil to communicate. Chandler deftly illustrates Annie’s difficult past, as her introspective moments on stage reveal her internal struggle.
In the quaint CDC theater, Reynolds electrifies the audience while she scampers around stage as though she is blind, deaf and mute. She convinces the audience that she is not an actor playing a role, but rather she transforms into Helen Keller. During her tantrums, Reynolds expresses her frustration not only in her stamping feet and irritated screeches, but also with her facial expressions.
The venue is small; therefore, no matter where you sit in the theater, you are able to see Reynolds’ furrowed brow and pained expression. Her deadpan glare into space as she throws spoons around the stage provides both chills and the urge to laugh at the circumstance.
While Reynolds stands out among the cast, there are a few inconsistencies in the production. With only Kate Keller (Lindsay Adkins) maintaining a southern accent throughout the show, it is difficult to determine the location of the Keller residence, which happens to be in Tuscumbia, AL.
Additionally, the physical combat between the characters could have been better rehearsed. There were times when a slap to the face made the characters abruptly jerk their heads prior to contact.
For a community theater production, the price of the tickets may deter people from attending the performance, but an $18 student ticket is relatively inexpensive for an entertaining night at the theater.
There are a few flaws throughout the play; however, The CDC brings audiences a revival of a classic play with an exceptional performance by Reynolds, making the production well worth seeing.