Friday, January 7, 2011

"The Miracle Worker"

Well friends, once again I am surrounded by scurrying props people, costume-clad actors running to rehearsal, the cacophony of sound cue tests, gel-cutting light crew members, and other similar hubbubs that can be found in the Birmingham-Southern College theatre! Feels like home doesn’t it? Well…for us theatre types at least.

The BSC theatre is currently almost one week into its interim project, “The Miracle Worker” by William Gibson. This play tells the story of Helen Keller, a blind and deaf girl that is trapped inside a world of silent darkness, until a determined young woman named Anne Sullivan is hired to teach her. The actors portray the ups-and-downs that naturally come with the frustrating process of trying to teach this young girl how to communicate with and understand those around her. By the end of the show, Annie Sullivan not only alters Helen’s way of life for the better, but also Helen’s family. I find the redemption is this show very moving and something for any audience member to look forward to.

All this I have gathered from a few short days of observing rehearsal and wandering around the building. As the company manager, I have a unique perspective on the theatre interim project as a whole. I am in charge of administrative things such as taking attendance, organizing tickets and the production program, and assuring that the word about this show gets out to the public. Since I’m the lone company manager, every once in a while I get time to visit all the different crews and sit in on rehearsal. Because of this I am once again reminded how many people it actually takes for a theatre company to tell a story like Helen’s.

When I was a freshman working on the theatre interim project, at the time I was too bitter about having to work in the theatre from 9 to 5 everyday while all my friends where relaxing to realize how important my part was. I played “a dead girl” in the show, and while I wasn’t sitting onstage on my “gravestone” I was sewing hem after hem after hem on every single woman’s costume. In other words, I felt very small and insignificant. However, now as a senior company manager, I realize how wrong I was. I hate to sound cliché (frankly I think clichés are a tad trite for my taste), but every single one of the people I mentioned at the beginning of this post (i.e. props, lights, actors, sound…even company managers, if I do say so myself) are integral parts of our craft. We certainly seem to maintain a rather "one for all, and all for one" atmosphere around here when we're not counting down the minutes to our lunch break.

Throughout the month I get the privilege of posting other musings such as this one on the theatre blog! I promise that the next several ones will actually share more about “The Miracle Worker” itself and a hopefully a little bit less of my rabbit trails! In the meantime, look forward to rehearsal pictures and videos that I will be posting soon!

~ Emma Palmer

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