(From left) Rebecca Laurenti (Helen Keller), Shannon Pauls (Aunt Ev) and Cristin Schieder (Kate Keller) perform in Gallery 7 Theatre’s production of The Miracle Worker. (Dianna Lewis Photography)

Gallery 7 Theatre presents The Miracle Worker

Production opens April 6 at Abbotsford Arts Centre

Gallery 7 Theatre presents the next production of its 2017/18 “Mysteries of Life” season starting on April 6.

The Miracle Worker, by William Gibson, runs until April 14 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre (2329 Crescent Way).

Deaf, blind and mute Helen Keller lives out a dark and silent existence that expresses itself only through violent and spoiled behaviour.

As a last resort, her family hires a young teacher, Anne Sullivan, to help.

Discovering a mind and spirit waiting to be released, Anne sets forth against all odds to help Helen break through her physical barriers and become the powerful person she truly is.

A Tony Award-winning drama, the play explores love, grace and mercy in the midst of searching for a much-needed miracle.

Directing this powerful and inspirational production is Jessica Garden.

“The Miracle Worker was the first play that I saw as an undergraduate,” she said. “I was mesmerized by the compelling performances and deeply moved to learn more about the story.

“In the same way that Helen’s mind and soul are awakened through the discovery of language and her own personhood, I felt as though I, too, were being awakened.”

Garden is the associate producer of Dark Glass Theatre, and is an artist, administrator and a passionate social justice advocate.

She studied theatre and literature at Trinity Western University and recently directed the world premiere of Throne for the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Performing the physically demanding role of Helen Keller is Rebecca Laurenti, who last appeared in Gallery 7’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher.

Her precocious, yet caring, teacher is played by newcomer Meghan Hanet.

The cast also features Peter Shaver as Mr. Keller, Cristin Schieder as Kate Keller, Michael Holman (James Keller) and Shannon Pauls (Aunt Ev).

Rounding out the cast are Grant Brittian, Walt Derksen, Dalton Nelson, Sheila Schipper, Dylan Schroeder, Emma Simons and Jenna Veenbaas.

Set design is by Dustin Froese, costume and makeup design is by Shelby Wyminga, lighting design is by Matthew Piton and sound design is by Bethany Somerville.

Props design is by Jim Harrison, fight choreographer is Shephen Elcheshen and the stage manager is Maria Denholme.

Production photography is by Dianna Lewis Photography.

The Miracle Worker runs April 6 and 7 and April 11 to 14 at 7:30 p.m. with matinees on April 7 and 14 at 2 p.m.

For tickets and more information, visit gallery7theatre.com, visit House of James (2743 Emerson St.) or call 604-852-3701 or 1-800-665-8828.

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